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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RE:View: Unshackled

 

At age 17, Eugene McGuire thought his life was over as he watched the gavel fall and heard the Judge pronounce his sentence: Life without the possibility of parole. But God was just getting started in the life of young Gene. What Eugene considered a curse, God intended to use as a blessing.

A riveting, spellbinding read from page one, Unshackled: From Ruin to Redemption, tells the story of God at work in and through the life of Eugene McGuire. Sentenced to life without parole for a murder he did not commit, Gene McGuire had to face the demons wrestling for his soul as he served hard time in prison for nearly three and a half decades. Like any of us, young Gene was not a perfect individual. But he was no killer either. A night that started out as some boys out for a little fun went completely haywire. Before he knew it, Gene found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time involved in something he had no intention of taking part in but was at a loss to do anything about.

As the story unfolds, we see God at work in Gene’s life, providing him with Divine Guidance and Protection, along with Divine Appointments and Interventions. In his autobiography, Gene McGuire reveals a testimony only the God of the Universe could orchestrate.

 

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Unshackled: From Ruin to Redemption

 

The book is well-written by the first-time author and corporate pastor, and it moves along at a good pace. Honestly, you can sit down and read it in about two settings from cover to cover. It is not a particularly easy read, but rather an astounding story of the God of Miracles rescuing one of His lost sheep so that he could go on to be a blessing to others.

Since first meeting Gene a little over three years ago in an ICU waiting room as we gathered to pray for a family whose lives had been tragically disrupted, I have seen his ministry grow and consider it an honor to call him my brother in Christ. The Lord has clearly raised Gene McGuire for such a time as this.

 

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Pastor Gene McGuire

 

When you get the chance, I recommend you pick up your copy of Gene McGuire’s book “Unshackled: From Ruin to Redemption.” I promise you will be glad you did.

You can purchase a copy of Gene’s book online at Amazon.