A Daily Word from the Word for Wednesday, October 29, 2014
“So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him,“You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” – Luke 18:22
This man who came to Jesus was pretty sure that he had everything accounted for and was living a complete life. When this intellectual asked Jesus the question “what must I do?” he was fully expecting Jesus to give him a pat on the back, and affirm that there was nothing else he needed to do. Instead, not only did Jesus dis-affirm this falsely-confident soul; but went one step further and informed him that he actually lacked the essential element to true success, fulfillment, and eternal victory.
Let us read the full story, which is found in Luke 18:18-23:
“Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother.’ And he [the ruler] said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’ So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”
What is the one thing that this ruler lacked? Many people who read this Scripture believe that the man put riches above God, which is why Jesus focused on his wealth by having him give it all away. While this is true, the bigger and more critical message is lost. Jesus didn’t focus on what this man had; but rather used what he had to bring to light what he lacked. This issue wasn’t wealth. Wealth is not a bad thing. God is the God of prosperity. Our Giver of gifts wants His children to prosper, and what good parent wouldn’t? The Word assures us that “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
It is when we put wealth and riches above God that we are no longer operating in the Father’s Truth or Will. God tells us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21); and, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money itself is not evil; rather, it is the love of money that is wrong and wicked. When you love money more than God, then you are out of alignment with His Word. When your treasure is earthly rather than eternal, your heart belongs to earthly and corruptible things; and not the eternal and incorruptible.
Jesus focused on what this man lacked; because it is what he lacked that caused his love for money to be greater than his love for God. The Greek word for “thing” is rhema (pr. hray-mah) which is “an utterance, pouring forth, spoken word” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). The Bible is known for having two distinct types of words: the Logos Word and the Rhema Word. The Logos Word is the written word of God. Jesus is referred to as the Living Logos (John 1:1, Luke 8:11, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Peter 1:23); whereas the Rhema Word is the spoken Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 4:4, John 6:63, 2 Corinthians 13:1).
One can read the word of God; however, if a person does not accept and receive God’s Word as the Living Word that is spoken and produces life, then no conviction of God’s Word will take root in that person’s spirit. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 cries out “because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”
Lacking the Living Word of God is what caused this sorry soul to be unable to put God first. It is the Living Word of God in us, the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit , which is the only thing that can truly transform us and lead us to the everlasting way (Psalm 139:24).
Let us turn our attention to the two instances of “have” as used in this verse. Both words come from the Greek echo (ekh-o), but contain very different meanings. When Jesus told this individual to “sell all that you have,” the meaning is “to hold, possessed with, diseased.” Furthermore, the Greek word for “all” as used here is pas (pr. pas), which is “all forms of declension.” Webster’s Dictionary defines “declension” as “deterioration.” All that this ruler possessed really possessed him. And everything that had a hold on this unsuspecting man was causing him to deteriorate; because these things themselves are corruptible, temporary, temporal and also subject to decay. Does what you possess really possess you, family?
The other “have”, which Jesus instructed this intellectual to sell, versus the “have” of the treasure in heaven means to “begin to amend, conceive, eat, enjoy, recover, reign.” Jesus knows that the deceptive things of the world must be left in the world because they create nothing but lack, and they must be sold and replaced for the treasures of heaven, which produces life, healing, and restoration.
Father, thank You for your Living Word, Jesus Christ. Most Loving Father, shake everything loose and off of us that has a hold of us. The only thing, the One, that we grab hold of and want to hold us and never let us go is Jesus. Father, help us to always be mindful that we are of the world but not in the world (John 15:18-19). In Jesus Name, we thank You for paying the ultimate price for our freedom, by laying down Your life so that we may become incorruptible through You. Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to always possess the Living Word by spending time in the Word and asking God’s Holy Spirit to inject the Rhema into the Logos. Choose to feast on the Eternal Bread of Life, who is Jesus the Christ, rather than feasting on the deceptive and corruptible ways of the world. And continue to fight the good fight of grabbing hold and clinging to the Savior; for God, your Eternal Treasure, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he serves as an associate pastor.
All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2014, unless otherwise noted.