Matthew 19 – Gift of Eternal Life

Good evening y’all. Today we are looking at Matthew 19.

I am focusing the blog on verses 19 – 26.

Be blessed 🙂

“A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments.”    “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others.  Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself.” The young man said, “I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?”  Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.  Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, it’s terribly hard for rich people to get into the kingdom of heaven! In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.”  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly surprised and asked, “How can anyone ever be saved?”  Jesus looked straight at them and said, “There are some things people cannot do, but God can do anything.”(Matthew 19:16-26 CEVUS06)

I often hear people say things like ‘as long as I am good and morally upright I will make it to heaven and have eternal life’. If that’s the case, then Jesus coming to die for us is of no use and a total waste of His time and effort. But we all know that’s not the case. Our good works can’t get us into heaven. In the book of Isaiah, it is written that our righteousness are like filthy rags before God.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind”. (Isaiah 64:6 NLT)

God is the only good person. We can’t do any good on our own. The bible says the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). It is therefore God in us that helps us be good.

The rich man in our text today, assumed there was a good deed he could do in order to get eternal life. We can’t buy God’s love or our place in heaven by doing what we term as good deeds. It is pride that makes us think we can buy eternal life by being good. What is required of us is found in Jesus’ response to this man in verse 17

If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”(Matthew 19:17b MSG)

Jesus is saying here that the key to eternal life is obedience to God. How obedient are we to God’s instructions? Do we obey them grudgingly, partially or fully. God knows our hearts. We can fool ourselves and others but we can’t fool God. We will find out further that this man claimed to be obedient to God’s instructions, yet when Jesus clearly told him to go sell all His possessions he couldn’t do it. The state of our heart matters a lot when it comes to obedience.

The rich man asked for what God was specifically asking him to do. He was excited when Jesus listed all that he needed to do, for he had done them all. So he asked if there was anything else. Jesus told him if you really want to go the extra mile, then go sell all your possessions and give everything to the poor. The man was heartbroken and just couldn’t cope with Jesus response, so he walked away. He walked away from the gift of eternal life because he valued his earthly possessions more than his soul. His riches were more important to him than having a spot in heaven.

One  would have thought, a man that obeyed all the commandments surely should love God and be willing to obey him. It just shows we can do things just for doing sake, to tick the box and look righteous on the outside but when push comes to shove, our works are shallow and don’t carry any weight. We realise like this man that our heart is not really involved in our service of God. Hence when God asks us to do something outside of our comfort zone, we struggle to obey like this man did because our hearts wasn’t right in the first place.

What is that one thing that is so important to you that you can’t let go for God? What is He asking you to give up so you can fully serve Him? He can transform your life and make it even better than it already is. Don’t forget those earthly things are here today and gone tomorrow. Ask yourself is it really worth the hassle? If you were to die today, you couldn’t take any of those things with you so why hold on tightly to them and loose your chance to reign eternally with God?

The disciples were astonished and they thought it an impossible task to be saved and make it to heaven. But Jesus answered them and said with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. This life of obedience and submission that God requires of us, is one we can’t do on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to help us. Our flesh will always wage war against us when we try to do the right thing but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can prevail against our flesh. Galatians 5:16 says: “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves”.(Gal 5:16 NLT)

In return for following Christ, we get to live and reign with Him eternally. From where I’m standing that’s a pretty good offer from God. Think about it: we get to walk the street of gold; and worship with the angels 24/7. What an awesome experience it will be. I’m looking forward to that glorious day 🙂

Today, let’s examine our hearts and ask God for forgiveness where we have been disobedient. Let’s ask for grace to trust Him to help us obey his commands and serve him with all our hearts, soul and mind. Let’s ask for the strength to let go of those things that we hold on tightly to that are hindering us from serving God wholeheartedly.

Thanks for joining today.

Have a blessed night 🙂

***With God all things are possible***

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