Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 2, 2019
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.” Mark 10:21 (NIV)
In many ways, the rich young ruler was a model of faithfulness. He was sexually pure, honest and trustworthy with his words and money, respected his parents, and studied the Bible (see Mark 10:18-20). If he had grown up in my church, he would have been on the fast track to Christian leadership! And yet, the only reason we know anything about this man is because of his inability to follow Jesus in every area of his life.
We are told that Jesus looked on this man and loved him deeply. I believe the hard words that Jesus shared with this man were in fact born out of that deep love. Jesus isn’t trying to create a situation in which the man is set up to fail. He doesn’t find delight in our trials or misfortunes. Likewise, I think Jesus was truly moved by this man’s faithful devotion to God. He didn’t ignore it or take it lightly. However, more than a list of rules to follow that guarantee perfect behavior, Jesus wanted this man’s heart to be free. He desires the same for you.
Our possessions wield a remarkable power over us. They give us a false sense of security and an inflated sense of worth. They promise freedom yet only enslave. They say they will broaden our horizons only to shrink and cloud our vision. This was true in the ancient world and it remains true today. Yet in every time and every place Jesus is also at work, ruthlessly rooting out everything that stands between him and the one he loves.
Jesus wants nothing less than the whole of who you are. While in your specific situation finances may not have a grip on your heart, likely there still remains one thing that keeps you from experiencing the freedom that Jesus offers. Perhaps it is an addiction or an unhealthy relationship. You find yourself paralyzed by fear and insecurity. And perhaps like the rich young ruler, you fear what might happen if you truly let go and walk away.
Jesus loves you too much to leave you just as you are. He longs for you to know the freedom that comes from following him and walking in the light. Pray today for the courage to take a step forward in faith, resting in his unshakable and unchanging love.
Father, in your kindness help us to see where our hearts are given to lesser loves, and give us the strength to follow you into places of freedom and peace, amen.
What is the one thing that keeps you from being free?
Jesus’ security sustains us and his generous love gives us worth. #WisdomHunters #possessions
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