The first words of any disciple are remarkable words. They are words that reflect the heart to submit to the Lordship of Christ and to pursue Him in an ever-growing relationship. It is through this that a disciple sees many blessing of being a follower of Christ:
– We’re clothed in the righteousness of Christ [2 Cor 5:21]
– We’re seen as children & heirs [Rom 8:16-17]
– Our inheritance is eternal [2 Cor 4:17-18 ]
Among so many other promises, we see that giving our lives over to the Lordship of Christ is packed with blessing. Yet, even as I’ve given over my life to Christ as the Lord of my life, I must realize the amount of grace that I have been blessed with. This saving grace produces internal change that has external implications in my own life. Those implications can be tough to swallow as we see in Mark 10 with the rich young man:
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “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.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Jesus was not, and will not been interested in being seen as a friendly teacher. He is a sovereign Lord. He doesn’t give options for people to consider, He gives commands for people to be obey. He was telling the young man to rid himself of his identity shaping wealth and follow after Him. The price was too high for the young man to commit.
“Does Jesus want me to sell my house? Am I supposed to give up the lifestyle I live? So is Jesus calling calling us all to poverty?” Before we ask those hypothetical questions, we have to ask:
Is He Lord?
If the answer is yes then the things we physically, mentally & materially possess are His anyway. In making Him Lord we are to, as Romans 12:1 says, offer our very lives as a sacrifice of worship to Him. Therefore we should give of our time to serve others and share the gospel. We should sacrifice of my own money so that we can meet others needs and bless them. We renounce my social comfort that we may be bold in sharing the hope we have. The requirement for the disciple is to give up control of every single thing we have [Luke 14:33]. It does not mean that absolutely anything we own must be sold or given to Goodwill immediately, but it does mean that we should should be willing to give sacrificially if we see that we may be able to bless others.
When God tells us to give abundantly. we can trust Him to do the same in our lives. It may not be a material blessing but God recognizes those who give. Look a little later in Mark 10:
29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
The opportunities lie before us. The promise that God will take care of us is there. So the question is:
Do we trust Him?