Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Delayed Gratification.

Luke 18:24 Jesus, seeing that the rich young ruler had become sad, said, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 26 Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" 27 But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." 28 And Peter said, "See, we have left our homes and followed you." 29 And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life."

Jesus has just told this young man that he needs to be willing, and in his case actually do it, to leave all his possessions to follow Him. The young man went away sad because he had many possessions. So this first part of the narrative is about the rich having a very hard time entering the Kingdom of Heaven, because they are so dependent on their wealth and not God that they lose sight of what is really important.

The disciples are confused. Wealth in those days signified that someone was very blessed, but if it was difficult for the rich to get into Heaven, who could get it? Jesus' answer is that with God all things are possible. Hallelujah that with God all things are possible.

Peter then gives his take on the situation. They had truly left all to follow Christ. Obviously there are not many who would have done the same things, as many in those days did not truly follow Him, but the disciples did. Today the ration is probably the same, as the gate is wide that leads to destruction.

But what about Jesus' comment back to Peter concerning leaving everything. J. Piper gives some insight into what Jesus is really telling Peter. Paraphrased again; Is it really a great sacrifice to leave what you can't keep and what you don't own in the first place to gain what you can't buy even if you have all the money in the world? It is no sacrifice to gain a 100 times what you lose in this life for all of eternity. Peter was thinking about the lose, and Jesus could see what Peter would actually gain, because He had already seen what was waiting for Peter in Heaven.

We must not have our vision clouded with the things of this life, especially money, in order that we can clearly see what is in Heaven waiting for us and the end of this breath of a life.

Lord, may I/we see You as our Treasure and not be distracted by the world's goods. May we be most in love with the Giver rather than the gifts, for there is where the true joy comes from. Make our hearts to follow after You and Your Word, not things in this life. May we be profitable in our work, so that we might advance Your Kingdom with what You provide in abundance. Give us a heart for Your Work and may we use our life platform as the starting point for Your Work. Give us a heart for the lost and make us bold to tell of Your great Gift.

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