A man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said ... " You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" And he said to Him, "Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth." And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17b-18a, 19-22)
He was trying. He was trying so, so hard! "I have kept all these commandments from my childhood," he said to Jesus. But he wanted to go beyond that—to have something that would guarantee him eternal life. He was sure Jesus could tell him what it was.
And Jesus looked at that earnest, religious man and loved him. So He told him the truth. The man's riches had become more important to him than anything—even God. Jesus offered to reverse that: trade your riches for God, trade your wealth for Me. I am your eternal life.
The man couldn't face it. He went away sorrowful. And Jesus? He grieved, too. He loved him! And Jesus loves us too—even when we get it wrong, when we let something or someone become more important to us than Jesus Himself. He calls us, just as He called that man: "Come, follow Me!" Why? Because you are loved. Because you are valued. Because God wants you to live forever, so much that He lay down His own life on the cross to make it happen.
Jesus is your true love, your true wealth. And you are what He wants.
THE PRAYER: Lord Holy Spirit, please make me so that Jesus comes first in my life. Amen.
* What are your top five priorities in life?
* What do you spend the most time and effort on?
* What one thing is most likely to interfere with your loving and following Jesus?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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