When Carly and I first started reading together, we challenged ourselves to always find a “promise to claim” and a “sin to avoid”. This chapter feels like a back-and-forth between these two categories. I want to focus on a few.
Promise to claim: God answers prayers.
“And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off?” (7)
Jesus says this sort of analogy at other times, but the general idea is, ‘If an evil person can eventually do a good thing, why do you doubt a loving God?’ If you feel discouraged about a long unanswered prayer, don’t give up!
Sin to avoid: Self-righteousness.
“For everyone who exalts himself with be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (14)
It’s a dangerous game to compare ourselves to others or think we are in God’s favor because we deserve to be.
Promise to claim: Kingdom Family
“No one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” (29-30)
Growing up, I somehow managed to miss the “in the age” part of this verse. Maybe on the heels of “storing up treasures in heaven” I began to think all Kingdom benefits were for later. Than I noticed the promise of now and realized how much I’ve already reaped this reward. I’ve spent much of my adult life away from my family, serving the Lord in various places and capacities. Even though I miss my family when I’m gone, I’ve also become exceedingly rich in the relationships God has given me around the states and around the world. I’ve received many times as much already. It’s glorious.
Unpopular opinion: sometimes it pays to run away from home.
What promises do you claim in this chapter? What sins are you challenged to avoid?