[4-14-96]
Dove

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

When I was a young fellow, I was a rock-and-roll musician. I started at the age of thirteen. By the time I was eighteen I was an accomplished rock bassist, singer, and song writer. Three things stood in the way of my success. I was not "an entertainer", I did not have a "hot" appearance on stage, and I didn't know how to pick the right people to work with me toward "the top."

By the time I was twenty-three I was a burned out failure. My life was in ruins and I had not made it to stardom. I was bitter and jealous when ever I saw the new groups that were rising to the top. It galled me to see people who were great musicians, good looking, wonderful entertainers, and working with strong back-up musicians. "Why is it that God gives some people everything?", I would moan as I watched the latest music video. "This guy has it all - he could be a fashion model, a studio musician, a T.V. personality, or a song writer; I can't even make it as one of those things.

I grew to feel that God, if he even existed, had short changed me. He had given some people more than they deserved and me, he left me a cripple with a love for music, but not the right combination of talents to reach the goal I had set my heart on.

Surely God must love those over-talented ones more than me.

Welcome To Our Newest Members
Today's Prayer

Holy Father, you have blessed us with diverse talents, strengths, and weaknesses. You have made each of us different, unique. In your grace you have called us all to come and know you and to surrender all to you so that you can show us our place in your Kingdom and so we can become a fruitful member in your Church. Help us to recognize when we are trusting in our selves and when we are withholding our treasures from you so that we may give all to you and cling to your promise that we will not fail to receive from you the reward of our faith......................

In Christ's Name

Amen

This Week's Song: Yes, Lord, Yes

1.

Lord I give You all the glory for all You've given me,
You have filled my life until I overflow;
All I have is Yours to use in any way You choose,
You are Lord of all so how can I say, "No?"

2.

If I never knew the fullness of living in Your will,
I would never know how rich my life could be;
Lord, my willingness to serve is the least that You deserve,
for the blessing You have showered over me.

REFRAIN

I'll say yes, Lord, yes, to Your will and to Your way,
I'll say Yes, Lord, yes, I will trust You and obey;
When the Spirit speaks to me with my whole heart I'll agree
And my answer will be, "Yes, Lord, yes!"

Copyright © 1983 by Manna Music, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

This Week's Devotional

Open your Bibles to Mark 10, and read verses 17-31. Read it over and over until you grasp the narrative.

Verses 17-18

The fact that the man was running shows that his question is sincere and urgent, also, since Jesus had been rejected by both religious and civil leaders his kneeling before Jesus would cost him the respect of his peers. The label "good teacher" is more than just a courtesy but rather a deep felt conviction. Jesus' response reveals His omniscience in that he foresees the conflict about to unfold in the young man's heart.

"Young man in God's sight no one is good, no one is worthy of eternal life, everyone has fallen short and missed the mark. Yet you have come to the only one who can show you the way, will you follow Him?"

Jesus holds forth The Ten Commandments. Until His death and resurrection were accomplished God's Sinai Covenant was in force.

The foundation of God's standard of righteousness began with keeping the Law. No one could hope to be acceptable to God unless he observed the requirements of The Law, both civil and ceremonial.

Verse 20

This man sincerely loved God and had carefully obeyed The Law. Yet he sensed a need to do more. He knew in his heart of hearts that something was lacking in his response to God and he went to "The Man of God from Nazareth", surely He could show him if anything more was required by God.

Verse 21

"Jesus looked at him and loved him", notice that Jesus finds no fault in his observance of The Law. Here is a man who was living the life that God called him to live. As Jesus looked at him He could see his life long struggle to keep The Law and live a holy pious life. Jesus' heart was touched by his devotion and he loved him. (agapao)

"Go sell everything" -- for ages false evangelists have separated disciples from their money citing this passage. Jesus rarely required anyone (only the twelve), to give away all they had to follow Him.

We do see sacrificial giving on the part of the Churches yet for most, God calls us to transform our carnal life into a living sacrifice. We work our jobs and keep our families and interact with our peers as in our former life yet with one difference. We live as aliens, as foreigners, citizens of another Kingdom in a foreign land. We are ambassadors of our master King Jesus and all we think, do, and say is in his name. We are different.

Verses 22-26

Jesus' hopeful call was like His call of the Apostles, they had left all to follow Him. It brought the hidden secret of his heart to the surface, his wealth was his real Lord, and God and eternal life came second. He preferred the comforts of this life to the treasures Jesus offered in His Kingdom. The cost of eternal life was too high and the young man went away rich, by the standards of this age, but sad.

Jesus remarks in 23-26 took the Apostles by surprise, they had believed that all rich and powerful people were favored by God, and that all the poor and weak were being punished for some sin in their lives or the lives of their parents.

Verse 27

We are saved by grace, God's un-earnable gift of forgiveness and love. No one no matter how virtuous, can present his fallen imperfect life to God worthy of His Kingdom. Not even perfect obedience to The Law of Moses could earn Eternal Life, for The Law was merely a minimum standard of conduct, not a recipe for righteousness. Our faith in the Gospel, repentance, confession of sins, baptism, Church membership, fellowship, worship, and obedient life do not earn us our place in God's kingdom. These things are simply our response of belief, gratitude and thanksgiving to God for what He has done. He became a man and died for our sins so that all that receive Him may receive His Grace and forgiveness. He did all the work. Eternal life is His gift of Love.

Verses 28-31

Have you ever viewed "the care free fun loving successful life" of people in the world and been jealous. Have you ever felt doubt about Your life in Christ, which is sometimes hard and demanding of sacrifice, wondering, "It sure would be nice to let go once and a while" or "You sure do miss out on a lot of fun being a Christian." Have you ever been jealous seeing wealthy powerful people in the world who seem to have all of God's blessings while you struggle along trying to live from day to day with burdens that seem too heavy? As I said in the introduction of today's lesson, have you ever felt that God had given some more than they deserved and short changed you?

The promise of God is that everything you have laid at His feet in the name of Christ will be multiplied back to you in this life. Yet don't miss the promise of persecutions. 2 Tim 3:12 promises that our life in Christ will be accompanied by persecutions. These are not a punishment of God but a function of living a Godly life in a fallen world. It is a sign that you are doing something right. We face these persecutions not alone, but with the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and Christ Himself.

The Victory is that in Christ, even our troubles can be turned to blessing, and ultimately, we will be welcomed into our true Home with God in Glory in His Kingdom.

Romans 8.

17. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

In Christ

Greg Spencer

gspencer@execpc.com

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