It is always exciting to start something new. To begin with, a clear mind and consciousness on a new white sheet of paper with unlimited possibilities. Our biggest challenge is to actually start with the freedom that we have in front of us without letting the past color too much of our new start.
Of all the strengths of our relationship with Jesus Christ, one of the most powerful is that of forgiveness. Each day becomes a new opportunity in our lives to live out and share God’s love in our lives with others. If this were true in our lives, then why do we struggle so much with the freedom of a new life?
Could it be that our old life had some advantages for us?
We were comfortable, and everyone knew what to expect, no explaining to do, no different actions to take. People appreciated and accepted us in our flawed state, and we were all good with one another. Wow, I am glad we got that aligned. I thought this was going to get complicated for a minute… We are all comfortable in our flawed lives and living at or below the expectations of others and to ourselves not to mention God.
The rich young ruler in Mark 10 – lived his life to the best of his ability and sought Jesus humbly to determine how he might obtain eternal life, but his real motive was of human intent in that he wanted an eternal life with the qualities of this life. He calls Jesus good, and the next statement is often taken as just that, a statement that by itself is true and right, but it can also be a question that Jesus poses to the young man to gauge the seriousness of his intent.
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good.Mark 10:18
Does he believe he is talking to God or simply a teacher who has an answer he knows he cannot get answered anywhere else? If he feels good about his life up to this point, then he certainly has less to do in attaining eternal life than many others, right? Jesus, knowing his heart, confirms for him what he must do, and the young man confirms he has kept the commandments to the best of his human ability for most of his life, and we find that when we are honest with God, He meets us in the middle.
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him.
Jesus told him he had one thing he had not done – to go and release all that he had, but the text says he had many possessions, and he could not part with them on faith alone. Jesus uses money once again, though not the real topic here, to illustrate the physical and spiritual struggle we have in our day-to-day lives when we reflect. The good comes through, and the things we have neglected or failed at we would rather skip, but these are the very things God wants us to focus on and give from our spirits beyond our physical selves.
Time, money, energy, and talent are still not enough because the spiritual requires an acknowledgment of God being first – dependence on Him. A free-will choice that we must make if we expect to have His influence in our lives. God is not a cosmic vending machine that we put a quarter in only when we need something.
If we can reflect and plan forward, giving him control of our lives, then we can accomplish many things that are not physically possible today because we have not allowed God to make them possible for us.
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.”Mark 10:26-27
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