Friday, April 08, 2011

Sell everything

Mark 10:17-31
As [Jesus] went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted Him with great reverence, and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?"

Jesus said, "Why are you calling Me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, honor your father and mother."

He said, "Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!"

Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow Me."

The man's face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go...

Jesus said... "Children, how hard it is for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God!"

My friend Sandy asked me about the fast I am doing now, why am I doing it. It's complicated and today I was thinking it through.

Faith, real faith, is about action.

Oh, yes, our salvation is from Christ alone, there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and thankfully, nothing we can do to make Him love us less. And yet, if we say we have faith, if we say we believe, we must do things, live in a way, that is according to those beliefs, otherwise, then, we really don't believe what we say.

The fast is something Al and I are doing with a church we attend, so there are rules for the fast, the Daniel Fast, which is what we are doing. And I was excited about it at first, until I realized I had to give up coffee too. Food, ok, but the coffee, I am addicted to that caffeine fix, literally. I felt the push back as soon as I read that part of the fast. I considered, honestly, changing my mind and not doing it.

I sing with the crowd on Sunday evenings "with everything, with everything, we will shout for Your glory..." and yet, it is too uncomfortable, for Your glory, to give up a cup of coffee in the morning.

With everything means everything--like all of it. Talk is cheap, but what would happen, if I tried to walk it for say, 21 days? I mean, I need to know.

So I am fasting, there, I said it. And I am praying. It is not about weight loss, as who can lose weigh with all the rice and beans I am eating? It is like running a marathon--I am doing it because I need to know, I want to see what that feels like, what it is like, to praise Him, honor Him, love Him with everything.

Will Jesus love me more than you? Will He answer my prayers more than yours? Will some glorious thing fall out of the sky to me because I did this that would not have happened if I did not?

It does not matter. It's not about that. It is about me feeling what it is like to offer Him more of myself. Me getting closer to giving everything, selling everything. And ultimately it is about Him. Because I can't do it anyway. I have to let God do it.

That set the disciples back on their heels. "Then who has any chance at all?" they asked.

Jesus was blunt: "No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it."

God of all days, glorious in all of Your ways.
Your majesty, the wonder and grace, in the light of Your name.

With everything, with everything,
We will shout for Your glory.

So let hope rise, and darkness tremble in Your holy light,
And every eye will see Jesus, our God, great and mighty to be praised. (With Everything - Hillsong)

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