February 8, 2024

Mark 10:17-31 (HCSB)
The Rich Young Ruler

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God.  19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor  your father and mother.”  20 He said to Him, “Teacher,  I have kept all these from my youth.” 21 Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come,  follow Me.”  22 But he was stunned  at this demand, and he went away grieving,  because he had many possessions.
Possessions and the Kingdom
23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  24 But the disciples were astonished at His words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children,  how hard it is  to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.” 26 So they were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible,  but not with God, because all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter  began to tell Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.” 29 “I assure you,”  Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father,  children, or fields because of Me and the gospel,  30 who will not receive 100 times  more, now at this time —houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions —and eternal life  in the age to come.  31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Pastor HD Jones

Because of my fallen nature, I want a genie in a bottle type of god.  You know, one that shows up when I need him and is at my beckon call.  But God wants a constant, intimate walk with us.  Our biggest need is to be dependent on Him but our rebel nature says we can do it on our own. Think about the manna in the wilderness.  The people could only collect enough for that day.  If they got greedy or lazy and wanted to collect a bunch today so they could sleep in tomorrow, the manna would rot and stink.  God wanted His people to be dependent on Him daily. It is the same with our possessions.  Why did Jesus say it was hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God?  Because a rich person is not in need.  That makes me ask questions like:  do I trust in Him or my 401K?; do I ask Him for my physical need or do I run to the doctor and get a prescription?; do I tithe my time, talents, and finances or do I need them to take care of what may come up tomorrow?  We are designed to be with God.  We are programmed to find only joy in Him.  We are never more fulfilled than when we are obedient to His direction.  Why do we make it so difficult?  Don’t be like the “rich young ruler”!

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