December 12, 2022 — Jesus Looks at me with Love, but I’m Looking at something else

“Do you remember the story of the young man who is referred to as ‘the rich young ruler’?” Stan asked me one morning while we waited for breakfast.

“A little bit,” I replied. “Wasn’t he the guy who asked Jesus a question about eternal life and he didn’t like what Jesus told him?”

“That’s kind of like it,”Stan replied. “Quick recap. Three of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all have the story about this young man. He asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him the basics and the young man said, in essence, that he had already done that. Then Jesus told him that there was one more thing for him to do, which was to get rid of everything that was keeping him from following Jesus.”

“And that’s when the young guy went away, never to be heard from again,” I commented. “Is that right?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “He went away sad because he wouldn’t do what Jesus said. There are a lot of people like that, but that’s a different story for another day. What I want to focus on is how Jesus felt when He looked at the young man in the first place.”

“How Jesus felt when He looked at this guy in the first place? How’d He feel?”

“It’s in Mark’s version of the story,” Stan replied. “A short phrase that says that Jesus felt love for the young man when He looked at him.”

“Felt love?” I said. “He wasn’t sad?”

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “Even though Jesus knew that the young man was not going to do what Jesus said to do, Jesus still felt love for him. Seems to me that’s a compact version of the whole gospel, from the beginning to the end.”

“Oh,” I said, “God so loved the world that He gave Jesus even though the Father knew people would reject His Son. Is that it?”

“That’s right,” Stan replied. “It was true then and it’s true now. God loves us whether or not we love Him. It’s called ‘unconditional love’ and is a really big subject, one we can focus on for the rest of our lives, but just know that God looks at each one of us just like Jesus looked at the young man,”

“With love?”

“Yes,” Stan replied. “With a look of love that’s waiting for us to respond by loving Him back.”

Continuing, he added, “Jesus looked at the young man with love, but the young man looked with love at the stuff he had. His love for that stuff was too great for him to love Jesus. He chose his stuff over Jesus. That’s a danger I face all the time.”

“Loving your stuff more than loving Jesus?”

“Hate to admit it,” Stan replied, “but yeah. Jesus looks at me with love, but I’m looking at something else.”

__________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And looking at him, Jesus felt love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give it 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.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so all who believe , including me, can know they will spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, for the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship while you keep me on this side of eternity. I know what you have said about being a disciple by denying self, taking up what you have for me to take up, and by following. I confess that too often I love the things you have given me more than I love you and, as a result, I am not the disciple you intend for me to be. Please forgive the foolishness of not loving you in the same way you love me. Please help me follow every step of your lead so I choose to love you exactly as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free, gracious, and loving provision of life eternally with Him through Jesus’ finished work on the cross? If no, why? What’s in the way? If you are a Christian with the assurance o salvation and redemption, how are you doing in your relationship with God, as contrasted to your relationship with the stuff you have? Do you ever love the stuff more than you love God? If so, what’s that all about? If you sense the need for greater love, not love for stuff but love for God, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

One thought on “December 12, 2022 — Jesus Looks at me with Love, but I’m Looking at something else”

  1. Today’s reading is weakening again for me . I shall always love God than love myself and my things because God love me no matter what I do, God is great God and always !

    Like

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