Luke 18:22 – Sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.
When Jesus walked this earth, he admonished folks to lay down their possessions and follow Him. The rich young ruler asked how he could receive salvation. When Jesus told him to go and sell everything and give it to the poor and follow Him, the young man decided that the price was far too high. He did not realize the price Jesus would pay for his sin.
I am bought with a price, Jesus’ blood. I am covered thoroughly with the robe of righteousness which the Father has placed upon me. Jesus lives in me through His Spirit. What joy to know my heavenly Father loves me, and gives me a relationship with Him through Christ Jesus. When the Father looks at me, He sees not what I used to be, but He sees the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing I possess compares to the price which was paid for my salvation.
It is important for the child of God to walk the tightrope between possessions and our treasures in heaven. Possessions, in and of themselves, are not evil or wrong. In the case of the rich young ruler, Jesus was challenging his heart. He was attached more firmly to his possessions than what was healthy. It cost him eternity. The Lord might have chosen to return all or more than what he would have given to the poor. He needed to be free from the bondage to his possessions.
Jesus told the church at Laodicea, “Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:16). The issue with the members of the church in Laodicea was not eternal life; it was their commitment to the Lord’s purpose and His ability to use them. They felt content in their prosperity and became “lukewarm” in their commitment to Christ and His kingdom purpose.
We must examine our hearts to see if we too are “lukewarm” because of materialism. As a Christian, there must be a tension between wealth and our commitment to a Christ-like lifestyle. While on earth, Jesus had all He ever needed, but was not wealthy by the world’s standards. Paul, the apostle said he suffered the loss of all things for Christ (Philippians 3:8). Yet he always paid his own way. He paid for the care of his team members; he used the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus, no doubt renting its use for two years, and he paid for his own rented house in Rome (Acts 28:30). The issue for the rich young ruler and the church at Laodicea was a “heart issue.” It is an issue for many in the Lord’s church today.
Father, help me search my heart to know if I am in bondage to possessions. Give me grace to be free from any bondage which prevents me from totally being committed to You and Your kingdom. Grace me to follow Jesus by giving away everything to which my heart is attached, knowing You will give me all I need to fulfill Your purposes and plan in my life.