Today’s scripture was “with God all things are possible” but I wanted to read the full chapter so I could see the context of what this snippet was written about. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to pull half a sentence from the Bible and put it on cards and bracelets and other material items to sell to Christians who want to shine bright that we love Jesus. I’m a frugal person but I’ve sure bought 2 or 3 cross necklaces already… so I find it interesting that the context was referring to selling every material possession and giving to the poor.. houses and everything and then follow Jesus. That’s pretty much how I was living before I started attending church.. I just called my higher power the universe at that time.
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Yesterday’s scripture was this…
And I kid you not… knowing there would be homeless people in New Orleans, rushing to get dressed because I was late meeting a friend, something spoke to me and said… clean your closet .. you have a closet of clothes that just sit there.. sweaters that could keep people warm.. give them out while you’re out and about. So I grabbed 3 sweaters.. that still fit.. that aren’t old… that I spent good money on and that I even liked.. because I don’t wear them.. it doesn’t get cold here to wear them often enough to have that many sweaters and I have a way to stay warm. I have a home. I have a van with heat. Even though we have nice weather.. the temp drops at night and even at 50 degrees.. while staying still sleeping on a bench .. it’s cold. I didn’t want it to be the focus of our day out.. but if the occasion came up I’d like to have them with me to hand out.. so I packed my day pack and set out.
But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.
One of my sweaters was a really thick warm wool gypsy sweater. I bought it thinking I’d back pack Europe in it. It was too thick to take up that much room. I’ve never worn it but I love it and it cost way more than I usually spend on clothing for myself. I kept it because I didn’t want to admit I’d wasted my money on that impulse buy.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
This may become my favorite scripture. I know from experience that when I stopped chasing money and material things.. I gained so much happiness and love for life. I started seeing beauty in the smallest things and having so much more time to just be in the moment of that beauty. I see people chasing more money, more stuff, more more more… and I wonder what it’s all for… they really seem to advance.. I’ve never met a single person that chased all that and became a millionaire that didn’t have to work… if anything they work harder to maintain the level they grow accustomed to… and still come out stressing money. It’s a very vicious cycle that spends all of our precious life… causing it to fly by.
Wednesdays scripture talked about what we bind on earth shall be waiting for us in heaven. If we spend all our time chasing money.. we will never feel like we have any to just give away.. or time to sew seeds of love… spending time with people. We don’t even have time to spend with people that we do know and love. Quite crazy really.
When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
And there we have it.. Jesus was referring to the fact that with God.. we can give away our possessions.. we can reduce ourselves to nothing but time to follow Him.. we strip ourselves of all these other worries because He will take care of us. If you read my frugal blogs.. you’ll see plenty of testimony supporting this. Where I traveled 10 countries and 24 states on a wing and a prayer… just knowing that no matter what.. I would be okay.. shedding the fears that imprisoned me in the symptoms of my ptsd… and here I am .. still surviving.. still clothed… still well fed… too well fed… loved by many and now giving glory to Jesus Christ. I still stress paying my bills to keep my house… if I became a complete nomad I wouldn’t worry about the house.. I’d be completely at the mercy of Him… and carefree. It seems like the disciples did just that… became nomads and followed Jesus…
Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.
The Bible tells us that this is the will of God. Mother Theresa dedicated her life and everything she had to serving Him thru her movement within time help others. To love complete strangers.
As we were driving down canal st to go home.. we stopped at a light where a man in a wheelchair held a sign. We handed him Amber’s last beignet and I frantically pulled the sweaters out the backpack while sitting in the driver’s seat before the light turned green. I handed him the thick wool hoodie and wished him well… I watched as the faces above him sitting in the street car looked down and smiled… and I prayed that they were moved to touch one person before the day was over. That’s all it takes to be the change I want to see in the world. One act at a time.
Jesus.. help me see the way in which I can be a blessing to others today. Lord continue to direct me. Give me the courage to live with the action that supports what I believe your will for me is here on this earth. Thank you for the treasures that I received from giving yesterday.. the fullness in my heart and the desire to do more. Thank you for the confirmation that you moved thru me to do your work. I had no idea it would be 30 degrees this morning. God please be with all those that are homeless thru this winter. Change the hearts of those who pass them and feel resentment because they had to feel guilty for not stopping and helping. Those that shun and look down on them.. or form their assumptions about what led them to be where they are in order to justify why they don’t offer a hand or an ear. For all we know.. they could be homeless because they already shed all of their worldly possessions in order to follow you… God.. thank you for this 21 day plan of reading scripture that is teaching me to love like you. Thank you thank you thank you… for I am finding the real message… not just parts of scripture that sound good or feel good.. but your whole message and desire for me. I love you. Amen.
Matthew 19:21-30 WEB