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Friday, September 5, 2014

Guard Your Heart from Greed

One thing I love about Jesus is that He knows all our flaws and will point them out if we ask……but watch out because the answer always reveals to us something about ourselves that we didn’t realize. It can be quite humbling because we typically think of ourselves better than we truly are. Jesus points out the truth. Take the young man in the scripture below. He just told Jesus that he has obeyed all the commandments (my advice: never tell Jesus that because a severe humbling will follow). Now without saying “No you haven’t!” or scolding him Jesus simply says that he must sell his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow me. In his refusal the young man showed that he did not in fact keep the commandments Jesus listed. By refusing to sell his possessions and give to the poor he showed he did not love his neighbor as himself. Most of all it showed that the man broke the greatest commandment by putting his wealth ahead of obeying God.
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony,  honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:16-22
This was a personalized prescription Jesus gave to heal a huge disease the young man wasn’t aware he had in his heart. The young man truly believed he was righteous and didn’t realize just how important his wealth was to him. Once Jesus pointed it out the man went away sad.
So I’m not saying we need to sell all our possessions to show we love our neighbor. But I am saying that how we hang onto our wealth says a great deal about how much we trust God and love our neighbors. If we have a heart like Jesus we will always be willing to financially meet a need if God prompts us to do so.
Has a financial need crossed your path recently that God is prompting you to meet? Do you trust God will always provide for you enough to give above what you think you can afford to give?
Next time God has a need come across your path I challenge you to open your hands to God and give beyond what you can afford and see how He will bless you in return.

Having a heart like Jesus means having sensitivity and a willingness to give to those in need trusting that God will meet your needs. He always does - Amen?