“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)
While doing my Bible study this morning, a verse that I have read many times before jumped off the page at me. Particularly, the words “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Jesus knew that this man wasn’t going to follow Him, yet he showed genuine love for him. The love of money kept him from following God. Jesus exercised tough love by telling the man what he lacked in order to follow Him. He claimed that he had kept all of the commandments since he was a boy (v.20), and although this could have been true, it wasn’t enough to save him. Yet Jesus LOVED him.
We must be sure to regularly evaluate our lives and motives, as well as do a spiritual inventory of our hearts. Is there something that would be difficult for you to give up if Jesus were to ask you to do so to follow Him? Your spouse? Your car? Facebook? Television? If in thinking about this your face falls and you become sad like the rich young man in Mark 10, perhaps it’s time to fast and refocus on that which TRULY matters. We should get to a place of true contentment in Christ and nothing else. He is ultimately the one person or “thing” that can truly satisfy us. Our treasure is in heaven, not this earth.
One important thing to remember from this story is that Jesus loved him even though He knew the man wouldn’t follow him. This isn’t a license to abuse His grace, but rather reassurance that you can’t earn His love and approval; you already have it. We need to simply respond to it. Beloved, there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and nothing you can do to make Him love you less. Just believe it and receive it. The rest will fall into place. ❤
Prayer starter: Abba Father, please reveal to me anything that I may have as an idol in my life. Help me to humbly seek Your kingdom above anything and everything here on this earth. I commit to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow you regardless of the cost.