Bible Reading Blog — February 25, 2016

25 Feb

Today’s Readings — Judges 6-10 & Mark 10:23-25

When Jesus said it is hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven His disciples were amazed.

The disciples were operating under an assumption common in the ancient world: if you are healthy or wealthy this is a sign of your faithfulness to God and God’s blessing to you. When we read the gospels and the rest of the Bible we find that this is not a good way to measure faith or the work of God. People who are going through great hardship are often people of great faith and sometimes those with little in the way of earthly wealth are blessed with a strong relationship with God.

Jesus’ words destroyed the cultural teaching the disciples had unquestioningly accepted: good outward circumstances = great faith and the blessing of God.

Most of us today do not accept this idea outwardly, but many of us do accept it inwardly. If things are not going well for me, God must be displeased with some aspect of my life. If I am not prospering in life or ministry it must be because I lack faith. In reality, all of this is false, but it is easy to believe because we tend to think that ultimately we merit our salvation and blessing in some way. Until we see that salvation is from the Lord and according to the pattern He has for us (in other words God doesn’t grow any two people in exactly the same way or through exactly the same circumstances) we will not get off the performance treadmill into the freedom of the light and easy yoke Jesus has prepared for us.

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