Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Rich Young Ruler and Grace

For sometime now, I can't get the true story, of the Rich Young Ruler off my mind.  I have read sermons and talked to friends.  I took from different parts of scripture and their meanings to try to find meaning to this one.

At first glance at this story, where the young man ask Jesus what must he do to inherit heaven, it appears Jesus is telling him he must do more.  He must earn heaven.  The young man says he kept all the laws... but he knew there was a void in his life, or he would not have been asking.  He knew there was more to it than keeping the laws and he knew Jesus could help him.

The story says that Jesus loved him.  He told the young man to sell all he had and give it to the poor.  Jesus was showing the young ruler how short he came to the perfection the law demands.  That the only one who gave it all, died on a tree and that was Jesus.  Jesus was pointing the young ruler to Himself in many ways.  He was the perfect life the young man could not keep that he needed to go to heaven and he could not and had not attained it.  Jesus knew what he had done was good in keeping the laws of God but his heart was far from Him. Jesus knew His treasure was not in Jesus but in His riches. That he did not love Jesus nor people.   Jesus told the disciples how utterly impossible it was for a rich man to enter heaven.  This is because the religious thought if you were rich it was because you deserved it and meant you were blessed by God.  The young man was faced with both..he didn't deserve it and him keeping the law would not send him to heaven.  Jesus then said with God all things are possible.

He knew Gods judgement but He didn't know His grace.  He lived by religion not faith.

His treasure was what he found comfort, his identity and security in. Maybe even pleasure and joy.  It was not in selling all he had and giving to the poor that was going to save him.  It was in loving and trusting that Jesus paid for His sin.  When he saw this love that God had for him in sending His Son maybe he would indeed love Jesus and want to serve others more than himself.  Maybe he wouldn't leave Jesus and others in sadness.  Maybe he wouldn't walk away.  Maybe he would accept the forgiveness of Jesus and the life He had given Him and he would be changed.  I think the young ruler felt rejected rather than loved by Jesus because he did not know him.   He was looking to measure up and he knew he didn't.

When we are His, we have a life of surrender over and over to Him, the things we go to find life instead of Him.

I wondered why this story kept coming to my mind.  I saw today from many of my friends that grace is real.  That we do not deserve this gift of salvation of grace.  I have known this for the last twenty years and to read scripture or to live contrary to this grace by faith is for my heart to be far away from God.  Today I saw I am the Rich Young Ruler.  I have not wanted to let go of the good things in my life in order to follow Jesus.  My heart has not fully been His as I cling to my comfort and security of what seems familiar and secure.  I think I have been right and that I deserve a better life than what God has given me.  That I do not deserve to suffer.  I have not lived in the forgiveness of Jesus but when confronted with my sin from God and others I run away.  I focused on  myself more than what I can do for others. I did not want to risk being hurt and in a situation that I could not control.   I was consumed with fear of rejection, guilt and shame seeking life in many things, good things, other than in Jesus.

I have been fearful of change and to change.  

When you understand the gospel your heart is secure in Jesus.  I worshiped Him, went to church, studied His word, even experienced the presence of God by His Spirit but my heart was far away.  To live in such fear is not admitting that Jesus can be trusted with you, your life and others.  In mental illness these fears are so magnified that you cannot ignore them.  I believe this is the only way I could see my lack of love for God and others because I can be such a good girl.  Even my mental health has not humbled me but good friends, good teaching and the Spirit of God.

Is grace really real and is Jesus enough?

 I praise Him that He has not left me alone.  That my friends have not left me alone, even though I walked away sad and alone.  To be honest I have not worked through all these truths.  I know them in my head but my heart has not experience it, so would you pray for me?  I am still looking at me to fulfill the law of God.  I don't think Jesus left the Young Ruler alone either.

I see it now.  Just that quick.  I see Him