All Things Are
16 Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’”
Whether accumulations, investments, possessions, reputation, influence, authority, power or other wealth, when we have a lot to lose, every decision we are faced with is influenced by how it will affect what we hold most dear.
This ordering of our priorities may even be unconscious to us. But God knows what we cling to for security. Just as Jesus did with the Rich Young Ruler, God calls to us to put him first. “Seek first the Kingdom… and all these other things will be added.” Matthew 6:33
When what we value is in the way of our relationship with God, we can expect God to continue to put us in a situation where we have to choose, Because we are human and the things of God are ethereal, less tangible, and rely on faith, God is forgiving and patient with us.** Yet, he has been called “The Hound of Heaven,’ who is in relentless pursuit of our ALL A friend in recovery shared this axiom popular in AA circles: “Whatever you put above your recovery is what you will lose first.” Our priorities matter to God and He will work with us to purify our hearts and bring us to maturity. Surely, as in the words of Oswald Chambers, God is worthy of “My Utmost for HIs Highest.”
Yet, it is not as easy to do as it is to say – or sing. I remember the day I showed up to practice music and my friend said, “I don’t know about you, but I am not ready to “Surrender All.” It was a fun moment and yet, I knew he was serious. What God asks of us, indeed, what He is worthy of, is not easy to give. If it were, it would not be meaningful to either of us. It might even seem impossible. So much so that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? Wow. The Rich Young Ruler, was told “sell all that you have and give it to the poor and then come follow Me.” From the scripture, we hear that “he went away sad for he was very rich.” And yet the challenge remains for the young man in the story, and for us. Why?
Why do you think Jesus challenged the Rich Young Ruler to sell all?
What do you hold most dear? If you are honest, how ready are you put God first? How has God pursued you? What have you surrendered so far? What was it like to do so? How did that act of faith change your life? Is it true that “with God, all things are possible?” How so?
**I Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”