Bible Reference: Luke 18:18;20-22
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)
Bible Text: 18 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: “Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?”
20 “But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say—don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on.” 21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child.”
22 “There is still one thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor—it will become treasure for you in heaven—and come, follow me.”
OBSERVATION: Consider the things the young man in our story had going for him. He was young; he was a Jewish leader; he was rich and he was a ‘good’ young man, as he told Jesus that he had obeyed godly commands every since he could remember. Yet something was missing in his life, and it wasn’t pretty women, more money or a better position in government. I wonder what things we tend to think is lacking in our lives? What else may bring greater satisfaction to us? What else might be lacking according to God’s standards? Let’s look for direction in this as we meditate on God’s Word today.
APPLICATION: We are often willing to sacrifice time with our family, and the time we spend in God’s work around His local church, so that we could work ungodly hours around work hoping to please our boss and possibly achieve a greater position at work, since that might lead to making more money. But at the end of our work-day, do we ever reflect on the satisfaction that extra commitment at work has brought to our family? Or do we use those awake hours at home to catch up on email and other tasks that we couldn’t get to during the day? At the end of the year, do we celebrate the extra money we made and saved from a year of hard work and dedication, or do we spend time celebrating our family, our church, and the growth in our relationship with our Creator and our Sustainer of life? Looking forward into the new year, do we reflect on how we might grow at work, grow our bank account, and excel in our job during the coming year, or do we look to God on how we might help our family grow closer to Him, and how we might sure up our relationship with Him as we prepare for our future home in Heaven with Him. I believe that the rich young ruler probably came to a crossroad in his life where he may have pondered scenarios similar to the above, because I could see some of the same traits in us today. As you meditate on this devotional, and hopefully click on the scripture link above, you will see in verse 17 of this same chapter, that Jesus taught that we are to assume an attitude and spirit like a child: humble; willing to accept what Jesus teaches us to do; and then follow in obedience to do what pleases the Father. He also taught us in verse 22 that there is nothing in this life that will bring us lasting happiness, or that adds to our assurance of a future in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. So should we not learn from this story of the rich young ruler, that the effort we place into our earthly plans and into pleasing mankind, only serves to lift up our boss, or our friends, or those that we tend to lift up on a pedestal, and does very little to please our Heavenly Father? Friends, I pray that we will be busy about our Father’s work, for I am convinced that He will return soon to take His bride home (His blood-bought church). What might be your response today, if asked why He should let you into His kingdom?
PRAYER: Precious Lord, thank You for loving me enough to sacrifice Your very Son on a cross so that I might enjoy eternity with You. I believe that many who will read this devotional today could join with me in sharing our appreciation of Your awesome love for us. You created us to show our love for others through our commitment to them and through the gifts that we give to them. Oh may that become our priority today and everyday towards the One who loves us more than life itself, and has prepared a home for us, where we will live for evermore with You and the Father! Please tender the hearts of Your children who have yet to accept You as Lord and Savior. May today be a time of celebration by the angels and many friends here on earth as they surrender their all to You! AMEN!