March 31, 2023
Do The Right Thing
“Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’ The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.” (Luke 18:19-23)
The scripture above tells the sad story of the man who was not willing to prioritize Jesus over his money. What’s even sadder is the very next verse where Jesus turns to His disciples and says, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:24) Many have wondered, “What was Jesus saying to His disciples?” He was saying that it’s very difficult for someone who is focused on riches to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said this for several reasons.
First, being financially wealthy can be a spiritual disadvantage to us because it makes it harder for us to depend on God. We’ve all met people who have lots of financial resources. How many of those individuals are trusting in God for their daily provision? But Christians who don’t have lots of financial resources have learned the necessity of turning to the Lord and trusting in Him for their financial needs. Always having what you need in life makes it difficult to depend on the Lord for the provision you really need.
Second, being financially wealthy can be a spiritual disadvantage to us because it distracts us from our true priorities in life. Being rich gives you all sorts of opportunities that compete with God for the number one position in our lives. Vacation homes, Saints season tickets, kid’s activities, Pelicans tickets, investment properties, hunting trips, fishing gear, golf club memberships, shopping trips, cruises, sports cars, sail boats, jet skis, etc… None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but once we have them, we’ve got to work harder to maintain them. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33).
Third, being financially wealthy can be a spiritual disadvantage to us because it gives us a greater responsibility in the kingdom of God. Many people think God made them rich so they could consume it all. That’s not how to be rich. That’s how to be selfish. The trust of the matter is this: The Lord blesses people financially so they can bless others with their finances. Jesus said, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:48)
A lot of people are trying to store up treasure, but they don’t have any reassurance that they’re headed to Heaven because they don’t have a relationship with the Lord. And because of that they’re missing out on the best life, on the blessed life.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Ask yourself the following questions and then answer them privately. (1) Do I have so much that I’ve stopped depending on the Lord? (2) Do I prioritize the Lord and His Kingdom above my possessions and His blessings in my life? (3) Do I bless others with what the Lord has given me? After you’ve thought through your answers, pray and ask the Lord to reprioritize your life, helping you to depend completely on Him, to focus your life on His Kingdom, and to bless others with what you have. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, ask them to answer the three questions above, then pray the same prayer focus written above as a family.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for Your blessings in my life. Even so, help me to always realize my dependence on You. Help me to always focus on You and Your Kingdom above all else. Help me to always use what You’ve given me to bless others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.