Luke 18:18–30 (NKJV)
18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches 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 man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
We can sometimes look at an example like the rich young ruler and think that we have nothing in common with him, that our walk is more solid than his, that we are firmly within God’s will. Maybe we are are all of those things, maybe we too fall short. It is easy to look at the good examples in the Bible and try to imitate them. We can look at the steadfast faith of Timothy. We can look at Joseph, who went through a lot, yet he still does the right thing time and time again. We can look at Daniel, despite the society around him, he remained continually focused on God and His plan. Then you have the young ruler that would not give up his love of money to inherit the kingdom, this may hit a little too close to home. We would never do that, right?
It May Not Be Money
While the rich young ruler allowed money to be the thing that kept him from a completely dedicated life, our vice may be quite a bit different. Maybe it is a complete addiction to fitness that leads us away from the Lord, maybe it is video games that grab our attention, maybe it’s Patriots football, or maybe it collecting things in general. Of these things, I can promise that I am not addicted to fitness. Those things hurt a little when they are in black and white, but it is still important to recognize the things we must guard ourselves against.
I love the guidance given in Romans 12:1–2… (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God… If we follow this commandment, we will be living lives that become more and more dedicated to His will, and our own will should become less and less. Even if we are struggling with these things on a daily basis, God renews us continually. How awesome is that?
We must use the example of the rich young ruler to guide our lives, to become more and more like Him, and less and less like the world. All of us fall short, but we should be striving continually towards steadfastness in the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.