Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Matthew 19:16-22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
If you think you have to be good, you can let yourself off the hook, now. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, said in Matthew 19:17, “Only God is good.” And Jesus takes up the slack where we fail to measure up to God’s standards. Jesus gave His life making sure that we “measured up” to the Heavenly entrance requirements. If you think you are good, take an honest look in the mirror and remember the last time you screwed up. If you don’t remember the last time, read what happened to the guy who said, “Good Master…” He thought he was cool and ready to go with Jesus. He had his fun, with all his wealth, and was ready for another challenge. That’s what the Jesus thing was about for him. Interesting thing: Jesus didn’t give the guy the “salvation speech.”
He told the man to sell and give away everything he had. Jesus knew the guy wasn’t going to get past that step. We all have steps we find difficult to get past. And we want the Jesus life, but don’t want to give up our stuff. Jesus doesn’t push us, though. He stands at our door and calmly, gently knocks. Kind of like when my wife calmly, gently tells me, “Honey, it’s time to get up.” We can get to God; we can get back to God; we can go to God, if we are humble enough to give up our right to do whatever we want and let God do whatever He wants. We don’t have to go through the rest of our lives regretting that we gave up God and we gave up on God.
Hey God, I love You. I want to follow You, but sometimes You get in my way. Then I find out that I am the one who got in my way. Forgive me for all the ways that is wrong. I here and now call You Lord, Redeemer, Savior, Friend. Grant me joy, Brother-Redeemer Jesus, in doing this, I pray. Bless God and Amen.
Go with God!