SCRIPTURE: Matthew 19.
(What is God saying here?)
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matt 19:21 (NLT)
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
In response to a question posed to Jesus by a rich young man about what he must do to have eternal life, Jesus first told him of 6 key commandments that he must obey. Interestingly enough, each of these six commandments referred to the man’s relationship with others, so this re-emphasizes that we must love our brother as much as we love ourselves, and also points to another teaching that we show our love for God by how well we show love to others. However, the young man responded that he was already obeying each of those commandments. To an all knowing God though, Jesus knew that there were other distractions in this man’s life that hindered him from total obedience, humility and the mind to totally follow Christ. In other words, Jesus knew that there was another ‘god’ that was hindering this young man – his wealth. Many of us that read this passage may automatically pass over this because we automatically exclude ourselves as we may not be wealthy, by the world’s standards today. The point that got my attention is: I wonder what Jesus might say to me if such a question was asked of me? What are the ‘gods’ that stand in the way of my relationship with Him? What are the ‘gods’ that prevent me from being effective for Him in my ministry efforts? Jesus told the rich man to go and get rid of the interference, the little ‘god’, the interference, the distraction that was preventing him from being totally committed to Him. Being involved in church leadership, I wonder what God may be saying to us as a church? What should we rid ourselves of in order to see His mighty hand at work – at work accomplishing kingdom work through us? God is holy, forgiving, humble and loving to all of His children, plus endless other top qualities. If we are to be like Him/Christ-like/Christians, then we need to examine ourselves for the same qualities that we see in Christ. Let’s pass control to Him and see Him perform a great work in and through us!
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father, I realize that I am not rich monetarily, but I feel rich because of the many blessings that You have bestowed on me. Please help me to not let anything/any ‘god’ interfere in my commitment to You. Please help me to stay focused on the ministry that You want to accomplish through me. Please help me to stay focused, and depending solely on You to help me live a life that would example You in every way, so that others may see Jesus in all that I say or do. Please forgive me when I have let self interfere so much before, but today I ask that you give me added strength, boldness and the faith that will not be easily penetrated by this world and Your opposers. You are God alone, so I must look to You to help me daily to overcome and be a successful witness for You in my personal life, and in the ministry areas in which I am involved.