Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Shall Not Want




Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” ~Mark 10:21-23


 I love when God takes something I've known a long time from the Bible and turns it upside down and shows me something new... The Rich Young Ruler...how often I've looked at him and thought that Jesus was simply revealing to this man that he had a god named "riches" and he needed to lay it down to follow Jesus. 

I've learned two new things from this man recently...

1. Sadness doesn't not mean change is on the way. This man walked away sad but didn't show any signs of changing his behavior. There was no repentance. Often I'll see my child sad when reprimanded but that doesn't mean they are sorry for what they have done and ready to change. I'll notice something in my own heart that is wrong and I'll be sad about it. But sadness doesn't necessarily equal change for me either. 


"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." ~2 Corinthians 7:10

2. Jesus said, "Then come, follow me." Surrounding Jesus were other men who had left everything to follow him. They could have helped this man if he was willing. "I left a lucrative business...I left my loving family...I'm not sure my parents are still alive..." But he chose to walk away sad. The truth is, Jesus was asking him to LITERALLY follow him with his FEET. Like, come on, we're going and I have so much to show you!! Like, I promise you won't regret it if you come! Like, REALLY I have so much more to give you than your silly trinkets and baubles!! AND, how are you going to drag all that stuff with you if you go with me where I am going? And if you want to keep it and still come, who will take care of it? What if it gets stolen?? Wouldn't it be better to serve me with it by giving it to the poor and then come with me?

AND, how are you going to drag all that stuff with you if you go with me where I am going? And if you want to keep it and still come, who will take care of it? What if it gets stolen?? Wouldn't it be better to serve me with it by giving it to the poor and then come with me?

For all I have given up, I still hold on to so much. I want to save my baubles and shine up my trinkets. I want others to notice my pretty baubles and notice how well I shine my trinkets. Truth be known, it's also a lot of work to get rid of "stuff", what with sifting through it, lugging it to the car, dragging it to its destination, coming back for another load... And then it's hard to stem the tide of more stuff wanting to enter. You gotta be strong and broad shouldered. You gotta figure out what to do with birthdays and Christmas that would set a new pattern of life. Swimming upstream takes big energy!

But oh, to walk unencumbered! To not have to say, "But who will take of this while we're gone?" Or to be ABLE to say, "We're moving, let's spend the day and have everything packed by the end of it," instead of, "Friends are coming, we better spend the day picking up so they have a place to walk and sit." Can I get an amen?

Jesus was calling. The Rich Young Ruler didn't know what awaited him if he would just lose it all by blessing others and follow.

The Rich Young Ruler thought he had something to lose. So he held on tighter and lost it all. Sure, keep the baubles and the trinkets. But, beware because if you do that then you'll lose the real treasure!! 

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