Many call Jesus Lord but don’t know what that really means. It’s surrendering every area of your life to Him to change so that they fall within His parameters of how He wants you to live and love. This means not only directing your actions or behavior but also your thoughts and focus. Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to sell all he had and distribute the funds generated to the poor to completely follow Him. You know the account in Luke 18. The young ruler walked away greatly saddened because he knew he couldn’t part with his wealth. The sad thing is, the young ruler didn’t even ask God for help to change his focus or perspective. Scripture doesn’t say that he later changed, so it’s possible he just gave up the idea of following Jesus because it was just too hard for him.
The challenge is there for each of us, too. Do we have our spiritual focus and priorities straight? Does this mean Jesus wants us all to give up wealth or material things so we can be His? Of course not! What He wants to teach us is that He needs to be our focus and that we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to follow Him, including giving up our wealth if that is His will for us individually.
Everything about God is love, and Jesus’ teachings need to be viewed from that standpoint. God’s spiritual law of love towards Him, others and self requires us to provide for others’ needs. The rich young ruler said that he had followed what we know as the ten commandments from childhood. Jesus was teaching him that there’s more to life than obedience. God is love, and that’s what Jesus’ focus and message are and were about.
Scriptures: Matthew 6:19, Matthew 22:37-40
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Things to Think, Pray and Journal About
1. Is Jesus and all that He is first in your life? If not, what currently comes first? Can you ask God for help to change your thoughts and feelings so Jesus comes first instead?
2. Is Jesus saying it’s not right to have nice things while you follow Him?
3. What does thinking on heavenly things mean? What has God called you to do and be?
4. What do you think about most of the time?
5. Did you know that God can help you think on what you want to? Have you asked Him?
Father God, please guide us all into what You want us to see about ourselves and help us make the changes we need to make so we can be and do what You have for us to be and do. May You help us to grasp more about You, Jesus and God the Holy Spirit so that we can both grow in Your grace and knowledge and develop a deeper, more spiritually mature relationship with You and all that You are. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved