“ ‘You will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow because he had great wealth.” (Matthew 19:22-23)

In our heart of hearts, are each of us committed to following HIM?

To many in this 21st century it may seem foolish to be fully comitted followers of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua benDavid, Jesus son of David.  How many of us try with, a death grip, to hold onto things that come first in our lives, even before our aligence to our Messiah Jesus?

What do you hold on to? What do I hold onto with a death grip, with all my strength like the rich young man?  

Like the rich young man, do not each of us have our cherished possession(s), activities, cravings, desires that we will not, nay, feel we cannot leave behind to follow the Lord?

I know that I cleave to "things" , and I have to give them up every day, many times a day, even.

Don't we get into a rut sometimes a rut that keeps us from an even closer relationship with the Lord Jesus? 

Our Lord told us to follow the narrow way, which is truly the “holy highway”, the path the Lord has set for each of us.  Yet  in the rut of despair, are we not also lost and without hope, without answers?

It's then we need to realize that we too have to get back on that “holy highway”, the one the Lord has laid in front of us; to move forward in His will and in his Grace.

Don’t we all have to pick up our cross every single day?

It could be our addiction of choice in the form of substance or in the form of habitual self-destructiveness. We all have our demons.

Yet we have One who tosses out those demons, we have the person of our Lord.

The demons can be “legion” or they can be of our own habitual self-created dependencies. Notwithstanding whatever or whomever they are; He, our Lord and Master Yeshua haMessiach (Jesus the Messiah) has the answer for us all –

...the answer is His free gift of Grace.

"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! ... Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted! ...(2 Samuel 22:47)

And upon that rock, our faith is anchored.

What do we each cleave to and need to release to Him who has called us..?

What comes first, our following Him, or our clinging to "things"..?

How can we depend on Him, first - last - and always, in lieu of our habitual inclinations? 

He is after all, "the way, the truth and the life..."


— Submitted by AJ Gross, Calvary Chapel Valley Springs.


Pastor Art Phinney. Committed his life to Jesus Christ at age 27. Grew in his faith through age 33. Served the Lord in pastoral ministry in an assisting capacity from age 33-35. Attended 2 years school of ministry Costa Mesa California. 1996-1998. Began as senior pastor CCVS 1999.
 Art Gross
Art Gross ("AJ") has been in the military, worked in law enforcement, Higher Ed, and I.T. He has been an "elder" at CCVS for about three years now and serves the Lord and is deeply involved with Men's ministry and Congregational Care at CCVS and in his day to day life. He has attended the School of Pastoral Ministry  through Calvary Chapel Manteca and is con-currently working as a Project Manager for a large financial institution.