“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31 NKJV.
Never allow what you have to be more important than having what you need.
My thoughts and comments today are about, “life’s supreme question.”
My Dad was a pastor; as his son, he was my pastor as well. Recently, I was invited to speak at the church my father pastored in Granite City, Illinois. I grew up in that city and church and later, after college and marriage, pastored the church after my father’s death. Contrary to what he might have thought on occasion, I was listening, at least much of the time. Though just a young teen then, I still remember a sermon in which my Dad described a sincere young man with noble desire who came to Jesus, asking, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Read Mark 10:17-23 NIV. (Also in Matthew 19:16/Luke 18:18) Life presents many questions; life’s supreme question is more consequential than all others.
The Bible says, “He came running and knelt before [Jesus].” He recognized Jesus’ authority and came to Him with sincerity, urgency and humility. This Bible narrative has had an enduring influence in my life. It is easy to identify with this young man. He seemed to have everything except a certainty about eternal life. I think the desire for assurance about eternity is common to every human heart. Your soul will not find peace until you understand the single path to eternal life is found only in Jesus, Who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 NIV.
The Bible says, “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” With compassion, Jesus identified the single thing keeping him from his eternal desire. He valued his wealth more than his eternal life. His desire was right; his values were misplaced. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Read 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV. He was so close to what he wanted, but unable to release what he had. Never allow what you have to be more important than having what you need. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God.” Read 1 Tim 6:17-19 NIV. Never require more than God provides.
His story remains unfinished. “At this, the man’s [countenance] fell and he went away sad.” My father’s word picture of him – sad, conflicted, and walking away – impacted my life as a young teen, and continues to do so. Never walk away from the one true Source of every blessing. What must a person do to have eternal life? The answer is simpler than you may realize. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” Read Titus 3:3-7 NKJV. What you must do is simply trust in what Jesus has already done. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 NKJV.
Today, I pray for you to appreciate what is temporal but value what is eternal.
Christian Communications 2016