Saturday, August 20, 2016

Do You Really Follow Jesus?

Mark 10:21b, "...Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me."

It's hard to give things up.  School has just started back up again and parents are giving up their children to the schools.  Some for the first time, some for the last time as they finish up their education.  It's a difficult thing, to transition from the comforts of home to the world where we have limited control and so many things can happen.

I work with people who have a hard time giving things up and it gets them into trouble.  If you think about it, you are no different than the people I talk to every day.  You can't give up food, your comforts, your routines, your traditions.  If you stop and examine yourself right now I bet there's a whole host of things that would throw your life into absolute disarray if you stopped having, taking, experiencing them.

What are we willing to give up?  We often look down on others who cannot give up things.  Shame on them for smoking, eating, watching too much tv, playing too many video games, spending too much money on clothes, and the list goes on.  But what do you have difficulty parting with?  Sleeping in?  Having a new car every few years?  Having brand new clothes every year?  Name brand clothes, favorite foods, a vacation home?

We really are more spoiled than we think and with our being spoiled we are no different from the people who cannot give things up, who are dependent on substances that make them feel good, that alter their mood, that get them high.

Not convinced?  Well, take my sister-in-law, whom I respect deeply and love immensely.  She recently quit her job and began the process of running a transitional home for women who need a place to go after they parole from prison.  Her salary?  None.  Her faith?  Immense.  Her reward?  Downsizing and worry that her husband's salary will cover their bills.  Her real reward?  To be determined but I"m guessing it will be tremendous.  It gives me courage, it gives me courage to follow Jesus.

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