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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Hello Friends: 4.12.12- The Rich Young Ruler

Hello Friends,

What a great Resurrection weekend we all celebrated together. At West Salem Foursquare we opened our doors and hearts to 2486 people! During our five services as well as at our Saturday morning Dream Center event 64 people said YES to Jesus. That’s worth rejoicing! Join me in praying for each person that made a commitment. Ask the Lord to preserve and protect their hearts and emotions this week.

Also, I want to express a HUGE thank you to the hundreds of servants that made our Easter gatherings so welcoming, fun, excellent and Jesus-filled. You are awesome!

Today I want to continue our HELLO FRIENDS series by looking at Mark 10. In this New Testament chapter there is a character that we don’t have a name for…only three descriptions…

Rich.
Young.
Ruler.

These descriptions are not all found in one place, however. All the Gospels call him Rich. Only Matthew 19:20 denotes that he is Young. And, only in Luke 18:18 do we discover that he is a Ruler.

Rich. He had affluence.
Young. He had achievement.
Ruler. He had authority.

I want to make some comments about the first descriptor only today: RICH. To be an officer in the synagogue like this young man meant that it was required that he have considerable wealth. But he is wondering if that is enough for eternal life.

Are riches the ultimate goal of happiness and spiritual contentment? I remember a young guy named Nick saying, “When I got out of school I made a list of everything I thought I would need to be happy. Now it’s fifteen years later and I have everything on my list, but I’m still not happy. I just realized I made up the wrong list.”

When Jesus told the man to give everything he had to the poor, he knew it would be going right to the heart of the matter. That’s why Jesus said it is “easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than a rich man to get into heaven.”

Jesus was using a well-known example. You see, at night, there was one gate open into the city of Jerusalem. The locals called it “the eye of the needle.” It was very small so that it could be easily guarded against attackers. A person simply couldn’t get through it with a fully-loaded camel, so he would have to leave the possessions outside the gate in order to get through.

Interesting, huh?

People of that day were taught that riches were the ultimate mark of blessing from God. Too many within the modern church still believe this. The “prosperity gospel” is alive and kicking. Unfortunately, it’s not WHAT YOU HAVE that gets you into heaven or denotes God’s ultimate blessing. I believe Jesus was expressing quite the contrary: what are you willing to GIVE UP? He pressed the young guy to sell it all, give the proceeds to the poor and follow him.

That’s tough stuff. Jesus knew how to get to the heart of the matter with our rich young ruler.

Will you allow Jesus to get to the heart of the matter with YOU?

What are you willing to give up?
Does your life feel like a “fully-loaded camel” that needs to be unpacked?
Have you made up the wrong list regarding happiness?
Are you following Jesus in all things: affluence or lack thereof?

In Christ,
Pastor John
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