|Mark 10:20-23 (MSG)|
|20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!”
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.
23 Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?”
|This rich young man felt like there was something missing in his life, in spite of all his riches. Having heard the stories about Jesus, and especially about this kingdom of which Jesus spoke, he decided to ask Jesus what it would take for him to make the cut. Jesus gave him a list of commandments, and the man felt like he had been obeying them from a very early age. Then Jesus got to the very core of this man’s issue – his riches. Because he was holding tight to his riches, he stopped asking Jesus further questions and instead left very saddened.|
|I believe that if each of us went to Jesus today on our own, there would be something that we are holding on to tightly that He could draw to our attention. For some, it might be riches, but for others it might be your job/business, or perhaps your family or friends or parties or sports or internet, etc, etc. I believe another way to analyze your own situation is to imagine Jesus asking you to go to a mission field that might be hundreds of miles away – what would be your biggest excuse to Him as to why you can’t leave in a few days? Now that you have figured that one out, what if God told you to get up and spend a few days with a poor lonely person a few blocks away as He is calling them to salvation and wants your influence in their life for a while? What might be the factor or excuse that would cause you to decline God’s request? I know, these things that I’ve mentioned are very challenging for some to even think about, so I’ll tell you what, why not just invite your neighbors to church with you this weekend? Oh you can’t because you have a fishing trip planned? Or is it a beach day, or family in town, or your favorite team is playing on Sunday and you can’t miss one minute of the game? Friends, I believe you are probably getting the idea by now, for if God is truly a priority in our lives, because we have said ‘Yes’ to His lordship, then what would truly prevent us from responding to the Master’s call? I would suggest that although many of us are not ‘rich’ financially, we are ‘rich’ in the things of this world. Try attending a retreat out in the wild, away from internet, television and worldly hindrances and see how close you can draw to God. While there, consider the things of this world that claim your attention and hinders your time and/or obedience to God. Those things are your ‘riches’ that Jesus might be asking you to diminish in your life so that He might claim your full attention. Singing that song ‘Draw me close to You’ will not do the job friend, only your willingness to let go of those things that you hold on to more tightly than God.|
|Lord, I am convicted through this Scripture today that there are things of this world that Satan has used to distract us from holding You first in our lives, or having You as our priority in life. If we fought as hard to make You a priority, as we do for work, or church meetings, or family, or riches, then we might be like a large ship controlled by a very small rudder, for we would be way more sensitive to Your voice and Your commands. We may not be rich, as the young ruler was, but we do have distractions galore, so please Lord, draw our attention to the things that hinder our close walk with You and draw us close to You. We need You every hour dear Lord, stay close to us and encourage us to always stay close to You. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Rededication’ Category
THE HOLY BIBLE (New English Version – Revelation 2:2-5): 2 I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 3 I am also aware that you have persisted steadfastly, endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! 5 Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first;….
THOUGHTS: In reading verses 2 and 3, I believe that most of us would be envious of the testimony of a church that does that well! I believe that most of us are very proud of our churches, but personally, we are such poor members – in that we are overly obligated in our homes, work and community and barely find time to attend a church service, much less becoming actively involved in the ministry of the church to our community. But wait just a minute. Isn’t that exactly what God is referring to in this message to the church at Ephesus? That they have allowed other things to interfere in their relationship with their ‘First Love’? Well, let’s examine some of the attributes of our ‘first love’. I believe that if we remind ourselves of our first earthly love (girlfriend or boyfriend), I believe we will quickly reflect on how ‘our world’ stopped so that we could cater to that first love. We couldn’t move without that person being at our side, and our minds were just consumed with finding more ways to show that person how much we really love that person! When we first accepted Jesus as our Savior, it was very similar. For we would have climbed the highest mountain for Him or sailed the roughest seas to spread the word about our very best Friend. In fact, we were consumed with the things of God and looked in every way to find bigger and greater ways of showing our love for Him. So what happened? Where did our gusto go? I believe this is exactly the point that God is giving to the Ephesian church in verse 4, for it seems like they had, as we have, lost our ‘first love’ – our enthusiasm and love for our Lord. Friends, losing our enthusiasm for the Lord is similar to what happens in a marriage when divorce, or at least marriage counseling is approaching. We need help! Whether in struggling marriages or in a Christians spiritual life, this loss of our ‘first love’ feeling leads to an easy door for sin to enter, and that will lead to even greater division. In marriages, we are normally counseled to spend more time together; look for creative ways to show our love and appreciation for our spouse and open the lines of communication. May I recommend that we try and do the same in our spiritual lives when we recognize that we are not as excited about our ‘first love’ (Jesus) as we were the day we got saved? Spend time together – this is not always equal to church attendance, although I feel that is super important, but get into God’s Word and get direction from Him for your life. Understand His character and aim to imitate it as best you can. Creative way to express you love for God – this entails thinking about how you can love Him more, and how you can show that love through every word and action. This will impact the lives of those that you come into contact with, as it will be evident to whom you belong! Communicate with God – pray, pray, pray! This includes praising Him for His manifold blessings; praying for His direction for Your life (His perfect will) and for His miraculous hand upon your witness and in every aspect of your life.
PRAYER: Dear God, ashamedly we come before You realizing that we have really slackened in our relationship with You – our ‘First Love’. Thank You for drawing this to our attention in scriptures such as this one today. Just as it is of super importance that we renew and refresh our first ‘earthly love’ with our spouse, we realize that it is even more important that we do the same with You. This begins with asking your forgiveness – as we have turned our backs on the One that first loved us; the One who loved us even when we were unlovable by the world; the One who sacrificed Your only Son so that we might have life eternally with You and Your Father. Please renew within us a right spirit, so that we might desire Your Truth/Your Word and that we might rededicate ourselves to living in light of Your commands and for Your sake alone. You gave Your very best for us, and we deserve to give our very best to You. Please help us to do just this with every ounce of our being. Renewing our ‘First Love’ relationship could make us brand new disciples in this old world that is so enveloped in sin. Please grant us faith, power and the will to do just this today oh Lord. For I ask this in faith, and in the name of Jesus, my Savior, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!