Thursday, August 4, 2016

Luke 18:21-23

Luke 18:21-23
And he said, “I kept all these in youth!”  After hearing, Jesus said, “There is still one thing lacking for you.  All – as much as you have – sell it and give it to the poor.  And you will have treasure in heaven.  And come, follow me.”  And the one who heard this became exceedingly sorrowful, for he was exceedingly wealthy.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Look at the response of the ruler.  His reply is simple.  “I did all that when I was young.”  In other words, he is dismissing Jesus’ answer.  Jesus’ answer is too small.  It is too simple.  It is things that children can accomplish.  This ruler is looking to earn eternal life; therefore, he is looking for a difficult challenge that many will not be able to accomplish.  The sad reality is that his sad misconception of how salvation comes to us causes him to miss what Jesus is saying.

When do your misconceptions cause us to miss what God is trying to tell us?  When are you likely to have misconceptions in your understanding of faith and salvation?

Second Thought:

One of the things that I love about Jesus’ teaching here is that even though the ruler isn’t listening or understanding, Jesus still keeps trying.  If the ruler won’t be reached by the simple, He tries giving him something more difficult.  Jesus is willing to come and meet the ruler where He is, even if it wasn’t the place that Jesus would have ideally begun.  This is how God works.  He has His way for us.  When we are willing to hear Him, things go well.  When we don’t hear Him, He will come to where we are – usually in a more difficult place – and still try to reach us.  Unfortunately, this ruler refuses to be reached because he is very rich and the challenge that Jesus offers as an alternate is too much.

What does this say about God’s persistence?  When have you felt the persistence of God in your life?

Third Thought:

Notice the invitation from Jesus?  Come, follow me.  Remember, this ruler isn’t understanding much of anything.  Yet Jesus still invites Him.  Jesus doesn’t need us to be perfect.  He doesn’t need us to understand everything.  He just needs us to be willing to follow.  There is always invitation to follow.

How does this speak to God’s love?  How does this speak to God’s mercy?  How does this speak grace?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 18:24-27
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