Shalom and welcome to this edition of Through the Lens. I’m Rabbi Eric Walker.
Many times I have shared with you those anointed words of Yeshua, “Follow me.” The response by Matthew and Peter are nothing less than miraculous. They took their place along with the Patriarch Abraham who left all he knew to follow the calling of G-D. There are many stories about this journey described in so many passages of the Bible. How willing are we to surrender our agenda for His? Gen 12:1-4 12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.”To the average person a move is one of the most impactful and stressful events in their lives. It was easier when we did not have all the earthly possessions we have acquired. It was just as hard to leave the familiar for the unfamiliar, yet there was a certain sweetness in this act of surrender to God’s will. Ruth 1:1-18 1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. 3 Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. 6 When she heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me — even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone out against me!” 14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her. 15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
Ruth had nothing left behind and saw her family through Naomi. Ruth was not familiar with the customs nor the destination, yet her attachment was not to what she was leaving, but what she was not willing to let go of. That relationship was the center of her world and a bond that could not be broken. It was her commitment to her relationship that caused her to venture into the unknown and God honored that.Mark 10:17-31 17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good — except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 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.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “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 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
The rich man wanted something he was not willing to sacrifice for and what should have been a sweet surrender ultimately cost him his relationship with God. How attached have we become to the things of this earth that we are not willing to give up our creature comforts to serve God?
1 Peter 5:1-11 5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Service and surrender to the will of God does not mean a vow of poverty. There is not condemnation for those who have gathered riches, but when those riches stand in the way of our decision making to answer the call on our lives they become idols and keep us from receiving the blessings that God has waiting for us in His service.
Peter goes on to say in verse 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
In the west we have become the wealthiest nation in the world, yet our commitment to God and His Word are on a rapid decline. People are fearful of so many things including a spirit of lack and many have stopped giving and serving. God’s plan is one of Sweet Surrender. There is a peace that overcomes you when you release your grip on the things of this world and walk in the promises of God. Surrender is only sweet when we willingly answer God’s call and follow His lead. It may not make sense at the time, but, as one who knows what it is to walk away from the trappings of the world and receive more blessings than I could ever acquired on my own I know the sweet taste of surrender.
The sweetness of God is the antidote to the bitterness of this world. It can only be obtained when we surrender.
If you have not yet surrendered to G-D’s plan of salvation, He is just waiting for you to ask Yeshua/Jesus into your life and be set free from the past sins that haunt you. And if you have already said yes to God’s plan of salvation and need to surrender your attachment to the things of this world, then do not let one more moment go by without releasing your attachment to the things of this world and tasting the sweetness of surrender***
And that my friends is this edition of Through the Lens. Visit ignitinganation.com for our guest lineup for our daily Broadcast of Revealing the Truth, seen Live Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM CST. Download our apps, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and please consider supporting our ministry through the donate button on our website. Until we see you for the next edition of Revealing the Truth we thank you for watching and bid you Shalom.