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:: Monday, April 14, 2003 ::

The service this morning was absolutely incredible. The guest preacher preached out of the rich young ruler passage in Mark 10:17 - 22. Some notes:

-This young man was no dummy. "He had sense enough to try Jesus but not faith enough to trust Jesus." That'll preach.
-It's not how you start but how you finish: he starts well, running to Jesus, but then walks away sad.
-"Don't burn the candle of your life for the devil and blow the smoke in the face of Jesus."
-The young man had everything we really want: youth, money and morality. Yet something was still missing.
-Peter probably said, "He could have underwritten the whole movement! He had morals, manners AND money! And, Jesus, man, you let him get away!"
-His goal had replaced God in his life.

You know, looking back at those notes, I'd heard a lot of that before. But somehow this morning it just lit me up inside. So I began to think: how often do we sell out God's vision for our lives and for our church because we want to secure the Big Donor who could, in fact, underwrite the whole movement? A lot of big donors to a lot of Christian organizations are seriously devoted to God. But sometimes we are willing to risk God's best so that we can have that "ministerial security."

But the biggest thing, as the preacher said this morning, is that the man was thinking "how much will it cost to have eternal life?" And he decided it wasn't worth it. This wasn't really a case of "Simon the Sorcerer" (see Acts 8), hoping to pay the apostles for some of that Spirit power stuff. But he was running the calculations, and was unwilling to pay with his life.

The cross is a heavy burden indeed - when we are called to carry it to our own crucifixion. We are called to share in his sufferings and death if we want to share in his resurrection. And that means a whole lot more than putting on a white robe and getting wet.

:: Matt 4/14/2003 11:50:00 PM :: permalink :: ::
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