|Matthew 19:16-25 |
16 And, behold, someone came and said to him, "Good Master, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?"
17 And he said to him, "Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, and that is God; but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments."1
18 And he asked him, 'Which ones?' Jesus said, "You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. [Notice! Jesus did not say that you must keep all the commandments; He listed only those that make up the moral core of the Law, which is included in the law that is written on every man's heart, by which all men shall be judged by God, and which has never been annulled or canceled. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey."]
19 Honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
20 And the young man said to him, "I have kept all these things from my youth up, what do I yet lack?"
21 Then Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor,2 and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me." [Notice! Jesus has told us that perfection is necessary to enter into the eternal life of God; and if we would be perfect to have eternal life, (which is the life of God), we must follow the moral commandments, (included in the law on every man's heart), give to the poor, and then follow Him. We follow Him by exposing ourselves to hear his commands and then obey them; we deny our will and submit to His commands — that is the cross all men must bear to the death of self, to perfection, to attain salvation, to attain eternal life.]
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I say to you that it will be hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.3
24 And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, "Who then can be saved?" [Notice! Four events in verses 16-25 that all occur together: 1) eternal life, 2) perfection, 3) the Kingdom of God, and 4) being saved, which is salvation. Salvation is to be freed from all sin, even the desire to sin; freedom from all sin is perfection; when you have been perfected and saved, you are translated into the Kingdom of God to enjoy eternal life, while on earth and forever.]
3 So what should a rich man do to enter the Kingdom? He must liberally give from his excess. He cannot hold on to his riches, without sharing with those who lack the necessities of life — the poor, which does not include giving to sects or tithing. The wrong is to have excess, over and above what you need to live, while being aware of people, wherever they are, in need of the necessities of life without contributing to their relief. Perhaps you have to look beyond the borders of you own country to find those people and/or charities with genuine needs. But there is need throughout the third world for life-sustaining contributions. (Note! People in need, does not include those who refuse to take available jobs and choose to beg instead, pretending they have needs.) When you close your ears and heart to the poor, you have closed your heart to God. When you give to the poor, you have given to God. What you do for the least of mankind, you have done for God. Mat 25:32-45
There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. Pro 30:14
The righteous considers the needs of the poor; but the wicked decides not to recognize what condition they are in. Pro 29:7
He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker; but he who has mercy on the poor honors God. Pro 14:31
Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Pro 21:13
His promise was: if you seek, as your FIRST priority, the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all your other needs will be met. We can testify to the truth of his promise, that while seeking the Lord as our first priority in life, He has met all our material needs far in excess of our hopes. Rather than accumulation, your focus should be on giving from your excess; for it is more blessed to give than receive. You must practice generous giving. When you see a need that you can fill from your excess, fill it. Just react to what comes in front of you, or you can give to deserving charities such as our favorite: Boys Town. By giving, you are practicing what you seek — love and death of self; but give in secret, receiving no recognition from man. Only your Father in heaven will know, and your treasure will become eternal. And remember, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money. Rich or poor can love money. Rich or poor can have little regard for money. Remember, it is written, give to the poor, and I will repay you. And, God loves a cheerful giver. Ease of giving comes with practice. Start slow and build as you feel the joy of giving.