Daily Devotion


Fresh Start: The Heart

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Daily Devotion, Fresh Start | 1 comment

Life is not simply about where you go when you die. Heaven is certainly the destination, and there is living to do on the way. One writer says it like this:

The salvation of your soul is not just about where you go when you die. The word salvation means healing or deliverance at the deepest level of who we are in the care of God through the presence of Jesus. Sooner or later, your world will fall apart. What will matter then is the soul you have constructed.[1]

Over the last few days, we have been following a man who was concerned about his soul. He was young and wealthy and claimed he had kept all the commandments since he was a boy. Now, Jesus calls his bluff. In essence, Jesus says, “So you’ve kept all the commandments, have you? Show me that you are willing to keep the very first one.”

Mark 10:21
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The Ten Commandments are the summary of the Old Testament Law. The first commandment God gave is this: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The young man had claimed he kept this one, that his life was free from idols, and that he worshiped God alone. So, Jesus asked him to prove it. He told the rich young man to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor; then, he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ final instruction was, “And come, follow me.”

Remember the man’s first question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said (my paraphrase), “I will show you how to have eternal life, and I will show you how to experience fellowship with God as we walk together during this life. But…let’s begin with a fresh start.”

Next time, we’ll consider the young man’s response. But for today—here’s the question: Is there anything standing in your way of following hard after Jesus? Regardless of all the worship songs you sing, Bible verses you’ve memorized, ways you serve, and good works you do—is there anything you worship besides God? Jesus points out to the young man that his real god is money. What is your real god?

Father, we are tired of playing games. We are tired of a checklist religion that makes us feel like we are following you when our hearts are distant and distracted by other things. Show us what we need to leave behind. Then help us to leave it for good…and follow hard after you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] John Ortberg, Soul Keeping (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 48.

1 Comment

  1. Christi Greiner

    Pastor Ron, I just wanted you to know that I have been listening to The Journey Devotionals for around 2-3 years. My sister sends them to me everyday. We are so blessed that God uses you to speak to us. You have a way of helping us understand the Bible. You are very relatable to our family, and I wanted you to know you are very much appreciated. Thank you for obeying God and teaching us His Word. P.S. My sister goes to your church, but we live two hours away in the middle of PA.


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