Hard But Good

Part 1

“One thing you lack,” [Jesus] said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor. Then come, follow me.” The man went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus [said], “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” — Mark 10:21–23

What is the hardest thing you have ever asked a loved one to do for his or her own good?

Taking away an older parent’s car keys may come to mind. A family intervention would definitely qualify. The words you had to speak may have felt and even sounded harsh, but you spoke those words because you love the person.

Jesus’ words to the wealthy man may sound harsh, but notice the context: “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (Mark 10:21). Jesus knows that what He asks us, His followers, to do is hard — but anything He would ever ask us to do is for our good.

And asking the rich man to get rid of his wealth was asking him to remove from his life the idol that was competing most with God. The fact that Jews believed wealth to be a sign of God’s blessing made Jesus’ assignment more puzzling and perhaps more difficult. But Jesus had His reason, and that reason was love.

Every single commandment in God’s Word is given for our good.

Part 2

No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or motheror father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age along with persecutions — and in the age to come eternal life. — Mark 10:29–30

What is the hardest thing God has ever asked you to do?

Reflect on how His request reveals now (even if it wasn’t too clear then) His love for you.

And then there’s Peter, still scratching his head a bit over Jesus’ comment to the wealthy believer — “Go, sell everything you have” (Mark 10:21). Peter spoke up:

We have left everything to follow You! — Mark 10:28

Jesus made it clear that following Him will cost us. But Jesus promised that the blessings of doing so will be worth the cost in this life — and, soon, in the glory of life eternal with Him.

So, yes, Jesus asks you, His follower, to let go of anything that keeps you from following Him wholeheartedly. He knows that doing so is hard — and yet He asks anyway. Why? For your good. Because He loves you.

Every single commandment in God’s Word is given for your good.

Excerpted with permission from The Story Devotional, copyright Zondervan.

* * * 

Your Turn

What is Jesus asking you to give up? It’s hard, but good! If we want Jesus to have the #1 spot in our lives, we need to be willing to receive His direction to us because it’s for our good. Because He loves us. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you!

 

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