Money is a test that many of us (if not all) have to go through. Even Jesus was tested with wealth and power.
“The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if You will bow down and worship me.’
Jesus answered, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only’” (Matthew 4:8-10).
Unlike Jesus, the rich young ruler failed the test.
He was speechless when the Lord asked him to give more than what he was willing to part with (read his story in Luke 18:18-30).
It was definitely not the challenge or answer he expected from the ‘Good Teacher’!
The ruler’s identity was threatened. He believed that his riches protected his position, image and earthly importance. They were even more valuable to him than eternity!
It’s clear to me that Jesus tested the young man in order to save his life. Unfortunately, the test revealed the sad reality: his possessions possessed him.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they ask themselves, “When is enough ever enough?” One day, we will realize the battle isn’t about gaining more wealth. It is about, “Has wealth conquered you?”
Don’t be confused. After that conversation with the rich young ruler, Jesus explained to his disciples, “Those who have left things behind for the sake of the Kingdom will receive many times as much NOW—at this time, and in the age to come, ETERNAL LIFE” (Luke 18:30).
This statement freed me to enjoy generous giving.
THERE’S HOPE—EVEN FOR THOSE GREEDY AND SELFISH.
Zaccheus, the crooked tax collector, and his family were the last ones saved by Jesus’ personal ministry before He left Jericho to fulfill His destiny to die on the Cross for our salvation (read Luke 19:1-10).
It’s interesting that after meeting Jesus, Zaccheus didn’t feel the urge to give up his job. Instead, he knew he had to become honest and a good steward. Zach promised to make restitution to anyone he had cheated by repaying them four times what he had taken.
It makes me happy to realize that the Lord has truly come to “seek and save the lost”!
MEDITATE ON THESE QUESTIONS:
What would the “money test” reveal in you? Is your heart free from the love of money? Only a free heart can truly enjoy life—and receive so much more.