Thursday, June 06, 2013
When the rich young ruler approached Jesus, he was instructed to obey the commandments. After he professes to have done so, the bible says that Jesus look at him and loved him. And in loving him, Jesus told him to sell all he had, give to the poor to have riches in heaven, then come follow Him. The words of Jesus spoken in love towards a person should not be easily dismissed, even if we don’t understand them. How was it love to instruct him to commit to a life of earthly poverty and give up all his dreams and aspirations in life to become a hobo travelling from town to town? And yet, how can we doubt Him? We mustn’t, even if when we don’t understand. What this man had that made him rich in the eyes of the world was actually of little value. The most value his riches had, the highest ROI they could produce, was in use to help those in need. Cheerfully giving for the sake of those in need produces true treasure, treasure that we’ll have an eternity to enjoy. Now that’s an RRSP.
Many people see the sense in giving a little bit of themselves in order to secure their eternal destiny. A small investment to secure eternal destiny? Sure, why not? Like getting your tetanus shot in case of rusty nails or paying a small premium for fraud insurance on your bank accounts, we hire God to secure our destiny after death via small weekly premiums: A little money in the plate, a little lip service during worship, maybe even a bit of extra bible reading during the week for the diligent. Of that group, some go even further, willing to go the extra mile and be hardcore for God! Weekly duty isn’t enough, they want the extra perks package, and they have the thirst of an unsatisfied life to motivate them along. Besides Sundays, these people will contribute many evenings, and some even full time, to the work of the Lord. While the other nominal Christians might be indulging in the pleasures of this life working for bigger and better in this world, these are “better”. They work harder than their merely-nominal counterparts. They deserve better, and they know it. After all, how can God not appreciate the time they put in to better the church …right? The problem is that, as great as the latter portion sounds, it’s still not the call of Jesus to the one He loved.
“Give all you have, and follow Me.”
The nominal Christians give a little bit, and the super Christians give a lot. But both of these fall short. Jesus commanded His disciples to give all. Spend some quiet time before God. Before you puff up in pride to think of all you’ve already given for God, seek Him and let Him open your eyes to areas you haven’t surrendered to Him. All means all. Does this mean you should physically get rid of all your stuff, walk to the side of the curb, and then await God’s instruction? Maybe, but not necessarily. It is a matter of your heart, though that’s a cheap excuse many use to claim that they have “given everything”. Here’s a quick test: Imagine right now that God did ask you to give something away. Not just some thing, but that one thing that you prize above all else, be it something material, or a person, or a dream. Would you do it? It means your evening tonight is no longer free for you to use watching that movie, or playing video games, or hanging out with your friends, or even to go to church bible study. Do you understand that all means your time, too? Do you understand that you’re to be led by His Spirit in every action of your life? “But that’s crazy! That means, like, everything!?” Exactly. All. Too hard? I know what you mean. Most who want to follow Jesus go through that phase.
• The rich young ruler walked away sad; what Jesus asked of him was way too much.
• “How can this be?” was Nicodemus’ response to Jesus’ way to the Kingdom of God.
• Jesus’ wannabe followers left him, saying, “this teaching is too hard. Who can accept it?”
It’s time to wake up. If God is real, follow Him. If not, then go nuts and follow your own desires! What’s the point of living even a slightly compromised life when that doesn’t make you a true follower? Pursue God with all your heart. Stop thinking your petty religious actions make you good with God. You’re kidding yourself, and you’ll wake up one day deceived, and very surprised.