Whatever you are holding on to is holding you. What small reward we settle for when fear keeps us bound. Fear of loss. Fear of being different. Fear of failure. All of these imposters seek to keep us lowly thinking, bound in a white-knuckled life.
This guy comes to Jesus and asks Him what he must do to inherit eternal life.
Jesus lays it bare…
Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Live right. Don't mess around. Show fruit for your faith.
The guy is not only impressed but impressive. He has kept all of Jesus' stipulations since his youth. Surely this one is worthy!
But for one thing…
"Sell all you have, give it to the poor, come take your cross and follow Me."
The rich young man went away saddened. He had many possessions.
Not nearly as many as most of the people reading this article, but many nevertheless. [pause for thought, a selah moment…].
It's a tough call following Messiah. Not for the faint-hearted it seems.
The disciples couldn't figure. If he can't get in, then who in the world can? This dude lived the life, from his youth up. Not a spot on his record, but his heart was still tethered.
“The disciples were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26 KJV)
Dumbfounded to discover the expectations of the Savior.
No Cheap Grace
No cheap grace to be found today I'm sorry to say.
Discipleship, it seems, is costly.
I dare say Jesus' words to the young man on the road are easy to shelve. He was speaking just to the rich young ruler of course. His comments were never intended to prod our possessiveness.
The holy hand of God that inspired the record of this tale would never place His finger on our reluctance to take Jesus call seriously. Would He?
Possible With Men is Not Passable With God
“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27 KJV)
With men it is possible.
Does this statement sum up most of the activities we undertake in the name of the Savior?
Could we do what we do without His urgent help?
As one writer said, if the Holy Spirit were to exit the earth this very day, most church services would continue none the wiser.
Oh, how I long for, "with God".
We need more "with God" than ever before!
The promise of reward…
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:29–30 KJV)
Whatever we hold on to is our reward.
If you have $1000 in your hand and grip it tight, $1000, no more, no less, is your full reward. Hold on to plenty and you may even be top of the pile. In this life the #1.
But the last and the least may take your place when the chips fall final…
Open your palm and let it go, then the seed begins to grow. One hundred fold is the promised return, not a variable rate based on market climate. Conditions in Heaven are always favorable. It's a solid promise now and in the world to come, backed by the One who not only owns the cattle and the lambs, He made the hills they graze on.
That early hour you have freedom to sow?
Sleep it away, and 60 minutes fitful rest will be your reward. 3600 seconds all your own.
Or sow it unsparingly to prayer and the seed is planted.
Kingdom returns are guaranteed.
What you sow to the Kingdom, not holding dear, becomes a sure hundredfold.
What you refuse to relinquish, that is your reward. Nothing more, nothing less.
The rich young ruler had many possessions.
Not that he'll be holding them when he stands to give account.
They perished in the dust along with his bones many centuries ago. Every one of them gone. His full reward washed away in the unstoppable tides of time.
Opportunity to plant in eternity gone.
How will you feel when in the instant you leave your body and stand before your Maker?
When the reality of this world's passing and the eternal world is laid bare before your eyes?
Oh my grieving heart, if only you had given more!
If only you had given all!
Is it any wonder that our loving Father will need to wipe away so many tears on that day?
featured image by Lisa Runnels fro Pixabay