As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honour your father and mother.’”
“Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Mark 10:17-22 (NLT)
We live in a very affluent society. Many of us have been blessed with good jobs and possessions. We in the West have more than our ancestors ever had. We think it’s important we own our own home, need at least two cars and give everything to our children that we didn’t have. It seems to me as even though we are blessed with these things, we are less happy than those that came before us. We are never satisfied with what we have and want more. So it is with the general population. Riches and wealth of possessions rarely brings happiness, Yet so many of us would be hard pressed to part with them.
As I was praying last night I thought much about this young rich man that Jesus spoke with. What if I was in his position and Jesus asked this of me? Would I react in the same way? In all honesty I have to admit there was a lot of hesitancy on my part. I love my warm home and my bed and the fact that I live in comfort. Am I more interested in my own comfort than that of the poor? I’m not rich but what I possess is much more than many around the world. This troubled me quite a bit. My heart is not in the right place and I am in the process of remedying that. In giving us His all, Jesus has asked for all of us. It’s not an option. He’s either Lord of all or not Lord at all. We can’t afford to have any attachment to this world. We are not our own, we have been bought for a great price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Nory and I are facing this right now, neither of us have jobs and without the Lord intervening we are about to lose everything, even a place to live. We have no choice but to believe the Lord will provide and see us through, but what if He doesn’t? Would we still call Him Lord and say “Yet though He slay me, I will still trust Him”? With thousands of Christians around the world losing everything because of persecution and war are we any better than them? What if it is to fulfill a purpose that only the Lord can see? Would we still trust Him? Please pray for us as we face this trail of our faith.
The question begs asking, what about you? Are you so tied to your possessions that they mean more to you than your service to Christ and His Lordship? If Jesus asked you to give up everything tomorrow, would you? Or would you walk away sad like this young man did? As Christians we should be able to let go of people and possessions at the drop of a hat. Our answer should always be, “Yes Lord.” without hesitation. Everything you have been blessed with is not yours anyway. It belongs to Him to do with a He pleases and if that bothers you then you need to seek the Lord as to why. We bring nothing into this world and there is nothing that we can bring with us when we leave it.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10:23-27 (NLT)’
When Jesus died on the cross He made it possible for all to be saved, but it still comes down to a matter of the heart. Where your heart is there is your treasure also. Luke 12:34. Whatever possesses our heart, possesses us. If it be Christ then we are in the right place. If it is other people or things that we possess then we need to get right with God. Jesus tells us that in giving up our earthly desires and possessions that we gain much more in heaven.
Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” Mark 10:28-31 (NLT)
So tell me is your heart here on earth set on your possessions or are you building towards your inheritance that Christ has promised you in heaven? It is a question you alone can answer in your time with Jesus. Lord help us to put you first in all things!