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8/27/2014

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (NKJV)

There is a story in the book of Matthew about a rich young ruler who had come up to Jesus and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”  Jesus answers him by saying, “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. 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.” (Matt. 19:16-21)

Matthew records how the young man heard what Jesus had requested of him, but he simply hung his head and went away sorrowful.  He was sorrowful because he was a very wealthy man, and he was being asked to give up everything he had obtained and possessed. 

You could actually say this wealthy young ruler was weighing out his options—he needed to think about it to see if it made good business sense.  On one hand he had every physical thing he could possibly want in this world.  On the other hand he was being offered the perfect recipe for eternal life—he needed to lay down the things mattering most to him and instead place Jesus there. 

I find this story both intriguing, because as Christians we—like the rich man—are being asked to lay everything down as well if we are to be disciples, or “followers” of Jesus.  We see Jesus speaking of this in the book of Mark.

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Mark 8:34 (NKJV)

Let’s be clear here – Jesus did not command every follower to give away all of their money and possessions to be righteous.  Jesus made this specific requirement to this rich man, because his money was more important than his relationship with God. 

We should be willing to give up anything if God asks us to, because this is a proper attitude and it will keep anything from coming in between the Lord and us. 

What I find sad about this story is this—there is no mention of this man changing his mind later.  He weighed out his options, and in the end he felt it would be best to keep what he had in this life—those things he truly felt would bring him safety, security, and happiness, albeit temporary. The truth is he chose poorly—he actually settled for dirt when he could have had gold. 

It is my heart to encourage each of us today to STOP and contemplate what we are placing a greater importance in.  Are we putting a greater value upon anything in our life over God, His Word, and His will?  It is a fair question and one seldom contemplated until it is too late. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Matthew 6:21, what can we learn about the correlation of our treasure and our heart?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What is most important to you?

PERSONAL APPLICATION: We must continue to make Jesus our first love – doing everything as if we are doing it for Him, and seeking to do what He has asked us to do.  When we place a proper importance upon these things our actions will follow.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your guidance in my life. I am sorry for the times where I have sought to place my best efforts into making money instead of investing into my relationship with You and understanding Your Word.  Help me to understand Your will for my life today and lead me in Your ways.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000