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One Grandma, trying to let the light of Jesus shine through me. . . reaching out into the darkness with love to little hands, hearts and minds . . .for Jesus.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Rich Young Ruler. . .Can I lay it all down and follow?

 Matthew 19

16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Kind of like he was saying, what can I do for you right now, real
quickly so I can get it over with and have eternal life. . .can I give an
offering. . .set up a fund for the poor. . .help widows out with something of
substance. . .etc. . .  Let me do something good for you to wrap this job up.

   17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Then the Lord responds don't call me good.  Keep the commands  My Father has given to you in His Word. . .HE's good.

   18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
   19Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Which ones do you mean in particular Lord. . .so Jesus starts listing a few. . .

   20The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
The young man is happy to say that he's already been doing all these things since he was a kid. . .so do I have more to do or am I A-OK already?

   21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Jesus says, if you want to be perfect. . .then go and sell what you have. . . then take you money and just give it to the poor. . .
 let your treasure be in heaven. . .
stop working for yourself and start working with me. . .
following me. . .
don't let anything stand in the way of you being involved in my work.

   22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Sadly, this was just too much for the young man. . .he really didn't know how to "let go" of all he had attained. . .his "own work" tied him to the earth.
He just wasn't free to follow Jesus. . .he had to take care of "other things".

23Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
   24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Jesus watched him walk away. . .
 saddened because he knew the young man
did love him. . .
he was a good young man. . .
but he just had too great a taste of wealth and couldn't let go. . .
of the power. . .
of the commitment to his work. . .
of the money. . .
of his own will. 
Just like the camel trying to go through the passage of the Needle's Eye, there was too  much to unload to continue on the pathway.

29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Now, some of us think we are doing pretty well giving up what we want to follow Jesus. . .
but have we said, "Lord, I will live where ever you want me to? 
In what ever house you want me to? ". . .
If my family doesn't serve you or rejects your people, will I still follow. . .
if my father gets offended and quits. . .will I continue after you. . .
and even if I can't have land of my own and have to live in a small apartment will I  choose to walk with you so I can inherit everlasting life? 

Remember that old song the Dacus/Wright quartet used to sing,
"Take my houses and lands. . .all my dreams and my plans. . .
Lord, I'm placing my whole life in your hands. . .   
 . . .whatever it takes, that's what I'm willing to do." 

   30But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
We really don't know what we will or won't give up for the Lord. . .we just
have to say, "Help me Lord to be willing to give what you require of me."
 We have so much in our society. . .
Like Bro. Crawford said we don't know what to get people for a birthday or Christmas because they have lots and lots of stuff. 
It used to be a big deal for a kid to get candy once a week
. . .now they have it everyday anytime they want
. . .food is at our finger tips 24/7
. . .we have heat and air
. . .we have cars and trucks
. . .doctors and pills
BUT. . .what we NEED is to follow Jesus. 
We need to hear His voice saying,
"You belong to me. . .you are not your own. . .with a price you're bought. . ."
We need to offer those we love Jesus.
We need to offer Jesus those we love.
We need to prove to them it is better to follow HIM than to seek great riches.
It is better to learn to be content.
Contentment is such a hard pill to swallow. . .but we can do it.
Take a big swallow of Holy Ghost and it will go down better.

A good name, Jesus, is better to wear than fine adornment, fancy
houses or shiny new cars.  Follow Jesus and wear His name with joy.
It's better than being
president. . . governor. . .doctor. . .lawyer. . .or Indian chief.

Anyway, this story has been on my mind all week. 
Sometimes we
just don't know how our load of responsibility became so heavy. . .
so full we don't even have time for ourselves, let alone the Lord. 
We, like the rich young ruler, think we want to lay down all or at least part of the load but don't know how to even begin. 
We are heavy laden.
We look for a quiet timeto get alone with HIM. . .but not right this minute
. . . it's always going to be in the morning. . . later tonight. . .
 after I finish just this one thing. . .after this phone call. . .
or after I rest a few more minutes I'll focus on HIM. . .
Then one day we are old. . .and our life is ending . .
and we have things. . .
or maybe we'll have lost all we thought we had gained. . .
BUT we don't have HIM in HIS fullness. . .because we failed to follow.

"Teach me Lord to follow when you say the time is right.
Show me that I can trust you to work for my good.
Only when I learn to walk by faith and not by sight. . .
Will I find the sweetest peace in following you." 

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