Summary: Desire far surpasses talent, charisma, and even exceptional training. If I could choose, it would always be desire.
-This is done in view of what the Epistle of Peter gives to us:
2 Peter 3:10-12 -- "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness," "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
-Great emphasis is placed on righteousness. It is my belief that spirituality and conduct are inseparable. A true relationship with God is going to affect the behavior of a man. It marks him and separates him from the world.
-This young man placed a high emphasis on conduct over ritual. He was not so caught up in his world that he did not have time for his God.
B. The First Great Question
-The first question was related perhaps to the externals of life. The second question that he would ask was related to the internals of life. His first question was a very important question:
Mark 10:17 -- ". . . Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
-When Jesus answered this question he resorted to the Law. He proved two things by going to the Law.
• (1) The Law was a revelation of the holiness of God (by showing men what God desired).
• (2) The Law defined the requirements of holiness (by showing men how God wanted men to walk).
-This young man had fulfilled the requirements of the Law and still felt that there was a missing element in his life. He could declare with a confidence that his life was well pleasing in the sight of God.
-Service to God involves more than just fulfilling the externals of life. It is more than just being able to say that the Law has been upheld. There are some requirements of God that come when one least expects them. Such was the case with the rich young ruler.
C. The Second Great Question
-The second question was related to the internal issues. Those things inside the soul. There are many who walk through life with things seemingly "under their thumb" while the inside is a rolling, boiling cauldron of emotions.
-The outside can display some great feats but the inside can be as weak as water and yet no one is aware who watch from the outside.
-The young man’s second great question, taken from Matthew’s account, illustrates this:
Matthew 19:20 -- ". . . what lack I yet?"
-That question is deeply imbedded within every man. But it is a question that usually is not asked for fear of embarassment, for fear that image will be tarnished, for fear that others might misconstrue the intent and purpose of the question.
• How many times has it been uttered through prayers of desperation?
• How many times have I approached God, with tears flowing, trying to grasp and grapple with a strong will?
• What is the thing that is missing that keeps me from gaining the spiritual greatness that I desire?