And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One THING YOU STILL LACK…. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. – Luke 18:18-23
‘Give away your riches and follow Me, and then you’d have treasure in heaven’ (Rephrased). Wow! I wonder how many of us would actually do it! I bet those with very little possessions would be more willing to obey this instruction than the rest, right?
It might have taken this rich ruler a while, or at least time and effort, to accumulate his riches and hence having to give it all away wouldn’t be easy, especially if and when he believed he wouldn’t be as rich again.
This ruler lacked something though, something money cannot buy; eternal life and treasures in heaven. He understood that even if he was keeping the commandments, that was not enough for him to inherit eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on HIM should not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16.
So, the ruler didn’t ‘believeth on HIM'; even though he kept the commandments, he lacked faith. Had he known that the same God who had given him such wealth is the same God who can give it to him again if he lost it or gave it all away, He would have sold and gave away his possessions as instructed!
Let’s look at Job; Job was a perfect and upright man (Job 1:8).
‘His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east’. -Job 1:3
However, he lost everything, from possessions and life of his kids to his good health (Job 1:13-22, 2:7-10). However, Job had enough faith to know that God had a good plan for him. He never cursed nor denounce God even in the deepest of his sorrows.
His faith was more important to him than his possessions. Wow, what a man of God!
‘So Jehovah blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: And he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses’. -Job 42:12
Giving away what God gave you and knowing there’s more where that comes from;
that’s a measure of faith…and it is a sign you believe more in a Giver than you do the gifts He is giving you. The ruler didn’t have it, just like many of us Christians. He kept commandments but was not faithful nor faith-filled. Job was faithful and he ended up with much more than he lost.
So, what would you do if you were instructed to give everything you have away to advance the kingdom? What about only 50%? What about 10%?
Men of faith love God more than they love their possessions, and they are willing to give up the latter for the former in a heartbeat! Are you one of them!
Pray with me:
Father God, give me the ability and willingness to give my substance to the kingdom and love You more than my possessions. Increase my faith so I rely more on you each day for sustenance and provision than on my bank account and my job. May I be like Job so you get to call me ‘perfect and upright’! Make me more and more like Jesus so You call me ‘Your son with with whom You are well pleased! In Jesus Christ’s mighty name, Amen!