February 26, 2018


Luke 18:18-23

You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

—  Luke 18:22

This ruler was challenging Jesus to a showdown, thinking he already had eternal life in his pocket. So Jesus, knowing where this guy was coming from, rattled off a summary of the law: no adultery; no murder; no stealing; no lying; no dishonoring of parents. The ruler proudly announced, “All these I have kept since I was a boy.”

This man had long ago convinced himself he had done every­thing right for God. But Jesus knew the man’s central weakness. “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in ­heaven. Then, come, follow me.”

Jesus’ words hit the man like a tsunami. His possessions were what made him somebody. His life revolved around all the things that brought him importance and acceptance.

What’s more, the thought of giving his wealth to the poor probably made him cringe. These were the very people he saw as beneath him. The thought of handing over his hard-earned wealth to the poor did not feel like the eternal life he was planning for. To him, treasures on earth were much better than treasure in heaven.

The Jesus life always calls us to follow the Lord ahead of everything else in our lives, no matter the cost. Can we live the Jesus life?

Master, give me the desire to follow you, whatever the cost. Help me to live sacrificially so that I can help others in your name. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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