Summary: Possessions alone do not give spiritual fulfillment. Only Jesus Christ gives spiritual fulfillment. Spiritual fulfillment is found when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives and submit everything to his sovereign control.
For the past two Sundays we have been in a series of messages on The ABCs of Stewardship. The material for this series of sermons comes from Dr. John Maxwell. So far we have looked at “Attitude: The Response of a Successful Steward,” and “Blessings: The Resources of a Successful Steward.” Today, I want to continue with a third message titled, “Consecration: The Requirement of a Successful Steward.” So, let’s read Mark 10:13-31:
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 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.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:13-31)
In the children’s book, Leo the Late Bloomer, Leo’s Dad is concerned because Leo can’t read or write yet. He watches Leo closely to see when he will bloom. After much watching, Leo’s Mom says, “Honey, you have got to stop watching Leo so closely. You see, late bloomers don’t bloom when people are watching them very closely.” Leo’s Dad stops watching so closely and the months go by. By the end of the book, Leo is blooming beautifully. He has learned to read and write, and he shouts, “I made it! I made it!”
Some of you matured very quickly after your conversion to Christ. But some of you are late bloomers spiritually. You have not matured as quickly. It’s not that you are disobedient, or even that you want to be slow; it’s just that it takes a while.
One of the things I have noticed, as your pastor, is how some of you—whether you are a quick bloomer or late bloomer—have really bloomed in recent years. God has blessed you and you have taken what he has given to you and blossomed. What a blessing it is to see a Christian bloom in his or her walk with Christ!
Today’s message is really very simple. And what excites me about today’s message is that some of you are going to come to a clear understanding of what stewardship is, and you are going to say, like Leo, “I made it! I made it!” You will grasp what it means to be a steward of God.
Let’s look at Mark 10:13-31. We began reading in verse 13 because there is an important connection between Jesus’ interaction with the little children and his answer to the rich young ruler. And we will see that connection later on in this study. But, let us begin by studying the rich young ruler and learn what we can about this young man.