Today, Reverend Christina continues her new sermon series with giving as its main theme. This morning, she focuses on an incident described in three of the gospels. It involves a rich man who asks Jesus just what he should do to gain eternal life. Jesus responded with a challenge: he firmly told the questioner to “go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor.” What this challenge did was expose what might keep the rich man from ever enjoying eternal life: his love of money. Money represented the man’s pride of accomplishment, a kind of “I did it my way” attitude, a way of thinking that prevented the man from keeping the first commandment, to let nothing be more important than turning one’s whole life and heart over to God.
Truly this man’s wealth had made his life comfortable while concurrently enhancing his power and prestige. When Jesus challenged him to sell everything he owned, Jesus was revealing the very basis of the man’s security and identity. The man failed to understand that he would be even more secure if he followed Jesus and if he kept his focus only on the degree of security his wealth could afford him. In essence, the man’s wealth was his god. He had failed to recognize that we cannot love God with all of our hearts and yet keep our money to ourselves. Generously and joyfully we must allocate a substantial portion of our God-given wealth to those in true need. Yes, by giving selflessly, not selfishly, we reveal our attitude toward money, whether it is our servant or our master.
In this week’s show, Reverend Christina Thompson takes listeners through Mark 10:17-31 which says (ESV):
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
About Reach Out and Trust
Reach Out and Trust is a faith-based 30-minute program brought to you each Sunday morning at 7:30 am and 11:30 am. Reach Out and Trust is a ministry of Whitney United Methodist Church here in Boise. Rev. Christina Thompson is the pastor at Whitney and each week brings her sermon to the radio. Each program is designed to encourage trust in the Lord and seeks to bring everyone who listens to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.