Summary: Having the poor around us will be an unending condition for the world until Jesus comes back in glory to set up his kingdom. In the mean time what do we do about it?
The Rich Young Man
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, " Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,[a] and love your neighbor as yourself.[b]"
20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"
28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother[c] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
How do we express our thankfulness to God for the blessings we have received?
This message was for Thanksgiving but since we had a guest with us last week I thought it was still close enough to share it with you today.
Today in North America we are considered some of the wealthiest people on the planet. That does not mean that you have a fortune tucked away somewhere but rather our standard of living is some of the best.
We have great medical care, social programs, education, business opportunities, technology and a peaceful society. But in contrast to all that we have we are still not addressing the Great Commission with the passion it requires.
We want to keep our wealthy standard of living while others in the world struggle to survive. We are a generous Nation and most Canadians are great contributors to charities but still a third of the world goes to bed hungry every night a third of the world is without proper medical care, a third of the world is thirsty for clean water and third of the world remains poor and is seeking a Saviour.
This is not new news for it was Jesus himself who told us John 12:8 NIV
You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
So having the poor around us will be an unending condition for the world until Jesus comes back in glory to set up his kingdom. In the mean time what do we do about it?
Jesus mentions the poor at least 25 times in the New Testament. He wanted to be sure we heard what he had to say on the subject.
The rich young rulers first question was one of action, what must I do and it was introspective, it was about his own actions not the church, not his family but him personally. Later he gets to the point and asks what do I lack?
The fact of the matter is that the rich young ruler knew what it was he lacked. He lacked a generous heart or spirit. After all he did not get rich by giving his money away and that is where the rubber hit the road for him.
We must be generous in our giving to the needs of others if we posses the financial means to be a blessing. For in giving we receive far more than what we spend. Let me illustrate the kind of giving Im talking about by sharing the life story of a famous son of Scotland.
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1835.
His family were poor, but had a strong desire for self-improvement through education.
His uncle taught Andrew about Scottish heroes, such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and also proclaimed the virtues of democracy.