Grace For The Journey
In Luke 18 we read about the Rich Young Ruler who came to Jesus asking, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” After a brief discourse, Jesus took the man to the heart of the matter in verse 22, where He says, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
The man could not do what Jesus had asked,
Not because of what he possessed,
But because of what possessed him.
Worldly wealth ruled this man’s heart and ultimately shaped his life . . .
And the shape
Was a dollar sign,
Not a cross!
Many misinterpret the words of Jesus in verse 23, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For 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.”
They think that money is the root problem.
Money is not the problem.
The love of money is the problem.
The Bible states in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all of evil . . .” Jesus is not telling every rich man to sell all his possessions. The Bible tells us that God makes men rich (see Deuteronomy 8:18). God tells us in the later part of 1 Timothy 6:10 that there are some rich men, however, who make themselves poor by looking to their riches as their source of significance, meaning, and purpose in life. Other rich men make themselves richer by looking to Jesus as the source of true wealth and using their riches for the advancement of the kingdom of God. Zacchaeus had great wealth, and there were others who had wealth and used it to support Jesus and His ministry.
So regardless of where this finds you today . . .
The amount of stuff
You have is never the issue.
The issue is . . .
Whether or not your stuff has you!
Pascal rightly observed, “There is a God-shaped vacuum inside of every heart,” and trying to fill it with anything other than God will never work.
The Rich Young Ruler had everything a man could want,
But he did not have the one thing every man needs:
He filled his life up with the stuff of life and left no room in his heart for the Savior. He trusted in his riches as the source of his salvation.
What will you fill your God-shaped vacuum with? Will it be a new car, new address, new job, new relationship, or new you?
These are all good gifts
From our great God,
But they enslave us
When they become
Ultimate things in our lives.
Jesus said in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in Me.”
In this life there is only one possession
That should possess us
And His name is Jesus Christ!
When Jesus has control of our lives,
We don’t need to look to anything
Other than Him to give us
The joy, happiness, satisfaction, and freedom we crave.
- Only the Gospel frees us to find everything we want in the only thing we need.
- Only the Gospel frees us from our bondage to every idol that would keep us locked up in the prison of performing, producing, and pretending.
- Only the Gospel convinces us that everything we have is a gift of God (1 Corinthians 4:7), and the more we have the more we are in debt to the One who has given it.
With this understanding, it is never a matter of what we possess, but rather, what possesses us! When it is Jesus who possesses us, we never find ourselves in the position of “one thing we lack.”
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”