Summary: Jesus isn’t asking to give up all that we have, just that one thing that stands between us and following Him. We can choose today to walk a fresh walk of freedom.
HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED?
Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a fantastic offer. For 1000 rubles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in one day. The only catch to the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown. Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run, knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost. As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth. In a few minutes he was dead.
He had gained a lot of land. But, it cost him his life. How much of anything does a man need to be happy? How many cars? How big a house...a summer home...a winter home? How many toys...a yacht, sailboats, motorcycle, your own private jet. How much money does a man need to be happy? We all have this thought, "If I only had a lot of money, I would be happy." We believe happiness is found in money. But, loving money too much...can make us a slave. The Bible tells us we can not serve our money and God too. We will hate one and love the other. Look with me at a story found in the Gospels of a young man who had an abundance of money...yet...still felt he lacked something.
Read: Mark 10:17-22
PROPOSITION: That very thing that stands between you and God...will enslave you!
Let’s look at what this story is telling us.
1. He had an abundance yet he still felt lacking! According to the world’s standards he had it all. He was a ruler. The Greek meaning is he had administrative authority, a leader. In Luke’s account of this story he tells us "he was extremely rich" vs. 23
The world says:
if you have more you’ll feel happy
if you have more you’ve got it made
if you have more...you’ll be content
We’re fed a bunch of lies! And for some of us--we believe them.
So while we push and strive to get more...we have this feeling inside that whatever we have...is not enough.
We live life with a continuing feeling that we lack something. We’re missing something.
Are you going to spend a lifetime working just to have more, yet, never feeling satisfied?
What stands between you and Jesus?
relationship/ job/position/ goal or lack of (excuse I don’t have anything so what can I do)
What ever it is...get rid of it! It’s a false God. You’re bound to it. That is your master. Like the young ruler his money ruled him.
PROP: That very thing that stands between you and God...will enslave you!
2. He knew the word--what it said. Vs. 19
We too, know what God’s word says. We either choose to obey -- or not to obey.
To ignore it, close it up, walk away from it.
Jesus wants us to follow Him. Take the same road He’s traveling.
Road of self-sacrifice...
Jesus offers a way to joy, peace and freedom.
3. The young rich ruler didn’t see it that way. At the sound of these words -- he was sad.
He had great wealth. He came looking for what he was lacking. But, he loved his wealth more than Jesus.
His heart was in his money. Where the man’s heart is...there you will find the man.
Illustration: Before I could come to Romania and serve on the mission field, I had to let go of a home and area that I loved.
It amazes me, that so many people will let some thing stand between themselves and following Jesus, all the while being miserable. Like this young ruler, they hang tight to what is not fulfilling them. They refuse to let go and they too, walk away sad. When the answer is staring them in the face. To follow Jesus and stop worshiping a false god.
What stands between you and following Jesus? Whatever it is...it will perish. It won’t last.
houses/buildings-- rot and fall down