28th February 2020


“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”
Mark 10:21 (NIVUK)

This morning I came down the stairs to make a coffee and there was a dark stain on the hall floor. Not to put too fine a point on it, the dog had peed on our carpet!

Our dog is getting older, so these little ‘accidents’ are becoming more frequent. But they are far more likely to happen if he isn’t taken out for a final ‘comfort break’ before retiring for the night. And since I had been out with a friend that same evening, I figured I was off the hook as the dog (his name is Jake) had already gone to bed when I got home.

Unfortunately, I was also the first person up the next morning. What was I to do? I couldn’t really leave the stain for someone else to clear up (I was tempted, believe me) yet in my heart of hearts I felt it wasn’t my mess to rectify. And so, as I blotted and sponged, I also mumped and moaned. “Why am I clearing up this mess that is nothing to do with me?! If ‘people’ had taken the care to walk the dog last night, I wouldn’t be scrubbing the floor this morning!” And so on.

I may not be young and I’m certainly not rich, but some aspects of this sorry tale remind me of the man in the header scripture. He thought he was blameless, having done the ‘right thing’ all his life, yet he ended up going away sad because, surely he didn’t deserve what Jesus was asking of him!

We all experience things we don’t deserve, yet none of us is blameless, no matter how hard we try. Thank God that Jesus was able to keep all the commandments for us, then become our perfect sacrifice, the most undeserved event in history. Why did he die for us? Simply because he loved us. This is what he was trying to tell the young man. He looked at him and he loved him. Then he spoke to him, “One thing you lack…come, follow me.”

I hope you didn’t have to start your day like I did, clearing up your dog’s mess – nobody deserves that. But it taught me an important lesson. Sometimes, like the rich young man, it’s good to be reminded that Jesus is all we need.

Loving Father, we’ve all made a mess of our lives in one way or another; and we do it again and again. Thank you for loving us enough to take care of it, not once but for ever. In Jesus’ name.

Study by Peter Mill

About the Author:
Peter Mill is an Elder and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He and his wife, Jackie, are Pastoral Workers for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
GCI, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

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