Will this investment pay off?

You’ve probably seen the retirement calculators before.

If you invest $200 per month beginning at age 20 and it grows 8% annually, you’ll be a millionaire at age 65.

Your financial planner may have already wowed you with the wonders of compound interest over time.

Here’s a better strategy:

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will 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. But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Mark 10:28-31).

It seems like recent events had made Peter nervous.

He’d just seen a rich man walk away from Jesus because he cared more about his investment portfolio than he did his soul.

And for some reason—insecurity, perhaps?—Peter needed assurance that the Lord had noticed the sacrifices the disciples had made for the cause.

He probably loved the Lord’s response.

Invest in me, Jesus said, and you’ll get a 100% return in this life and eternal bliss in the next.

That’s much better than the 8% your IRA might get you.

I suppose most of us have thought what Peter asked.

We wonder if the sacrifices we’ve made for the gospel are worth it.

All the time, all the effort, all the struggles.

Lord, are you noticing?

Are they worth it?

Yes, he is, and they are.

You won’t ever regret the sacrifices you make.

For some reason, my favorite church song as a child was “Heaven will surely be worth it all,” though I’m fairly certain I hadn’t made any huge sacrifices for the Lord by the age of 10 or 11.

For whatever reason, though, the song’s lyrics resonated with my early reflections on discipleship.

And it’s something we need to remind ourselves.

Heaven will indeed be worth it all.

But not just heaven . . . we get to live the good life here—it won’t always be struggle-free, but we’ll consistently have peace and love and hope. Our difficulties will be tempered by the Lord’s presence and our confidence about the future.

And after this life, the Lord takes us to be with him.

What could be better than that?

There’s nothing wrong with investing, of course, but it would be terribly sad to have an incredible 401(k) and to be spiritually bankrupt.

The rich man invested everything in this world and Peter gave up everything for the next.

Which one is in better shape now?

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