It's A Heart Issue
by Pam Frey 1/24/2008 / Devotionals
As I was reading my Bible this morning, I was inspired to share the thoughts that began to flood my heart. I was reading the story of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:18-30.
This rich young man came to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. The first thing that caught my attention was that the young man called Jesus "Good Master". The Greek word is "didaskalos" from "didasko" and is defined as an instructor, doctor, master, or teacher. This young man recognized Jesus as a good teacher, but he didn't understand that Jesus was the Messiah. He didn't understand that Jesus is the only way to obtain eternal life.
When this young man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus first responded by telling him, "You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not witness falsely, honor your father and your mother." (Luke 18:20 Amp) This young man tells Jesus he had kept them all from his youth. As I read this, I wondered; was this young man really inquiring about what he must do to inherit eternal life or was he simply looking for recognition for His good behavior?
Jesus knew all things. He knew that this young man knew the commandments that were written in the Law of Moses and had kept them. This rich young ruler had followed this set of religious rules, but what was really in this young ruler's heart? What did he treasure more than anything else?
When Jesus heard the young man say that he had followed all the commandments from his youth, He responded by saying, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Luke 18:22 NASB) This made the young man very sad because he was extremely rich. Jesus knew that this man's riches had first place in his heart and that he was not willing to give them up to follow Jesus.
In reading these passages this morning, it made me really begin to evaluate my own heart. Is there anything I may be holding on to that I have not been willing to give up to follow Jesus? We can do all sorts of religious activities and our hearts can still be far from Him. Following Jesus is more than a set of religious rules. It's a heart issue. Jesus requires first place in our hearts.
Sometimes it's a struggle to lie something down that we know we need too. He will give us the grace we need if we will go to Him and trade our weakness for His strength. We can do nothing apart from Him. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and we need His strength to live for Him. Praise be to God that He has given us His Holy Spirit to empower us.
In closing, please do not allow the enemy to bring condemnation on you. We all have areas we may be struggling with. Go to God with a broken and repentant heart and ask for His help. He is for us not against us.
May His peace be multiplied to you as you grow in the knowledge of Him.
I am a passionate lover of Jesus. My desire in writing is to share that passion with others in hopes that they too will catch on FIRE.