Time to read: 5 minutes
While the Bible is filled with men and women whom we consider to be great heroes of the faith, it’s also filled with stories of tragedy and heartbreak. To me, one of the saddest stories must be the retelling of the rich young man who came to Jesus. It teaches me a lesson as it brings to light something that each of us must combat daily...heart issues.
The man simply asks Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell of this encounter, but Mark’s recap is my favorite. In Mark 10, we learn that not only did the man ask the question, he ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees. Though he himself was a ruler, without hesitation, he instinctively postured himself humbly before Jesus.
Note to self: run to Jesus, kneel humbly, ask questions. Check.
Jesus talks of God alone being good, hinting of the relationship between the Father and the Son. He goes through six of the ten commandments--the ones that relate to how we are to treat each other. No problem...the man had been keeping those since boyhood.
Note to self: God is good, Jesus is good, keep the commandments. Check.
Jesus tells him to sell everything and give to the poor, then to join Jesus on the road. Ohhh-kay? The man became incredibly sad because he had a lot. In fact, he was extremely rich according to Luke 18. And Matthew 19 says that then he went away. Just went away. Wait. What? Not the happy ending we want or expect.
So, does that mean that Jesus has something against rich people? Or that he makes it so hard for us to come to him that we just give up? No, absolutely not. He has already done the truly hard part. He defeated death itself.
But he does have a problem with anything that would keep us from him or from serving others in his name. For some, that can be the love of money. Power. Pride. Idols. Little “g” gods. Heart issues...they come in all shapes and sizes. And we all have them.
Note to self: no matter the sacrifice, don’t just walk away…Jesus is waiting for your heart to fully turn toward him and toward those he loves. Check. Repeat every single day, even when it’s really hard.
What’s in Your Way?
In my blog last month, New Chapters, I put out a challenge to you (and to me)…to learn the art of opening your heart and walking in love. Here, I want to mention 4 barriers that might keep you from serving God with your whole heart and loving on his people. This isn’t astrophysics. I point them out as a fellow traveler on this path, having a desire to honor God with my decisions while simultaneously struggling to prioritize His desires over my own. Plus, it’s wise to be transparent and help one another to recognize where the pitfalls lie and what they might look like.
Right relationship with God
Are you spending time with him in his Word and in worship and prayer? Do you listen for his voice? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and submitted to his lordship over your life? If not, seek him out. Ask him to show you who he is. He loves you more perfectly than you can imagine! And no, I don’t know about your life, but I know Him. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Period. Without Him, we’re all lost! Take a step in his direction—he is already waiting.
Time is a gift. I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but having more time isn’t always our reality. It’s certainly not guaranteed as 1 John 2:17 tells us, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Make the most of the time that you are given. We are all given 24 hours in each day. Of course, there are opportunities for a larger time investment, but if you are a “toe in the water” type, that’s fine. Then put your toe in the water!
Have you noticed? Our parents were right…money doesn’t just grow on trees! Many of you may see ministry as being equal to donations. There is certainly a place for donations and God calls some to be givers—that is their spiritual gift. But some of the most meaningful opportunities to affect another’s life have nothing to do with a financial investment. It’s more of a heart investment. Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Where to begin
Let’s be honest, it can be pretty overwhelming to get started. I’d like to share some specific steps that you can take today through Catalyst Ministries to support those who have been traumatized or are at-risk.
“Like” Catalyst Ministries on Facebook & then “like” and share our posts to help get our message out to a larger audience.
Subscribe to our email list to receive ministry and blog updates.
Consistently pray for those being sold, their customers, their perpetrators, and workers in the anti-slavery field. Join us for the monthly Catalyst Global Prayer Nights.
Drink coffee! Catalyst Cafe is held one morning and one evening monthly at the Catalyst Ministries office in Bloomington, IL. Not only are you given an opportunity to learn more about this ministry, but this is an easy way to financially support it with your purchase of coffee, tea, homemade treats, as well as jewelry and crafts created by Catalyst Farm residents and volunteers.
Host an event where a Catalyst Ministries speaker shares what God is doing and where we can join Him.
Volunteer your time and talents. Our most urgent volunteering needs are:
Drivers for Catalyst Farm residents (especially afternoons and evenings)
Barista for our Cafe mornings (1 Friday a month)
Work day volunteers (1 Saturday a month for the house and gardens at Catalyst Farm)
Helpers for our 7th Annual Run to Rescue on October 27th, 2018
Manning the water tables
Hold up signs of encouragement
Register as a runner or walker
Register as a sponsor
If you are in the Central Illinois area, I hope to meet and serve alongside you soon! If you are not in the area, then I invite you to join your heart with those of us at Catalyst who just want to be a part in what God is doing to mend the lives of those who have been affected by human trafficking. And please join us here for future blogs. I do believe that I am inclined to share a song next month!
For more information on how you can get involved, contact the Catalyst Ministries office.
202 Eldorado Road Suite C1, Bloomington, IL 61704
Office Hours: Tuesday / Thursday 9am-4pm