Following GodLuke 18:18-30
by Brian Knitter
What is hindering you from putting God first? Is it money, fame, children, intellect, a really good 401k plan? In this passage of scripture, Jesus confronts this issue, and shows us the danger of putting God lower on our list.
As we begin our story, a rich man comes to Jesus and asks, "What must I do to inherit the kingdom of God?" A fair enough question, and Jesus could have easily answered it (as He has in other places) with "Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself," or, "believe and be baptized." Both are decent and correct answers, yet Jesus didn't answer the man directly when pressed. Jesus said, "Sell everything you have and give to the poor." The man was very rich, so we can assume that this was very difficult for him to do. The man went away sad. Jesus then went on to say that it was very difficult for the rich to get to heaven. Now, does this mean that if you have wealth, you don't have a chance at heaven? Not necessarily. The path to the kingdom of God begins with priorities: What is first in your life? Jesus was not so much concerned with the man's wealth, as where the man was putting that wealth on his list of priorities. With the man's wealth as his main security blanket, he had no need to rely on God. The man's wealth was his "god." God was not his source of wealth! I do want to note that the rich man DID follow nine of the ten commandments - even Jesus did not refute that - yet the man only lacked one thing, one roadblock, on the road to salvation: Loving God first.
Yes, it is easy to get nine tenths of the way there, yet still miss the prize. What's holding you back? Again I ask, is it money, fame, children, intellect, or a really good 401k plan? Ask God, and ask Him to begin to change your priorities. Thank God that Jesus died for us, and that we can rely on that. In doing so, He made it possible for camels to get through needles! Will you trust in Him to get you through? Will you make Him first in your life?