January 24, 2024

Now and Forever

Matthew 19:16-26

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

—  Matthew 19:24

The kingdom of God is eternal. It’s the ultimate reality, when everything will be good at last. Surprisingly, though, the kingdom is also right here, right now—wherever Jesus is present in the flesh or by the Spirit. We can see that in Matthew 19. A rich man who comes to talk with Jesus is very interested in having eternal life—that is, life in the kingdom of God. But does he really want that kind of life? When Jesus tells the man, “Sell everything, give to the poor, and follow me,” the man can’t do it. He can’t take those three steps. It’s really hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. That’s what Jesus says. And he means more than entering the eternal kingdom in the future. He also means living the way of the kingdom right here, right now. Among other things, the way of the kingdom is selfless and generous. And the way of the kingdom includes deeply trusting in God to meet every need. Sadly, the rich man in this story wasn’t ready to live that way. Not here, not now. How about you? Are you ready to live the way of the kingdom here and now? If not, will you want to live that way in eternity?

Lord Jesus, fears grip us, and things grip us—and it’s hard to break free. Help me to let go of everything but you so that I can live the way of the kingdom right here, right now. Amen.

About the author — Bob Arbogast

Bob Arbogast is the pastor of Celebration Fellowship church in Ionia, Michigan. In his spare time, he plays guitar in a West Michigan blues band. He and his wife Jan have been married forty years and have three adult daughters. Bob has been praying the psalms since 2002.

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