Selfish and Sorrowful
“One thing you lack…” Mark 10:21 Just one thing; just one area you need to get right. Would you like to have your weak areas of life reduced to just “one thing” in the eyes of the One who sees all? What a relief it must have been for the young leader to hear Jesus say you only need to change in one area to walk into eternal life.
He must have waited with bated breath as he looked eagerly into the loving eyes of Jesus. What is it Lord? Tell me so I can get it right and receive the assurance of true salvation.
“Then Jesus looking at him, loved him and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven, and come, take up the cross and follow Me.” Mk 10:21
The words crashed into him like a forceful stream of cold water that made him literally stagger. “No! Not that! Anything else, yes. But no to that!” Conflicting thoughts raced through his mind. Warfare escalated. Hope like a a great light flashed in front of him but a deep sorrow also rose up within him.
He so wanted eternal life! He so wanted to be a part of what Jesus was doing. “But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Mk 10:22 Unwilling to do the “one thing,” he turns and walks away. Sorry? Yes. Willing? No.
I am constantly amazed at how many people are willing to give up on their destiny over one thing they are unwilling to lay down. One thing that they determine is more important to them than the destiny Jesus offers.
Many walk away from salvation because of one thing they will soon discover they cannot hold onto anyway: A relationship with a man or woman, an addiction, a genre of music, a cultural style, or sexual desires. Whatever it is, it cannot last. And even if it would last and even if someone could gain it all, Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mt. 16:26
Sadly, millions have turned their back on the ONE who loves them enough to die for them because of one thing they refuse to surrender! Self is a horrible deceiver and a tyrannical taskmaster! We know this because we all have struggled with our greatest enemy, SELF.
How do we deal with this enemy? How can we overcome? Can we reach an agreement where we can live peacefully with the flesh? Jesus’ answer was that no treaty can be made with the sinful nature of the fallen self! Self can only be dealt with by:
1.) the act of “denying – losing sight of” self
2.) the taking up of the cross [the instrument of death to self]
3.) by fully following Jesus! [See Mark 8:34-38]
These thousands of years later even professing follower’s of Christ are still trying to make treaties with self. Some even in ministry, hold on to jealousy and seethe with envy toward fellow Christian workers instead of rejoicing in God’s work. Too many choose to hold on to insecurity and smallness of heart. Instead of surrendering their fears and competitive nature to Jesus they surrender much of their destiny!
Whoever you are and wherever you are on your journey make the decision now that your life is completely HIS. The only way to arrive at the destiny of God for your life is the way Jesus outlined: deny self, take up the cross and follow HIM!