By Leonard Lauriault
I have my devotions early in the morning. I’ve tried doing this in the evening after work, but the clutter of the day always seems to interfere. I’m also much fresher in the morning and open to seeing the great things God has in store for us through his word. But, then that’s not always the case, either.
Recently, my devotional, entitled, “The young man Jesus loved,” was based on Mark 10: 17-22, which tells about the rich young man who wanted eternal life but couldn’t trade his riches for the inheritance that far outweighs all of earth’s treasures and troubles (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18). I usually look at the devotion title to get an idea of what to look for in the associated passage and did so that time. Still, I missed it in verse 21 – “Jesus looked at him and loved him,” which also was the devotion’s theme verse that was printed right under the title. Although I had read the theme verse and the title, I hadn’t comprehended that point in the associated passage until I was reading the devotion itself – duh!!!
It then occurred to me that we often miss out on God’s message and even his love because we become dull of mind. We become like the people described in Acts 28: 26-28 and God blesses others with the same things we could have been blessed with. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t eventually reap the same blessings or that others would’ve been prevented from the blessings if they’d listened to him as well.
God’s power and blessing are vast enough to extend throughout the universe and across millennia. He told Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed and we know that nations rise and fall over time at God’s will (Genesis 12: 1-3; Galatians 3: 16-18, 26-29; 4: 4-7; Titus 2: 11; Daniel 2: 21; Job 12: 23). This also makes God’s promises transcend time (1 Peter 1: 24, 25).
I wish I could blame my oversight of God’s love in Mark 10: 21 on my early morning grogginess, but I am fresher then and I’ve read that passage at other times under various conditions and missed the point that Jesus looked at him and loved him. I’m glad that it happened this time because hopefully it’ll make me more diligent to look for the blessings, the greatest of which is perfect peace in Christ Jesus (John 16: 33; 14: 27; Isaiah 26: 3; Philippians 4: 8, 9).
While the verse says that Jesus looked at him and loved him, Jesus didn’t love the young man because of his outward appearance. He loved him even though he knew the young man wouldn’t accept his teaching and love (Luke 6: 35, 36; Romans 5: 6-11). Jesus loves us that way too, but he doesn’t want us to receive his love in vain like it appears the rich young man did. Accept God’s love today (2 Corinthians 6: 1, 2; 1 Corinthians 15: 1, 2)!