One thing!

November 14, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “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 (NIV))

Jesus spoke these words to a person identified as a ruler, a man of great wealth. He had started the conversation with Jesus.

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
(Luke 18:18 (NIV))

Jesus replied.

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’ ”
(Luke 19-20 (NIV))

The ruler replied that he had done this since he was a boy.

I can only imagine the man’s reaction when Jesus informed him that he still lacked one thing. I can feel his heart sink when Jesus tells him to sell all that he has and give to the poor.

This man was rich. He tried to do what was required of him, yet through the words that Jesus spoke to him, he realized that he loved money. He realized that he had a big decision to make. It is the same decision that people have wrestled with ever since. He appears to have not been willing to give up his one thing – his wealth – in order to achieve eternal life.

What if you and I were able to go up to Jesus and ask him the very same question? Would we receive the first answer that Jesus gave the wealthy ruler? I am certain that this would not change, for the foundation has been built and it cannot be shaken.

I suppose that the question of eternal value is whether we would be told that we still lack one thing!

If you have ever seen the movie “City Slickers,” the old cowhand that was played by Jack Palance would always tell the men on the drive that in order to make it tot he end, they had to have one thing. All throughout the movie, this left everybody wondering, until Jack’s character dies and he before he dies, he informs everyone that the one thing is different for each person.

With that in mind, the one thing that each of us may have is completely different from the one thing that someone else may have. To some, it is money. To others, it is fame. To others, is is fleshly pleasures. To others, it is something not so obvious. To some, it is pride.

No matter what our one thing may be, if we do not allow it to be dealt with and put in its place, that one thing can keep us from inheriting eternal life. I can hear the thoughts beginning to take shape now. You are probably asking, “What about grace?”

Grace does come into play, but if your surrender to Jesus was not an authentic surrender, then your heart will have its own priorities. If you truly desire to stop,l but are unable to in the flesh, God will see your heart Think about that for a moment. Jesus did not tell the woman caught in adultery to go and continue. He told her to repent – to turn away from her sin – and sin no more. We must be willing to turn away from our sin.

Each of us are human. I am sure that each of us have one thing that we have to constantly remind ourselves to get behind us.

Don’t be like the wealthy ruler and allow your one thing to keep you from God’s grace and mercy.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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March 30, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
(Psalms 119:5 (NIV))

Do you ever waiver in your faith? Do you ever do things that you know God does not like? As a result of this, do you ever feel unworthy of God’s love and His grace?

If you are like me, I fail to be in God’s perfect Will many times a day. Even David, who is thought to have written Psalm 119, failed many times a day. He longed to do better. Even through his failures, God saw David’s heart.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: `I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
(Acts 13:22 (NIV))

Perfection is not something that we are capable of attaining on our own. In fact, in our physical existence, we never will attain perfection. We will falter and fail in what we earnestly seek. It is our heart that God looks at and not our success rate. Human nature does not allow us to be perfect, for we have fallen from grace. The world judges us by our successes. God judges us by our heart. If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then He will live within us. In our natural, physical existence, we will fail. Even those who walked this earth with Jesus failed many times.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
(Matthew 26:40-41 (NIV))

Don’t let your failures keep you sidetracked. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will find your obedience to God’s Will increasing. You will become steadfast in His ways.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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