READ: Matthew 19:16--20:16
THINK: Like the man in this passage, many people wonder what it takes to have a relationship with God. Some who already claim to have "eternal life" think they can earn a relationship with God by doing good things. But as much as we should do good, we cannot earn eternal life by our own efforts. Jesus already paid the price with His own life. Receiving eternal life is a matter of the heart. It means accepting God's gift without reservation and surrendering your life to His purposes. Ultimately, God desires that you love Him in such a way that nothing in your life takes priority over a relationship with Him and nothing stands between you and His purpose for your life.
RESPOND: Judging by his questions, what seemed to be the rich man's impression of how to have eternal life? Even though eternal life with God is not something we can earn by effort, why did Jesus say that all the rich man lacked was to sell his possessions and give to the poor? (See 19:21 note.) Is that what Jesus asks of all of us? Why or why not? What did the rich man's possessions represent in how he related to God? By his ultimate response, it became apparent that the man's wealth was the one thing that stood between him and God. What could tend to be that hindrance in your life if you aren't careful? Why is it so "hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (v. 24)? In what ways will the first be last and the last be first in God's kingdom? (See 19:30 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to aim His searchlight into your life and reveal anything you're holding on to that may be hindering your relationship with Him or keeping you from fulfilling His plans for your life.
ACT: Follow up on your prayer. Respond to God by removing or giving up whatever may be holding you back so you can experience life to the fullest--now and for eternity--as God intends.
New Testament FIRE Starters are now available in a yearlong, daily devotional book. This hard cover book is laid out in 365 daily devotionals allowing you to take FIRE with you! Great for personal use, to use as a family or give as a gift.
Order your hard copy of the FIRE Starters book today!
If you do not have a Fire Bible Student Edition, place your order NOW!