Monday, March 7, 2022

       “One thing you lack.”  Those four words can sound rather haunting or biting.  When we first hear those words, they can easily rub us the wrong way and leave us feeling angry or seething.  But consider the source of this message.  It is a quote from Jesus who was responding to an unnamed, wealthy young man who had engaged Him in a conversation about matters of faith and eternity.  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” was this man’s question.  And it was a good question—a question worthy of our consideration and reflection even today.  If it is a question that you have never seriously entertained, then it is an important question to resolve before you do much more or go much further in life.  Sadly, Mark’s gospel tells us that this young man walked away from Jesus because he could not do the one thing that Jesus said was lacking.  Jesus had told this man to sell everything he had and give the riches to the poor.  Our Lord was not coming down heavy-handed against rich people or those who may have prospered in life.  Rather, Jesus saw that wealth was an obstacle for this young man—an obstacle that have divided or separated him from the Father.  And, if we are honest, there could be some obstacles that we encounter too.  These obstacles can separate us from the Lord and leave us lacking.
            Is there “one thing you lack?”  What would the Lord say about you or me today?  Is there something that we have allowed to separate us from the Father?  Is there something missing in your life?  Only we can answer such questions—you and me.  We can lean upon the Holy Spirit to help us but we cannot outsource the answer to an expert.  We have to confront it.  If we are lacking something, the chances are good that we will continue to lack it unless we name it and bring it to the Lord for His grace and power to be applied.  This question is a call for us to examine our priorities and passions in life.  Such things can easily get misplaced or misemphasized at the expense of more urgent and important things.
            While the young man in Mark’s gospel walked away from Jesus, we do not have to do the same.  We can come to Jesus and present ourselves wholly and fully His.  Christians often sing “I surrender all.”  But do we?  Do we surrender all things to Christ?  Do we extend His Lordship over the things that lay hold of us and grip us?  Do we lay bare our lives before Him so that we may lack not one thing?  Paul wrote in Romans 11:22 that we are to consider the kindness and sternness of God.  God can deal severely and sternly with the things we offer to Him.  To walk with the Lord means we invite Him to deal sternly and severely with the things we may be lacking.  Just like a goldsmith submits a precious metal to fire to remove both the dross and any alloy, we want the Lord to remove from us any disobedience or stubbornness that we have sadly allowed to gather and reign in us.
            We will never know what the rich young man’s life would have been like if he had offered to Jesus the one thing he was lacking.  The Lord knows but not us.  God wishes to write a different conclusion in and for your life as you look to Him.  May the Lord write a story or victory through our surrender to Him.  May the Lord write a story of freedom through our submission to Him.  Surrender and submission are the ways of joy and life when we offer ourselves to the Lord.  May we bring whatever may be lacking to Him today.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can always share our worship at    

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