Tuesday’s Torch 594
June 30, 2020
In Matthew chapter 19 a rich young man came up to the Savior to seek knowledge. He wanted to know what he could do to have eternal life.
Jesus mentions several commandments in the following words:
“Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
To this the young man responded that he had kept those commandments since he was a youth and wondered what he was still missing. Verses 21-22: “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
Now let me state that I feel like this is one of those verses that a lot of people seem to have difficulty with and misunderstand. In connection with the verse that states that the “love of money is the root of all evil,” there are many who assume money is evil in and of itself. But it is the love of it and the focus on it that invites the evil.
If we look at this verse as only applying to riches and wealth we will miss the application it has for us all. If we take this rich young man at his word he has lived a rather virtuous life, at least he has avoided some very big sins. So why then did Jesus tell him to sell all he had? Because that was the one thing this man was placing above God. His great possessions were the thing that he could not do without. His riches were preventing him from having a close relationship with his Heavenly Father!
Many of us would love the chance to have that questioned answered face to face by the Savior. What do I lack? What am I missing? I’ve done this and this and kept these commandments, I’ve struggled with some others in the past and I’m trying
my best but what else can I do? I’m absolutely certain I’m not the only one who feels this way from time to time.
We can seek those answers for ourselves during personal prayer and scripture study but I would like to offer this idea. Most of us already know, if we really think about it, which of our priorities are in proper order and which of them are mixed up. What do we put ahead of our relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ? What would we go away sorrowful about having to give up? The scriptures were written for us to apply to our lives, so that we may learn and grow so I would like to apply this scripture to us in the following ways.
Think if any of these versions would fit. ‘And he walked away sorrowful because his pride was great.’ ‘And she walked away sorrowful for her desires were great.’ ‘And they walked away because their addictions were great’. The thing standing in our way from the exaltation and eternal life we seek can be many many things. Sometimes even emotional things. Maybe it is great anger or sadness standing in our way? Disappointment at hopes or dreams we had for ourselves or others that haven’t come to fruition? Some people let secular or worldly knowledge prevent them from having the humility to turn to their Heavenly Father for help because they foolishly think they can figure everything out on their own.
Whatever thing or combination of things is standing in your way that you need to let go of, do it. Get help if you need it. Remove whatever weakness, trial, struggle, favorite sin, procrastination, guilt, shame, anger or frustrations that are stopping you from turning more fully to righteousness and living as God invites us to live. With God all things are possible. Even giving away that which stands in our way. Removing those stumbling blocks that far too often we place in our own way and in the way of others. And usually, at least in my circles of influence, it’s not being too wealthy that is causing our problems. But sometimes we get caught up in seeking something and desiring something so strongly that we lose sight of those things that are truly important.
My challenge for myself this week and for any who choose to accept it with me is the following: Ponder, pray and study on what we feel we can improve upon, find out what our personal answer is for the question of what we lack, of what we must do, what we must let go of to receive the eternal life and exaltation that the Savior has made possible for each of us. And once we have a more complete grasp of the improvements we can make, let us seek the Lords help in making them. With him all things are possible, even those things you don’t feel you can get by without. With God, you can, and you will not just survive but you will thrive. Of this I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16