Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. In fact, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” When his disciples heard this, they were stunned. “Then who can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.” Then Peter replied, “Look, we’ve left everything and followed you. What will we have?” Jesus said to them, “I assure you who have followed me that, when everything is made new, when the Human One sits on his magnificent throne, you also will sit on twelve thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel. And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first (Matthew 19:23-30, Common English Bible).
In the past few years I have tried my hand at a bit of song writing. I think it is safe to say my lyrics, much less my music probably won’t be winning any American Music Awards anytime soon. Still, I have enjoyed writing both. I started writing lyrics to other people’s music and more recently I have taken to writing the little black dots on the staff for my lyrics as well.
I am not very good at it. I struggle to read bass clef and you can forget being able to play it. I was a trumpet player as a kid. That means I read treble clef. I can figure out what notes are in the bass portion, but it doesn’t come naturally. It really does make the process a struggle.
Though far more gifted in such things than I, the late hymn writer, Eugene L. Clark, knew far more about struggle than I pray I will ever know. At one point in his life, Clark, the organist and music director for “Back to the Bible,” was known as one whose fingers danced across the keyboards of pianos and organs. Clark first became blind and then began to suffer from crippling arthritis. He reached a point where he was restricted to his bed and would never play again. The story is told that when he was limited to his bed he requested a dictating machine and with this machine Clark wrote several hymns, including his most famous, “Nothing is Impossible When You Put Your Trust in God.”
I remember singing this song, published in 1966, in youth when I was a kid. The song’s chorus reads:
Nothing is impossible
when you put your trust in God;
Nothing is impossible
when you’re trusting in His Word.
Hearken to the voice of God to thee:
“Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Then put your trust in God alone
and rest upon His Word–
For ev’rything, O ev’rything,
Yes, ev’rything is possible with God!
I thought about those lyrics when I read today’s lesson. When Jesus told the disciples it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inherit the Kingdom, the disciples began to question Jesus. They had given up everything. Now was Jesus saying it would never be possible for them to enter the Kingdom?
I find it interesting that the disciples at this point saw themselves as rich but I digress.
Jesus then shares with the twelve, and us, that because they put Jesus ahead of the things of the world, a magnificent heavenly future awaits them.
We hold the same promise. Because, while we may have enough and then some when it comes to worldly stuff, if we put God first the future is bright because “nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God.”
How have you put your trust in God?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved