Daily Archives: May 1, 2021

Evening Prayer: May 1st


Loving God, thank you for bringing me through this day with all of its challenges and opportunities. As this day draws to a close, we bring to you the offerings of our praise and thanksgiving. We ask that you would hear our prayers for those whose lives are being tested. Deliver them from the evil that lures them and keep their feet from stumbling. Again, we thank you, O God, for bringing us safely to the end of this day. Now let us rest on the quiet side of today in the peace of Christ. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 22:26-28, 30-31

Psalm 22:26-28, 30-31  (ESV)

26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
    May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
28 For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.

30 Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

Thoughts to Ponder from Matthew 19:25-26

“When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matthew 19:25-26)

    The disciples had just heard an exchange between Jesus and a man who had come to ask Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. In this exchange, Jesus told the man that he needed to obey the commandments. As the conversation continues, the man asks which commandments are the ones he must observe. Jesus then lists them off and the man responds, “All of these commandments I do keep.” 

     Now, at this point, we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the man. In fact, he honestly does seem to be in earnest about his desire to know what is necessary to inherit eternal life. But Jesus is never one who allows someone to sit comfortably – Jesus has a way of getting deep within the heart, bringing people face to face with those things that they truly need to hear in order to become earnest and honest disciples. 

     Thus Jesus says, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell all your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Jesus brings the man to a point of crisis: what truly controls your heart? In other words, are you willing to give up that which is your most prized possession in order to truly inherit the Kingdom of God? 

     After hearing these words, Matthew’s Gospel records this: “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” Crisis. 

     I am going to suggest that this is not solely about wealth. After all, once Jesus states that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven…the disciples find themselves in a moment of crisis, so much so that they say, “Who then, can be saved?” One can almost gather from this statement, that after hearing how faithful the man had been in observing the commandments, Jesus basically says, “You are so close, but not quite there.” In other words, if one who faithfully observes the commandments isn’t there – what is the hope?

     That is it. The crisis that Jesus brings is the crisis of the heart. It doesn’t matter how observant we are to our religious customs, it doesn’t matter how well we go through the motions. Jesus doesn’t let it rest there. It is a matter of the heart. What takes precedence over God in our lives? If we allow Jesus to examine us like he did this man who approached him, we, like the disciples, would be at a crisis ourselves. If we are honest, we all have points in our lives that we know conflict with Christ – but he stands before us and offers us a choice. And frankly, the only way we can move beyond the crisis and become truly Kingdom people is if we allow God to have full reign of everything in our lives. That is why Jesus answers the disciples, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Only God can grant us salvation. Only God can work within our lives and excise those things that prevent us from being “perfect.” It is only through the power of Christ in us, that we can become anything in the Kingdom of God. We cannot save ourselves, no matter how observant we are to our religious rites and observances. We can only be saved through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us. Thanks be to Christ that he is willing!