The rich young ruler came to Jesus with a sincere request; “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” [Mark 10:17ff.]. Jesus answered him and said, “One thing thou lackest.” He had several other things, but one thing was missing.
He had lots of money, but wealth cannot purchase salvation. He had respect for Jesus calling Him “Good Master.” Sinners can respect Christ. That is good, but it is still not enough. He had a righteous, respectable life. Jesus questioned him on the second table of the law and he was flawless. He was able to say, “All these have I observed from my youth” [v20].
The young man also had the Saviour’s compassion, “Jesus beholding him loved him.” We are told, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” [John 3:16]. The love of God is great news, but still not enough. He did not lack the Lord’s call for Jesus said to him, “come, take up the cross and follow me” [v21]. That call was very similar to the one given to His disciples [Matthew 4:19].
After all this, he walked away from Jesus grieved [v22]. What was the one thing he lacked? He failed to totally surrender to the Lord as the other disciples did. When Matthew received a similar call he immediately left his trade as a moneychanger and totally surrendered to Christ. And so did Peter who said to Jesus “Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee” [v28]. Jesus is not satisfied with a half-hearted commitment to Him. Are you willing to follow Him like Matthew and Peter? Without a total commitment to Christ, the door to eternal life is closed.
A NEW DESIRE
When a person becomes a Christian “old things are passed away” and “all things are become new.” We are told, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” [2 Corinthians 5:17]. This includes the desires of the heart.
In the unsaved days, the mind is crowded with all kinds of sinful desires. Addictions to unhealthy and unholy practices keep surfacing despite every attempt to stop them.
Sin starts with the devil’s temptation in the mind. At that moment it is his alluring bait tempting us to bite. But once we dwell on it the devil’s temptation becomes our sin. The only way to break the vicious circle is by the power of the Gospel through Jesus Christ. Not only does the Lord forgive our sin and cleanse us from it, but He takes away the desire for it.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin:
He sets the prisoner free,
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood avails for me.
The removal of the old desires does not leave a vacuum in our hearts. Rather, the Lord gives us new desires that are heavenly in origin and holy in nature. Things we once loved we now detest, and holy things we once had little interest in, we now enjoy.
The Lord has not only given us new desires for holiness; He has also given us the power to put those desires into action. Christians not only should be holy, but they can also be holy. Believer, aim to live today so that the world may see in you the reality of a life changed by saving grace.
BE CAREFUL OF TELEPHONE SCAMS
I remember about seventy years ago the telephone being installed in our farmhouse. It was exciting, and a great improvement in communications, although we had to share the line with a neighbour. Today’s smartphone is a marvel of electronic engineering. Making a phone call is the least of its abilities.
However, there is a downside to its usefulness, – the telephone scam. I have had 258 calls about my air ducts in the last two years. It is a scam of course. And there are many more designed to catch the unwary, seniors being the main targets. Sometimes they even copy the logo of a well-known company to add authenticity to their scam.
The scam call you get is called ‘phishing,’ fishing to get your bank information so that they can relieve you of your hard-earned money. Hang up immediately on these calls no matter how enticing they may seem to be.
Most of the calls are taped, although the ‘air duct’ scam uses a live person but usually from another country. A tape does not know if it is speaking to the right person, so it is fake. Any genuine call will be a person and will want to identify you. No reputable company will communicate with you without establishing that they were speaking to the right person.
Recent scams include threats to cancel certain government-issued documents; parcel could not be delivered to set up a new date for a small cost; suspicious cheques on credit card accounts etc. etc. Do not be tempted. Just hang up. If you hang up on a genuine caller don’t worry – they will get back to you.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 13. The clock goes forward one hour.
March Break for Whitefield Christian Schools is from March 14 – 25, 2022.