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Treasure in Heaven

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2021 1:45 pm

Treasure in Heaven

The Verdict / John Munro

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November 1, 2021 1:45 pm

Dr. John H. Munro October 31, 2021 Matthew 19:16-30

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Well, today we're continuing our study in Matthew's Gospel. We took a break, as it were, not really a break from Matthew's Gospel, because we looked for six weeks at the teaching of Jesus on gender and marriage, and used as our foundational text the first 12 verses of Matthew 12.

And then, following that, as we thought of a fresh start with Jesus, we looked at the teaching of Jesus in verses 13 through 15 of Matthew 12, and learned what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Now we come to a very interesting section of Scripture. In fact, I think this is one of the great dramas of the Gospel.

If I were a movie director, I'd love to set this up. This would make a wonderful movie, as it were. A tremendous drama.

This is a drama which stops us in our tracks. In answer to a question, a very penetrating question, I think a thoughtful question by a young man, Jesus issues a personal challenge. And the young man, as we're going to read, wavers on the very edge of eternity. Will he or will he not receive eternal life?

Surely, there is no greater question. Will he enter the kingdom of God? And today, Jesus issues a challenge, a fresh challenge to you and me. Will you hear it? Sometimes as we come in a setting like this, we come and Tim prayed at the beginning of the service that the Lord would free us of distractions, but sometimes these distractions crowd in our mind that while we are here in body, we're not really listening to the Word.

That would be very, very dangerous. I want you to listen. Not to John Monroe, but to Jesus Christ. I want you to listen, and I want you to think what is your response to the question that we will find in this passage. Do you think you're going to enter the kingdom of God?

What would give you that assurance? How would you answer that question if I said to you, will you enter the kingdom of God? Are you in the kingdom of God? Now we're going to read, first of all, in our Bibles, Matthew 19 verses 16 through 22, where we will learn that eternal life is to be received, not achieved.

This is so important. Eternal life is to be received, not achieved. Matthew 19 verse 16, and behold a man came up to him saying, teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? And he said to him, why do you ask me about what is good?

There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments. 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. Honor your father and mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said to him, all these I have kept.

What do I still lack? Jesus said to him, if you would be perfect, go. Sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow me. When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

What a drama. Interesting between a young man and Jesus. And this man asks a very important question. From the parallel accounts in Mark and Luke, we put the synoptic gospels together, we know that this man was not only rich, he was young and he was a ruler.

What a recruit we would think for the kingdom of heaven. He's young, he's rich, and he's a ruler. But in spite of his riches, his youth and his influence, he senses that something is missing in his life. And in that way, he's to be commended, and he comes to Jesus and asks the question, do you sometimes sense there's something missing in your life?

You may be on the crest of the wave. God may, in his goodness, have blessed you. And from a worldly standpoint, you're very, very successful. You've accomplished something.

Perhaps you're very proud of what you've accomplished. But this man asks, did you know this teacher? Verse 16, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? In the gospels, Jesus frequently answers a question by asking another question.

And Jesus does that here, verse 17. Doesn't the man realize that there's only one who is good? Ultimate goodness and perfection belong only to God. You may be a better person than your next-door neighbor.

You may be, in your estimation, one of the best people in the Carolinas. But compared with God, you're far from good. Only God is good. And here, Jesus reminds the man of five of the Ten Commandments. He quotes them. I read them in verse 18 and 19. And then Jesus adds, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And to our surprise, at least to my surprise, this rich, young ruler replies, verse 20, all these I have kept.

What do I still like? That's pretty impressive, isn't it? This young man, he's never murdered anyone, he's saying. He's never committed adultery, he's never stolen, he's never given false witness, he's never defrauded anyone and he's honored his father and his mother.

On the face of it, that's very impressive. How many of us could say, as we went through these five commandments, that, well, we've kept them all? You've never borne false witness. You always honored your father and mother. You've never committed immorality. You've never stolen anything. That's what this man says.

Very impressive, isn't it? But he recognizes that there's a lack in his life. Verse 20, all these I have kept.

What do I still like? He senses that something is missing. And the way he asks the question, verse 16, what good deed must I do to have eternal life, suggests that he was depending on his ethical conduct to enter the kingdom of God. Mark tells us, although Matthew doesn't, that when Jesus looked at the young man, it says he loves him. That Jesus loved this young man. I think that's wonderful, how tender. Here's a young man, and Jesus knows what he's going to do, and Jesus loves them.

And he's now going to expose what this young man lacks. Jesus has quoted from the second half of the Ten Commandments, hasn't yet mentioned the last one, and the second half of the Ten Commandments have to do with our relationship with our neighbors. I've not got to kill my neighbor. I've not got to commit adultery with my neighbor's wife. I've not got to steal from my neighbor.

I've not got to bear false witness against my neighbor, and so on. And the second half of the Ten Commandments have to do, very importantly, with our relationship with our neighbor. We're to love our neighbor as ourself. However, that's only half of the commandments. And the first part of the Ten Commandments deal with something even more important than our relationship with our neighbor, and that is our relationship with God. It could be possible, we could argue technically, it could be possible from a legalistic and external standpoint to fulfill the law's requirements of not stealing, of not giving false witness, of not committing adultery and so on, and still not have a love for God.

Isn't that true? You could say, well I have never stolen. I've never committed adultery. I've never borne false witness.

And from a technical standpoint, not knowing your heart, that could be possible. But Jesus is concerned with something deeper. Jesus is the master teacher, and He's now going to reveal what this young man lacks. What's the first commandment? You shall have no other gods before me. Fundamental to the Old Testament, fundamental to the New Covenant, throughout Scripture, summarized in the first commandment, you shall have no other gods before me. God must have no rivals at all. Does this man love his riches, his lifestyle, his influence in the community more than he loves God? Have they become an idol to him? And when we're on the subject, what about the tenth commandment? You shall not covet.

Is he covetous? Here is the challenge given by Jesus. Are you ready for it? You're standing before Jesus. Here it is, verse 21. If you would be perfect, go. Sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven, and come follow me. What a response. The young man has asked the question, here's the answer.

What do I still lack? Here it is. And can't you sense the young man's intense inner struggles? Can you picture him weighing the cost? Can you picture him thinking through the implications of what it would mean if he would sell everything that he had and to give it to the poor, and now instead of living his own life as a ruler, on the top of the wave, as it were, Mr. Cool in the community, as it were, now he's got to abandon all of that, get rid of all he has, and furthermore, he's got to come follow Jesus. But here is the way to eternal life. Here is what it means to enter the kingdom of God. The question is asked, there's a dialogue, and now the direct answer to the question is given by our Lord Jesus Christ. How will this rich young ruler respond?

He turns. We can always hear the swish of his expensive robes, can't we, as he turns. And we read here in verse 22, when the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Do you catch it? Can you see this young man coming to Jesus, Jesus looking at him in love, looking at him, I'm sure, right in the eye, and they have this dialogue, the question is asked, the challenge is given, and the young man, there he stands face to face with the Lord of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ. This man, this good man, this man, let's just concede for the sake of argument that he had kept some of these commandments. And he turns, yes, he turns his back on Jesus and walks away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. One of the things all of us want is joy, isn't it? Have you experienced in your Christian life that the closer you follow to Jesus and the more obedient you are to Jesus, the greater your joy? You get your eyes off Jesus, and certainly when you turn your back on Jesus, you may think you're going to have happiness, you may think you're going to seize life, but I can tell you, it's a path of sorrow. And when it comes right down to it, this young ruler, for all of his observance of the commandments, for all of his impressive credentials, when it comes right down to it, he chooses the wealth of earth rather than treasure in heaven. Do you remember the parable Jesus told about the sower going to Saul? He says this, Matthew 13 verse 22, the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and it proves unfruitful.

Here is an individual, example, first witness, the rich young ruler. He hears the word, he wants to respond, he's drawn to Jesus. There's something compelling about Jesus, obviously.

He'd heard him, perhaps he'd seen the miracles, something very, very compelling. And the word, the very word of God, the living word of God is planted, but because of the deceitfulness of riches, there's no fruit. And I can almost hear the Lord turning to his disciples who had witnessed this amazing scene as this young man walks away from Jesus with his back to Jesus. You can almost hear Jesus as he looks at him in love and says, for what shall it profit him if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?

Do you want the world or do you want Jesus Christ? When Jesus came preaching the Gospel, Matthew 4 verse 17, he said, and we've heard this over and over again in this series, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Notice, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This young man hears the word, is he going to repent? Is he going to repent from the sin of having great possessions more than loving God? Is he going to repent that he loves his great possessions and his prestige and his power? He loves that more than Jesus. Repent?

No, he doesn't repent. Jesus had also said, Matthew 16 verse 24, if anyone would come after me, let him deny self and take up his cross and follow me. Notice self, yes to Jesus.

Want to make yourself the center of the world? Want to go your own way? Go, but don't say you're following Jesus.

Don't take the name of Jesus on your lips if you're turning your back on him and following your own desires or following the crowd or your own ambitions, rather than following Jesus. Is this young man ready to deny self? No. Is he ready to repent? No. Is he prepared to follow Jesus? No, that's the command, isn't it? Come follow me.

No. His actions give the answer. He walks away, still grasping, as it were, his great possessions, but losing eternal life. The Kingdom of God is to be received as a gift, not achieved by self-effort.

Our self-efforts, what we do, trying our best to keep the Ten Commandments and all of that, cannot achieve it. Last week as I talked of my own pilgrimage, I emphasized the grace of God. God is gracious. And Paul says, by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It is a gift of God, not a result of works that no one should boast.

This young man could boast of what he had done. It's the very opposite of salvation, that we're saved, not by what you do, but entirely by what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. Many people, perhaps some of you sitting here this morning, think that if you're good enough, or if you work hard enough, you'll get into heaven. Let me ask you, whatever your background is, whatever your religion is, whatever your own view of life is, how many good things do you think you have to do to get into heaven? And how would you know that you've achieved that standard of goodness that would get you into heaven?

I mean, what's the standard? How would you know? I want you to grasp this truth. The Kingdom of Heaven.

This is beautiful. Think of it. Here's God's grace. The Kingdom of Heaven is to be received as a gift, not achieved as a reward for your efforts. Think of the contrast with the little children in verses 13 through 15 that Jesus talked about. Think of the contrast between these little children and this rich young ruler. These little children can do nothing to inherit eternal life, and they have nothing, yet Jesus says, verse 15, to such belong the Kingdom of Heaven. A childlike attitude, quality, of utter helplessness, of total dependence on their parent. A little child is born. What can that child do to survive? Nothing. Left to themselves, that little baby would die.

Left to ourselves, we would be spiritually dead forever. And into our world, our Lord Jesus Christ comes and offers us the gift and says to such, those like little children, meaning the attitude of little children, of utter dependence, to such belong the Kingdom of Heaven. The children have nothing but receive everything.

The rich man has everything, ah, but receives nothing. Verse 30, for many who are first will be last, and the last first. Interesting the way Jesus teaches, isn't it? Makes us think.

Shakes us up a bit, doesn't it? Now Jesus is not saying that the way to achieve eternal life is by selling everything you have and giving it to the poor. That's not the point.

That is not a universal command. That is given to this young man and his situation. No, the point is this, that God will have no rivals. If you're going to follow Jesus Christ, He has to be number one. Isn't that right? So, here's the question.

What's preventing you from following Jesus? You say, well I'm not, I'm certainly not rich. Well, compared with most people in the world, I think all of us are rich in terms of material things. I heard during the week that only about 2% of the so-called underdeveloped countries or the developing company have access to the vaccine. Just one example, we have it in abundance.

You can go right now and get the vaccine. Think of people who don't have water. Think of people who don't have homes. Yes, today in our world. So, maybe you're not rich compared with other people.

Perhaps you think well there are richer people in Calgary than I am. That's not the point. The point is this. What is preventing you from following Jesus wholeheartedly, abandoning as it were everything so that He is number one? Notice the central point, verse 21 at the end of it.

Don't miss it. Come, follow me. Have you come to the Lord Jesus Christ? And are you following Him? I love the fact that Jesus says follow me because you can say well I've come, but here's the test. Are you following Him? You're listening to Him.

You're following Him. Eternal life is to be received, not achieved. Secondly, as we look at verses 23 through 26, in the kingdom of God there is surrender, not compromise. Verse 23, and Jesus said to the disciples, this is intriguing isn't it? Don't you love reading your Bible?

You always think what's going to come next? Truly I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, who then can be saved?

Some of us are asking the same question, right? I've already told you that all of you are rich. Compared with billions of people in this world today, who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

In the kingdom of God there is to be no compromise, there is to be surrender. It's difficult for the rich, Jesus is saying, to enter the kingdom of God. Now in the first century, not entirely different from the 21st century, but in the first century certainly wealth was regarded as a sign of God's blessing.

So here is this rich young man. People would look at him, God has blessed him. Look at him, he's a ruler, he's an influential person and he's got great possessions, whether he had inherited them, whether he had invested wisely in olives or whatever it is you would invest in in the first century and made a lot of money, isn't the point? He had great possessions so in that culture people would look at him as he walked into the synagogue and say God's blessing is on this man. If you're rich, God is blessing you.

You know that from the story of Job, don't you? That when God withdrew his riches people said ah, God is cursing you. And now Jesus is saying that it's difficult, with difficulty the rich, verse 23, will enter the kingdom of heaven. And he makes it worse by saying it's almost impossible for the rich to get into heaven. And the disciples, verse 25, were greatly astonished.

This was radical teaching which undermined the religious worldview. If God was blessing you, you were rich. We have that in the prosperity preachers today, have you heard them? Follow Jesus and you're going to be wealthy. Put in $100 to the collection and praise God, God's going to give you $1,000. God wants you rich.

God wants you in the best job and so on and so forth. We call that prosperity gospel. Can I say a terribly false gospel? Just fall for it. Don't give your money to some guy who's going to send you a prayer cloth or water from the Jordan River or any others of these things. They're hucksters.

Don't do it. And Jesus now uses Schumer to make the important point. Verse 24, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The camel was the largest animal in Israel at that time and the eye of the needle was the smallest opening in most holes.

There it is. So you've got in the average Israeli home a needle with a little eye in it and the largest animal that they knew in Israel at that time was the camel, a large camel. It's a very awkward creature. It's often said it looks as if a committee designed it. Didn't God design this?

I mean what happened? But there it is. It's a camel and it's a very awkward creature. I remember when we were in Jordan, Petra, some of you were with us and there's a camel and my dear wife decided to go on the camel. And the camel, when it's lying down, it puts its back legs up first and it's very awkward.

I thought my wife was going to fall off and who was I going to sue there? I mean I just didn't know. But it's a very awkward one and the idea of this awkward large camel going through the eye of a needle is absurd, isn't it? Some people say the Greek word for camel and the Greek word for rope are very similar and what Jesus was saying, well it's easier for a large rope to go through a needle but the word is camel. And others say, well in the first century there was a small gate into Jerusalem called the eye of a needle and in order for a camel with all of the baggage and everything on it to get in through that gate, all of the baggage had to be put off and then it would get through.

Well that makes for great preaching but there was no such gate in first century Israel. No, Jesus is using humour. He's using hyperbole. He's using something which is utterly ridiculous. There is absolutely no way for a camel to go through the eye of the needle.

But did you notice? Verse 26, the disciples say, well then who can be saved? You ask yourself, Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible. If it's true that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, the disciples are saying, who then can be saved? An utter impossibility, yes and that's the point.

That's the point. Impossible from our perspective, from a human perspective but we're talking about entering the Kingdom of Heaven and in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, God does the impossible. He takes wretched, proud, covetous sinners like you and me and in His grace, He saves us that with God all things are possible. All of our money, all of our efforts, all of our religion, all of our keeping of the commandments cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. You will never ever enter the Kingdom of Heaven depending on your religious heritage, depending on your membership of a church, whether that's Calvary Church or any other church. You will never enter the Kingdom of God through trying to keep the commandments. You'll never enter the Kingdom of God by saying, well, I was baptized, I took communion, I come from a wonderful heritage, let me tell you about myself.

No, you'll never make it. What's Jesus looking for? What didn't He see in the rich young ruler? Repentance, humility. Not compromise, not making a deal with God, not saying, well, God, you've blessed me so I'll do this, I'll give this and that will make me acceptable so I'll get into the Kingdom of Heaven.

No, no compromise, no making deals, total surrender. Salvation, we saw this a couple of weeks ago as we thought of Jesus in a fresh start. Salvation is entirely a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

We must be born again. That which is of the flesh is flesh, that which is of the Spirit is Spirit. This is entirely spiritual. I'm saying you must have a spiritual experience with God.

The life of God in your soul, born from above. Not going through some religious ritual, not trying to keep some commandments, not trying to clean up your act, but coming to God in repentance, in humility and saying I've messed up, I'm totally spiritually bankrupt. Have mercy upon me. I'm a sinner. I don't deserve this.

Yes, it's easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Whatever it is, we by ourselves cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Now what do I need? I need a Savior. I need cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I don't need some religious makeover.

I need a supernatural new birth, a fresh start. I cry out to Christ for His mercy and His grace. Authentic followers of Jesus must surrender their pride, their achievements, their religious heritage, their resources, and say I surrender all. We sometimes sing that, don't we? I surrender all. Remember what Jesus says in the Beatitudes, Matthew 6 verse 24, no one can serve two masters?

Oh, we try to do that. The story is told by Luke of the Pharisees who come to Jesus and they kind of deride them because they were trusting in riches and yes, you can negotiate with God. No, you cannot. You cannot serve money and serve God. You can't serve your sport and your hobby or your family and make that your idol and at the same time serve God. No one can have two masters. Make up your mind. Surrender, not compromise is the way to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again, become like a helpless, humble child. Now finally in verses 27 through 30, very quickly, in the kingdom of God there is trust, not worry. Do you know if you're following Jesus Christ and keeping close to Jesus Christ, do you know what's going to be eliminated? I don't mean entirely.

We're still in the body, but your stress level and your worry level is going to be greatly reduced. The closer you are to Jesus, the more you look on Him. In the kingdom of God, there's trust not worry. Verse 27, then Peter said in reply, see, we've left everything and followed you.

What then will we have? Don't you like Peter? He says what we're kind of thinking, doesn't he?

Maybe a little inappropriate at times, but there we are. Jesus said to him, truly I say to you, in the new world, I underlined that in my Bible, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel. One of the reasons why we love Israel, isn't it? And everyone who has left, houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life, but many who are first will be last and the last first. In the kingdom of God, there's trust not worry.

Those who trust God are never disappointed. Peter reminds Jesus that His disciples, but we've left everything and we followed you. They had heard the call of Jesus and followed Him. What a contrast with a young man who had kept everything and gone his own way, gone in the opposite direction, rather than following Jesus. You see, following Jesus means a dynamic relationship of trust. This is what it means to follow Jesus. It's a life of denying self. It's a life where you are saying I'm going to follow Jesus, whatever the cost, wherever you may lead. You see, I don't know if I'm ready for that.

I remember talking to a businessman and saying this to him and he said, he said, John, I don't know if I could, I could do that. You mean I've got to follow Jesus every day, obey Him, follow Him? I like to be in charge. Yes, we do, don't we? We like to be in the driver's seat.

We like to control the remote button, as it were. We like to think we're in control of our lives and Jesus is saying, no, I want you to surrender that. I want you to totally trust Me. And Jesus makes this tremendous promise that those who leave their homes and lands for His sake will receive a hundred fold. Living by faith, trusting God to provide, trusting God that each day He's going to give me the wisdom and the strength and the grace for every situation. And days when it seems that we can hardly put one foot after another, God in His grace as I keep my eyes on Jesus will give me the strength, will give me the help, will give me the wisdom that I need.

If I respond to His call, come follow me. And when you follow Jesus, many here can testify to this, I certainly can. When you follow Jesus, the more you follow Him, the better it becomes. I've said before, the devil gives you his best first and when you bite on that, it becomes sour and sour until you find your life is a mess. Following Jesus is different. There's a song that says, the longer I serve Him, the sweeter it grows.

That's true. That's true in a good marriage, isn't it? Your love for that person gets deeper and deeper and as you follow Jesus Christ, it gets better and better. There are incredible blessings now. You put your head on the pillow and know it's well with your soul.

That's worth a billion dollars, isn't it? It's well with my soul. I belong to Christ.

He's holding me. And says Jesus, there is this blessing in the new world or in the old world. It's going to be remade.

It's going to be burned up. I'm going to have an incredible future in the new world and I will inherit eternal life. The rich young ruler held onto his possessions. He tried to gain the world and in so doing, he lost his soul. He gained nothing. He lost everything. And if you do not follow Jesus, you will lose your soul.

You'll lose everything. Oh, you may be successful in terms of the world, but you'll be eternally lost. Often those who seem at the top are in fact last. For many who are first will be last and the last first.

Jesus takes the values of this world and turns them upside down. Can I say to you, some of you are worriers, aren't you? You've got something in the future that's bothering you. You're worried about your business. You're worried about your health. You're worried about your family. You're worried what's going to happen in a few years. You may think you're going to run out of money or something, and you're worried. Can I say to you, brother, sister, this is not a cliché.

It's true. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Listen to Him. Read His Word. Ask for His help. Trust Him, and there's no need to worry about your future. He loves you. He loved that rich young ruler.

He loves you more who are in His family. Everything in the hands of the Savior. That's one of the reasons I wrote that little book, Eternal Security. I'm held by my Savior, and He will never let me go. And you who are parents, you take care of your children. Do you not think that your Heavenly Father is a better Father than you are, and He will certainly care for you. And Jesus calls us to trust Him like little children and not to worry about tomorrow.

Trust Him today, and there's no worry. Have you received the blessings of the Kingdom of God? Are you in the Kingdom of God?

Three quick lessons as we conclude to summarize this. I want you to bow to His Lordship. First, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. How many times have I said that during this series?

I'm saying it again. Nothing and no one must compete with following Jesus. It's amazing the excuses we have even for coming not to worship on the Lord's Day. Do you find yourself sometimes on the Lord's Day allowing your sport, your work, your family, your friends to stop you from worshiping the Lord on Sunday? Someone says, well, I'm not going to worship if I've got to wear a mask. Personally, I find it very difficult to tell Jesus that. That I'm not going to come to the house of the Lord because I'm not going to wear a mask. Your own ambitions, your prejudices, as I say, your work, your hobby, your sport, your family, all of these can't be so easily squeezed on us and we feel them, don't we?

The pressures of our world around us. Can you not say I'm going to follow Jesus? Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. What's stopping you from following Jesus? A relationship? Your girlfriend?

What is it? What is there between you and Jesus? See, Jesus will have no rivals.

He will have no rivals. And Jesus calls for a radical reorientation of our life and our priorities. This gets right down to it, isn't it? You say, is Jesus asking all of us to sell what we have and give to the poor? No. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their possessions and followed Him. He asked the young man to do that, but in the Gospels, not everyone was called to leave their possessions.

We think of Zacchaeus, for example, Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Jesus didn't call them to sell everything they had to follow Him. No. But here's the point.

If Jesus asked you to do that, would you do it? You say, well, that's easy. I'm 15 years old.

I don't have much money. That's very easy. But 15-year-old boys, what about something else that's dear to you? This is the point, isn't it? Is there anything in my life?

I'm asking myself this question. Is there anything in my life between me and Jesus? Don't close your ears to His call.

What's it called? Come, follow me. Secondly, everything you have belongs to the Lord. James says, every good gift and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights. Everything you have, everything I have, belongs to the Lord.

Do you believe that? I'm asking you to hold lightly what God has given you. God bless you. Has God blessed you?

Can you hold it lightly rather than grasping? Are you thankful to God? Do you give thanks for it or do you think, well, this is what I did? Thankful to God? Thankful to others? We're in a society which is not very thankful. We're in a society which is all about my rights, my freedom, what you're going to do for me, my entitlements. No, Jesus says, hold it lightly.

And that means if I believe that everything I have belongs to God, you know what it is? I'm kind. I'm, I'm gracious. I'm generous. You, you're a generous person.

You're a giver rather than a taker. The Bible says in terms of our giving, we are to give systematically. We're to give proportionally as the Lord has blessed us and we're to give cheerfully. When you've got a present for someone, you don't want the grudging, do you? You want that person to give cheerfully. So, how much have you given to the Lord this month? Have you given it all? I'm thankful that we're, that I'm a pastor of a church that gives generously so we can support a couple going to Israel with the Gospel so that we can buy shoes for these children and that so many of you give generously but some of you don't. Some of you just think, well, we could just take it for granted.

It's like going to a restaurant, having a meal and walking out and not paying for it. Be generous. Everything you have belongs to God. Finally, follow Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Are you following Jesus unreservedly or on your own convenient terms? Have you surrendered everything to Jesus or is there an uneasy compromise in your life?

Are you worrying about tomorrow rather than trusting the Lord Jesus? There are many distractions. There are many temptations.

There are many discouragements but today I'm asking you to look up. To look up to the Lord Jesus. We sometimes sing, your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Jesus is saying to you today and saying to me, come, follow me. We want to do that, Father. Think of those listening by Livestream and those in the sanctuary. Hundreds, thousands of us want to do that and we pray in our hearts, Father, that we'll repent of our selfishness, of our sin, and once again look to Christ. Thank you for this reminder that the things of this earth have no value compared with the infinite value of inheriting eternal life. May many now be looking to the Savior, who loved them and died for them and rose again, that they will call out to Him for salvation. We ask it in His name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-29 03:45:07 / 2023-07-29 04:00:30 / 15

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