TUESDAY 5th MAY 2020
Good morning friends,
I finished off my last post by bringing to our attention the rich you the account of the rich young man as recorded in Matthew’s gospel. (Matthew 19:16-22)
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
This was the question posed to Jesus by a rich young man.
This familiar account can also be found in (Mark 10:17-22, Luke 18:18-23).
Jesus said, … “if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The young man said to Him, “Which ones?”
‘Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.’
The young man claims to have kept all the commandments! Therefore, he must be the perfect candidate for eternal life.
But, the fact is NO ONE can actually keep all the commandments perfectly.
And of course Jesus saw right through this man’s foolish boast. But, Jesus did not condemn him.
Mark records for us that “…Jesus loved him…” (Mark 18:21).
No one can enter the kingdom by good works and obedience to religion, only by hearing the words of Jesus and acting upon them.
“Come, follow ME.”
Jesus saw right onto the heart of the young man, he saw clearly what might stop him from following, and so he had something else to say. “Before you come with me, sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor”
And here is the great stumbling block..............the young man could not do it................he loved money and his position in life, more than he loved Jesus.
And, by hanging on to what he thought was more important, he missed the greatest gift of all.
Wealth, positions, positions of power and status cannot bring us true happiness as many have found, and are still finding to their great cost.
In mid September 2007 I was in Charlotte North Carolina, USA, at the very moment the investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed.
I saw with my own eyes the devastation to lives brought about by that collapse. Over the course of a few days people lost jobs, homes, cars, ..................lives that had been built on money and possessions were changed in an instant, and forever in some cases.
The family I was staying with heard that the churches in downtown Charlotte were opening up and so we went down to Myers Park Presbyterian Church. We sat and watched as hundreds of men, women and children streamed in and through the building. All looking for help, for comfort, for someone to help them make sense of what had happened.
We were on hand with many other Christians to listen and to pray and speak to them about Jesus.
These were desperate days for many people, but it was a time like no other to share the gospel. It was a real wake up call.
The days were in now are proving to be desperate times for many people. Another wake up call?
Time to share the gospel, speak to people about Jesus, look after our neighbours, to share what we have with those most in need.
I feel like I am preaching to you, forgive me for that, but I sense a renewed call from the Lord to answer the call to FOLLOW him where he is leading us.
I leave you with the words of Jesus.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being”. (Matthew 6:19-21 The Message)
God bless you this new day.