When the rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked what he needed to do, Jesus said, “you know the law.”
The young guy said, “I’ve done all that.”
Jesus then said, “Sell all you have and come, follow me.”
The rich young guy walked away sad.
Before this conversation takes place, the rich young guy said to Jesus, “Good master.”
Jesus said, “There is none good, but God.” Which therefore begs the question, “Do you believe that Jesus is God?” The young ruler didn’t believe. What is the first commandment? “I Am the Lord God, you shall have no other gods before me.”
So many of us think that because we “don’t drink, don’t chew, don’t date those that do” we are right before God. But we don’t let go of our egos, or money, or self-righteousness, bitterness, anger, addictions, un-forgiveness or whatever. We claim it’s a part of who we are. We constantly walk away from Jesus claiming we believe in Him, yet, we cling to our idols of self. Jesus does not abandon us. We walk off on Him. He will never leave nor forsake us, but so many times we forsake Him.
There are none righteous, no not one. We have all fallen short. Any in the body who claim otherwise are liars. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:18
I like to read. I’ve been reading Dean Koontz’s Intensity for a while now. Sometimes I read fast, other times it may take me a while to get through a book. The main bad guy is extremely evil. The main character is being held captive by him and she’s trying to figure him out. After some time with him she realizes that he’s not a wolf when the moon comes out. He’s just a person. But she realizes his main sin. This is how Dean Koontz describes her understanding.
“His base sins were envy - of beauty, of happiness - and pride, bending the whole world to his view of creation, and these were the greatest sins of all, the same transgressions over which the devil himself, once an archangel, had stumbled and fallen a long way out of Heaven.”
Pride sees the world through its own view and refuses to see things from any other perspective. But, God the Creator of Heaven and Earth, stepped out of Heaven and took on the form of man to see things from our perspective. He loves us that much.
What is it that justifies us? Our church attendance? How ‘good’ we are? Who we associate with? It is Christ that justifies us before God. But how many of us truly understand that? We believe that our standing with God is based on our performance. Our pride stands in the way of Faith. Because we think that what we do should be taken into account for our salvation. Thus, we make ourselves our own idols.
We do things that we think will improve our standing with God. We don’t associate with “that type of person,” or we don’t “go to those type movies.” “I’m a Christian and I don’t do those things.”
So much of who we are has nothing to do with our lives in Christ. The idea of submission in the body of Christ has been lost because of the abuse of power within the body of believers. Men have behaved like rulers, yet refuse to give themselves as Christ gave himself for the church. Women in the body have been treated badly by leadership if they didn’t ‘submit’ to their husbands.
Marriages have ended because of the demands of submission. No demand should be made of someone that you are not willing to submit to.
How much better the world would be if each of us would put our faith in Christ and let Him live through us. In the Way, let Him love through us. As John the Baptist said, He must increase and I must decrease. To put one’s faith in Christ is to put one’s faith in God. If God is Love, then we must put our faith in Love. Love is not idle.
Jesus said to love God, then love each other. Then He loved us first. He loved us unto death.
Love is a risk. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God gave us Jesus. God gave us Love. Man took Him, lied about Him, spat on Him, beat Him, mocked Him then nailed Him to a cross, because man thought that he knew better than God. This is what we do to Jesus every time we refuse to love those around us for whatever reason. For those reasons we have become our own idols.