Daily Reading: 9-7-16
Luke 18:18-30 Living Bible (TLB)
Sometimes Christ’s Word can make us feel very uncomfortable. Jesus can ask for us to follow him by surrendering something that makes us feel secure or to which we base our identity. What makes you feel secure or important? What is it that makes you feel like you stand out from the crowd? Chances are the thing that makes you feel the most important has the greatest chance of robbing you of receiving something even better. God is Good and He desires to bring forth supernatural promises, but sometimes we have to let go of what is presently in our hands.
In today’s reading, Jesus encounters a man who gains his worth and value out of his money and possessions. These things give the man a sense of authority and power in his community. Jesus asks the rich man to give it all away to the poor and follow him. The lesson for this man will be to find his security and identity in Christ; not his money or his possessions. God wants to take care of him. Great blessings await the rich man and Jesus reminds him of that truth. But, the request is just too much to ask and the man walks away humanly rich but spiritually robbed. If we are going to follow Christ into Kingdom living, we must focus on what we have to gain; rather, than focus on what God has asked us to surrender.
18 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: “Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?”
19 “Do you realize what you are saying when you call me ‘good’?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good, and no one else.
20 “But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say—don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on.” 21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child.”
22 “There is still one thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor—it will become treasure for you in heaven—and come, follow me.”
23 But when the man heard this he went sadly away, for he was very rich.
24 Jesus watched him go and then said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard him say this exclaimed, “If it is that hard, how can anyone be saved?”
27 He replied, “God can do what men can’t!”
28 And Peter said, “We have left our homes and followed you.”
29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and everyone who has done as you have, leaving home, wife, brothers, parents, or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over now, as well as receiving eternal life in the world to come.”
Prayer: Lord, continue to keep me ever mindful of your goodness and your desire to provide for me. Holy Spirit, please stir within me a great desire for the things that are eternal and the strength to surrender the things that are temporal. In Jesus’ name. Amen.