Day 7 – God Asks One Thing of You: Everything

And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Mark 10:17-22

It is possible to do the many things God asks of you and still fail to do the one thing He asks of you. For the young man in this story, Jesus asked him for the one thing that was everything to him: his possessions. You see, the one thing Jesus asked of those he met was often the most precious thing to them. Jesus asked Mary Magdalene to let go of her demons; Jesus asked Nicodemus to leave his Legalism; Jesus asked the woman at the well to give up her lies; Jesus asked Zacchaeus to abandon his thievery; Jesus asked the woman caught in adultery to renounce her sin; Jesus asked Thomas to relinquish his doubts; and Jesus asked Peter to surrender his pride.

But here is what we need to understand about the one thing God is asking of us: that one thing is everything. In other words, God asks one thing of you: everything.

At the start of this school year, what is that one thing that God asks of our children and students? The one thing that Jesus asks of our children will be something precious to them, just as in this passage the young man’s wealth was precious to him. If God is asking for one thing, and that one thing is everything, then my prayer is that we as parents and pastors would understand that one thing that God is asking of our children and students is their education.

For churches positioned in urban communities and those who serve Hispanic and African-American students in particular, as we encourage our students to give everything to God, let us pray about how we can support their academic growth without compromising a focus on their spiritual growth. And if it is true that everything we are belongs to God, perhaps our prayer must then be for God to help us realize that there is no divide between our students’ faith and education. Perhaps by encouraging academic growth we encourage spiritual growth, and perhaps by fostering spiritual growth we foster academic growth.

My prayer is that this year our students can give one more thing to God: their education. And with God’s grace and our steadfast determination, I am confident we will begin to see our students’ Monday achievements glorify God as much as their Sunday praise, and we will all better understand how our love and worship for God is not exclusive to the church, but essential in all that we do. And as our students give their education to God, they are that much closer to giving everything to Him.

– Girien Salazar