Today’s Scripture Selection: Mark 10:17

“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him.  ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’”

It must have been a dramatic scene.

A young man, full of energy and passion, falling at the good Rabbi’s feet, to ask how he could live forever.

Jesus, no doubt, met him with a steady gaze; perhaps pulling the man to his feet.

As he did so often, Jesus met a question with a question.

“Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments….”

Then he went on to remind the young man of their religious laws.

The young man enthusiastically – albeit a little naively – said he had kept all the commandments.

So Jesus took it to the next level.  He went beyond religious piety to practical action:

“One thing you lack,” he said, “Go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”

Of course, we know how the story ends.  The man – the rich young man – walked away.

How eager are you to have what Jesus offers?

How committed are you to meet the unique requirements he might have in order for you to be really free to follow him?

That, of course, is the greatest – and most important – question we must face.

We can talk the talk – religiously speaking.  But can we walk the walk?

Only you can answer that question for yourself.

Prayer: Lord, work in my heart to make me truly eager to have what you offer – whatever the cost.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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