As Jesus looked at him, he felt love for him and said, “You lack one thing. Go, sell whatever you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But at this statement, the man looked sad and went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. — Mark 10:21-22 NET
How many there are who know in their hearts what their duty is, but fail to do it because they are hiding some forbidden thing; they refuse to launch on the current sweeping past them, because they are secretly anchored to a sandbank; they go from one teacher to another, with an appearance of earnest inquiry after eternal life, which never comes to anything, because they are unwilling to renounce their secret idol.
In the case of this young man, it was the love of money. “He had great possessions.” There is no harm in money. It is one of God’s gifts to men, but it is hard to own it without coming to look upon it as one’s own, instead of realizing that we are stewards only. It was for this reason that our Lord proposed this supreme test. St. Francis of Assisi thought that these words applied universally, and founded the Order of the Franciscans, pledged to poverty. But it seems more in harmony with the spirit of the Gospel to believe that it was a special test put to this seeker after truth, to reveal him to himself.
The law of love is not negative only but positive. The most essential condition for each of us is to be willing, like another young man who was living at that time, “to count all things but loss, in order to win Christ and to be found in Him” (Phi 3:8). If you would follow Christ and are prepared for Love’s sake to surrender all, you will probably be entrusted with manifold more, because Christ knows that He can make you His almoner with no fear of gold dust adhering to your palm in its transmission.
Let us guard against the idol of money or possessions. Riches which open most doors, will not furnish a pass-key to Heaven. Let us see to it that we always act as stewards of God’s property, but this is not possible unless we are living perpetually in fellowship with our Master, who though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich, and who says to us also, “Come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee. Amen.
Our Daily Walk - September 12
Public domain content taken from Our Daily Walk by F.B. Meyer.