1. …the Lost are Found.
2. …the Lonely Find Family.
3. …the Longing Find Purpose.
How often do you contemplate that thought? You might think of it as destiny or calling or your reason for existence. Thoughts of purpose lead us to the big and important questions.
Is there a purpose?
What is my purpose?
Am I fulfilling my purpose?
Unanswered questions of purpose can become an overwhelming longing of the soul, an impossible to tune out yearning of the heart, an ever-whispering buzzing in the ears of our psyche.
These are the big questions of life, aren’t they? It takes a brave soul to contemplate ultimate questions. It also takes a strong soul, for questions of purpose have driven some to the mental brink and even over the edge into breakdown and worse.
The simple fact is, we humans need to know our purpose. We need to know why we’re on this road of life, where we’re supposed to go, how we’re supposed to get there and how to know when we’ve actually arrived. At one horrific concentration camp in Greece, Nazi officials devised a demoralizing experiment with meaningless toil and hard labor. On pain of execution inmates were ordered to dig holes and then fill them in, to build walls and then tear them down. The labor was not intended for any productive purpose. The whole sadistic point was to break the prisoners’ morale.
LUKE 18:18-30 - THE RICH YOUNG RULER
In Jesus’ encounter with the Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-30; cf. Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31) we learn the sad story of a man who had everything except the one thing that matters most. Running up to Jesus and falling at His feet he asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” While he had it all – from affluence to influence – this rich young man realized that even the surest investments mean nothing when your number’s up. His question was honest and earnest, but in the end, Jesus revealed the true heart of his struggle. Riches and wealth were his true gods. His hands were full. He had no room for Jesus. He might have been invited to every party on earth, but in terms of the Kingdom of God, he was stuck on the outside looking in.
When Jesus told him to sell everything, give it to the poor, then come follow Him, the young man went away sad. Even for heavenly riches, this poor guy couldn’t part with earthly comforts and transient security. Jesus responded, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For 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." Aren’t you glad what is impossible for man is possible for God?
WHOM DO YOU TRUST?
Be we rich or poor, the story of this sad young man illustrates what is true of each one of us. We struggle to trust God because we really trust only in ourselves. Consider these degrees of self-trust and ask yourself which response best describes you:
Degrees of Self-Trust:
“I’m not perfect, but I’m a good person.”
“I’m more good than bad.” ("I'll tip the balance in my favor.")
“I’m better than most.”
“I’m not the worst person I know.”
“At least I’m better than [really terrible person like Hitler or Stalin].”
“I’m not good at all. Only God is truly good, I trust wholly in Him.”
WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE?
Whether we possess a lot or a little, we all have thoughts of the future. How are you investing your wealth? Where is your treasure? And what will become of your investment strategy when your number is up? The rich young ruler illustrates how sometimes good things can become ultimate things. Blessings from God can become burdens keeping us from God.
IS JESUS REALLY BETTER?
The rich young man went away from Jesus spiritually poor and destitute because Jesus was not enough. He judged the things of this world to be better than the storehouses of heaven that are hidden in Christ and accessible for His co-heirs. Nothing in this world can compare with Jesus.
Better (Hebrews 7:22; 12:24).
Purer (Colossians 2:17; 1 John 3:1-3).
Surer (Hebrews 6:17-20).
The rich young ruler lacked the one thing that mattered most. His “one thing” (worldly wealth) kept him from the best thing (heavenly treasure). His investment strategy was stupid. Like the rich fool of Luke 12:13-21, the rich young ruler apparently forgot that he was going to die. He was asking the right question, but he wasn’t open to the answer.
What’s Your “One Thing”? Have you left everything to follow Jesus? What’s holding you back?
What do you value more than Jesus? What’s the one thing you would never give up for Him? You say, “Jesus, you can have it all, but you can’t have this.” “You can’t take this.” “Hands off, Jesus!” What one thing do you lack? You may call yourself a Christian, but who's really sitting upon the throne of your heart?
Check out Scriptures like Matthew 6:19-21 and 2 Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7. Don’t be like our Rich Young Ruler. Don’t go away from Jesus sad.
Make Jesus your treasure, and you’ll have eternal treasure in heaven. Give Jesus your heart, and your heart will forever be with Him. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.