Hey Church Family!
As we continue on this journey of discovering the real Jesus, sooner or later you will be asked the question, "Am I willing to surrender everything in order to gain Jesus?"
That was the question a young man faced as he was invited to follow Jesus. If you remember the story, he runs up to Jesus—which demonstrates how desperate he was—and says, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus stops him right away and asks, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." What's he getting at here? I believe Jesus is asking the question, "Are you really prepared for what that means? If you're calling me good, then you're placing me in a position to be able to determine what is good and what is not good in your life. Are you really prepared for that?"
This guy had no idea. We don't always either.
But Jesus looked at him and loved him. And then we're told that Jesus says, "Go sell everything, give to the poor. Then you will find treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me." In other words, he's offering this man a trade. "You'll lose everything, but you'll gain me. All of your wealth, status, what you've worked so hard for—gone. But you'll gain me. Is that worth it to you? Does that seem like a good deal?"
Jesus understood something we must come to understand: Whatever has your heart, has you. That thing, whatever it is, is the thing you worship. You give your time, energy, passion, devotion, and money to. It has control over you. It is your master. And whatever that thing is, it has you. You worship it.
Our problem is that we tend to worship lesser things. Things that are not God. Things that can never satisfy. Things that disappoint and let us down. And we keep pouring ourselves into them over and over again. We've been guilty of this from the beginning. We worship lesser things.
The question we need to wrestle with is simple, yet incredibly difficult. Am I willing to surrender everything in order to gain Jesus? Do we truly believe that Jesus is better?
The good news is, God responds with grace—he looks at us and loves us. And if we're willing to ask him, he'll reveal whatever gets in the way of him. So be willing to ask. And then surrender it. You'll be glad you did.
Together in Christ,
Notes from the Staff @The Woods