In the sermon at church today, I was reminded about the rich young ruler to whom Jesus spoke. Jesus looked at the young man and loved him. He could relate to the challenge that was put forth – to give up his riches and power to follow God. Jesus himself gave up heaven’s riches and the authority he had at the right hand of God.  He temporarily set those aside to fulfill God’s will for him and he was asking the rich young ruler to do the same.

Jesus knows what it is to be a man. He never asks us to do anything that he himself had not done. We have a great high priest who can sympathize with us, empathize with us, because he’s has been tempted, but he never gave in to temptations, no matter how tempting it may be. Our temptations are not even half of what Jesus had been tempted with.

The rich young ruler was not willing to place the will of God above his own. Setting aside wealth and authority was only a temporary life change. In the end if he had followed God he would have gained much more.

We often think of giving up as a bad thing., especially giving up something like wealth and power. After all we spend our life striving for those things and then be asked to give it up? But when Jesus asked us to give it up, it is in order to gain eternal life, to exchange it for treasures that will not rot or rust. Giving up is not really giving up much.

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

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