What Keeps You From Worshiping Jesus?

The Gospel of Mark shares a story of a rich, young man who asks Jesus what he has to do to receive eternal life. In this parable, versions of which are also found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the young man approaches Jesus, demonstrating respect by kneeling to him and referring to him as “Good Teacher”. The young man communicates a clear understanding that Jesus is someone worthy of honor and respect. His words also reveal a lack of fully understanding who Jesus was, is and will always be.

Claiming to have kept all of the Mosaic Law since childhood and being wealthy,  the young man seems to feel he has a right to receive the gift of eternal life. If not him, who?  He sees getting into Heaven something that can be earned, achieved, and obtained through living a good life, being successful, and having knowledge. When Jesus, looking at him with love, challenged him to get rid of all his possessions and follow Him, the young man dropped his head, unable to commit to God’s call on His life and walked away, unwilling to follow Jesus.

The young man believed he was worthy of receiving eternal life. Nothing could be further from the truth. None of us are worthy of God’s grace. However, through sending Jesus to atone for our sins, God demonstrates His belief that we are worth it. Scripture repeatedly shows us that the Lord is a personal God who desires an intimate, close relationship with the people He has created. Through the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary, God removed all obstacles keeping us from a relationship with Him. Yet, like the rich, young man in our parable, many of us decide we can not give up our worldly identity and follow Jesus.

 

What we believe about Jesus matters.

 

Through His Son, God gave us the ultimate gift of love. By His actions, Jesus demonstrated that He is worthy of our worship. Through the Holy Spirit, we can grow in relationship with Christ, in the process, drawing nearer to the Father. Honestly, our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing about us because what we believe informs our decision-making and directs our problem-solving. Our faith determines our response to the trials and tribulations we experience in this lost and fallen world.

For the young man in our parable, his worldly possessions kept him from worshiping Jesus. What personal gods are keeping you from worshipping Jesus today?

Don’t leave Jesus sitting on the shelf like an unopened gift. Repent and believe in the Lord. Worship Jesus. 

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for not worshiping you with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul. We know that you are God alone and there is no other path to you except through placing our faith and trust in your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us remove our individual distractions so that we might draw closer to You by turning our eyes upon Jesus and not relying on our own strength but rather depending on the power of Your Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Let Go and Go On

As adults adulting, we all know that life is dynamic and risky. Things don’t always turn out the way we anticipate, much less the way we want. You win some, and you lose some. As people in recovery, we cannot spend a lot of time reliving the past, particularly the times that we tasted defeat or the moments we came face to face with losing. Live long enough, and you’ll lose something. The same holds true for hurts people cause us or that we cause. There is no benefit in hanging onto our aches and pains. We must be quick to forgive and even quicker to ask for forgiveness when a slight or injury occurs. Otherwise, we risk building resentments. For regular people, resentments are bad news.For addicts living in recovery, resentments are deadly.

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Scripture says there are times and seasons for everything. God’s Word instructs us to guard our hearts and be careful with what we let live in them. Resentments are quick to take residence in our hearts and ready to devour our souls if we let them. But that’s just it. We don’t have to let them. We can give them over to our Higher Power…to God as we understand Him. The longer we entertain them, the deeper they will take root. Let go, and go on. Release the anchors of resentment that weigh you down and that will drown you if you let them. Living a life of recovery means holding things loosely, so we don’t suffocate the light indwelling us. The fields of resentment are a maze populated with valleys of darkness and roads leading to death. Go in peace, live in love, share the light.