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02-16-11 Highquest Matthew 19:16-26

February 20, 2011

The passage I read was Matthew 19:16-26

You can find that passage here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019:16-26&version=NIV

My summary of the passage is this:

A young rich ruler approaches Jesus and seeks to inherit eternal life. He is unfortunately turned away sad because he must give up all he owns do follow. Jesus then teaches His disciples about the difficulty (near impossibility if not for God’s grace) for a rich person to enter Heaven. The final verse in the passage sticks out most to me:

V26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

As I reflect:

I can’t find the study I did on this passage before but it was all about the state of the heart as I remember. And as I read over it and think about it again, I can’t help but to see it in that same way still.

In this passage it seems that Jesus is a bit sarcastic or maybe playing with the guys mind a bit here with the whole “good teacher” thing. I think He is trying to get the guy to realize just who exactly he is talking to. This “Good Teacher” is in fact the only One who is good because only God is good. I wonder if the rich guy gets that out of Jesus’ response. The conversation just seems to go down hill for the guy from the very start. Jesus ( I believe) knew the state of the man’s heart well before he approached Him. This man’s heart was performance based and had all the wrong motive. As a wealthy self invested man, he likely believed that his performance and wealth gave him status and likely would also be the keys to eternal life. Thinking that performance of any kind can get you to heaven is ill thought and failed motivation. Heaven shouldn’t be a trophy you attempt to obtain to add to your collection of successes. Jesus kind of sets him up here and perhaps that’s exactly what was needed for this man to realize just how wrong the place of his heart was.

Jesus responds to the man with only the commands that deal with behavioral performance, but doesn’t say anything about the commands that deal with sins of the heart. Of course this man had obeyed (to the best of his knowledge) all of the correct behaviors he should, but his heart wasn’t prepared for the sacrifice needed to put Jesus first. He wanted to go to Heaven, but He didn’t want to make Jesus #1 in his life to do so. When he heard that he needed to give it all up to follow Jesus, he walked away sad.

Recently I came across the thought (thanks to a brother) of my possessions and how much they meant to me. I wanted to be sure I was holding my blessings; my possessions in my hand and not squeezing them. I wanted to be sure that I owned and stewarded the possessions the Lord had given me and that they didn’t possess me. I evaluated and came to the Lord in prayer to converse about it. I let Him know how very thankful I was for everything, but if it meant being closer to Him, than by all means remove the possessions as they don’t belong to me truly. Everything I have is God’s. Even my wife and kids are not truly mine. My family is devoted to and under the direct ownership and adoption of God Who paid for us in blood. If He requires it of me, then I am willing to let all my kingdoms fall (a favorite line from a song) and surrender all. Following this prayer, I felt a since of relieve. I felt as though it was affirmed that I wasn’t holding on to my possessions too tightly or being ran by them or placing them a higher priority than my Savior. This must never change. Daily I must remember to keep Jesus the #1 priority and be others centered and not self centered. (Sometimes easier said than done)

My response to the Lord:

Father, I am a living example of your grace and mercy simply because I am living. I know in my past there were times I never could have imagined not only living this long but also being found in your favor with blessings abounding and a wonderful family sharing love and growing together. The things you have done and continue to do in my life: I don’t deserve them, but I am so thankful that you have placed these many things and people in my care. Lord, I ask you to help me to care for and steward over these things in Godly manner. I pray that I would never place my possessions above you or the things which you have called me to do. May I always place you first and may my family follow this example and do the same. You and you alone have made our lives possible. You and you alone have made our afterlives with you possible. Thank you Father. May we live for you now and forever and let nothing hinder our service to you, by you, for you. In Jesus name.

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