Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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14. The courage to come but not to continue – Part 4

Mark 10:17-31

17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’ ”20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”28 Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”

After seeing the seeking ruler now sadly we see:

  1. The Sorrowing Ruler – Vs 22

It’s here that we see him going from seeking to sad. Here was a man that ran to Jesus for the answer yet rejected the Almighty. He ran to Jesus because he knew that there was something missing in his life. But when he discovered the depths of his disease rather than pursuing Christ as the cure, he pursued the comfort of his possessions. Many of us, when confronted with the corruption of our condition, reject the answer because we care more about comfort that we do about the cure. We would rather live with the affliction than listen to the Almighty because that would involve change. Our problem is that we come to Christ because we want a change of circumstances but not a change of heart. We want Christ to change our circumstances, not us. We are seeing comfort not conviction. But until we are convicted there will never be any real change. That is why a geographical change without a God change never fixes things. We need to start asking Christ to change the person, not just the problems. Unlike blind Bartimaeus who boldly believed and was blessed, this man remained bound up in his belongings. Instead of trusting in Jesus and being transformed he trusted in his treasure and turned away. This is the crossroads of conviction, the decisive decision, will I walk with Jesus or walk away? Today many will forsake following God for social prestige, power, and popularity. But look at the possibilities this man turned his back on when he decided to run after his riches instead of running after the Redeemer.  Instead of the years of service for the Savior he spent them on self. Look at the influence he could have had to reach those in his social circle for Christ had he surrendered his soul to Jesus that day. Instead of making eternal investments that would last forever he made earthly ones that quickly faded away. Today there are many Christians who while they confess Christ as their Savior are really still living for self. They want Jesus to give them life but not to be the Lord of their life. They want a Savior but not surrender, they want salvation but not service. They are seeking a comfortable life, not the Christian life. So they squander their lives on trivial treasure instead of teaching the truth. They live greed based lives instead of Godly lives so their foundation is one of live fear, not faith. A fear that is focused of what they will lose instead of a faith that is on what they have gained. So they live grabbing lives instead of giving lives. They hole up and hide their light instead of holding up their light. They waste their lives on worry instead of investing them in a worship, why because we are more influenced by the media than we are the Master. But what kind of a witness is that to a watching world? The rich man came face to face with his problem and chose to put it off. Today it’s time that you deal with the subject of your soul and your eternal destiny. Too many people approach eternity like they do retirement planning, insurance, and root canals, they put it off as long as possible. Some people wait until it’s too late, and instead of a home in heaven, they face the horrors of hell.  Are you going to run to Jesus and repent or return to your former life unchanged? Are you going to follow after Christ or chase after comfort? The rich young ruler chose riches over the Redeemer and lost it all when he could have left his riches to run after God and gained it all. What about you are you going to be a follower or a fool?