What do you Lack?
So, when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:22
Happy New year! I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating as we said goodbye to 2022 and welcomed in 2023!
This is the time to reflect back on 2022 and ask the questions: Did I accomplish everything or even anything I set out to do last year? How did I do with the goals I set at the beginning of 2022? What areas can I do better in this year?
This is also the time to set new goal for the coming year. Goals such as: Spend quiet time with God each day. Get physically fit/healthier. Make a conscience effort to connect with family and friends more. Get out of debt and start saving some money. Even learn a new skill or language. The possibilities are endless.
In today’s reading, Jesus has a conversation with a young man that is wealthy and important. The man asked Jesus what he needed to do to receive eternal life. Even though this young man had material wealth and position, he knew there was something missing and that his life was not complete. Jesus responded to the man with a list of commandments to keep and the young man confessed that he has already done all of them. So Jesus takes it a step further and invites the man to become one of His disciples and the “follow Him.” However, there was one stipulation and that was to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, only then could the man understand what was really important in life and have that complete feeling that only following God’s path can give.
This was what the young man was lacking. Not that it was wrong to have things, but this young man was deceived into thinking that financial success was the most important thing in life and he was looking to his riches to bring him joy. Jesus gave the man three step to turn his life around and point him in a new direction, lacking nothing. He said:
- Separate from the things that were holding him back – possessions
- Give to others
- Make God’s ministry his priority by following Jesus
These three steps can help us still today. 1. When we separate from the world and the things that are holding us back from the plans God has for us, we are turning around and heading back to God’s love and priorities. 2. When we give to others who are needing and hurting along the way, we are beginning a new lifestyle where we consider other’s needs above our own. 3. When we turn in that new direction of following God’s path and plan instead of making our own way, we will step into a place of contentment, satisfaction and real joy. We will begin to understand what life is truly about and how to accomplish the mission that has been set before us, rather than trying to reach a goal that will provide no lasting joy when we get there.
Today I want to encourage you to start 2023 with the decision to make your heavenly Father your priority in all that you do. Start by scheduling a quiet time with Him each day and making it your priority to get any assignment He has for you to accomplish each day. Praise and worship Him in your quiet time, read a passage of His Word and talk to Him about the events of the day that are about to take place. This will put you in the position and right frame of mind so that when opportunities come to help others, you will be ready and know that this is the reason you were given breath today. Next, make intentional space for people that you love. Don’t busy your life up with things that are not people focused. Make others your second priority instead of yourself. Trust me, God will take care of you and all your hearts desires. Because you did not lack that one thing that makes you whole, your life will be full of His joy and contentment this year like never before.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 18:18-23
18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.
20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.