Devotion for November 30, 2023

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With humankind this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God’” (Mark 10:27). Read in context Mark 10:17–31.

For all intents and purposes, this prostrate man was the ideal of what “good” people sought to be. He knew the commandments. Even more, it reads like he kept them. He was financially successful; perhaps he had a nice nest egg stashed away for retirement or even a second house for weekend getaways. He epitomizes the kind of blessings we hope for in life: health, wealth and security.

Yet he still asks the question, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

From an earthly perspective, he had what all people desired. But he wanted it all. And he wanted to earn it. “What must I do?”

We know people like this, right? If I’m honest, this is me, too. Yet Jesus doesn’t chastise him. Instead, he looks at him and loves him. The loving thing for Jesus to do was to hold up a mirror to the thing that was blocking the man from experiencing everything that God had for him.

CS Lewis says it best in Mere Christianity, “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you get neither”.

If it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God, it feels impossible for me, too. “Who then can be saved?” I echo the disciples’ question.

I’m not sure what Jesus’ expression was at that moment, but I feel like a wry smile might have crossed his lips. “You can’t save yourself, but God can.” Rich or poor, joyful or downhearted, saint and sinner — the good news of the Bible is that God’s saving love in Jesus is not just probably or possible, but it is assured! Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. You know the song! With God, all things can be done.

Prayer

Gracious God, help me to hear your good news and be changed. Because of your great love for the world, you gave Jesus to make life eternal, assured for us. Help me live in a way that reflects your sacrificial love to the world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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