In Our Place

I am not a great theologian, but there are certain things that were realized as I read His Word this morning.

The Rich Young Man
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

“Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” A question with the response, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” Right away, it seems as if Jesus was expressing to the rich young ruler that even though he was wealthy, good, prestigious and most likely proud in his own eye, that he was still not good. Even though the rich man saw Jesus as a good teacher, Jesus immediately let him know that only the Father is good. It goes without saying that Jesus was also perfect, but He was trying to get the man to see that he is not perfect. As I read on, I saw just how much he drove the idea of the man being far from perfect home. Read through the rest and you will probably see that Jesus was explaining that our earthly prestige and perfection is not the grading system our Creator will use. Take a look at the last verse: “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” It seems as if He was saying that it is what is within one’s heart through Christ that determines our place in eternity.

Like I said, I am not a great theologian, and I am in no way saying that you should also see this as I do, for the relationship that you have with the Lord is not mine. Perhaps your education far exceeds mine? It is just something that has been on my heart lately. Through the story of the rich young ruler, I have gathered a few things about my life. I will share that.

First, I know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). With that being said, I know that my place is secure in His eternal home. Praise Him for making way for me. What I would like to share this morning is the way people make me feel about myself at times. You see, I have spent a lot of time within these buildings that we call “church,” have spent a lot of time reading the sometimes damning words of the many bloggers, and have experienced a lot of sorrow within my personal life through the relationships with family and so-called friends. My heart has been broken by so many. Truly, many times, this inner grief has unfortunately caused me to disregard my willingness to control myself, and the inner turmoil has caused me to retaliate. Pain, for pain. Not Christ-like. It is something that I am not proud of, and I do not keep those bitter feelings harbored within. Although, I no longer choose to place myself around those people, and many times I stop reading the filthy junk people write in the name of our Lord. People so often fail to check themselves before checking others.
Within my heart there are many things. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, but this morning I’m feeling pretty transparent. There are a lot of broken pieces in here, but there is also a lot of joy. It is through the real truth of Christ; loving, understanding, comforting, willing to forgive, the one true mediator between myself and my Creator who gives me the incentive to honor Him. It is through His Holy Spirit that I now see with a different vision than I did before allowing Him in. But, lingering beneath this joy found in Him is still a lot of painful realities. My blood family is totally wrecked, I still have the anxiety to deal with and sometimes I feel that my decisions are the wrong ones. Health problems. The many problems within my own family. The state of the world through my personal lens. Those things which make up who I am in this flesh. Pulling me away from God, pushing me closer to Him, and, at times, leaving me with questions about my true relationship with Him. I sometimes feel that I am not all that great in His eye. Honestly, this usually follows a time of grief, mixed with the ongoing anxiety I am just full of, and after people say and/or do their ignorant crap.
This story about the rich young man has really taught me something this morning. It is not the first time I have read this and probably won’t be the last, but it has really comforted me. I am not what I am within this chaotic world. I am His, and within Him I am not being judged. I am righteous, solely through the righteousness of Jesus Christ! Even though the people, myself and the troubles of the world place me in the many uncertainties of this life, my eternal life is right where He wants it in eternity. He knows my imperfections, my struggles, my life and my heart. Even though my mind sometimes breaks His perfect law, He has made me perfect through Christ. He sees the heart as it truly is, and he loves beyond our understanding of love. This morning, I rejoice in His mercy. This morning, I see the sins, past, present and future sins that fell upon Him at Calvary.

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