Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Living justly for the Follower of Jesus involves living beneath our means, living with less, living simply and sometimes even going without so that others mightnot have to go without.
Too often we’re just like the young rich dude in Matthew 19:16-24. He wanted to do something “good” so he could get his piece of eternal life, but in the end he wasn’t really interested in doing whatever it would take to make a difference in this life. Just like him, we love the idea of justice (doing good, setting wrongs right) until there is a cost. We’re willing to follow Jesus up to a point—right up to the point at which inconvenience and personal sacrifice is required. It’s what we do at that point which defines us.
The young rich dude had 3 problems:
(1) He thought this life was simply preparation for the next. He failed to understand that God was interested in a partnership with him to usher in the “life of the eternal age” now, where because of our good deeds, we see the reign of God—his kingdom—coming to earth in ever greater measure, now!
(2) He was willing to do a good deed (as long as it didn’t require personal sacrifice), but he wasn’t willing to really follow Jesus. Remember, he turned down Jesus’ invitation to do so. And,
(3) He actually loved his money more than he cared about being in on the coming age God has planned for this world. He loved his money more than doing the one “good” thing Jesus knew would reveal his heart for being a part of the kingdom of God now and finding his place in the life of the eternal age which Jesus was ushering in. He traded all that for his wealth.
Question: How are we different than the young rich dude? Are we? How willing are we to simplify our lives so that we have less financial stress, less debt and more to share with others? What could we do without so that others might not have to do without?
Remember, God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17) He’s not a killjoy; he just wants us to share. He didn’t design us to suffer, but he does intend us to be willing to sacrifice for others.