Key Passage: Matthew 19: 16-30
Key Text: Matthew 19: 22 – “When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions”
God does not always have to tell you what He has in mind when He instructs you to do something. God expects you to know that He is good and He has only good plans, even if His request seems a little odd or difficult.
Just think about this simple analogy. A father was in the garden with two of his sons, suddenly he tells one of his sons to remain still or just stay where you are, and to the other he says “run into the room and get me the big cane”. The brother arrives with the cane and the father says to the other son keep still and lifts up his cane and brings it down heavily just a few inches away from the boy’s head. The boy looks surprised, then looking behind him he sees that his father has just killed a big snake hanging from the tree above the boy’s head. In this little story (all made up of course), you can just see how we need to trust God, even when we don’t seem to know why or what He is doing. Babie Mason said, “if you can’t trace His hand, trust His Heart!”
In our passage today we read of the rich young ruler who wanted to be perfect. Jesus simply told him to go and obey the commandments. The young man said he has been doing all these since he was a child. Jesus then threw him the consecration challenge. “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The bible tells us the young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. Honestly, the request the Lord made on the surface looks really severe and extreme and I don’t know many people today who would gladly do that. But if you are walking with a knowledge of God and His goodness; If you know that God will never owe you anything; If you understand that what you give up can never compare to what He has in store for you, then it becomes easier to consecrate and obey.
Bible expositors have told us that it is possible that Jesus was looking to use this young man to replace Judas Iscariot. Judas was the treasurer. So it makes sense. But let’s stretch this a bit further. If he became one of the Apostles of the Lamb; One of the twelve. He would have an eternal throne in heaven with the other eleven. Here he is a temporal ruler, there he would have a ruler-ship that will never end. I really don’t know of any greater position any human being can ever attain, that can be higher that those 24 thrones before the Lord. What an honour. What a reward!
Let me reiterate, consecration is the pathway to growth in the Kingdom of God. In the amplified bible version the case is stated so clearly by the Lord Jesus Himself. ‘Jesus answered him, “If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self- sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me’”
What is your consecration test? Will you pass it? Will you go higher with the Lord? Will you consider the eternal significance of your temporal decision?
Let us pray – Father God, you word says it is you that works in us both to will and do your good pleasure. Father give us a willing heart. Give me a broken and contrite heart so I can really do your will and grow in my walk with you. Lord have mercy on me and help me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen