What We Lack

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and 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 murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:17-22


There's a big problem that has invaded the church. If you've guessed where this is going by the passage above, hold on just a minute, it might not be so clear as you'd think. Consider for a moment what one's first thoughts might be as to the Rich Young Ruler's (We'll call him the RYR for the most part...it's a mouth-er-handful to type!!) major sin when confronting Jesus about the kingdom. He bowed. He showed reverence, but He did not completely display faith. Why? His hope and faith was not in Jesus' words, but rather in his wealth. His wealth was a source of pride. It's in his title, after all: the Rich Young Ruler. The thing about it, though, it wasn't his wealth that was the problem. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs" as Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:10. No, the RYR was not sinful for being wealthy. He was sinful for trusting in the wealth he acquired, that he depended on, that he was PROUD of. Pride. That's the problem. Pride is uttermost dependency on one's self, as opposed to trusting in almighty God. Humility is taking God at his word, even when it makes no sense at all. It is setting aside my ways, my means, and anything else I may be able to accomplish on my own for complete surrender and utter trust in the Lord as my sustainer. This does not mean I sit at home waiting for God to provide (though it might, depending on your situation and what HE has called you to), it means that in all things and in all ways I recognize God as my rock, redeemer, sustainer, and provider. That I serve Him with a bowed heart, not placing my trust in anyone or anything other than Him, and that I serve His people with a humble and lowly heart. What we lack is the same thing that the RYR lacked: humility to depend on nothing or no one else but God Almighty. Take an inventory of your life: what or who are you depending on apart from God? How can you trust God and give everything over in to His hands? And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,“How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again,“Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,c“Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said,“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said,“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:23-21


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