The youth had begun early to climb the eternal stair. He had kept the commandments, and by every keeping had climbed. But because he was well-to-do, he felt well-to-be; quite, but for that lack of eternal life! His possessions gave him a standing in the world. He knew himself looked up to; he liked to be looked up to; he looked up to himself because of his means, forgetting that means are but tools, and poor tools, too. To part with his wealth would be to sink to the level of his inferiors! Why should he not keep it? Why not use it in the service of the Master? What wisdom could there be in throwing away such a grand advantage? He could devote it, but he could not cast it from him! He could devote it, but he could not devote himself! He could not make himself naked as a little child and let his Father take him! To him it was not the word of wisdom the “Good Master” spoke. How could a rich man believe he would be of more value without his money, that the battle of God could be better fought without its impediment? But the Master had repudiated money that he might do the will of his Father; and the disciple must be as his master. Had he done as the Master told him, he would soon have come to understand.
Obedience is the opener of eyes.
by Earle Canty
A well-known portion of a verse from the Bible is 1 Tim 6:10 – “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” Riches of themselves are not bad, the problem is what they do to the owner. They can easily color our view of ourselves and blind us to the One who provided the riches. That is the reason that Jesus told his disciples “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:23-24). God knows the heart of each person. For many, riches are an idol, though they would steadfastly deny that is the case. Those who possess riches, their wealth takes the place of God and makes them feel that they have no need for God. The verses in Matthew 19:16-22 accurately depict the dilemma faced by the wealthy. The rich ruler asks Jesus what good he must do to obtain eternal life. Jesus explains that keeping the commandments is important, but tells the ruler that he must sell all his possessions (i.e., surrender all his wealth) if he truly wants to be complete. The ruler walked away aggrieved because he was unable to part with his wealth. The wealth was his identity, his source of power, but most importantly, his idol from which he was unwilling to turn. There are wealthy people who have eternal life, but they are rare relative to all who have riches. Their wealth is not their idol, they view it is a tool given by their heavenly Father to advance His Kingdom. They are typically very humble people who give their riches to God’s work out of obedience and for His glory, not their glory.