Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Little Things

Wednesday's Word

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Little Things

Sometimes I feel as if life plays out like a movie. Certain things seem mundane and inconsequential to the bigger picture, then there are other things that resonate deeply…resurfacing at uniquely odd moments.
Take certain quotes that basically everyone says, or at least knows about: “It’s the little things.” We say it but how often do we carry it beyond the superficial?
I have a few friends that don’t “DO” Facebook. I understand, and I never try to encourage them as if there’s something they’re missing. The aversion is mostly the little “superficial” things that people tend to make TOO much of.

It makes me wonder – On any given day, you’ll see people who claim to be followers of Christ posting very un-Christ-like things. Their caveat – “Don’t judge me, God’s not through with me yet.”
I don’t condemn, but I do encourage Christians the same way that the Bible does in Ephesians 4:1 “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.”

Here’s The Word:

Mark 10: 17 - 22 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Before we unpack this, keep in mind: This is not to pronounce judgement. This is for us to weigh and consider the little things that may be having more of an impact than they seem.

Now, let’s look at ourselves… I mean, “This guy”. He knew that he had riches and he probably considered them to be “blessings” from God. I’m sure they were. He knew that he was devout when it came to living out the law. Because of that, I assume that he also "knew" he had eternal life and wasn’t necessarily asking Jesus for correction, but rather confirmation.
No one runs and kneels to Jesus the way this guy did if they’re expecting grieve-worthy news.
Jesus says that this guy is lacking one thing, but gives him three things to do; sell, give and take up.

I believe that The Lord was steering his heart toward one thing; sincere, intimate love, rather than a strong sense of duty. Notice the laws Jesus mentioned: He didn't say anything about rule number 1 - God is Preeminent. No other things should be in His place.

All of sudden, this guy had to come to grips with the possibility that his ‘eternal life’ wasn’t as secure as his confidence led him to believe. All of a sudden, Christ pointed out a “thing” in his life that needed attention. It was a thing that was harder to come to grips with than a lifetime of commandments. All of a sudden, ‘being saved’ was too much for him. Read further for clarification in the way the Disciples responded.

Here are two more examples of ‘devotion over duty’:

Luke 10: 41 - 42 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her (Martha was attending to hospitable duty, while Mary sat to hear Jesus).

Revelation 2:2 - 5(Church at Ephesus) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

In the same way that Jesus approached answering the man in Mark’s Gospel – “Then Jesus beholding him loved him”, Jesus shows that it’s His love for us that acknowledges where we get it right.
However, it’s also His love that directs attention towards the lacking “things” that need to matter in ways that we tend to discount.
The love expressed to that rich man is the same heart expressed toward Martha as well as the church at Ephesus.
If you ask most people about their ‘eternal life’, they’re quick to run down what things they do. This is the same reason why they excuse the contrary things they do. They emphasize that the scales are weighed in their favor.
But is this how Christ sees it?
Would He say, “Yeah, you cuss a little but I’m not through with you yet”? Or would He direct attention to your devotion and proclaim – there’s “One thing” you’re missing? What thing, compared to eternal life, is worth providing safe haven for, rather than counting ALL things as loss for the excellency in true, sincere, devotion to Christ?
I would contend that there's not a single, little thing.

In Him,


Blogger Paul Singleton said...

I'm just gonna drop this here...

11:25 AM  

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