Rich young ruler (2)
Luke 18:22 NIV
The rich young ruler seems like one of the most religious people in the Bible. He kept all of the commandments. He told Jesus that he'd kept all the commandments since he was young. But he wasn't prepared to take the extra step to follow Jesus. By definition, righteousness is doing something right. But we have reduced it to doing nothing wrong. We become obsessed with obeying rules and commands: Don't do this, don't do that - and we will make it through. We turn our faith into rule-keeping. We are bound by laws when we've already been freed by Christ. The commands in the Bible are important to follow, they show us how to live a godly life and how to become more Christlike in our lifestyles. But the most important command is: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." 'The second is this: "Love your neighbour as yourself"' (Mark 12:30-31 NIVUK). God's interested in relationships. He wants us to build our relationship with Him, and with others. These things come before all the other commands. The rich young ruler couldn't put God and others above His desire to be wealthy. He couldn't part with his possessions in order to give to the poor or to follow Jesus. But what Jesus asked him to give up was nothing compared to what Jesus offered him in return. Rules are important, but when we get obsessed with following them to earn God's approval, we are missing out on the relationship we could have with Him. Are we willing to put relationships above rules? Are we prepared to leave what we have, and step into the things God's got for us? Will we say yes to Him today?
John 4:4-26; John 7:37-41; Exo 17:1-7; Isa 35:1-7
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