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Simple Living Study #3 It’s for your own good March 9, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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This is a reprint of some Bible study notes I wrote for Scripture Union in 2001. I’m re-reading them as well as re-posting them. I’ve changed a little over the last 14 years, the challenge of scripture hasn’t.

Have you ever felt God challenging you to take a step you are not prepared to make?

Mark 10:17-31

17As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’”

20He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.”

21Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.”

22But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into God’s Kingdom!”

Explore

CS Lewis once said, “What do people mean when they say ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good’? Have they never even been to a dentist?”

Following Jesus involves difficult life choices. It is not always the easiest option. It is always the best one.

Some people have suggested the rich young man asked the wrong question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life”.
Jesus could have told him, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). Perhaps Jesus was highlighting the impossibility of what he asked, “You want to earn your own ticket into heaven? Simple, be perfect, never fail, and serve others with everything you’ve got.”

It may be that if this man had kept all his riches he would have continued to rely on them and not on Jesus. Few of you reading these notes could be described as poor – You will eat today, and not worry about tomorrow. You have fresh water, you have food, shelter, clothing, heat, and enough each week for a few minor luxuries.

People both richer and poorer than you are living “good” lives out of their own resources. They think there good deeds earn them a place in heaven.

Eternal life is ours at a price and Christ has paid the price. We cannot earn a ticket into heaven but we do need to value what has been given to us.

Respond

Is there a possession or pastime that you value more than your relationship with God? If so you may need to adjust your priorities.

The main passage was taken from the World English Bible, one of the few modern translations in the public domain (ie free of copyright restrictions. It is available as an Android app here

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