MARK 10:17-22 – And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
THEME OF THE DAY. WHERE GOD DEALS WITH US. Today’s scripture is familiar. The lessons abound and a person could spend hour after hour studying it and benefit greatly. Of all the lessons sticking out even with a surface reading, this one stopped me in my tracks causing me to pause for some reflection and application.
When we look at our nation and all that is wrong with us, and there is a lot, we are the most blessed country in the world. Yes, we are godless. Yes, God is showing us mercy in judging us during this pandemic to draw us to humble repentance and a seeking of Him. Yes, division and injustice are huge issues. Yes, we are full of ourselves; narcissism, selfishness, and ingratitude characterize our national character. Yes, our sins are great and heinous. Yet, how many of us woke up this morning wondering where our next meal would come from? How many of us worried if a source of clean water would be found today? How many of us suffered the elements because we had no roof over our heads? In today’s scripture the man who had great possessions defines each of us. Oh, we may not have large bank accounts or an overabundance of material things, but we are rich – far more than we deserve. But like the man who had great possessions, we also face the same temptation he did – attaching ourselves to the real treasure in life.
The man had a real heart problem, not a head problem. He knew the commands of God. He knew what God expected of him but his knowledge never went to his heart. And that is where Jesus goes. He went to the one thing keeping the man back from whole-hearted submission to Him. Same with us.
When the Lord Jesus deals with us concerning our commitment to Him, He also goes to the heart of the matter. I will use me as an example. I don’t care much about money; food, clothing, bills paid, I am good. It is not an idol in my life or something I struggle with in terms of hoarding and being selfish. I like to give. Now please, don’t think I am some super Christian. I am not. Money is just not an area I struggle with in my submission and following of the Lord. So, He doesn’t deal with me there. He doesn’t need to, but there are other areas – like my pride, like my caring too much of what people think of me that are areas He is heavily at work in my life as He wants me to follow Him in these areas as well. It will be the same for each of us.
So, get alone with the Lord and allow Him to show you areas not fully in line with Him by way of total submission and obedience. He will reveal them to you, but don’t respond like the man in today’s scripture. You will walk away like he did – sad and miserable, but complete surrender of the heart to the Lord is freeing and joy-filled.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I choose the worthless treasures of this world over the eternal treasure of Your Son.”
QUOTE: “The way we manage our lives – time, talents, treasure – tells us where our hearts are – in earth or heaven.”