Message: In Luke 18 we read about the rich
young ruler. Most of us are very familiar with this story. Even if you haven’t read
it for yourself, you’ve probably heard it preached. I have always laughed at
the part where he tells Jesus that he has obeyed every law since he was just a
boy. I think it’s funny that Jesus didn’t call him out on his outlandish claim,
but instead exposed the desire in him that held his heart back from following
Jesus. I think most of us don’t feel like we relate to the rich young ruler
because we aren’t rich or powerful. I don’t think this story has much to do
with wealth, except that this is the thing that held back this young man from
surrendering over to Jesus. He didn’t want to give it up. The disciples had
given up their businesses and left their families behind to follow Jesus. If we
were to ask the average Christian their commitment level to Jesus, I think many
believe they have surrendered their whole lives over. The rich young ruler
believed that he had obeyed all of the laws just like many Christians believe
that they are fully surrendered.
Promise: Anyone who gives up things to follow Jesus
will be rewarded.
Warning: The deception is real! It’s easy to
believe we’re not holding back. Don’t give in to the deception.
Application: When I think about the challenge that
Jesus presented to the rich young ruler, I wonder what kind of challenge he
would have for me. Everything in me wants to say (and believe) that my heart is
fully surrendered, but if Jesus were to expose my heart right now, I wonder
what I would discover that I have been unwilling to surrender. What am I unwilling
to part with? Would I walk away from Jesus in my sadness because of something he
would ask me to let go of? For me, it probably wouldn’t be money. It might be
something else that God has given me. Things that I believe I own. Not just
physical things, but abilities, status, security, comfort or even my family?
There is literally nothing off the table when it comes to our surrender. God
says that if we value anything above him then we aren’t worthy of him. My
challenge to myself is to ask God to show mw what I’m hanging onto and hoping
God won’t ask for it.