Don’t Walk Away Sad

  1. 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.
  2. Command: Surrender!
  3. Promise: Anyone who gives up things to follow Jesus will be rewarded.
  4. Warning: The deception is real! It’s easy to believe we’re not holding back. Don’t give in to the deception.
  5. 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.

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