As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. And a discussion concerning wealth took place.
Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again,
Children, how hard 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 man to enter the kingdom.
The disciples were even more amazed,
This is true because the rich, with most of their basic physical needs met, often become self-reliant. When they feel empty, they can buy something new to dull the pain that was meant to drive them toward God. Their abundance and self-sufficiency become their deficiency. Remember Jesus put it this way,
If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.
We are responsible to care for our own needs and the needs of our families so as not to be a burden on others. We should, however, be willing to give up anything if God asks us to do so. This kind of attitude allows nothing to come between us and God and keeps us from using our God-given wealth selfishly. If you are comfortable spending your money on desires; then you may be too attached to what you have.
We cannot love God with all our hearts (as he COMMANDED us to) and yet keep our control of money to ourselves. Loving him totally means using our money in ways that please him. Jesus put it this way,
Again I tell you, 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.
Even rich people can enter the kingdom if God is in control of their lives. Faith in Christ and Control by Christ, not by/in self or riches, is what counts.
We have left all we had to follow you!
I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.
Because money represents power, authority, and success, often it is difficult for wealthy people to realize their need and their powerlessness to control their lives. The rich in talent or intelligence suffer the same difficulty. Unless God reaches down into and controls their lives, they will not love him with their whole heart, mind and soul as he commands us to. It is difficult for a self-sufficient person to realize his or her need and come to Jesus.
Following Jesus has its benefits as well as its sacrifices. For example, if you must give up a well paying job, you will find that God offers a well paying relationship with himself now and forever. If you must give up your family’s approval, you will gain the love of the family of God. Don’t dwell on what you have given up; think about what you have gained and give thanks for it. You can never out give God.
God gives rewards to his people according to his justice and their obedience. But obedience and IMMEDIATE reward are not always linked. As believers, our true reward is God’s presence and power through the Holy Spirit. Later, in eternity, we will be rewarded for our faith and service.
Love is able to give tough advice; it doesn’t hedge around the truth. Christ loved us enough to talk straight to us. He gives us a life-changing challenge. Remember When Jesus said,
But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
If you are trying to find fulfillment only through riches, wealth may be the only reward you will ever get – and it does not last. We should not seek comfort now at the expense of eternal life. Again Jesus said,
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
Jesus says that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy, so be on guard against greed (desire for what we don’t have or really NEED). This is the exact opposite of what society usually says. We think if we buy more, we will be happier, more fulfilled, more comfortable. We need to concentrate instead on the truly good life – living in a relationship with God and doing his work.
If we accumulate wealth only to enrich ourself, with no concern for helping others, we will enter eternity empty-handed. Jesus taught us,
The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
Then he said, ‘This is what I’lldo. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for HIMSELF but is not rich toward God.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is there your HEART will be also.
Money seen as an end itself quickly traps us and cuts us off from both God and the needy. The key to using money wisely is to see how much we can use for God’s purposes, not how much we can accumulate for ourselves. Does God’s love control your spending? Do you feel free to use it to help others? If your financial goals and possessions hinder you from giving generously, loving others, or serving God, sell what you must to bring your life into perspective. Another guidance Jesus gave us was,
Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant who the master finds doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Jesus promises a reward for those who have been faithful to the Master. While we sometimes experience immediate and material rewards for our obedience to God, this is not always the case. Jesus said that if we look for rewards now, we will lose them later. Our heavenly rewards will be the most accurate reflection of what we have done on earth, and they will be far greater than we can imagine.
Sadly, many are so taken up with the values of this world that they are blind to the priceless gift Christ offers. Don’t focus on this world’s values and miss what is most valuable – eternal life with God.
- Persecution (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- Kingdom (georgehach.wordpress.com)
- Eternal Life (georgehach.wordpress.com)
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- Christianity. (georgehach.wordpress.com)