“Jesus loves you with the intention of moving your heart away from the allure of wealth to the greater good of serving the needs of others.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 8, 2021
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk]. Mark 10:21, AMP
Jesus, looked at him and loved him. I can’t get this image out of my mind. Jesus felt a deep, genuine love for his new friend, who in his heart of hearts, was not a generous person. The rich man had replaced his love for God with his love for his possessions. His idol was money. Worship of wealth was elevated beyond his worship of the Lord. After Jesus called out his unwise affections, the gifted youth with the status of a ruler walked away sad, spiritually bankrupt. He didn’t lack authority, affluence or autonomy—but he lacked rich love for the Lord. Jesus was a good teacher—but not his savior and Lord. He would not give up all and follow Jesus Christ in love and obedience. Generosity surrenders all to gain eternal, extravagant love!
Charles Spurgeon gives inspired insight into the rich young ruler: He meant in the young man’s case, “Give up thine idol.” His was wealth. He means the same kind of trial for you. Give up your idol. What is it? I pause. You may look, but I am sure that if you are not loving God you are loving something else, and whatever it is that you love better than God is your idol, and you are an idolater, and that your idol must fall to the ground if Jesus is to be all in all. You cannot serve two masters, and whatever your present master is he must turn out, that Christ may come in.
“No servant can serve two masters. He is bound to hate one and love the other, or give his loyalty to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and the power of money at the same time” (Luke 16:13, Phillips).
Has money moved into a more prominent place than your devotion to Jesus? If so, God offers the remedy of generosity. Giving away your influence, affluence and time puts stuff under the authority of the Lord’s Kingdom instead of the sideways energy of your kingdom. Jesus looks at you and loves you with the intention of moving your heart away from the allure of wealth to the greater good of serving the needs of others. Generosity with your influence may mean connecting people who can help each other personally or professionally. A wise financial gift may mean investing in a couple’s marriage to attend a marriage enrichment weekend. Or, give your time away to invite people into your home for a hospitable meal, love and encouragement.
It’s a sober exercise to ask your loving heavenly Father what idols may be competing with your affections for above. In silence, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and expose anything you lack. You may not lack a moral standard, but do you lack experiencing God’s grace and mercy? You may not lack status in the community, but do you lack the love and respect of your child? You may not lack professional success, but do you lack caring for your soul’s health and rest? Thankfully, you can look into the loving face of Jesus, and He will show you how to love well.
“As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share [with others]. In this way storing up for themselves the enduring riches of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19, AMP).
Heavenly Father, show me what’s lacking in my love for you, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What idols in my life need to be exposed and replaced by devotion to God?
Chris McClarney: Speak to the Mountains
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