Today’s Scripture Selection: Mark 10:35-39

It can get the best of us – yielding to temptation.

Even Jesus’ hand-picked disciples struggled with it.

Take, for example, James and John who came to Jesus with a rather startling request one day:

“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking, Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Wow.  They were so caught up in their ambition – they couldn’t see what the true cost of faithful discipleship.  They had “yielded” to temptation in that moment – the temptation to want to be great, not just in this world, but the world to come as well.

But before we judge them too harshly, think of the temptations which lure you to “yield” in some way.

For some it’s recognition, for others it’s wealth, for still others it’s power or success or self-gratification of one type or another.  And usually, if not always, such desire costs us dearly.

But there is another type of yielding.  It is yielding to God’s will and purpose for your life.  Do that and you will find joy and peace, even if at first it leads to a cross.

Prayer: Lord, help me to yield not to temptation but to the good, the noble, the life-giving, and that which is in line with your will for my life.  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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