“A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
We know the story of the rich young ruler. What he lacked was that he was not following Jesus. The Lord brought him to the very crux of the relationship that he needed to have with Christ if he must have eternal life.
God is calling us to follow Him to have eternal life. (Mark 10:21) Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Nevertheless, to follow Jesus we will need to have several turnaround expressions in our life and behavior. We would need to repent in these areas to be followers of Jesus.
- We will have to let go of the grip and security of money
- We will have to love and give to the poor to release the grip of the self.
- We will have to consider our life in terms of our eternal destiny and not the temporal
- We will have to take up the cross
- We will have to come and follow Jesus – be with Jesus. Make Jesus our abode.
Unless we let go of the pursuit of money, we cannot follow Jesus. Whom do we choose to follow, Jesus or money? What would our decision be?
The second turnaround expression that needs to happen in us is to be released from our selves. To follow Jesus, the Rich Young Ruler would have to sell whatever he had and give it to the poor.
Why did Jesus place this pre-requirement on the young man to follow Him? Giving is a powerful spiritual law. Giving releases us from the self. Just as money grips us, the self too grips us. As we look within, our life revolves all-around ourselves. This is where many of us are.
Our entire relationship with God is for personal benefit. This is the theology that is being preached regularly and this is what people want. We eagerly await to hear promises, prophesies, pronouncements that suit and aids us. How will a relationship with God profit me, is our fundamental quest. The testimonies that we regularly hear are all about how God has blessed me and this is the narrative that has become the norm.
We are very rarely being taught that when we come to Christ, we are no more at the center of our lives, Jesus is.
To follow Jesus, we must be released from the grip of the self. Giving releases us from the grasp of the self. Jesus demonstrated it for us. 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
We see a practical example of this law of giving that was practiced by the churches of Macedonia.
“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
To be a follower of Jesus, we must be released from the clutches of the self. Are we prepared to undergo this turnaround? Giving is the spiritual law that will enable us to be released from the hold of the self over us.
Are you ready to give in order to be released from the grip of the self?