So Jesus answered and said, “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.Mark 10: 29,30 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad.”
I love babies. I inherited that from my Daddy, who loved babies, too. It’s nice to hold a newborn baby, one that’s still in the warm-drooly-can’t-really-do-anything stage. But, when they get a little bigger, it gets even better. When they get big enough to play games with me and laugh at my jokes, well, that’s when the real fun begins.
The wonderful thing is that I have more babies than anybody because I’m a country preacher. All the babies in the church are my babies, since their moms and dads are so good to share them with me. Since babies grow up (as my own sons are doing oh-so-quickly) it’s wonderful to always have a new supply – a fresh batch of babies in my congregation. Most of the time at church, I’m carrying around somebody’s baby.
Sometimes city mothers and fathers are a little stingy with their babies. They don’t take their babies to church for six months after they’re born because they’re afraid their babies will pick up a germ. But country mothers and fathers bring babies to church right off the bat, and I bless them in front of the congregation. We pass the new babies hand-to-hand throughout the congregation, and everybody takes a turn holding them. I have never known this to make a baby sick. Instead, it seems like our kids develop incredibly good immune systems.
I never take for granted why I have so many babies. It’s because the Lord Jesus has given them to me. Jesus promised in today’s Scripture that if we would follow him, he would give us hundreds of houses and lands, hundreds of brothers and sisters, hundreds of children—in this life. We find our new family and our new homes and property as we live life together in the Church. Jesus says these gifts come “with persecutions.” In His Church we find irritations and problems, too, so it’s a mixed bag. But I have found that the blessings far outweigh the burdens as we work together in God’s kingdom. What’s more, in the age to come, we inherit eternal life.
So, dear friends, don’t feel alone this week. Look up and find the inheritance that is yours.
Dr. John L. Cash (pictured above with a country baby) is the “Country Preacher Dad” * Sing that to the tune of “Secret Agent Man.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church. You should drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.