The phenomenon of today, the day after giving thanks for all we have being the day we fight people in stores, is nothing new. Though, this year inevitably is much calmer, possessions can easily make their way into the pressing matters of our mind.
In Mark 10, the Rich Young Ruler asks Jesus “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” I love Jesus’ side note here... “excuse me but nobody is good except God.” Boy, have we lost this humility.
How many times have we been the Rich Young Ruler? We go about our days thinking what we are doing is good enough. We have not killed anyone today, did not steal today or defraud anyone today.
I am good.
I am doing just fine.
We are not as bad as that person.
We did not do THAT.
Doing all the do’s and none of the don’ts.
Checking off the list.
The next part is my favorite “Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him” I love that image. He was not laughing. He was not shaming him. He was not disappointed. He was not angry. Jesus looks at us knowing our heart. Knowing our flesh and knowing our struggle.
Jesus loves us so much. He died knowing we would never be good enough on our own. This word is fallen, the enemy is prowling, the flesh is week. Jesus knows what is best for us. Our sweet and powerful Heavenly Father IS our best. We cannot do it without Him. He does not want us to do it without Him.
When we are checking off the list, exhausting ourselves to just be good enough for the day, Holy Spirit is whispering to us in His still small voice “Choose Me.”
Jesus says to our checked off list of don’ts, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.”
While the majority of us cannot go sell everything we have, our hearts can. In this season, this year, this moment of time... we have probably arrived here a lot different than last year. A lot different than the way we started. And one thing we can all agree on is that God never changed.
When we focus on Him, when we give up everything of the world, deny our flesh, take up our cross and choose to follow Christ every day, the do’s and dont’s are not a task to check off. Choosing Christ is the desire of our hearts. It is what we want. As our flesh wakes up wanting coffee, our souls wake up wanting Jesus.
Giving all we have when we might receive nothing in return. Choosing to help someone else when it would be much easier to save yourself. Loving the hard people when all you want to do is give up.
Give it all up. Give up the world. Give up the striving. Give up the comparing. Give up the wanting. Give up the stress. Give up the taking. Give up the self seeking, the self worship, the self thinking, the self righteousness. Take a deep breath. Fall in love with Jesus.
“No one is good except God some.” Mark 10:18
“...no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:3
“But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.”
One thing the Rich Young Ruler missed is something I pray we never do... Jesus is better than all the stuff. Jesus is better than all the world. Jesus is better than what our flesh wants and He is all our soul needs.
Jesus never left.
Jesus never lost.
Jesus never wavered.
He never will.
You can choose Him and He will not let you down.