Trust God With Everything
Rich Young Ruler - Luke 18:18-23
What must I do to have eternal life? A legitimate question to ask. Jesus’s reply was along the lines of the thoughts of the man asking the question. Keep the commandments - you already know them. Jesus proceeds to name some of them: Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your mother and father.
It is interesting to me that Jesus leaves some of the commandments out of this list. The man says he has kept all of these since he was a young boy. Many people we meet today could say the same. They don’t lie, cheat, steal and haven’t murdered anyone. They live an upright life. Why should they be left out of attaining eternal life? Isn’t living a good and moral life enough?
Jesus said to the man: “You still lack one thing.” What else is there? The most important commandment Jesus had not mentioned, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:30). What Jesus asked of the man was simply to obey the first of the commandments. “Go sell what you have and give to the poor.” In other words, keep the first commandment; put God first in your life. The man left in sadness because he had great wealth. His wealth was his god.
One note of interest: Jesus said to him, “Sell what you have and give to the poor.” He did not say give away everything to the poor. Possessions tend to hold us. He was saying, let them go, stop holding onto what is temporary, grasp a hold of eternal life. A person cannot hold closely to the things of this world and the things of eternal value at the same time. You cannot serve two masters. Jesus said to him, give to the poor. Help those in need around you with what you have. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
Keep the first commandment; keep God first in your life and God will supply all your needs. My wife and I have been in active ministry since taking my first pastorate in 1972 - 51 years ago. God has led us to many places. Thirty-five years as pastor and my wife as minister of music, and now as evangelists for the past thirteen years. God has always supplied our needs. At one point, as we were packing the U-Haul truck, we had nowhere to go. No church had called us. We knew our time was over at our current assignment. It was time for someone new. Just before we finished loading the truck, God opened a new door for us. There have been several times of financial difficulties, but we have never been without the things we needed. Wants are not needs, and we and our children learned to appreciate the difference. Today our children love and serve the Lord and point back to those times when God miraculously supplied. Sometimes God supplies at the last minute, as He did as we packed our truck, and sometimes He supplies in different ways than we expect; BUT, God supplies the need; He always does. Seek Him first; keep Him first.
By Rev. David Tran, Evangelist Church of the Nazarene, pastor for 35 years, and significant part of the Freeport Illinois Church of the Nazarene