S (Scripture): Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to the wealthy ruler, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was extremely wealthy. 24 When Jesus noticed this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.”
O (Observation): The wealthy ruler who engages Jesus is told that even if he can keep the commandments (a stretch, for sure, but Jesus gives him the benefit of the doubt) he now must sell everything and give the money to the poor!!!!
This makes him sad…for he has a LOT of stuff. How will he live without it? Either he inherited it and he honors his predecessors by holding these possessions, or he earned it all himself. In either case, it means a lot to him.
But Jesus helps him to see that one never totally reaches salvation on one’s own. While he thinks he is following the rules, the identity of this rich man is still in his wealth. Jesus encourages him to remove his wealth, which is serving as a stumbling block for him.
And even yet, in the midst of his struggle, God’s grace will still somehow work in and through him.
A (Application): Consumerism. The drive of so many of our decisions is based on the draw of possessing the latest and greatest items, or buying that consumable good (like eating out).
We all need some basic necessities, sure, but how much of our identity is wrapped up in our role that we play in consumerism?
The bad news: Consumerism exists and plagues the likes of you and me. And we really can’t avoid being surround by Ba’al worship…er…I mean consumerism.
The good news: What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God. God is with us and will help us to let go of that which we don’t need.
How is your consumerism level these days?
P (Prayer): Lord, we come to you for help in guiding our use of money and possessions. Amen.