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Sermon

Prison of security (A meditation)

June 7, 2017

Mark 10:17-27

What attracts me to following Jesus, and what holds me back?

The story of the rich young ruler always intrigues me. He is obviously a righteous man. He keeps the law, in fact he diligently keeps them. When he speaks to Jesus about what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells him you know the Commandments. 

Why does Jesus bring these up?  So often we focus on the being righteous. We keep the commandments and we make judgments accordingly. I haven’t killed someone today I’m doing pretty good. But Jesus doesn’t stop there, one thing you lack, sell everything and give it to the poor. 

Right here Jesus tells us people are more important than laws. He tells the rich guy, while you keep the commandments, you have forgotten that the commandments are there to encourage us to encourage others. The command not to kill, means protect, promote, and encourage life not death. The command for not bearing false witness promotes honesty, humility, and equality of word and protecting the reputation of others. 

How quickly I forget the relational aspect of the commandments. But what is keeping from remembering these? Selfishness. I am more concerned with myself and my comfort than the life of others. In my attempts to secure my own life, I build a prison locking myself in the walls of self. I’m so focused on myself that I cannot let others in, I must protect myself from them because they might take my stuff. Suddenly the commandments go out the window because I am justified to kill if it means keeping my possessions, I am fully allowed to be dishonest as ling as it promotes my own security. I am bound not free. 

What attracts me to Jesus? He offers a lifestyle of freedom. But what keeps me from him? I am afraid of freedom because I am more concerned with security. Lord help me.

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About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.

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Jared A. Warner

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