Date: Thursday, October 11
Scripture: Matthew 19:16-26
Verse: “When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” (Matthew 16:22)
Every year when our youth go on their mission trips, they come back different. Some of our youth come to church every week for years. They are in youth group and Sunday School. They meet Christian adults in the church, and have deeply committed Christian parents, who mentor them in the faith. Yet somehow after all of that, they don’t really come into a deep encounter with Christ until they are on the mission trip.
Why? My guess is they are not ready to receive until they have given. They need to give some of themselves – time, money, comforts, desires, etc. – before they can get what God has been wanting to give them. It’s akin to trying to receive a present when your arms are already full. You need to put something down first.
I have often read the story of the rich, young man and wondered why Jesus told him to sell everything and give it to the poor – I don’t remember reading that as a requirement of anyone else. Jesus appears to have known this is what filled the young man’s hands, keeping him from receiving what God wanted to give. Had he been consumed with power, Jesus might have asked him to resign from his prestigious positions. Had he been a clothes-horse, he might have told him he needed to take his entire wardrobe to Goodwill. Had he been a tech-junkie, Jesus might have told him he needed to give up his high-speed internet access. His possessions mattered more to him, so he went away grieving over the choice he had to make between Jesus and his stuff.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, like the young man long ago, I too am tempted to choose other things over you. Help me let go, so I can receive all you have to offer. Amen.
Action: Put aside some things to give away that you have been holding onto.