Intro: Today, just before we had to evacuate our home, I took Gracie for a walk. As I wandered through the neighborhood, it was evident many folks around us were planning to stay in their homes during the storm and not evacuate even though we all live in Zone A. I stopped to talk with a sweet couple for a few minutes. As I was leaving them, I said, “I will be praying for your safety.” The woman responded, “Yes please! Oh thank you so much!” We all want to be saved from the storm, but real salvation comes as we give Jesus—the Living Word of God—first place in our lives. Loving God wholeheartedly and loving our neighbors requires deep relationships; Jesus connects us all together in his perfect love.
In our passage today, Jesus is approached by a young man who wants to know how he can have a life that lasts forever. Now, Jesus knows the man’s heart and the sin of greed that is hiding within his flesh. So Jesus offers him a very unusual assignment that will reveal the Truth. Jesus wants the young man to see he actually loves himself and his possessions most of all; sin is the reason he will not obey Christ’s instruction. The young man fails the test and misses the answer to his question: following the commands of God is the way to a life that lasts forever.
Matthew 19:16-22 NLV Jesus Teaches about Keeping the Law
16 A man came to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what good work must I do to have life that lasts forever?” 17 Jesus said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One Who is good. If you want to have life that lasts forever, you must obey the Laws.” 18 The man said to Him, “What kind of laws?” Jesus said, “You must not kill another person. You must not be guilty of sex sins. You must not steal. You must not lie. 19 Show respect to your father and your mother. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 20 The young man said to Jesus, “I have obeyed all these Laws. What more should I do?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have and give the money to poor people. Then you will have riches in heaven. Come and follow Me.” 22 When the young man heard these words, he went away sad for he had many riches.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Word that leads to life that lasts forever. Today, I pray for everyone in the path of hurricane Ian to see true salvation comes when we follow you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.