Matthew – God’s Purposes
I was busy collecting all i needed to teach Sunday School that cold, snowy morning in January in Oklahoma where Randy was pastor of the church where we grew up. I looked up as Ashley came strolling in with her mom behind her. “We’re early, because I didn’t know how bad the roads would be,” said Mom. “Not to worry, I’m glad you and Ashley are here safe and sound!”
While I finished preparing all the supplies for the class, Ashley was randomly talking about her week. Then she asked a question that caused me to stop what I was doing. “Miss Susan, do you just have to be good to get to heaven?” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and told me it is time to tell Ashley God’s Truth about salvation.
Let me pause and relate the background about this 6 year old. At five years old, it was discovered that Ashley had a cancerous tumor growing just below her knee on her right leg. It was so fast growing that the knee had to be amputated and for the next year, chemo administered to aggressively fight the cancer. A year later, this little one wants to know the Truth about heaven.
I told Ashley, “No, no one is good enough. Only Jesus is perfect and good. We have all done bad things called sin. Jesus, the Perfect One died for all of our sins and then rose from death and is heaven. If we accept and believe that Jesus did this for us, then we can ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins. Jesus then forgives us and invites us to be part of His family. When we say yes to Him, He prepares a place for us in heaven.” In the meantime, He is with us every hour of every day helping to live in right ways if we listen to Him.”
“I want that”, Ashley whispered. I still remember the look on her little face. We prayed together and Ashley became one of God’s own. Later, in worship, she told the congregation of her decision. There was not a dry eye in the house.
Want to be rich? Be rich in Jesus! Accept what Jesus has done for us. Believe on Him. Do everything from a heart of gratitude for receiving what we do not deserve, full redemption from our sins. Love God. Love Others. All in Jesus Name. Only then will we inherit the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 19, NLT
The Rich Man
16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
28 Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
It is not a matter of what you will get, but with Whom you can have a relationship with forever!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for opportunities to help others find and follow you. Those are precious, holy moments when you intercede and give your words to us to say. Thank you for leading us, guiding us and sometimes causing us to pause to listen to your Holy Spirit when it means the world to someone else. We are so rich in You! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you with all my heart, mind and soul!
In Jesus Name, Amen.