by Christina Farris
If a rich man gave all he had up to follow after Jesus he would have to have faith that God would provide all his needs and his money earned by his own hand had no real value. Now with this in mind what is the value of what is in one's hand could be a life savings, or just enough to get by on. Those that live pay day to pay day have just as hard of a time giving up their money to chariety and trusting God, but it is harder for a rich man to give it all up, no it hard for anyone to give it up. Because to walk by faith requires you to walk with a blind fold on. To walk by faith you have to put the blind fold on and step out not knowing which direction the foot is going in, or being able to see the path ahead that bring earthly hope. Earthly hope is a commodity in our life. It speaks of a future here on earth if nothing bad happens. It also speaks of something we can not predict what will befall us. Over twenty years ago my husband thought his job was secure until injury occurred. Then we found his job was more precious then we ever considered. What is commodity verse commodity of everlasting life. For the rich man the commodity of what he had brought him earthly security unless devastation of some kind took it away.
We hope in faith in eternity of what we can not see. Our faith is rested in the promise of God and the only evidence we have of God's promise is how he works in our daily life to teach us how to live. Many people go into financial debt only to find themselves on the street because job security is not there. They gave not up what they owned but what others owned until their debt would hopefully be paid then it be theirs. The job security is only a potential of hope of brighter future then what may or may not be. Yet many of us take the risk in hopes of a brighter tomorrow. Yet nothing is promised. Yet God promises a better tomorrow if we will trust in Jesus. Jesus said to the rich man to sell it all and give it to those in need.
Now if we trust in God and He tells us to sell it all will we do it? Let us go a step further, will you give it all up just for your inheritance in heaven. The answer is most will not and never will, and that is what Jesus response to the disciples was. Disciples said they gave everythings up to follow and Jesus said no one has forsaken their homes or their families for the kingdom of God's sake, that will not receive more and receive everlasting life. When we die all receive everlasting life, but where is your eternal home. Is it in heaven or hell.
Abraham about to sacrifice his Son and God stopped him. God in his wisdom provide a sacrifice for him, a ram to offer in place of his son. When we give up everything, we are sacrificing our livilihood as well. Stepping out in faith and facing potential starvation. When we trust in Jesus for being the sacrifice for our sins, we are allowing God to provide the need payment for our sin, so our eternity is not in eternal lake of fire. Yet Jesus was requiring his disciples and those around to give up everything to help the poor and those in need. What the disciples did not understand is Jesus only temporary gave up his home to be here with us in human flesh, he knew where his home was in heaven.
When we receive Christ our home is not here, it only temporary home. Yet our mind is finite and often we look to what we can see that will support us. It is those things we often need to provided for even the basics of life. Yet our Heavenly Father knows all we need and even our desires for security in our life on earth. When what we have is more valuable then giving to help another in need, we have failed to show the love of God. Yet those on the street might cry Lord why not sell a few cows in heaven so we can eat, and have money to rent a place to sleep. What is the point? Point is this God provision for us is not always what we think it should be. The people the wilderness left with all their possessions and enter into the wilderness. Giving up jewelry and things to build the tabernacle for God.
Our idea of provision is not always what we think, but it is supply that will get us where we need to go in life. We can not worry if it is counted as healthy by the standards of men, but the standards of God. What was in the supply of manna no one knows because it was bread from heaven. No one got sick because of manna unless they disobeyed the rules of gathering it. No one starved because of manna, and quail. Faith is not be able to see a far off, it is taking steps with blinders on not knowing what lays ahead.
Most people want a God that opens the doors to good paying jobs despite the sacrifice to have it. Saying Lord I can do more if I have money. In truth one might in this world do much with their money, but trusting in God has it own reward of provision in the struggle of life. Knowing the victory dance when the next door open may not be the door that should be taken. It does not always mean that door the devil opens is the one that should be taken. The money high is the easy path, but it does not mean it is the route to take, or it might be the route to take. Even Paul worked when traveling mending tents. No doubt earning money to support himself in his journeys. Nothing wrong with money, it is about not being able to give it up if God requires you too. Jesus was requiring the same thing from the rich man for him to follow has he did his disciples. The disciples had given up all they had to follow. They fished for a living and still fished when they need too. Peter went and got money out of a fish mouth he caught to give to the government for taxes, when Jesus told him too. Nothing wrong with a honest day work. Yet we must realize God comes first.
Our natural abilities to perform duties and task is not the same as God given ability to perform. Following Christ requires us to go by faith learning, using and acquiring God given ability. Resting and trusting in Jesus to provide what we need for even our livilihood. What is our livilihood but the work before us whether it in the highest office in the land or the least paying job in our country. It matters not. When relying on our wealth is more valuable then our faith, then we have failed.
Let us stop for a moment how often do people that fish go and fish and bring fish back to sell. It is an everyday job if you want income, but it also comes with a price of mending nets, even today. It comes with a price of repairs to a boat. It comes with a price of weather not being good for fishing. There days you go and fish and nothing is caught. Yet Jesus in a hurry would provide the catch of the day everytime. Supply with Jesus was rememberable ones. Yet it is also a memory that goes on today. When your need is small consider God provision is greater. Disciples might not of been wealthy by the rich man standards, but they had a supply that never ran dry. Yet they to had to work for it. So do not think money has no value when follow Jesus, you must be willing to put your hand to the plow at times to earn your keep.
Dear Heavenly Father, may your riches abound in our labor for your glory and honor to help in the work of not only ministry but our daily survival. May our following after you by giving all we have be not in vain, but for your glory and honor. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:Luke 18:18-30 KJV
18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.