Word for the day by Christian Education forum
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.’” (Luke 118:22)The Evangelist Billy Graham once said, “God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for giving.” In the passage for today, we see a wealthy man who sought eternal life. Matthew and Mark refer to him as a young man, and Luke notes that he is a ruler. This rich, young ruler seeks to find out how to inherit eternal life. He realizes that, despite his wealth, he is lacking eternal life. Even though he realizes that he lacks eternal life, he doesn’t comprehend what eternal life is. His social status may portray him as a very mature man, but his lack of understanding of salvation proves that he is not spiritually mature.
It’s the willingness, not the finances that matter: His spiritual immaturity prevents him from putting Christ over his finances. Jesus knew that the one thing this ruler lacked was the willingness to make God his life. For him, his money was his life. His wealth kept him from having treasure in heaven. He wanted his treasure at the present time, not some time in the future. Perhaps, money is not what we place over God, but is there something that hinders us from giving all that we have, so we may have treasure in heaven?
Maturity promotes joy, not sadness: His immaturity also caused him to go away sad. He knew that he wasn’t willing to give all that he had to follow Christ. He felt that if eternal life meant losing his earthly life, then the cost was not worth the gain. How wrong he was! He knew that he could not argue with the Lord, because he understood that his money meant more to him. He felt that he worked hard, and he had raised up that much money to live joyfully. Yet, his heart was truly filled with sadness, instead of that joy. The things that we place above God are the things that we believe will bring joy in our lives, but those things will only bring sadness. Only when we willingly lay down our prized possessions before the Lord, we will experience joy, because we are becoming mature. Will you be like the rich ruler and place your earthly wealth above what the Lord is willing to give you? God has so much more in store, but to be capable of receiving, you must be willing to lay down everything you have.
Prayer: Father, enable us to submit our possessions, our lives, and our everything to you. Help us to be models of spiritual maturity, so that we may take joy in what you have prepared for us. All these things we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Mat Stan Samuel, Denton, Texas