A man once approached Jesus, asking him “what good action can I take toward eternal value?” And Jesus replied, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you seek to approach keeping a life of eternal value then keep the commandments.” The man then asked, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
What does it require in order to focus one’s walk in life onto eternal values of true Kingdom living? Jesus said that it would come with great challenge for the one who is heavily invested in a life centered on the values of this world. Most likely it would take considerable compression of one’s values that are anchored in the temporal things of this life in order for one to release such items or issues which have little lasting value in light of eternity.
Who then can find success in such a venture? Jesus replied; “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Man’s way is inclined in many cases to make superficial sacrifices that require little action from the heart. When man relies solely on his own resourcefulness apart from God’s intervention and provision he will in most cases fall upon a fate that offers little in the way advancement toward eternal or lasting values.
So what might taking up one’s own cross to follow after Jesus imply? Following an example He sets for us may we ask ourselves; “Do I have a heart of a servant who gives generously and is ready to offer up my very best unconditionally to serve whosoever God places in my path in perhaps what may even seem to be not convenient in the moment? Can I follow in Jesus’ footsteps and serve as He did?
Lacking nothing and possessing all things. In Christ, we can choose a place where offering our very best unto Him brings to us in exchange His best, fullfilling our highest sense of contentment. It is our choice to make. Such as the case of the woman we read of in Luke 7:37,38 where she came there with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume and she broke a highly valued jar in order to offer it to Jesus. She freely and willingly gave up which to her was likely a prized possession and offered and surrendered this to Jesus in an act of total submission. Her life exemplified one poured out. She offered her very best to the Master.
Has not God chosen those who are choosing to be poor in the aspects of this world so as to become rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? Where our heart truly is centered is where we also will likely invest our very best; our treasure. We can be rich in faith and let our actions demonstrate the same. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Jesus said “let everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
The disciples once came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I think we get the idea here. Humble oneself in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up. Such find great expansesiveness in the Kingdom of God.