Let Go and Grab Hold
Lord help me to put aside those things that keep me from following you.
Read: Matthew 19:21-22 NIV
“Jesus answered, ‘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.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
Perhaps there is no bigger obstacle to obedience than our wealth. Many of us are like the rich young ruler that Jesus was responding to in this passage. We are willing or have done much of what Jesus has asked of us but when he starts asking for our money or our possessions we really struggle. There are roughly 1,050 commands in the new testament but most of them don’t involve so large a sacrifice of our wants and desires. Avoid troublemakers…they’re a liability anyway. Awake to life…sounds fun! Be patient in tribulation…that would be helpful. Don’t pray hypocritically…who wants to be a hypocrite? Beware of people…there are some strange ones. Believe in Jesus Christ…check. Consider the lilies…I probably should slow down a little. Bless those who curse you…I’ll think about it. Keep yourself pure…I agree with the idea. Live peacefully…I could use some peace. Sell my possessions and give my money to the poor…I’m just not sure I want to do that. Nearly everything we desire, whether they be experiences or tangible objects, can be had for a price. Giving God our money often hurts because we recognize that we have less resources at our disposal to get what we want. Our willingness or lack thereof to give away our possessions or money reveals our priorities. Are we willing to give up treasures on earth for treasures in heaven?
In the parable of the sower in Matthew chapter 13 Jesus equates the thorny soil that the seed fell on with the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches. He says that these can choke out the word and make us unfruitful. Are we letting our desires for earthly treasure stunt our fruitfulness in this life and limiting our treasures in the next? One of the many great paradoxes of the Christian life is that when we give up those things we hold dear we find we gain something altogether greater. Have you considered that if God made you he alone knows exactly what you desire? Not only does God know your wants and desires but he is a good father that wants to give you good things. Let’s not let our attachment to earthly things keep us from missing out on the joy of advancing God’s kingdom and experiencing God’s good gifts.
God thank you for the gift of eternal life and life to the full here on earth. May my giving reflect your generosity toward me. Help me to give freely and generously to you so that I may grab hold of the life that is truly life.