What do you value above all else?
Your car? Home? Family? Maybe our world’s addicting culture of reward and accomplishment?
There is no shortage of competition for where we place our value - but did you know that when we seek God’s heart first, the reward always outweighs the cost...this is what living out our faith is all about.
Guest post by BB Board Member Theresa Miller
If you have a moment, read Matthew 19:16-30 (The Rich Young Man)
Imagine a person with success and wealth, living an upright life and doing good in the eyes of the world. You might say that person had it all. Yet, even when we appear to have it all, we find something still missing.
In the Parable of the Rich Young Man, the man thought that by doing good and following all the rules he could have it all. As he approached Jesus and asked this “good teacher,” what he must do to achieve eternal life, the man did not understand that there was nothing he could do by his own power to be found worthy in the eyes of God.
Jesus answered the man and told him if he wanted to earn eternal life, he’d have to follow the commandments perfectly, knowing the impossibility of this.
By all outer appearances the man could check all the boxes in keeping the commandments in relation to how we treat our neighbor. Yet the man knew there was still something missing when he asked, “What do I still lack?”
Jesus responded that if the man wanted to gain perfection, again knowing the impossibility of perfect deeds, he would have to go and sell all he possessed, give to the poor, and follow him.
This saddened the man because he had many possessions that he ultimately valued more than seeking and following Jesus.
What about us?
Of all that the man possessed and of all the good he did outwardly, he still lacked something and that something was knowing God.
This story shows us the cost of following Jesus. The call for the young man to sell all of his possessions was a call to surrender by humbly putting God first in his life. It’s a call that remains relevant for us today, to walk in humble obedience by seeking God first.
As believers, Jesus is asking us to sell out for him, whatever the cost. He’s asking us to give up our idols–those things, people or ideas we put ahead of God–and be in relationship with Him first.
When we experience God’s love in relationship with Him, it is that love we then pour into the lives of those around us. It is His love that makes us able to love where it hurts and give until it hurts.
The call to surrender is not met by simply loving God. We need to go further and share that same love with our neighbor. But just loving our neighbor by doing good is also empty without seeking God first in our lives. These two concepts go hand in hand and are the embodiment of following Jesus.
If we're honest with ourselves, many days, most days, we’re just like the rich young man and need to surrender our hearts to God.
God is clear in desiring a humble and contrite heart (Isaiah 66:1-2), literally meaning a helpless heart; a heart that needs him. Not a heart that needs power, status or material things; not even a heart that strives to do good according to some rule book. To have real impact in this world, to do good worthy of eternity, Jesus has to be our everything.