Thursday, 20 August 2020 Matthew 19:16-30
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” -Matthew 19:21
The Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Ps.24:1) Creation accounts also throw light on this in the Book of Genesis of man’s creation by the Lord God (Gen.2:7). The verses above point to the fact that neither the earth nor us who dwell in it belong to us- all we are and have, is not ours but the Lord’s! As the creator of our lives, He has granted us the privilege and opportunity to enjoy His creation yet how often we fail to understand His heart’s concerns, who endowed us with such a great resources!
In the world we live, man has become so possessive to the point that, we forget we came with nothing physically on earth and will eventually return with nothing. It is always easier to say “My Lord and great teacher! I Love You.” But how much are we willing to listen and submit to the voice of His wisdom and counsel? The “Richman” in our text helps us to see clearly how men hold to that which do not belong to them and miss the great wisdom in the storage of heavenly riches. His possessiveness prevented him from upholding the truth he heard from his Great Teacher. He is the only student I have seen, who was much unwilling to listen and submit to his Teacher’s instruction. Yet he asked for an advice!
How often we forget that no matter how possessive and self-centred we become, we will always have to leave all our possessions! No matter how much we possess or how long we live on earth, if that does not reach out to the poor or affect situations that matter to God, then we are holding tightly onto that which does not belong to us. There is no problem to be rich- but riches that do not touch the concerns and desires of our Lord and Master on earth, or riches that fuel destruction of human lives for selfish gains, bring us to an unpleasant end, leaving us with nothing but God’s wrath and judgment.
Jesus further continued to His disciples: “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19: 23-24) The problem here is not the man’s riches but his actions and desires of failing to serve and follow the Lord and master with his riches knowing fully well that all that he has, including himself, belongs to our Lord and master, and that one day he will have to leave them all without his consent. Jesus assured His disciples of the rich reward that God would give them for those who had left everything and followed Him.
The counsel for us today is not to lay up treasures on this earth where thieves steal and moths destroy (Matt.6:19-21) but let us be rich in God’s work that help us store for ourselves in heaven! As Paul rightly said in 2 Corinthians 12:15, let us spend and be spent for souls in God’s Kingdom!
Prayer: Lord Jesus! Give me the wisdom and courage not to hold onto that which is not mine, but Yours and for Your glory and purpose.