READ: Mark 10:1-31
THINK: Have you ever been accused of being childish? Typically, that's not a compliment. But in a very distinct way, God wants His people to be like little children in their humility and openness toward Him and in their simple approach to faith. As you get older, you may already notice the tendency to become weighed down and distracted by the problems, issues and concerns of life. These things will definitely test your devotion to God. And if your priorities begin to get out of line, God will work to expose the problems and to rid your life of anything that could keep you from following His purposes and experiencing the life He intends for you.
RESPOND: What does it mean to have a hard heart (v. 5), and how can it cause broken relationships? What do verses 6-9 tell us about marriage and how God feels about divorce? (See 10:11 note.) In what ways should God's people be like children? (See 10:15 note.) Since no one can earn their way into heaven, why did Jesus tell the man that the one thing he lacked was to sell all he had and give the proceeds to the poor (v. 21)? What would this mean to the man and what would it have proved? How can possessions hinder a person's relationship with God and keep a him or her from being part of His kingdom? What did Jesus mean that those who give up things for Him will receive a hundred times as much in return? (See 10:30 note.) Why is it important for Jesus' followers to realize that they'll experience both reward and rejection, blessing and suffering, grief and glory as part of His kingdom?
PRAY: Ask God to keep your heart soft toward Him and others and to help you accept His Word and purposes in a simple, humble, trusting and childlike way. Pray that you will be prepared to accept both the blessing and the persecution that you will encounter as a result of following Jesus.
ACT: Remove anything from your life or possessions that is getting too much of your time, attention and priority, or could hinder your relationship with Jesus in any way.
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