Read: Luke 18:18-30
Key Verses: Luke 18:29-30
This passage has become a favorite passage of mine in the past year. It is amazing how He has used this passage to change my life. Last May I decided to take this passage literally. I started selling all of my possessions. I had a yard sale where I sold quite a bit. I started listing my books and figurines for sale online. I managed to get rid of a lot, but I still have a lot to get rid of.
As the year has progressed though and I have read and reread this passage, I started noticing some things…One, I don’t think that Jesus was really concerned about whether or not the wealthy man sold his all of his possessions. I think that Jesus was looking to see if the man had a willing heart and if he would walk in obedience to Christ. Jesus was asking the man, “Where does your heart lie? What is your focus? Is it on all your wealth? Or is it on following me and serving others?”
In Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us that where our treasure is, there our heart will also be. The wealthy’s man heart was wrapped up in his wealth. Where does my heart lie? Is wrapped up in the things of this world, whether material things, family, friends, jobs, etc? Or is it wrapped up in Jesus? Where is my focus?
Another that I recently noticed is the promise that Jesus gives to us in these verses. Jesus promises that if we walk in obedience to Him, if we make Him our focus, and give Him our hearts, then we will receive many times more in this time than we have given up.
In this time! Wow! Not only does Jesus want to give me eternal life, but He wants me to have so much more in this time. Now I am not a prosperity preacher and I don’t believe that Jesus is talking about material things in this promise although I do think that they are included.
I think He is talking about fulfilling the desires of our heart. I think that He is talking about making our dreams come true. I think that He is talking about healing our relationships, making sure our physical needs are met, developing our character, and giving us gifts beyond our imagination.
But in order to receive this promise and gain all of this we have to be willing to go through loss. We have to lose in order to gain and in the losing we will gain so much more than we have lost.
I think a good example of this is my weight. I have been struggling since high school with my weight. I started gaining it, and honestly at the time, I didn’t have a problem with it. My weight has been a security blanket for me in many ways. It has kept away attention that I didn’t want, but it has also kept away attention that I needed. But if I want to claim the promises of an abundant life, I know that I need to change my focus and stop clinging to the security that my weight offers me. I need to cling to Jesus and walk in obedience to His leading in this area. I know that I will gain so much more from doing this than I am by hiding myself behind my weight.
So my questions for you and myself are this:
“Where is my heart?”
“Where is your focus?”
“What are you willing to give up for Jesus, knowing that you will gain so much more?”
I don’t want to be like the wealthy man clinging to this world. I want to make You my focus, You my everything. Free me from the bondages of materialism, fear, my insecurities and anything else that keeps my focus from You and from walking in obedience.