Once upon a time a rich, young ruler approached Jesus with a burning question. This young man had everything one could desire; he lacked for nothing outwardly. However, in his heart, there was one thing he greatly desired- to live forever. It was the one thing money could not buy. “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus rattled off all the major laws and commandments, and the young man replied, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me…”
This was a very bold and painful thing for Jesus to say to the rich, young man. Why? Because the young man thought he had it all together. Because we like to think we have it all together, or mostly together or that what we’re doing is the best we can do, or the most we can give for Christ at this point in our lives. We all like to tell ourselves that we’re operating at maximum capacity for Jesus. James 1:4 says, “But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” If you’re not perfect yet, it’s highly probably you “lack one thing”.
Yet it does us no favors, does not lead us to our inheritance in Christ if we don’t face who we really are and realize that we all lack in certain areas.
It can be a very tough thing to have someone look at us in those times when we’re struggling or have a burning question or need help and to hear them point out areas in which we still lack- in our faith, in our behaviors, in our habits, or spiritual maturity. Who wants to hear that?! Yet it does us no favors, does not lead us to our inheritance in Christ if we don’t face who we really are and realize that we all lack in certain areas. In the case of the rich, young, ruler, his trust was really in his wealth and he just couldn’t walk away from it for Jesus. Do you have areas like that? Areas where you can be honest and say that you just won’t walk away from that “one thing”? It’s a challenge to us all! <3
Thought for today
In Ephesians 4:11-16 Paul wrote, “But, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself.” We are all given the five-fold ministries in our lives through our pastors, and teachers, apostles, elders and prophets for this very reason, so we are no longer tossed about and “lacking one thing”, for our own growth and edification. The problem is, like the rich, young ruler, we don’t want to hear what it is we lack because to do more then we are doing, or to give up what we hold dear, would cost us too much. We don’t want to give up our routines or our favorite TV shows or our unhealthy relationships with people, or food, or alcohol. We don’t want to fast and go hungry, or get up early to pray. We don’t want to go on the mission field and living in the smelly conditions of the third world. Some hear these truths and become rebellious, or like the rich, young man, we become “very sad” and walk away OR we face the hard, loving truths about ourselves, set aside childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and grow up. But Jesus wasn’t afraid to say it anyway.
Here’s the gist: Walking with Jesus Christ is costly, but you’ll never pay as much as He did. God isn’t going to pry your hands open and snatch your “one thing” away. You have to give it to Him- or not. But when the time comes that someone who loves you says, “one thing you lack”, look in the mirror and face yourself truthfully. READ THESE SCRIPTURES: Ask the Lord to show you the path ahead (Psalm 25:4-5). Worship Him (Psalm 50:23), get into His Word, it’ll light the path in front of you. (Psalm 119:105)