“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew22:37-40
A rich young ruler ran up to Jesus, fell on his knees, and asked, ”Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” When Jesus mentioned the ten commandments, he said, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him tenderly; he knew the boy was telling the truth.
“One thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Go sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.” At this the young man’s face fell and he walked away sadly.
What was Jesus saying? That God is against his people having riches? That only the poor can follow Jesus? No. Jesus is repeating what he had said a little while ago, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Matthew22:37-40) Our focus must be God first.
The rich young ruler, could not turn his whole heart and life over to God. His pride prevented him from acknowledging that he could not earn eternal life through hard work like all his other achievements.
I think many people still make that mistake. We want eternal life, but on our terms.
In order to have this eternal life in Christ, we must put God first in our lives. We are to love God most.
We acknowledge our inability to achieve eternal life through self-effort. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not of works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Thank you, Father, that you give eternal life to the rich and the poor the same way: by grace through faith in our living Lord Jesus Christ.
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