S (Scripture): Mark 10:25 [Jesus said to his disciples] “It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.”
26 They were shocked even more and said to each other, “Then who can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible with human beings, but not with God. All things are possible for God.”
28 Peter said to him, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you.”
29 Jesus said, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farms because of me and because of the good news 30 will receive one hundred times as much now in this life—houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and farms (with harassment)—and in the coming age, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.”
O (Observation): A man had just come up to Jesus to ask about inheriting eternal life. Jesus told the man that keeping the commandments was great, but that he lacked one thing: sell all your goods and give to the poor. The man went away saddened. He had many possessions.
Jesus lets the disciples know that possessions have a way of infecting one’s priorities. To let these go, in favor of allowing God to supply our needs.
Herein lies the crux: what we need, God provides.
When they give up possessions, they will actually gain. Maybe their names won’t be on the deed or the registration form, but the disciples will have access to the homes and food of others. And much more importantly, one will gain relationships of many shapes and forms, such that they will lack for nothing emotionally.
A (Application): Jesus turns to the disciples to teach them of the challenges of riches. We become slaves to our possessions. We become possessed by our possessions. When we have much to lose (in terms of possessions) we feel threatened when those might be taken away.
This feeling makes us rulers of our own worlds. We have to dominate. We have to be right. We have to smartly plan our entire lives, for we are in control.
We see letting go of things as weakness; Jesus sees letting go as a strength.
We think the one with the most toys wins; Jesus says the one who gives up the most has the most to gain (again, not gained as in “owned,” but a sharing and a building of relationships comes forth).
The more we let go, the less we have to worry about losing. The more we leave behind, the more (stuff, relationship, faith) becomes available to us. The more we let go of control, the more we can fully rely on God.
P (Prayer): Jesus, take my life that I may be consecrated, Lord, for thee. Amen.