“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Mark 10:17-31 (KJV)
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Jesus was not just a good man – He was God in the flesh. He held the secret of eternal life – yield every area of your life to the Father and obey Him.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
The man kept the law and obeyed God as much as he was able, but his possessions meant more to him than God. He was a good man; but when it came to the bottom line, he trusted in his riches more than he trusted in God. He could not imagine his life without his possessions. He could not see what God could have done with his life because he could not see beyond the things that he had in his hand. He could not see eternity because he was blinded by earthly things.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The “eye of a needle” was a small, after-hours gate in the city wall that a camel could squeeze through only if its load was removed. Jesus did not say that rich people could not go to heaven, as some people would have us believe. He said that it would be hard – or difficult – for them to enter the kingdom of God, because they trusted in their riches too much. Riches came between them and their salvation. God did not have their whole heart. If you want what God has for you, you must give Him your whole heart and let nothing else disturb or distract you.
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
The disciples wondered “Who then can be saved?” Everybody has a certain amount of possessions – some more, some less. It is not your possessions, or lack of them, that determines your spirituality, but it is who has your heart. Does your Father God have your total allegiance today, does He have your whole heart?
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30 but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
The disciples had given up all that they had to follow Jesus, but even then, they could not take the credit for it or be proud of it like it was some great earth-shaking sacrifice. Some people act like they did God some great favor and honor by giving up things for Him. Yes, you sure sacrificed a whole lot by giving up that alcohol and those drugs, by giving up your rotten lifestyle and your bad attitude so that you could have His peace, His joy, His abundance, and His blessing! There is nothing that you gave up for Jesus that was not worth the sacrifice and the return on your giving.
Jesus promised up to a hundred fold blessing in return in this life and the next! Whatever you gave up is headed back your way and it’s exceeding abundantly above all you could ask or think! God does not deprive you of anything because He wants you deprived. He asks you to give to Him so that He can give to you. He asks you to give Him everything that is important to you, the things that mean everything to you, so that He can truly be Lord of every area of your life!
Sure you may have to endure some hard things to serve God. The world won’t like you as much as they used to. But who cares about a few difficulties down here, when you can see eternity stretched out before you and the promise of wonderful, glorious eternal life in the presence of Jesus, our Lord and King?