In Matthew 19:16-22 we read:
Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
“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.”
“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. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
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.”
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (NLT)
This man was a slave to his mammon. He chose to remain a slave rather than lay down his sinful nature and be a servant of Jesus Christ. Did you notice that the only commandments that Jesus talked about here were the easy ones?
Don’t steal, kill, commit adultery, don’t lie, honor your parents and love your neighbor. Jesus knew where this man’s loyalties lay. The other commandments are just as important but Jesus chose to focus on the very thing that was holding up this man’s decision. His possessions…… his mammon.
Jesus is not saying that wealth is bad, and in order to follow him you must give up everything. No, Jesus knew that this man was a slave to his possessions. He knew that the man was not a good steward of what he had, but rather what he had was a steward of him.
Jesus does not want our stuff He wants us to put Him before our stuff. You can still be wealthy and be a servant of Christ. You just cannot be a slave to your wealth and a servant of Christ. If this man had chosen to put Jesus first and his wealth second, he would have had life more abundant, he would have had the peace of Christ, but instead all he got was sorrow.
When we are not focused on God we live an anxious life, full of doubt and worry, mistrust, fear and despair. Rather hope in the Lord and He will renew your strength, you will mount up on wings as eagles. He will empower you to overcome the shackles of sin and live life abundantly.
“He gave the right and the power to become children of God to those who received Him. He gave this to those who put their trust in His name.” John 1:12 NLV
Would you believe in His name? Would you put your own mammon aside and take that road less traveled?
The choice is yours. You are standing in a “yellow wood” (Robert Frost).
Will you take the road not taken by most?