Thursday – Love of Possessions Over the Love of God

By Nick Molick

   “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless  and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:9

   Each and every one of us are easily distracted, and while we are distracted by different things there is an eternal lesson in this fact. Jesus doesn’t want us getting distracted or taking our eyes off Him. This is not some type of selfish want by our Savior. It is for our eternal flourishing that Jesus prescribes for us to be completely satisfied in Him and His promises. Jesus knows we get distracted. It is not a surprise to Him. He knows how to counter it in our lives by turning our hearts and minds to what is useful and eternally important.

   In the story of the rich young ruler we see the rich young man approach Jesus boldly with a question about eternal life. We can see ourselves in this moment. This isn’t a disrespectful question. In other faiths this question goes on to be curiously unanswered, but Christ and His word are explicit about what we must do and believe. The young man wanted answers to life’s big question and Jesus draws his mind immediately to one of the first set of laws given to God’s people, the Ten Commandments. Look at the man’s response in Mark 10:20. He specifically says I have kept all of these. But look at the commandments Jesus lists; the do nots of murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, defrauding and do honor your father and mother. The man responds by saying he has kept all of these from his youth.

   Next look at Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler. He looked at him and loved him. Did you catch that? He loved him! Jesus knew that he didn’t keep all of those commandments from his youth and He also knew this man’s greatest hindrance to entering the Kingdom was his covetousness for possessions. After looking at him and loving him Jesus lays out a task that the rich young man could not even consider, let alone do. Jesus asks him to sell all that he has and give the proceeds to the poor because if he does that Jesus lets the man know that he will have treasures in Heaven. This opportunity made the ruler disheartened, sad and he walked off knowing he loved his stuff more than his God.

   This is so important for us to understand — that our covetousness for things can lead to our destruction. In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul says that covetousness is to be resisted with the fight of faith. This is Paul’s way of stressing the importance of this fact and how we can fight against it.

   Our eternal ruin can be achieved when we are distracted by our stuff, our want for stuff or inventing our own truth when we don’t like the answers God gives us. For us to enter the Kingdom, Jesus gives us the only option ˗ to keep our faith and our eyes on Him.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 134

2 Cor 6:14-8:24

Ps 105:26–45

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