Build An Ark: Letters From the Ranch

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Unconditional Love

And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.
Mark 10:21-22

The rich man’s sadness at Jesus’ instructions to him reveal that he was unwilling to listen not only to God, but even to someone he considered to be a good teacher. What were his motives for asking the question in the first place? Was he trying to receive approval and confirmation that his religion could or would save him, assure him his place in heaven, and thereby ease his conscience? Or worse, was he looking for a way to trumpet his self-righteousness before others and “out-righteous” even a “good” teacher?

What is my true motive in asking questions of teachers, or even God? Is it to justify living in my own religion or system of righteousness? Or is it to empty myself of all I think will earn me heaven or God’s or man’s approval, being willing to face my own spiritual poverty, nakedness, and blindness and be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus alone? Is it to enter into true spiritual intimacy and communion with Him, dying to myself and my own way, and living for Him?

Yet God’s unconditional love is extended to me even in my self-righteousness that I might go (repent); sell ( divest myself of all I cling to for security); give (love); come (enter into relationship with Jesus); and follow (humble myself and obey God).

agape,
---john