Unleash the Power of the Truth

iLEAD Leadership Development System

Wealth May Not Be Riches

After my last post, some friends suggested I read the book Radical. Good book but you can tell right away it is speaking from the Southern Baptist Tradition – the author skipped right over love and went straight to the sin problem. For me, I like Saint Ignatius’ approach. Once I am grounded in God’s love for me, then I can look at the shadows, those things which I have hidden from others and even myself because I can now realize that I am a loved sinner.

That brings me to my reflection this morning. Remember the story about the rich young ruler in Mark 10?
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.'” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
“Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through (the) eye of (a) needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

I was just wondering, what if Jesus didn’t mean the wealth of his possessions? What if Jesus meant that he should get rid of the wealth of his righteousness?

I know that I can get all puffed up about what I am doing in my walk with Christ, how I attend church pretty regularly, how I read the word, how I spend time praying, etc. What does it matter if I, that’s a capital I, do all these things? If we really do believe in the finished work of God the Father through His Son Jesus, if we really do believe in the unmerited favor of grace, shouldn’t we be more than willing to give up our righteousness in exchange for the righteousness that comes from Christ? Now, I’m not saying to go out tonight and get blasted! What I am saying is that nothing I can do counts with God. All that counts is what He does with, in and through me. So what can I brag about? Maybe that’s why Paul said this, “Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh, although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee, in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless. (But) whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection and (the) sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

What do you think? Should we be like Paul and give up our own righteous and religious works so that we count all things as loss for the riches found in Christ? The righteousness that comes from as a gift of grace, both imputed and lived.


Written by John Hannah

October 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. John: Really enjoy reading these, You are absolutely a blessing. I look forward to reading and studying one each day.

    Larry Parker Jr.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: