Divine Presence

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Eternal Love is available now for everyone.

(Listen to my song “I Want to Follow You” on YouTube by clicking HERE)

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Matthew 19:16-17

“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

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Eternal life is a gift…it’s not something we merit.

So the man’s question to Jesus is nonsensical.

You can’t “score points” to be rewarded with heaven one day.

This is what has so many Christians confused.

The man asking Jesus how to “gain” eternal life was also attached to many possessions and viewed eternal life as a commodity to gain through his own works.

If you had to earn heaven…you’d be on a never-ending-treadmill of trying to do good deeds that would never-be-good-enough. This would make for a very frustrating and guilt-laden life!

Jesus makes the issue very present. He tells the man that if he wishes to “enter into life,” he should keep the commandments.

In other words, as St. Catherine of Siena reportedly said, “It’s heaven all the way to heaven.”

Now is what matters. It’s all about life. It’s how you are present to others and all of creation.

We each receive an outpouring of love from the “only One who is good”…God who is love (1 John 4:8). So we are meant to receive that Love and share that Love.

That’s why Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

We are here for a purpose as in building the kingdom of God. While we know that certain acts are good and others are bad…labeling anything as either “good” or “bad” is generally not a good idea.

God can use all that happens for good. As St. Paul said, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

In my life there have been many times when something happened that appeared to be bad at the time but in the long run turned out to be very good.

My whole experience of having a ruptured appendix appeared to be the worst thing that ever happened to me at the time…but in retrospect I now view the experience as one of the most deeply spiritually transforming ones of my life. So it was actually very good!

Jesus goes on to advise this man to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and then to “come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Jesus knows that the man is attached to his many possessions…which are what is keeping him from engaging in life.

The question for each of us is, “What attachments do I need to let go of in order to follow the path of love right now?

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Listen to my song “I Want to Follow You” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on iTunes by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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