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  • Writer's pictureJoey Rozek

"One Thing Lacking” - Jesus' Encounter with a Rich Young Ruler

"Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? . . . . So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” - Luke 18:18,22

Not everyone who encountered Jesus left changed and transformed for the better. There were those that resisted Him back then and there are those who still resist Him today. Sometimes it comes down to the one thing that is lacking in one's life, which is almost always an idol in the heart that someone is not willing to give up.

How about you? Do you have something that you are holding on to too tightly or that you are loving and trusting in more than God? Be careful of subtle idols that are hidden deep within you.

This rich young ruler had a lot going for him "having great possessions" and a good reputation. He clearly felt good about the way he was living life in comparison with others.

But we should never measure our lives based on comparisons with our fellow man but rather the Creator who made us for Himself.

This rich young ruler felt he had good morals and good behavior and when comparing himself to those around him he could feel good about himself. BUT NOW he was in the very presence of God. He referred to Jesus as "Good Teacher" not fully understanding that the only person who can truly be called "good" was God Himself.

Thus, Jesus was not denying His divinity but rather helping this religious man make the connection that He was actually God's Son - God in human flesh. What this man was lacking was a full awareness of WHO JESUS IS and WHAT HE CAME ON EARTH TO ACCOMPLISH. Instead of denying himself and trusting in the Lord, he was convinced that he was already good enough and just needed to know if there was anything more that he needed to do to add to the good he was already doing.

Here lies the problem with the sinful condition of man. We often think that we are fine when we are not!

We are often trying to decide for ourselves or hide ourselves or accomplish for ourselves what only God can do. It is God who we need all the time! We were created to reflect God and to fellowship with Him and to follow Him in all that He commands for us to do.

Since God is good, whatever He says to us is good and is for our good! REMEMBER THIS: "Whatever God says NO to is meant to protect and preserve what He first said YES to."

Jesus said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ ” (Matt 4:4). Jesus taught His disciples to abide in Him saying, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

There are many people who think they are better than they really are. They call themselves good and seek to live an overall good life. But the problem is that we have all sinned against God and need His salvation. Even after we learn of God's love and sacrifice in sending His only Son to die for us, we must learn to surrender our will and follow the Lord by living a life that is relying on Him in the Spirit rather than living our best life in the flesh.

When we truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we receive God's eternal life of "knowing Him, the one true God, and His Son Jesus Christ" (John 17:3).


Heart Work

- What is one thing that you are lacking?

In other words, Is there anything that is holding you back...

…From encountering Jesus today? …Or being forever changed?

...Or making things right in your life where you may have taken a wrong turn?

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:15-17).

Jesus says, "...he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (John 5:24)

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