Good morning [subscriber:firstname | default:Beloved],
When I made the decision to leave Islam and give my life to Jesus Christ in 1988, I experienced Mark 10: 29-30, which says, ” Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.”.
It was not easy at all because I come from a Muslim family. I have always loved my parents, and my conversion made my mother cry her eyes out. It broke my heart. Seeing her like this, my entourage feared that she would have a heart attack. Relatives tried to convince me to change my decision, at least to calm her and not lose her. But I couldn’t because even though I honored my parents as the Bible recommends, I loved the Lord Jesus more than anything. Nothing could separate me from Him. So, I accepted the possibility that I could lose my mother for the cause of the Gospel.
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”says the Lord in Mark 8: 34-35. Because I made the choice to deny myself, the affection of my parents; to carry my cross while remaining attached to Christ in spite of everything, the Lord made me accomplish this word of Marc 10: 29-30: He kept and protected my mother until this day. He proved it to me, among other things, by saving her from a serious accident that she had several years after my conversion. God also healed her many times. She attends several of our church programs. My parents, although still Muslims, finally accepted that I had become a Christian and, moreover, a pastor. The Lord is wonderful! I have no doubt that they will come to Christ because the Lord promised me that.
Because of our faith in Christ, we are called to leave things and / or people to whom we are attached to, even if they are good and have nothing to do with sin as per say. In order to win in Christ, you must accept to lose.
To deny oneself is to first renounce sin (this is what conversion to Christ means). Beyond sin, it is also accepting to lose one’s ego, it is a self-denial in favor of Christ, it is bending one’s will before the will of the Lord, it is giving up what has value for oneself. Bearing one’s cross means accepting to suffer for the cause of Christ and the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul, out of love for the Lord, voluntarily detached himself from certain things, not bad as such, but which he held onto as a Jew: ” circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. ” he explains in Philippians 3: 5-6 (NKJV). “… But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” Apostle Paul says (Philippians 3: 7-8).
Because of Christ and the gospel, you should accept to lose some friendships. Accept to leave sin: accept for example, to break off the adulterous relationship which enables you to see to your needs, Accepts to break off with lies, cheating, corruption, etc. But then go beyond breaking off with sin! Accept to lose for a while the approval of your family from another religion. You will save your life and God will save them (Acts 16:31)! Accept to lose a few hours of sleep to seek the face of God. Accept to give up your ego, your desires, your passions, your principles, your comfort, your title, etc.
Do not be afraid of losing for the cause of Christ and the Gospel! The Lord assures you of one thing: no one, he says, no one leaves something or someone because of Jesus and the Good News without receiving them a hundredfold on this earth and in eternal life (Mark 10 :30). Know this: in Christ, he who loses wins!
May God bless you!