What are you holding onto that is keeping you from the fullness of God in your life? Jesus calls his followers to radical surrender to his lordship and radical love for him. Yet, the sad reality is that many people choose the passing pleasures of sin and the comforts of this life. In this message from Mark 10:17–31, David Platt urges us to find true and eternal life in Jesus. Don’t hold back from living for him.
If you have Bible—and I hope you or somebody around you does that you can look on with—let me invite you to open with me to Mark 10. It’s good to be together again around God’s Word.
You’re going to need something to write with or on at the end of our time together today, so if you don’t have anything like that now, then I encourage you to find something while I’m talking. We have some paper and pens on tables where the communion elements are. It may be best for you to write on an electronic device you may have with you, but please resist the temptation for that device to be a distraction to you, as we meet with God.
God is moving in a special way in our church family right now, in ways that can only be explained by his hand and only be attributed to his glory, in our worship gatherings, in extra gatherings every night, in a full room here this past Friday night with people gathered from all our locations. It was beautiful. There were all ages, from young kids to senior adults, plus a variety of teenagers. There are so many other things on a Friday night teenagers can be doing than coming to a prayer gathering to seek God.
We are seeing God move. We’re seeing family members, friends and neighbors we’ve been praying for come to faith in Jesus. We’re seeing people who have been distant from God and the church come back to God, come back to the church. People are confessing and experiencing forgiveness and freedom from addictions, adultery, pornography, anger, bitterness, pride, all sorts of other sins in our lives.
People who aren’t in these meetings but whom we’re praying for. People far away from these meetings are experiencing fresh conviction of sin and repenting. We’ve heard numerous stories over just the last couple of weeks of broken and hurting marriages that are taking needed steps toward healing. We’re praying for each other with rising faith in the power, wisdom, and the love of God. I want to encourage you not to miss out on what God is doing.
We’ve already decided we’re going to gather again this Friday night, all together here at Tysons at 7:30. I invite you to be here and bring others with you. And don’t to miss out today. I just prayed with a sister from our church family. It’s been a long time since she’s been here, because of a stroke that has paralyzed her. She heard about what God has been doing over the last couple weeks and came back today for the first time in a long time, in a wheelchair. She said, “I want to be part of what God’s doing here.” You know who you are. It was a really special time.
Let’s check our expectations right now. Are you here just to go through a religious routine on a Sunday morning? Or are we here to meet with God? If you follow the church’s Bible Reading Plan, this past week we were in Exodus 19. The people of God are coming to this mountain where God reveals himself as a consuming fire. His voice sounds like thunder and the people are trembling before God. I’m praying, “God, create a holy sense of trembling before you and reverence before your Word; move in power among us in ways that can only be explained by your hand and only attributed to your glory.”
I was meditating this week on Psalm 85. Listen to this prayer in the Bible:
1 Lord, you were favorable to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people;
you covered all their sin.
3 You withdrew all your wrath;
you turned from your hot anger.
4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.
That Psalm was written during the time of moral decline and spiritual darkness, which we are in in our country, our city, and even in the church today. This Psalm is a prayer for God to revive his people and bring new life in ways that bring favor from God. Follow the ways that are mentioned here:
- Forgiveness from God for sin.
- Restoration to God.
- Renewed joy in God, in ways that lead to salvation from God, according to his steadfast love.
- This leads to hunger and reverence for the Word of God.
- Fear of God and his glory dwelling in our midst.
- Blessing from God—what is good—in
- a land that is yielding increase. And righteousness before God.
I look at this list and see God doing these things among us. By his grace he’s showing favor to us. He’s showering forgiveness over us, as we confess our sin. He’s restoring relationships to himself, relationships with each other. He’s restoring joy and bringing salvation. He’s causing hunger and reverence for his Word to grow. He’s bringing us to deeper fear of him. He’s showing his glory in our midst.
So what we’re saying is we want more of this, all of this. We want to see more people saved. We want to have more fear of you. We want to see more of your glory in our midst. We want to see your glory in our midst in our church; We want to see your glory in churches across our city. We want people to hallow the name of Jesus in Metro Washington, DC. We want people to hallow the name of Jesus among the nations. We want this. We don’t want to just go through religious routine. We want you, God.
My church group has been meditating on Ephesians 3. Paul prays in verse 19 that they would “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” That’s what we want. We want to be filled with all the fullness of God—in our lives, in our families, as a church, a city, the nations.
So I’ve debated whether we need to camp out in Psalm 85 or Ephesians 3, or to other places in the Bible that talk about revival, confession, repentance and prayer; maybe we will next Sunday and in the days to come. I don’t know; we’re going day by day right now.
When I sat down this past week and sought the Lord, asking, “God, what do you want to say to us in this gathering?” my mind was immediately drawn to what’s actually the next text we are scheduled to be in—Mark 10. So I want to read it to you and show you how this word relates so clearly to all God is doing among us right now.
God, give us a sense of trembling at your Word speaking to us right now.
Let’s read Mark 10, beginning in verse 17:
17 And as [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Ah, there is so much here. We’ve looked at this text before, as recently as this past fall when we talked about biblical giving. There’s so much here that speaks directly to our use of money and possessions, especially with our relative wealth where place we live—one of the wealthiest places to ever exist on planet earth in history. Jesus said, “It’s hard to get to heaven from a place like this.”
This strikes right at how we are using money or possessions, in a world where nearly a billion people live in desperate poverty. Many in our city live in poverty and oppression, on top of spiritual poverty. There are billions of people in the world who have no access to the gospel, yet we have money from God that can affect all of that. So we need to hear God speaking specifically to our use of money, as well as the overall tendency in all of our hearts to hold back from him.
This has become a theme during these recent days, not just because I wrote a book with the title, Don’t Hold Back. It’s because of what God’s Word said to us two weeks ago in a gathering that just kept going. It all started from Isaiah 54, “Don’t hold back from me, from all that I have for you.”
Do you see the picture here? Here’s a guy who wants life to the full forever. He has so much in this world, but he knows he’s missing something. So he comes to Jesus who says to him, “You lack one thing. There’s something you’re holding back from me.” Jesus goes straight to the heart. He says, “Go, sell all that you have, and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.”
Do you see it? “Don’t hold back from me and from all that I have for you—treasure in heaven that will last forever. But in order to have me and all that I have for you, you have to let go of what you’re holding on to.” So God’s Word leads directly to this question right now. For every one of us, including myself, “What are you holding on to that is keeping you from the fullness of God in your life?” This is the question God is asking you and me right now. What’s holding you back from God and the fullness of God in your life? For this man, it was clearly his possessions. So what is it for you? Not the person beside you, in front of you, behind you, but you? Right now, in this word, Jesus is calling you to radical surrender to him of whatever these things are.
Did you see this man’s language? It’s so interesting. He said to him, “Teacher…” But before this, he said, “Good Teacher…” This man thought Jesus was a teacher for him to listen to, even respect, but this man did not see Jesus as a Lord to obey. There’s a difference. So what is Jesus for you—a teacher to respect or a lord to obey?
This approach to Jesus as a teacher to respect is the curse of casual Christianity today. It’s easy to call yourself a Christian, coming to church, going through various motions of Christianity, while holding on to all kind of things in your life in this world. We’ve got to stop and ask what are we holding on to? Just think about it. Are you holding on to your money and possessions? Have you truly surrendered all your money and possessions to Jesus, for him to spend however he wants you to spend them in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need? Does your spending, does your use of money, align with the purposes of God in this world, or does it align with the purposes of this world? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21). Are you holding on to money and possessions?
Are you holding on to sexual impurity—to thoughts, desires, actions? People this week have been confessing pornography, adultery. Singles, are you holding on to sexual activity outside of marriage? What do you want more—sexual immorality or God? Are you holding on to anger, bitterness, unforgiveness toward someone else? Are you holding on to worry? Are you not trusting God with this circumstance or that trial in your life, in your family, your work? Are you holding on to jealousy in your heart? Do you look at others and desire to be like somebody else? To have what they have?
Are you holding on to fear? Fear maybe of what will happen if you truly surrender to Jesus—where he might lead you, what he might lead you to do? What if he leads you to move somewhere else for the spread of the gospel? Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to move anywhere in the world for the spread of the gospel, or are you holding back from that kind of surrender? Are you holding on to the fear of man? Are you controlled by what others think of you? Are you obsessed with putting forward a certain image?
Our students spoke a Spirit-prompted word, not just over their peers, but over our whole church family in one of these recent prayer gatherings, saying, “So many of us are living for what others think of us and we need to be free from that.” Are you holding on to fear of others that keeps you from sharing the gospel with them? Fear of what they might think of you or fear of how they might respond?
Maybe it’s fear that you might lose your job, which leads to the question are you holding on to your work in such a way that you can’t let go of it? You’re constantly immersed in it and drawn to it in such a way that it’s always at the top of your mind. You can’t let it go; it’s taking over more important priorities in your life, like quality time with God, or with others.
Are you holding on to this gadget in your pocket, like a slave to it, constantly scrolling, addicted to it? When you wake up in the morning, is it the first thing you do? When you go to bed at night, you’re scrolling through it. Your impulse throughout the day is to seek it instead of seeking God, or even lifting your eyes to look at the people around you.
What are you holding on to that’s keeping you from loving your spouse, your parents, members of your family, members in the church? What pride are you holding on to? What control are you holding on to, trying to control this or that in your life or family, when it’s not yours to control?
We could keep going on and on. What are the things, or even the one thing, you’re holding on to that is keeping you from total surrender to Jesus, from the fullness of trusting, obeying, following and seeking Jesus in your life above everything in this world?
God is calling you today to let go, right now, in this gathering. God is, by his Spirit, through his Word, saying, “Let go.” Do you know why he’s calling you to let go? Because he loves you. Don’t miss the beauty of this passage. Jesus looked at this man, loved him and said these words to him. Yes, Jesus is calling you to radical surrender to him, calling you with his radical love for you. Jesus wants this man to have life, which is why he says, “Let go.” The good news in this gathering, for every single person, is Jesus looks at you and loves you. That’s why he says this to you. He wants you to have full life now; he wants you to have eternal life. He’s calling you, just like he called this man to let go of pleasures that won’t last, for treasure that won’t fade. You may think of whatever you’re holding on to, “It’s hard to let go. I don’t want to let go of it.”
But see this. Jesus is better. He’s better than anything and everything we’re tempted to hold on to. Jesus is better than all the money and all the possessions in this world put together. Jesus is better than sexual immorality with this person or that person. He’s so much better than the images you’re obsessing over on a screen. Jesus is better than hours spent on any screen. The peace of Jesus is so much better than the anger in your heart. The forgiveness and freedom of Jesus is so much better than the bitterness that’s eating you up inside.
Jesus is better than the approval of others. He’s better than you being like others. Jesus is better than your work, success, achievements and degrees in this world. His plans for your marriage and family—or your singleness—are better than yours. His control in your life is better than your control of your life. Jesus is better than all your plans, all your dreams and all the pursuits of this world.
He’s the one who made you. He knows you inside and out. He knows what it best for you. When you realize who he is, you realize that surrender of everything to him is not sacrifice, it’s smart. Right? Just look at this passage. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Did you see that? A hundredfold. That sounds like a smart deal.
Jesus says, “Surrender everything you have to me and you’ll have a hundred times more.” Now. You don’t have to wait. It’s just smart. This is a hundredfold return on your investment, today—and forever—when you don’t hold back from Jesus and the gospel. This makes sense, doesn’t it? The gospel of Jesus, the good news that God—the God who created all things and rules over all things—made you in his image, so that you might enjoy relationship with him. You are made for relationship with God, even though you have sinned against God.
We’ve all sinned against him. We’ve turned aside from God and his ways to ourselves and our own ways and all the things in this world. You and I deserve eternal judgment before God. We deserve eternity in hell. God loves you and me so much that he sent his Son Jesus. This is the gospel, that he sent his Son Jesus, God in the flesh, to pay the price for our sin against him, on a cross, then rise from the dead in victory over sin and the grave. This means anyone, anywhere, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, when you turn from your sin and yourself and the things of this world, putting your trust in Jesus to forgive you of your sin and to reconcile you to God, you will be forgiven of all your sin. You will be restored to relationship with God, now and for all of eternity, by faith in Jesus. Why would you say no to this? Why would you hold on to things in this world, when you have Jesus and the gospel before you?
This is where C.S. Lewis always comes to my mind because people think, “I just have such a strong desire for stuff in this world. My desires are so strong.” No, your desires are so weak. It takes so little to satisfy you. C.S. Lewis said, “We’re half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy has been offered to us, like ignorant children who go on making mudpies in a slum, because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” It takes so little to please us. We think this world tastes good; we need a new appetite.
It’s like my kids. My mom was in town this last week and they love when Grandma comes to town, because she’ll take them to Taco Bell. We don’t do that. We enjoy Mexican food, but Taco Bell is not it. It takes so little to satisfy you. There’s something better out here. Okay, that’s not a perfect example, but I think you get my point.
Jesus is offering you life that nothing in this world can compare with. So don’t hold back. Don’t hold on to this world when you have Jesus before you. This is what these days are about. God is moving among us, calling us to more of himself. So don’t hold back. We’ve said from the beginning, when all this started with God’s invitation in Isaiah 54 and 55, to come to him, drink from his waters. We said, “Okay, you’re either going to be a participant or an observer here. You’re going to watch others seek God, taste and see the goodness of God, or you’re going to taste and see yourself.” God is inviting every single one of us to participate.
God is saying in Isaiah 54, “Don’t hold back.” Don’t sit back, closed off, arms crossed, resistant to whatever God is calling you to. Don’t be like this guy in Mark 4:22, “Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” What a sad verse. It’s the only time in the whole book of Mark when someone Jesus calls to himself specifically refuses. He chooses to hold back.
Look at the anatomy, the makeup, of the one who holds back. One, his eyes are blind. He can’t see that Jesus is better. He actually thinks the things of this world are better than Jesus. He actually thinks his ways are better than God and God’s ways. So many people in this gathering are there. You’re holding so tightly to whatever the one thing—or things—are in your life that you can’t see Jesus is better. Open your eyes. Don’t walk away blind today. Open your eyes.
This man in Mark has eyes that are blind and his face is sad. This man is so eager in the beginning, but he walks away full of sorrow. Why? Because he’s walking away from the only one who can bring him fullness of joy. His face is sad, his eyes are blind, and his hands are full with what won’t fulfill. He walks away from Jesus, holding on to that which will leave him ultimately empty. Don’t do that.
During these recent days, we’ve seen both sides of this through so many stories. I think specifically of couples. I was just talking with Ken Tucker, who oversees ReEngage Ministry and is one of our elders. He’s had so much response over the last two weeks with couples saying, “We want to get things right in our relationship with God and our relationship with each other.”
I think of one couple saying, “We need to be honest before God and each other. We have sin in our lives and it’s been hard.” They’ve spent time in confession and repentance, praying together. Then they walked away last week holding hands for the first time in a long time, as they’re walking down the road to restoration that Jesus makes possible. Yes!
There’s another situation where a husband took a different path in the gathering. He took off his wedding ring, handed it to his wife and walked away—not just from restoration with his wife, but from restoration with God. Don’t do it. I’m urging you today, don’t do it. Don’t walk away like this. Not I’m urging you; God is speaking to you by his Spirit right now. Don’t walk away, holding on to whatever in your life.
Don’t hold back in any way today from surrender to him, from trust in him, from honest and humble confession before him and receiving his mercy over you. Don’t hold back from the fullness of God and his Spirit, from his fruit and his power and his love in your life. Together, let’s say, “We’re not going to hold back. We want the fullness of God in our church. We want the fullness of God to be known around our city. We want God’s blessing on churches all across our city.
We want to press in and pray for God to move in power in our city. We’re going to press in and pray for God to move in power in our country. We need his grace. We need his mercy. We want to see his mercy among the nations. We have people right now in Central Asia where there have been earthquakes this last month; we want his love to be made known there. We’re going to press in and pray toward that end and we’re not going to hold back.
We’re not going hold on to the things of this world, when we’ve been invited to experience the fullness of God. This starts with each one of our lives. So right now, that’s what I want us to do. I want to give you a few moments to reflect prayerfully before God. This is I encouraged you to have something to write with and write on. Reflect on how you would answer this question: what are you holding on to that’s keeping you from the fullness of God in your life? There are a host of possible things: money, possessions, sexual impurity, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, worry, jealousy, fear. What fears are you holding on to? Look at the core. What are you afraid of? Pride, control, busyness, distractions. There are so many other things you might be holding on to.
God, open our eyes by your Spirit.
What are you and I holding on to that’s keeping us from the fullness of God in our lives? Maybe you’ve never become a follower of Jesus. What’s keeping you from following Jesus? I want to give you a few moments to reflect before God. Just pray that God’s Spirit would lead in this time. Then after we’ve had some time to reflect and write down what we’re holding on to, I will lead us in a time to say, “God, we’re going to let go of these things.” In order to get there, we’ve got to humbly and honestly ask, “What am I holding on to that’s keeping me from the fullness of God in my life?” For the next few minutes, reflect on that question, then I will pick things up from there.
God, lead this time by your Spirit. Open all of our eyes—open my eyes, God—to anything, everything, we’re holding on to that is keeping us from the fullness you desire for us, in you.
As we pray and you continue to reflect, I’d like to humbly share that there are new things, fresh things, God is bringing to the surface of my own heart, opening my eyes to see. We need his Spirit to open our eyes.
So now that you hopefully have things in mind and written down, I encourage you to spend the next few minutes letting go, surrendering these things. Just stand where you are, and say, “I surrender all these things to you.”
This area in the front is open for you if you want to come and kneel as a physical picture of saying, “God, I lay these things down before you.” Physical pictures like that can be really helpful, just to say in this moment, “I’m laying this down before you, God.”
At the same time, we’ve talked a lot over these couple weeks about James 5:16, “Confess your sins to one another…that you may be healed.” Let’s be super clear what that does not mean. It doesn’t mean you need somebody else to go through as an intermediary between you and God. You can come straight into the presence of God through the blood of Jesus and receive forgiveness for your sin. At the same time, God tells us to do this for a reason. There is healing found in confessing sin to each other. So I would encourage you to take something you’ve written down and share it with somebody else during this time—somebody next to you, somebody else you know—and ask them to pray for you. I’m going to ask some leaders from our church to be available down here at the front, if you’d like somebody to pray with. Just say, “Hey, here’s what I’ve been holding on to. Would you pray for me?” They’d love to pray for you.
As we’ve talked about the last couple of Sundays, just be free to follow the Spirit. I would just encourage you to not hold back from what the Spirit is leading you to do. Confessing before him, before others. Praying with others, down here at the front with leaders or just on your own. On your face before God. Let’s just let go of anything and everything that we’re holding on to that’s keeping us from the fullness of God in our lives. So however you need to respond along these line, I invite you to do that. Respond however God is leading you in any of these ways, or maybe other ways that I didn’t even mention. Let’s let go of these things we’re holding on to.
Don’t hold back. There are people in this room who are resistant. You know there is healing that can be found in confession right now, before God, before others. He’s worth it. He’s so worth it. He’s better. I encourage you, don’t hold back. Turn to somebody near you with what’s on your heart. Pray with a leader about what’s on your heart. Don’t hold on to that which is keeping you from fullness of joy in Jesus. Don’t hold anything in this world—your pride namely—that’s keeping you from the fullness of God in your life.
As we sing, “I surrender,” let’s do that. Let’s surrender to him. Don’t let your pride keep you from doing what God is calling you to do right now, what he’s calling you to let go of. Share it with somebody and ask them to pray with you. Don’t hold back. Don’t hold on to whatever that is.
God, I pray for a spirit of surrender over this gathering right now. God, we pray that you would humble us before you and help us see what you see, the seriousness of sin in our lives, and to see the wonder of your grace and mercy. Help us see that you’re ready to cover over our sin when we confess it to you. Help us see the way you bring healing when we return to you. God, we just pray for a spirit of surrender over this room, right now, that you would remove a spirit of self-sufficiency and pride and wanting to hold on. God, don’t let us be the guy in Mark 10. Don’t let us be this guy, we pray. Help us. Help us, God, to surrender, we pray.
What does the passage mean?
Read Mark 10:17–31 and Jeremiah 6:16–19 aloud as a group. As they simultaneously consider both passages, allow group members to share their observations.
1) What is the distinction between solely seeing Jesus as a “Good Teacher” and knowing Him as LORD? (cf. Matthew 7:21–23; John 10:27)
2) In Mark 10—
- What was the posture of Jesus’ heart toward the man (Mark 10:21)?
- What invitation did Jesus extend to the man (Mark 10:21)?
- What was the prevailing allegiance in the man’s heart: Jesus or his great possessions (Mark 10:22)?
- Compare and contrast the man’s allegiance in Mark 10:22 with Jesus’ teaching in Mark 10:29–31. What do you observe?
- What response to Jesus’ invitation did the man’s allegiance provoke from his heart (Mark 10:22)?
3) How does the man’s response in Mark 10:22 compare to the people of Jerusalem’s response to the LORD’s invitation in Jeremiah 6:16–17? What severe consequences did the LORD promise to the people of Jerusalem because they rejected His invitation (Jeremiah 6:18–19)?
How can we apply this passage to our lives?
1) Jesus is calling you to radical surrender to Him. Do you truly know Jesus as your LORD, or are you more prone to see Him solely as a “Good Teacher” that you strive (or would like to strive) to model and emulate? (cf. Matthew 7:13–14, 21–27)
2) Jesus is calling you with radical love for you.
- Do you know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19)? Is His love for you an anchor for your soul (cf. Hebrews 6:19)? In the depths of your heart, are you confident of His love for you? If so, on what grounds? And if not, what are some of the reasons for this?
- Hear and consider meditating on the LORD’s own testimony about His love toward His children in the following (or other similar) passages:
- “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
- “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,” (Psalm 103:17)
- “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; … 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1–3, 26)
- “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)
- “…when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:2c–3)
- “but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalm 147:11)
3) The LORD has brought His church to a crossroads, inviting each of us to choose the ‘good way’ (Jeremiah 6:16). What choice will you make? Will you accept the LORD’s loving invitation and participate in what He is doing among us? Or will you refuse His invitation and simply observe His work?
- If you are accepting the LORD’s invitation, what will you give up to do so? How will your radical abandonment to and pursuit of the LORD look? What former ‘gain’ will you now count as loss for the sake of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:7–8)?
- If you are refusing the LORD’s invitation, what is holding you back? Please reach out to your Church Group leader or location pastor for Godly wisdom, loving counsel, and Spirit-led prayer.
Mark 10:17–31, ESV
The Rich Young Man
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Psalm 85 presents these characteristics of biblical revival:
- Favor from God
- Forgiveness from God
- Restoration to God
- Joy in God
- Salvation from God
- Word of God
- Fear of God
- Glory of God
- Righteousness before God
Our church is encouraged and overwhelmed by all the stories of what God is doing among us. What is happening?
- Jesus is calling you to radical surrender to Him.
- Jesus is calling you with radical love for you.
Isaiah 55 is an invitation from God to come to Him and seek Him. In response, you are either going to be a participant or an observer. Mark 10 depicts the posture of an observer:
- The man’s eyes were blind.
- His face was sad.
- His hands were full with what won’t fulfill.
But Jesus is inviting you to follow and participate.