April 17 - One Thing
The rich ruler had the right ideas: he knew that Jesus was good which is a quality of God; he also knew that eternal life could not be earned or bought but to be inherited. He kept the commandments of God from youth but was still uncertain about how to obtain eternal life. The answer of Jesus shocked him to the core. The one thing he still lacked was to sell all he had and give all to the poor so as to acquire wealth in heaven. Then he had to follow Jesus. It was extremely hard for him because he was extremely rich. His riches became the stumbling block in his quest for eternal life.
Holding on the things of our lives prevent us from following Jesus wholeheartedly. It is all or nothing, all of us have to go to heaven, not just a part of us. The Lord lamented at the difficulty for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. Those who heard Him also commented on the impossibility of a camel going through the eye of a needle. They questioned the height of such a demand, making no one eligible for the Kingdom. The bar seemed to be too high, how can a normal person qualify? The answer of the Lord was: “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” It is not man’s own doing but the miracle of God in our entry into eternal life. We only have to be willing and God would do the rest; that is what Jesus was implying.
The conclusion is: If you are not willing to give God everything or all you have, you cannot have eternal life. Believing in Jesus is to follow Him, to follow Him is to say “goodbye” to all you have, including your house, your boat, your family, your profession, your skill, etc. Like the early disciples bidding farewell to their father, left the nets and the boat to follow Jesus. Like the blind beggar by the road to Jericho, having been healed of his blindness, willingly forgo everything and followed Jesus. He did not only received his sight, he was also made well because of his faith. He glorified God and those who saw it, gave praise to God as well.
Like Caleb asking his daughter what would she want her father to do for her, Jesus asked the same question to the blind beggar. God is so ready to give us what we want but the key is for us to give God what He wants. If you ask God, “What do you want?” The answer has to be “all”. God does not want our money, our talents or our wisdom. He has everything and can do everything, we can never help God in any way. He gives everything we have to us and He wants us to do one thing, give it back to Him and follow Him. Giving up everything to follow Jesus is to give up our all, even the direction of our lives, even what we want to do for ourselves. This is not a requirement for more reward in heaven, it is merely for us to obtain eternal life. What is Jesus saying to you about your “one thing” today? Listen to Him and willingly give up your “all” to Him. Then get up and follow Him. This is what being a Christian is all about. Are you a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Ps 55:16-23 Josh 15:1-63 Luke 18:18-43 Prov 13:9-10