Pause

There is such a thing, you know, as having too much: too much money, too much power, too many possessions, even too much time – if we become bored with it.

It's hard to know, sometimes, when it becomes too much. A good clue is that we lose sight of when and where the reign of God is revealed.

In these next moments, ask God to clarify your view, clear out whatever clouds your vision, and help you to see where God is at work.

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Listen

"You know the commandments: 'You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'" He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Mark 10:19-22

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Think

There are some people who don't know how to tell a story, rambling on about useless details with constant corrections. When they begin a story, someone says, “Wait, let me tell it.”

Today, Mark is telling the story, and he knows exactly what he's doing, only including details that really matter. That's why it's such a big deal when Mark tells us that Jesus looked at this man and loved him.

Jesus loved even as the man bragged about keeping a checklist of morality. Jesus loved as he boldly invited the man to loosen his grip on this world to gain a grasp of Another. Jesus loved as the silhouette of a young man faded in the distance, unable to trade wealth for treasure.

So it is with us. When we confuse things of earth with things of heaven, when we brag about our spiritual checklist being complete, when we choose stuff over Spirit, we discover what Christ has been doing the entire time.

Loving us.

John Woods

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Pray

Loving Christ, who constantly pours grace on my life, help me to remember your love in my wanderings, so that your invitation to the Kingdom might define my journey. Amen.

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Go

Go now knowing just how much you are blessed.
Find creative ways to risk yourself for the world God loves.
Seek out ways to be extravagant with your gifts,
Making your life useful in God's service.

John Woods

John Woods is pastor of music and worship at Northside Baptist Church in Victoria, Texas, where he provides leadership in the areas of music, the arts, worship, and liturgy. When there’s time, John likes cluttering up his Mac, reading Dan Brown, listening to “This American Life,” traveling with his wife Lindsay and son Hudson, and exploring the intersections of music, faith, liturgy, and community.

Amazing Grace

Clay Mottley

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