Tools for Glory (again)


Tools for Glory

Luke 18 New King James Version [source]

Luke 18:18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  What’s the first thing that catches your attention here?  For me it’s the ruler’s question.  What shall I DO to inherit eternal life?  That tells me right away that he was not looking for grace.  He was looking for a means to EARN his way into the Kingdom. Or maybe he thought he already had earned his way in and he was just planning on having a little fun with the itinerate preacher.  He began with a little flattery, referring to Jesus as Good Teacher.  And Jesus picked up on that right away and asked him a question.  19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.   So right there Jesus told the ruler, if you really believe I am good then you will believe I am God.  (Hmmm – what does this say about us when we doubt God’s goodness?)  And the ruler either missed what Jesus said or he ignored Him.  Knowing this, Jesus moved on.  20 You know the commandments:  ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’  ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” Can you believe it?  Do you think the poor boy really did not know?  Do you think he really thought he had kept the LAW of GOD perfectly?  Do you think he was smugly saying to Jesus, Hey man I got this covered?  And then Jesus applied the ‘rude awakening’.  22 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.” 23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.  And there it was – what the young man valued above all else – money.  If only he had valued Jesus above all else.  And so the question is did he have money or did his money have him? Was his money a tool in his hands or was he a slave in the clutches of his wealth?  We know the answer.  And why did he go away sorrowful?  In his heart of hearts did he know that his money had him?  Did he know that as long as his money had him, he would not have Eternal Life?  I wonder if he ever really enjoyed his money after this encounter with Jesus. And what does this say to you and me?  Is there anything I have; is there anything you have that instead of being a tool to use for His glory we are using it for our own glory?  Does this mean if I really want to enjoy my possessions, I have to ‘sell out’ to Jesus first?   Yeah, I think it does.

And I think there is a lot more to be said from this passage, but for this fine Monday morning, we shall close. 

Holy Spirit, it’s hard starting this morning; not that we have not already been speaking but private conversation is most often easier than public I think.  And I’m thinking I need some more private this morning but in this moment public is necessary, isn’t it?  ABBA, thank You for answered prayers.  And we pray for our IDOK Troops, You know their needs and You know we want them safe and whole and so we pray for their protection and safety in spirit, soul and body; and we pray at the appointed time they all come home safe and sound.  And with the entirety of those spoken here today and yet presenting each individually, for surely every name, and every member of every family and congregation are known to You and just what it is they need and it is for that we pray.  I ask You to tend to us today, ABBA; to each of our IDOKs and Readers, wherever they are and whatever crosses their lives today and this I ask in Jesus Name.  Amen and amen.