Ducks on the Pond

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    By Matt Pudas
    • One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the Rich Young Ruler. Luke chapter 18, starting in verse 18 tells
      the story. Guy comes to Jesus and ask what do I have to do to live forever? Jesus tells him that he knows
      the commandments, the Top Ten. The kid tells Him, I have kept all of them since I was little. Jesus then
      tells him that he lacks one thing, give everything he has away and follow Him. Guy leaves sad. Why? I
      think there are two reasons and they go hand in hand.
      First, the dude did not want to be poor. He liked being rich. Honestly, can you blame him? Who doesn’t
      want to be rich? So, he gets real sad thinking about giving everything away. His wealth is that one thing
      that he just can’t let go. It is the one thing that is more important to him than eternal life. We all have
      that one thing. It is different depending on what you have, but be honest. Is there something that you
      have that always seems to hinder your relationship with God? Maybe it is the fact that you watch too
      much TV or spend too much time on social media. Maybe it is being obsessed with your fitness or
      appearance. Maybe you are a workaholic. Whatever, we all have something. Something that we spend
      too much time or effort to maintain when we should be working on our relationship with Jesus. This guy
      was clinging to his money. For him, it was more important. I heard about study with lab mice that was
      done years ago. They placed a sealed box inside a cage. In the box was a piece of cheese. The box had
      one tiny hole in it. The mice would go to the box, sniff, and then try to figure out how to the cheese. The
      mice could squeeze one paw through the hole and grab the cheese, but could not pull it back out. In a
      corner of the cage was feed and water. Some mice were so determined to hang on to the cheese that
      they passed out. A few even died from dehydration. Are you ready to let go of your cheese?
      Second, remember his question? I think he wanted to know how little he had to do to get eternity.
      When Jesus answered, the job was too hard. I think for us it is the same. It takes a lot of effort to turn
      off the TV, put down the phone, leave work at the office, skip a workout, … whatever and just focus on
      Jesus. Most times, I think it is too hard because we want that thing more. Eternity, that is a long way off.
      Maybe, maybe not.
      I think the rich, young ruler wanted a quick and easy answer to his question. What he got was one that
      involved too much work and too much personal loss. He left sad because it was not worth it. Eternity.
      Not worth it. Again, be honest. The way you spend your day, the way you spend your time and money
      does it tell people around you that you think Jesus is worth it? Some days, I know the sad truthful
      answer to that question for me. That is why I know I must keep working on my relationship with Jesus.
      He has given me the answer, I just have to keep living in a way that says it is worth it.
      And, let go of the cheese!


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