August 9, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, Then come, follow me." Mark 10:21
Jesus encounters a young man with commendable credentials who claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth. He had sought out Jesus and knelt before Him in reverence, and even asked the right question. "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" The answer Jesus gave cut to the core of his being ... that which he treasured more than a personal relationship with Jesus.
Jesus saw what motivated his heart and was the priority of his life. To the rich young ruler, the price was too great. Jesus gave him a specific command to obey. By refusing to obey, Jesus counteracted his pride and self-independence by revealing the worldliness, greed, and carnality of his own heart. Surely, "The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?"
ONE THING YOU LACK...He wanted to establish his claim to eternal life on the grounds of his own works and possessions. He looked within himself to establish a standard he thought should be acceptable to Jesus. Man is ever trying to establish a way that will be acceptable to God that will not interfere with his own life-style.
Generally, man is not concerned with God. He rejects His love, spurns His grace, and ignores Jesus Christ as the only way of being forgiven and reconciled to God. Because of man's willfulness to self-rule and sin, Satan has blinded his eyes to the truth. His heart has been seared and hardened, and he walks in the darkness of his own choice. What a foolish choice...what a price to pay...for a moment of folly in the light of all eternity. His unwillingness to forsake all was his downfall!
ONE THING YOU LACK... What is it that often stands in the way of our relationship with Christ...to follow Him fully with surrendered heart and will? We cling to the illusions of this world and count them as "our own and our gain." What do we have that has not been freely given to us by His grace? ANYTHING that hinders us from following Jesus Christ fully is to us of "more importance" than Christ! We try to bring God down to our level. How sad!
To cling to the ONE THING YOU LACK that hinders our following Christ is to cast the everlasting judgment of God upon our eternal soul. We are then truly without hope and without God. What an awful price to pay for an "imitation of life" rather than the "real thing."
If we could ask this rich young ruler what he NOW thinks of his choice...I think he would condemn his conduct, deplore his folly, and confess how incredibly foolish was his decision. But alas, his lot is cast and his eternity sealed. If we could ASK Paul what his views are of his past conduct, in "suffering the loss of all things that he may gain Christ and be found in Him" (Philippians 3:8) there would be ceaseless praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for His grace, mercy, and love. What an exchange! What a contrast of choice and the destiny of their eternal souls.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-08-09
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