The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/17/2009

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Lessons From A Rich Guy


"When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth" (Matt. 19:22).

There's an old saying that says we need to be careful what we ask for. We have a story told in the Book of Matthew about just this. It isn't really about what someone asked for but rather about something he had that was too important to him. In this lesson, a young man approaches Jesus with an age old question. By this time Jesus had grown in stature and reputation. The young man obviously recognized Him as someone special and addressed Him as "Teacher." His question to Jesus was, "What good thing must I do to gain eternal life?"

This is really the first mistake he made that is often overlooked. He was looking for a "good thing" he could do to get to heaven. Jesus made the correction quickly, letting him know, "there is only one who is good." He preceded to teach about the importance of "obeying the commandments." When the young man asked which ones, Jesus gave him a short list. At this point, the young man felt pretty good because he had followed the law, but he sensed that something must still be missing. We know that because of the next question he asked which was, "what do I still lack?"

The all-knowing Jesus had the answer. "If you want to be perfect, go, sell all your possessions and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me" (V 21). Jesus knew the young man's "Achilles heel." He knows ours too. Jesus saw what he lacked. In the young man's case not a general, but a specific command was needed. He had an idol in his heart...The idol of riches....

We may do much, and still lack much also. It may be our loyalty, service, zeal, commitment or liberality. The apostle Paul put it succinctly. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for who's sake I have lost all things. I consider them RUBBISH, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3: 7 & 8). Pardon the caps, I just wanted to emphasize the point. The point is that we should let nothing interfere with gaining Christ. Lets not leave Jesus like the young man did..."he went away sad because he had great wealth" (V 22). The disciples left everything to follow Jesus....We need to do the same....

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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