Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." Matthew 19:21
Do you currently feel disappointed with your life? Are you constantly thinking about your life and where you thought it would be today? Maybe things have just not worked out how you thought they would. Maybe you thought by this point you would have the job promotion, be married with at least one child, or finally have the beautiful house you have been dreaming of. Or perhaps you thought that you and your family would be in perfect health, yet now you or a loved one is extremely sick. For those of us feeling the gap between where we currently are and where we want to be, God has a message for us: focus on your purpose and live for Him.
Our purpose on earth is not to have the perfect house, the perfect family, perfect health, or all of the material possessions we could desire. Our purpose is better than any of those things! Our purpose is to live in light of eternity. You see, our lives on earth are so short. Eternity, however, lasts forever. Living for eternity means that we take everything in perspective in light of the Kingdom of God. It means that we are more focused on honoring Christ and making Him known than building an earthly kingdom for ourselves. Sometimes it means sacrificing our time or finances in order to invest in God's eternal kingdom.
In Matthew 19, Jesus was talking to a very rich man who was building up an earthly kingdom for himself. He came to Jesus, asking what He needed to do in order to have eternal life. Although this man had been a good person, seeking to honor and obey God, Jesus pointed out that this man was too attached to his earthly possessions. Jesus told Him that in order to be a true follower of Him, he needed to sell everything he owned and give it to those in need and follow Him. The story of this man ends bleakly because, when Jesus told him what he would have to sacrifice to follow Him, he "went away sad" because "he had many possessions" (Matthew 19:22). You see, this man was not fully committed to following Jesus. He was trying to build up his own kingdom on earth instead of living for God. Because he was living for earthly things, he continued to have a gap because he knew he was not fully committed to Christ.
What about you? Are you living for things of this earth, or are you focused on living in light of eternity? Perhaps the reason you are experiencing a gap is that you are still focused on earthly possessions and are trying to build an earthly kingdom for yourself. My friend, I urge you to respond differently than the rich man in Matthew 19. Commit to God to live in light of eternity. Let your actions and decisions be motivated by Christ's call to live for the Kingdom of God rather than this earth.
Just like Jesus called the rich man in Matthew to live for Him and not the world, He is calling you and me to do the same. For the rich man, he could not part with his possessions. What is keeping you from fully committing to Christ? Is it material possessions? Is there a particular relationship that is keeping you from living for God? Write down in your journal whatever is keeping you from living for Him. Tell someone you trust and ask them to keep you accountable to leave behind whatever is keeping you from fully embracing your purpose and living for Christ.
Read Matthew 19:16-30 (NLT)
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
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