What was contained in Jesus’ preaching from the very beginning was fully illuminated by his death: the reign of God demands a change of rulership that human beings must carry out. It demands letting go and self-surrender.
God’s realm can only happen where human beings collide with their own limits, where they do not know how to go on, where they hand themselves over and give space to God alone so that God can act. Only there, in the zone of constant dying and rising, the reign of God begins.
God promises that when we seek him, it will not be in vain. “[When} you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you,” God says through the prophet Jeremiah. “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me” (Jer.29:13-14). The writer to the Hebrews declares, “[God] rewards those who seek him” (11:6).
Here is the central mystery of life with God: the way into it is simply by trusting in Jesus.
-Richard Foster, from Life With God pp.33,49
I have found the best Bible commentary to be the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit can rejuvenate a tired Christian, captivate an indifferent believer, and empower a dry church.
The story of the pious rich man who refused Jesus’ call (Mk 10:17-22) is a powerful reminder that discipleship is impossible without substantial detachment from material goods and from all the benefits they confer. People on a journey cannot hope to carry with them everything they own; they need to learn to do without some of their home conveniences.
The more free we are of an urgency to surround ourselves with material goods and to possess them, the further we have traveled along the road to God.
We need to learn to free ourselves of the emotional tyranny of material goods, and even our fearful dependence on the more fundamental assets that are the basis of our ongoing security.
Of course discipleship is not primarily a matter of having no money. The poverty that Jesus declared blessed calls for a heartfelt and joy-filled reliance on an all-provident Father. This necessarily involves a certain detachment from all alternative sources of security, gratification, prestige, and affirmation.
The other is the spiritual way, in which, as those who have died and can do nothing, our one care is to receive Christ day by day, and at every step to let Him live and work in us.
It’s not what you’re given, it’s how you take it.
In him the love of God’s will had taken the place of the attachment we ordinarily have to our own. He saw only God’s plan in what happened to him, and this kept him in continual peace. When he learned of some evil, instead of being astonished by it, he was, on the contrary, surprised that things were not worse, given the malice of which the sinner is capable. Brother Lawrence would immediately turn to God who, he realized, could remedy the situation, and who permitted these evils for just reasons, beneficial to the general order of his action in the world. Once he prayed for sinners, he no longer worried about them and returned to his state of peace.
-Joseph de Beaufort