Summary: The end of a year means the beginning of inventory for many businesses. It is also a good time to take inventory of our lives before we adopt any New Year’s resolutions.
A PERSONAL INVENTORY
“The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Matthew 19:20.
For many businesses, the end of the year is the beginning of inventory. It is also a good time for us to take inventory of our spiritual life and the degree of our commitment to follow Christ.
I. THERE WAS MUCH TO COMMEND THIS YOUNG MAN:
1. He was perceptive: he went to Jesus with his inquiry.
2. He was humble and reverent: he referred to Jesus as “Good Teacher” to which Jesus responded: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” Notice: the young man did not retract his salutation. He recognized Jesus as the Son of God.
3. He possessed outstanding moral character:
When he answered: All these things I have kept from my youth”, Jesus did not dispute his statement.
II. YET HE REALIZED THAT HE WAS LACKING SOMETHING:
“What do I still lack?”
He knew his good morals alone could not bring soul satisfaction. He knew that religion, education and wealth could not fill the void in his life.
III. THINGS THAT KEEP PEOPLE FROM ACCEPTING CHRIST:
For this young man, it was a love for material things:
“For what will it profit a man is he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul.” Mark 8:36.
For others it might be a love for worldly pleasure. (Read I John 2:15-17.)
For yet others, it might be a desire to be popular even to the point of moral compromise. (Read James 4:4).
IV. THE TRAGIC DECISION THE YOUNG MAN MADE:
“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
Consider what he retained:
1. His riches; which he could enjoy only as long as he lived.
2. His sense of lacking something in his life;
3. The unhappiness that originally prompted him to go to Jesus.
Consider what he forfeited:
1. Eternal life: (Read John 14:6).
2. A life of fulfillment: (Read John 10:10b).
3. The opportunity to become one of Jesus’ disciples: “…and come, follow Me.”