Jesus fixed his gaze upon the man, with tender love, and said to him, “Yet there is still one thing in you lacking. Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor. Then all of your treasure will be in heaven. After you’ve done this, come back and walk with me.” Completely shocked by Jesus’ answer, he turned and walked away very sad, for he was extremely rich.
Mark 10:21-22 The Passion Translation
In the book of James we see that every good and perfect things comes from above. Then why does God ask us to give back those things? I believe the basic Kingdom principle is that He wants to give us greater things. If we give up something good we can receive something greater, something that brings true life. But it can often feel like a tremendous risk. We DO have a right to food, clean clothes, to our possessions, culture, personal opinions, shelter, respect, friends, loved ones, dreams, goals, money, and so many more GOOD things. But Jesus tells us that we can’t serve both God and money OR God and good things. He does give us the right to good things and He will also ask us to give them back to Him. If everyone were to constantly exercise their rights we could easily neglect the purpose of our faith which is to bless others because we have been blessed.
When we give up our God given right to good things, (spend our money as we want, eat what we want, live where we want, tell the jokes we want) and we choose to say to God, “Tell me what YOU want. All I have is YOURS.” We will see God as our provider, our fulfillment, our joy, our sustainer, and our rest.
Jesus gave us the supreme example of giving up EVERYTHING for the glory of God. In Philippians it says that Jesus was God, but He didn’t cling to that fact as His right. Instead, He humbled himself and became a servant. Jesus gave up the right to be with His Father. He gave up the right to money. He gave up the right to marriage. He gave up the right to His reputation. He gave up the right to life itself. For what purpose? So that God might exalt Him, give Him a name above every other name, which at His name every knee should bow. Jesus was showing us how to live our lives. He was showing us how to win over the devil. Jesus was showing us that the only way to win is to lose, the only way to conquer is to submit. Jesus wants us to follow Him, losing ourselves and gaining true life. We have the opportunity to deny ourselves to understand the deeper mysteries of heaven. We get to be apart of making more room for heaven on earth.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the good gifts You give! Thank You that You pour out blessing on us. You give GOOD gifts. Lord, thank You for the continued revelation You give on how Your Kingdom works. Will You bless us as we begin to loosen our grip on our rights. Will You continue to reveal to us the true and abundant life that comes from humility. Thank You that we can constantly access Jesus’ example of acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. Reveal to me how I can bless those around me with what You have blessed me with.