Wednesday Morning: 15 May 2019 – Mark 10:17-31 ~ the handicap of wealth

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
__________

Morning Reading – Mark 10:17-31 (NLT)

The Rich Man

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?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 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.’”

“Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

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.”

At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 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!”

The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.

“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, 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. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
__________

Morning Reflection:

The Handicap of Wealth

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”
– Mark 10:23

Ordinarily, we think of wealth as being an advantage in life – if for no other reason than it makes life easier. But not so, when it comes to the Kingdom of God. Jesus identifies wealth as a handicap to receiving eternal life. His encounter with the rich young ruler is instructive.

+ The young man approached Jesus earnestly and respectfully, but viewed eternal life from the perspective of work rather than faith. “What must I do?”

+ The young man viewed himself as a “good person,” and perhaps saw his success as God’s reward. But something was missing, and he sensed it.

+ Jesus loved the young man enough to tell him the truth. His reliance on wealth as a measure of self-worth was a handicap to following Jesus, to inheriting eternal life.

+ The young man couldn’t let go, and walked away – sad and empty. His value system and world view had been turned upside down.

The problem that Jesus addresses in this encounter is not that there is something inherently wrong with wealth, but rather that wealth (or anything else we rely on to measure our self-worth) is a handicap to following Jesus and, consequently, going to heaven.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you see yourself as a “good person,” living a generally moral, decent life? Please explain.
  • How does your response impact your relationship with Jesus? Do you consider it a help, or hindrance? Please explain.
  • What is preventing you from drawing closer to Jesus? What would it cost you to “give it away,” so to speak? Please explain.
  • Have you given up everything to follow Jesus? Please explain.

_________

Morning Prayer: 

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My prayer:

Heavenly Father: Without your mercy and grace, I am hopelessly crippled – relying on the artificial props of this world to keep me standing. But the very things I lean on to keep me upright are the very things that prevent me from leaning entirely on you – my strength and my hope. Give me the courage and faith to “give up everything” to follow Jesus. Help me to understand what that means in my everyday life. And replace any sadness I may feel with the joy and freedom that comes from trusting Jesus with my life. I ask this in his Name. Amen.
__________

“All My Hope” – Crowder

__________

Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: