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Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:27

One day, while Jesus was teaching the disciples a rich young man came to him. He was the kind of person any of us would want to be our friend. He was a moral man that could be trusted. He was most likely well liked for the Bible really doesn’t say anything negative about him. And, of course. He was rich!

But there was something missing in his life. On the outside he showed confidence, trustworthiness and strength. On the inside he was a lonely man filled with fear of the future. He was a poster child for the system he lived in but all of that was a façade. He’d done all the right things but they offered no joy, no happiness, no contentment.

Jesus gave the man a list of commands he must follow to gain peace for the future and eternal life. It was the one thing the man was lacking. The one gift he wanted more than anything…or so he thought. Jesus asked him to give up everything he had and follow him. The man went away more in despair than when he came. The cost was too high.

What Jesus asked the man to give up was more than money. It was power, it was prestige, it was status. What would others think of him? What would become of the many friends he had. Rich men always have plenty of friends because people enjoy associating with the talented, the rich and the famous. It wasn’t about money.

What Jesus wanted from the man was his heart. The commands Jesus didn’t question the man about all had to do with relationship. Relationship with others. Relationship with God. Relationship with himself. On other occasions Jesus summarized the commandments into three. Love God. Love yourself. Love your neighbor. All he really wants from us is complete, sold out, relationship.

After the man left the disciples discussed this with Jesus and one of them said in confusion, “Then who can be saved? If that is what God wants from us, what chance to any of us have? Is there any hope?”

Jesus answer to the question of who can be saved was quite simple. “No one. It’s impossible. There is no way man can be saved without God’s help.”

We can’t gain the peace and joy and contentment we seek through the things we see. Fulfillment in life comes from relationship. Success in life comes when we give ourselves completely to God and believe in ourselves because of His love for us. Don’t believe the lie that because you can’t do this or that, or don’t have the money for this project or that missions trip you aren’t important. God can do impossible things in your life because of His love for you. Not because of your strength, riches or ability.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess to you that I am much more like the rich young ruler than I’d care to admit. I follow all your rules. I do all the right things most of the time. But I have to admit that today if you asked me to give up everything I own, my money (what there is of it), my status, my reputation, my friends and my home, I’m not sure I could do it. Help me to give everything to you. To trust you with every aspect t of my life so that I can experience the peace you have for me. Amen.

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April 2010
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