Friday, March 16, 2012

When Giving Up Means Getting It All

This Sunday (March 18) at 10:00 am we are going to be studying a conversation Jesus had with a young man. Here’s how it went:

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:17-25)

Throughout the centuries people have wondered about the same questions that are likely in your mind:

“Do I have to give away all my money to be a Christian?”
“Is it worth it?”
“Is anybody going to get to heaven?

One thing is for certain, Jesus is calling his followers to a level of commitment far higher than most think necessary. During these 40 days of Lent it is good for us to study the hard teachings of Christ and ask ourselves the same hard questions he put to the people who followed him when he walked this earth. Lent is a time of repentance and spiritual growth. And we can only grow if we understand what kind of faith and life Jesus is calling us to. The young man in the story walked away sad. That was the biggest mistake of his life. No matter what you have. No matter who you are. Nothing in this world is worth keeping if it is an obstacle to Jesus being your Lord and Savior. When it comes to eternity, we get it all through Christ when we give up trying get to him on our terms.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.