"Jesus looked at him and loved him." Mark 10:21
Good evening! I hope you have had a good Monday. I must say my Monday has sucked up all my energy. I am so ready to crawl into bed and get a good 10 hours of sleep! But, for the sake of not wasting precious hours, I will try and stay awake a little while longer.
Tuesday night's I have been studying with other women in the church and learning, and rehashing, how to throw out our idols. Tonight as I was going through the lessons, I was caught by something so beautiful, yet often overlooked. In Mark (and Matthew and Luke, depending on the perspective you want), Jesus teaches us about the rich young man seeking eternal life. We all know how it ends up. Jesus tells him to go, sell everything he has, give it all to the poor, and then the rich young man can come and follow Jesus. Whenever I read these verses, that is exactly what I get out of the passage.
However, something struck me with such beauty tonight! I read through Mark 10:17-31 with fresh eyes, and it was pointed out to me something I had always skipped over. Let's see if you catch it:
Starting at verse 17b, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'" And he said to Him, "Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth." And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Did you catch it? Jesus, right before telling him what he lacked, looked at him and LOVED him. "God's love is so rich and refreshingly different than our often-limited views of love" (Kelly Minter). And praise God for that! He doesn't look at us and let us stay where we are. He loves us enough, and perfectly outside human ability, that He tells us what we lack. If Zane looked at me and told me, "I love you, but let me tell you what you lack," I would be hurt, embarrased, and perhaps furious. As humans, we don't see someone pointing out the filth in our life, or the gaps in our life, as loving. We see it as threatening and rude. But Jesus, our Lord, our Redeemer, loves us ENOUGH to tell us what we lack. He doesn't do so to hurt us, or to take away from our life. He shows us so that we can live life fully, with joy unspeakable, and live it freely!
I know this entry is quite shorter than the novels I've put up most recently, but it may just be what you need to read tonight. I know it was a blessing to me to study that passage in my lesson, and I'm hoping it will be a blessing to you. Don't listen to the lies Satan feeds you in his attempt to make you cling to the things of life that falsely offer comfort and love. Listen to the promises of God, the ones He is ALWAYS faithful to fulfill. Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for My sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life." Mark 10:29-30
Clean out the filth that God is looking at and lovingly telling you to throw away. And be prepared to receive that outpouring of blessings that will flow down on you...one hundred fold!