Thanks for reading these musings every week. I know your time is valuable and I appreciate your willingness to share some of it as you prepare your heart for worship.
Got a familiar text for Sunday, Mark 10:17-22 "The Rich Young Man." This text is found in all the Synoptic (similar Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke). You know the story...a man comes to Jesus and asks, "What can I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him that he needs to keep the law (10 Commandments). The man replies: "I have done that since I was a boy". And in a very curious statement, Mark's gospel says, "Jesus loved him." And then Jesus said, "Go sell all your possessions, give them to the poor, and come and follow me." We are then left with one of the saddest moments recorded in the scriptures: "The man walked away very sad, because he had great wealth."
If you think this story is about money, you are right. But if you think this text is only about money, I ask you to think about it again. While Jesus does tell this man to sell all he had, Jesus never once asked people to live the ascetic lifestyle. What Jesus does say is that we must die to ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him.
So what does this text have to do with us? I think that all of us have something or another that we cling to for security. For this man it was his money...for others it could be a position of power, or even family. The rich man simply could not turn over that aspect of his heart to follow God. In other words, he wanted to hold out...he wanted to follow Jesus part of the way, but not completely.
If you hear me say nothing else, hear this...you cannot follow Jesus half way. He demands all of us...even those things that we hold so dear. He demands all of our hearts because if we are holding back, then we are not making him Lord and ruler of our lives.
Consider this question before you attend worship...what is the one aspect of your life that you are holding back from God? God desires to be in first place and if you are not willing to give all of yourself to Him, then it is time to reevaluate your relationship with God.
Thanks for reading,
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