Beginning or end of the race

In every level of the Church, there is always someone who asks, “Why do some people grow and others don’t? Why are there people who have been in Church for so many years, but haven’t grown spiritually, while a few others, who have just began coming, are already making a difference?”

The answer is very simple: our life and heart is either in the gold or the ALTAR. The following two stories are excellent examples of this.

First: old and hardheaded believer, whose heart is in the gold!

Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. Luke 18.18-23

Second: new, and on his first day in the Faith, gave up the gold for the ALTAR!

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. Luke 19.1-9

The difference is in how fast, slow or reluctantly people give up the gold in exchange for the Altar, and that goes for all of us, bishops, pastors, wives, assistants and members!

How does the rich young man’s story end? You can try to imagine what happened after their encounter, but no one truly knows, because he wasn’t mentioned ever again.

And how does the story of Zacchaeus end? He conquered the best that the ALTAR has to offer, Salvation!

The rich young man, an old believer, revealed that his heart was in the gold, so, he came to “the end of the Race“.

But Zacchaeus, who was still very young in the faith, gave up the gold for the Altar and “began his Eternal Race”.

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