Thursday, April 22, 2010

You still lack one thing

Luke 18:18-22: “Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ 19 So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' 21 And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’ 22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’"

A rich ruler came and inquired of Jesus how to receive eternal life. He approached Jesus and addressed Him as “good teacher”. Jesus’ responding back to him said, "Why do you call Me good?” Jesus was not admitting that He himself was not good, only that the rich ruler’s perception of what is good and righteous (faith in worldly teachers and men of influence) was skewed. This ruler was blinded by his self-righteousness, which is evident in his saying that he had kept all the laws perfect. For the Jews salvation was found in the law, and the Jews felt that they could follow the law. They thought that the law was created to make them holy, when in fact it was created to show them just how much they were not holy, and how much they needed God’s Grace for their salvation. Jesus was displaying this thought with this ruler who thought that he had done everything right. Instead of putting God first, this ruler put himself first. Nevertheless, even with the self-righteous attitude that this young ruler had when he approached Jesus, Jesus showed him the way to salvation.

Jesus told this rich young ruler to, “Sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." Now, Jesus is not advocating salvation through charity giving; rather, taking that thing that was first place in his life, his wealth, and replacing that with Jesus. Making Jesus first place in your life is the key to salvation. The thing in your life that has highest priority, your children, your wealth, your career, your business, your pleasure, or your logic, is the thing that you worship. The thing that you place the most value on or in is your god. Jesus was telling this young ruler, that of all the commandments that he thought he kept, he had forgotten the first one, "You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

What is it that takes highest priority in your life? Salvation begins with God and ends with God. It is about putting Him first in our lives. If we can put Him first in our lives then we realize that life is not about us, it is all about Him. Our purpose on this earth is to be a pleasure to God, and this happens only when we make God a pleasure to us. We are performing at our best when we realize that this is not about us. When we in trust and faith give over our wants, desires, and hope so’s, to Him, that is when we will truly be a blessing as a ministry. If we can take our minds out of the situation and be led by the spirit we will see God’s higher purpose for us.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: 11 Sam 7-9 New Testament Luke 19:1-28

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