God is Love
The Rich Young Man
"And when Jesus was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus answered him, Why callest thou me good? there is non good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.
And he answered and said to Him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" Mark 10:17-23
Wow! Jesus loved that young man who had all those riches and possessions! Are you like that? Do you have many things that you treasure very close to your heart? Jesus Christ loves you, too!
This young man knew Jesus. He knew Jesus was good. In fact, he knew Jesus was so good that he called him "Good Master"! That young man had probably heard about all the wonderful works that Jesus had performed. Maybe he had heard Jesus teach about the kingdom of God... In fact, this young person was so excited that he RAN to Jesus when he saw Jesus walking on the road. Is that how you feel? Or do you know someone who knows Jesus well enough to always run to Jesus with questions, through prayer and reading the Bible? Well, that is how this person was. He was excited and happy, full of hope, looking forward to the answer that Jesus was going to give him.
This man couldn't wait to find out "what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" He told Jesus that he had done every thing right since his youth. He must have wanted to please God and people very much! How many of us can say that we have always obeyed all of the commandments since we were young? Can we say we never told a lie, no matter how "small", and always honored our mother and father? I know I could not say that I have done that, can you?
Then Scripture tells us "Then Jesus beholding him loved him." How wonderful!! Jesus loved that young man! "Beholding" means understanding the young man and accepting him as he is, keeping hold of him in view. Jesus saw him and loved him. Jesus understood the young man's heart and desires. Jesus knew that the young man had done his best to be good. And Jesus saw his loneliness and pain, as well. You see, this young man must have had something missing in his life in order for him to run to Jesus for the answer to his heart-needing question. This young man had every thing he could want or need! He was rich. He was also young and healthy! His body was probably strong and able. And the young man probably had the respect of other people since he was so proper and obedient. --- But something was lacking in his soul. The answer he was sure Jesus had.
And he was right! After beholding the young man, seeing into his needy heart, Jesus gave him the truth. The answer to all of his searching. The answer to his problems! Jesus said to him: There is one thing that you are missing. One thing you lack. Go your way and sell whatever you have and give to the poor. Then you shall have treasure in heaven! I invite you to come and take up your cross and follow me.
This would require the young rich man to change his entire life! The young man would have to stop living with his own possessions. He would have to give the things he valued to other people who were poor, and then he would have to trust in faith that he would be gathering treasure in heaven! That would be more like walking by faith and not by sight! This young man could see his good works. He was probably good at controlling his own circumstances. To give up all that security and safeness was frightening to him, no doubt. In fact, he went away grieved, sad and dismayed at what the "Good Master" had told him. ... I wonder, how much did he know exactly? "How good" did he think that the Good Master" was? ... Do you know?
Had this young rich man really known all about Jesus Christ, he could have never walked away. Had he understood the hint that the Lord Jesus Christ gave him by saying "Why callest thou me good? there is non good but one, that is, God." He might have understood that Jesus was agreeing with the young man's insight; that Jesus was all good, that Jesus is God. Then he would not have been sad and discouraged, and maybe even without hope. Instead, he could of asked the Good Master, "How can I do that? How can I give up all that I have known? Please show me and teach me!!"
Like Peter, who knew Jesus well, the young man could have told Jesus "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:68 Jesus might have encouraged him by repeating "take up the cross, and follow me". Having that personal invitation might be the only thing needed for that young man to trust that his life is in far better hands following Jesus than it ever was before or could ever be!
But that took courage. That took faith. That took trust in Jesus Christ. It was a hard decision. It was a hard choice. And at that moment, it was not the one he was willing to take. The young man walked away. And as he walked away, he was sad. We never learn if the young man eventually turned to give away his riches and follow Jesus. I would like to think he did.... but many times those doors of opportunity are not open for very long. Especially after seeing Jesus face to face, if he could walk away then, he might have never returned to Jesus. Never attained eternal life. --- (Jesus is always calling us, but many times the idea of following Jesus is important to us for a while, but then the cares of this world distract us from seeking, finding and following Jesus permanently.) --- ... but maybe the pain of loss, the pain of missing the love shining from Jesus' face as he was beheld by Jesus... maybe that caused the young man to realize his riches were filthy rags compared to the joy and peace of eternal life with Jesus here, now and in heaven!
Are you like that rich young man? You may not be very rich, you may not be young, you may not even be a man... but are you seeking the answer to "eternal life"? Jesus Christ is the answer. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 That means that only through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ can we have eternal life. Jesus says "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
Right now Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Jesus wants you to open the door of your heart for Him to enter in. This means true intimacy with the One who is Love. God who loves you unconditionally. Jesus loves you as you are. Jesus says to you, let me come in to supper, or eat with you, and you with me! I want to be your best friend. I love you.
Won't you let Jesus in? It is very easy. You can say this prayer :
Dear Jesus, You know how I am. You see me, and you behold me. You see my sorrow, loneliness and pain. You love me as I am. Thank you for loving me. But I am a sinner. I have done many wrong things. I am sincerely sorry that I have hurt myself, others and You by my actions and thoughts. Please forgive me for what I have done and said. Thank you for forgiving me, Jesus. Your Word in the Bible says that "If we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 1John 1:9 Thank you for forgiving me! Jesus, please come into my heart and make it clean. Fill me with your Holy Spirit to live in me and teach me! Help me to turn from the path I have been on and to take up my cross and follow you! In Your name, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.
Congratulations!! If you have prayed this prayer sincerely, from bottom of your heart, you are a child of God! Read "What's Next!" in order to live your life with Jesus Christ!
God blesses people whose sins are forgiven and whose evil deeds are forgotten. The Lord blesses people whose sins are erased from his book. Romans 4:7,8
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
Jesus said, "In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to….In the same way God’s angel’s are happy when even one person turns to him." Luke 15:7,10
Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.Jeremiah 31:3
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.Hosea 11:1
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."Matt 19:14
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.Matt 10:30
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You perceive my thoughts from afar. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 135:1,2,7,8
Luke 16:19-31 READ About the Rich man and Lazarus, both of whom died and what happened to each of them.
You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Rev.3:17,18
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