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The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

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Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
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The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God

 

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Discovering Your True Treasure
Mark 10:21-27

Abiding in Christ: Walking in Jesus

Paul J. Bucknell

The disciples of Jesus made an important discovery that day. The following story says that at first they were 'amazed' and then later that they were 'even more astonished.' Our walk with Jesus often leads to different discoveries in life. We can tell this one greatly impacted their lives.

Discovering your True Treasure

What was this amazing teaching that they would discover? What made this teaching so greatly influence their lives? A rich man started this whole scene by asking how one can inherit eternal life. We are not sure of his motive, but let us assume that he had wondered whether he had done enough to gain eternal life. Most of us would be so grateful for a person of such character to inquire about the faith and join our church. Jesus didn't question the earnest belief of this man's obedience to the commands Jesus listed.

A twinge of love, however, brought Jesus to confront him about his real area of problem. "One thing you lack." Jesus asked him to give all his wealth to charity. This one thing was not a small thing. The wealthy man saw no problem with the commands. Jesus however, confronted him with the requirements of the first commands about only worshiping the Lord God. Many of us feel that this was only a problem of this one rich man. This was of course his problem; he went away grieved and at least at that point unwilling to destroy the true treasure of his heart. This indeed troubled the disciples' hearts as it does ours, but this only led up to what became one of their most surprising discoveries in their lives.

"21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22 But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, "How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!" 24 And the disciples were amazed at His words.

But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how
hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26 And they wereeven more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Looking upon them, Jesus said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:21-27, NASB).)


The disciples were amazed how Jesus broadened this issue to apply to all the wealthy people rather than just this one man. All wealthy people would have a 'hard' time entering the kingdom of God not just this one man. All of a sudden it is as if they could see a whole new religion named 'Wealth.' They could see how the earthly tentacles of wealth cleverly wrapped around the souls of those not needing to think about their daily needs.

I personally am amazed too. Does Jesus really mean wealth always is a great hindrance for well off people to come to know the Lord? Does He mean that there is a religion in the modern world that have been virtually oblivious to our Christian radar screens? Is it really possible? Jesus did not stop there. He raised the stakes.

Jesus went from applying this class of wealthy people to apply to all men. Jesus said, ""Children, how
hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!" Jesus made a blanket statement about the difficulties for any person to become His follower. He seems to do this for several reasons.

  • Jesus did not want people to be mislead that only rich people have a problem being saved.

  • Jesus wanted the disciples to know human effort can bring no person into the kingdom of God.

Think a moment how we try to make becoming a Christian easy. Just pray. Just raise one's hand. Unless these actions are rooted in a much deeper change of heart, they are useless. And so are all the strivings to obey the commands of God. They just can't be done.

Jesus went on and returned to speak about the rich man again. This time Jesus changed the 'hard' into 'impossible.' "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." This elicited an even more extreme response from the disciples. A needle is purposely small and its hole even smaller. The camel is designed to be big to hold water. Jesus used an impossible situation to illustrate the divine aspect of salvation.

The disciples' response seemed to be just what Jesus was trying to convey, "They were
even more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?" Only God can really change a heart. Following Jesus always requires a divine work on the human heart. Faith and repentance are gifts of God. We should in no way think they can be worked for whether by gifts of charity, religiosity or by avoiding trouble.

Jesus stated this simply but clearly,

Man's evil heart tends to cover up his evil. The gospel always brings man back to face and own up to the responsibility of his evil actions. Jesus' statements stimulated some healthy questions about their own souls and needed obedience to the Lord. Did this impossible work of God appear in their own lives? Did they give up enough? Did they have eternal life or an eternal lie?

When I think of myself as Christ's agent in this modern world, I have to be responsible. If not, there are eternal consequences for my soul. Am I wealthy? Have I sufficiently separated my dependence upon wealth to know whether I have really divorced myself from 'Wealth,' or am I secretly attached and giving private worship to her?


My wife and I have gone through several testings in life that have, I trust, been able to rightly assure our divorce from 'Wealth' is genuine. During good ole' college days, we lost my wife's income and I had to work part-time and study full-time. We were committed in not going into debt and taking any college loans. We were pretty poor then. In hot Florida we were not able to repair the air conditioner until we sold it! But we trusted God. He miraculously supplied our needs in several ways. When I graduated, we sold the mobile home, paid off our school bills and went to serve the Lord.

I fear our society is too wealthy, credit is too handy for many Christians to go through these invaluable experiences. Do we really know if we depend on wealth or God? I wonder in what ways can churches help Christians in this modern world discover these inward and deceptive foes?

As long as one has wealth, he does not need to really trust in God. There is little chance that without radical shapening of his soul from a mentor, he will not be able to see the diabolical trust in riches is not clever but outright dangerous. We are told that:

  • Investments are suppose to be good Insurance is a must.
  • Fat bank accounts show God's glorious provisions.

But can anything but poverty help a man see the motives of his soul? I believe so, but this rarely occurs. No wonder the third world church is much more alive than the church in wealthy surroundings. Poverty enables a person to actually realize that he does not need riches to be cared for. He can depend on His heavenly Father to care for His needs. He can actually test his faith.

"With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
Jesus' statements here shook the disciples' thinking. They should shake our thinking too. Jesus taught that the evil of a man's heart runs so deep, no matter what he does needs a great and divine work in a human's heart. This indeed separates Christianity apart from the other religions of self-work or self-knowledge. Next

 

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus Series

Walking with Christ: Abiding in Christ

Paul J. Bucknell

The Beginning
John 15:5

The marvelous way the Lord instigated this series.

Impossible Love
Mark 8:1-9

Jesus responded to their needs. The disciples responded to their resources.

Genuine Friendship
John 15:15-16

I don't want my Heavenly Father to treat me the way I treated my son!

A Vial of Love
Mark 14:1-9

Our relationship with God is to take priority over our works.

Following is Not Easy
Mark 10:46-52

I wanted Jesus to be with me, but I didn't really want to be with Him.

Listening Carefully
Mark 7:17-18

The Lord wants me to sit down and listen to Him.

A Faith that Counts

I was not sure how many prayers I have absolutely wasted.

Staying Focused
Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus found these planned retreats can be rudely interrupted.

Discovering Treasures
Mark 10:21-27

What were they amazed and later astonished at?

Worth it all!
Mark 10:28-31

His disciples would often if not always be required to make a sacrifice of one kind or another.

The Capsizing of Religion
Mark 3:1-6

Many churches just wouldn't want Jesus attend!

Family of Jesus
Mark 03.31-35

If you or I were part of this crowd, wouldn't we do the same thing as they?

(The following chapters are part of the full book which can be purchased separately or as part of the D#3 Digital Library.)

Abiding in Christ: Walking with Jesus by Paul J. Bucknell

Growing Confidence in Jesus
Mark 7:31-37

What Jesus I am following?

A Word on Christian Suffering
John 15:1-2

We didn't do anything wrong to deserve such pruning! John 15:1-2

Genuine Worship
Mark 12:28-34

Anything not built on this one command is best left in the periphery of life.

Dreams to Dust 911
Mark 13:1-3

Jesus felt compelled to take their dreams to the dust.

A Faith of Action
Mark 11:27-33

The world starts getting concerned when the church starts practicing its faith.

The Felling of Fame
Mark 2:1-2

Stopped in my tracks. Time to deal with my desire for fame.

Perspective on Worry
Luke 12:25-26

We are really surprised at Jesus' comments about our worry.

Overcome Fear of Man
Mark 11:27-39

Outnumbered. Outflanked. Out-educated. Compromise was begging Jesus to conform for acceptance.