Running Into the Presence, Yet Leaving Discouraged: Detaching Ourselves From the Treasure(s) of Earth

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses seventeen through thirty-four of the tenth chapter. HOW MANY OF US TRULY HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN? WHAT DO WE STILL LACK? HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE LEFT THE PRESENCE OF JESUS SAD BECAUSE OF HIS WORDS TO US? GO! SELL! GIVE! COME! TAKE UP! FOLLOW ME! WHAT DO WE HAVE TO SELL IN ORDER TO HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN? WHAT DO WE HAVE TO GIVE UP IN ORDER TO FOLLOW JESUS? WHAT IS HOLDING US BACK FROM TRUE TREASURE IN HEAVEN? SOMETIMES ITS WHAT WE ARE HOLDING ON TO AND UNWILLING TO LET GO OF IN ORDER TO FOLLOW JESUS? When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the recounting of an event which was already recorded in the New Testament gospel of Matthew. In this passage of a rupture you will find the account of the rich young ruler and his journey to come unto and come into the presence of Jesus. Within this passage of scripture we find what on the one hand looks like one of the most promising encounters anyone would have with Jesus, but on the other hand one of the most discouraging encounters. What would begin with perhaps zeal and passion would by the end of encounter be turned and transformed into disappointment and discouragement—not because of anything Jesus said or did, but because of the words Jesus spoke unto this young man during the encounter. This encounter between the rich young ruler and Jesus the Christ is one that on the surface appears to be genuine and sincere, and in all reality I have no reason to suspect that this young ruler was not genuine and sincere when He came unto Jesus. In fact, when you read this passage of scripture you will find this young ruler not leisurely walking to Jesus or casually coming into His presence. As you read this passage of scripture you don’t find the rich young ruler casually making his way into the presence of Jesus, and gingerly strolling into his presence. Instead, shag we fine when reading the account of this rich young ruler is one who was perhaps not only sincere, but also desperate in his pursuit and iniquity of Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind when reading this passage that this young ruler truly and genuinely sought the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly did want what which He had to offer.

As I sit here this morning and read this passage of scripture I can’t help but be immediately struck with and by the level of sincerity and genuineness that was present within the heart of this rich young ruler. I am completely and utterly convinced when reading this passage of scripture that this young ruler had heard about Jesus—perhaps even heard Him speak, heard Him teach, and maybe even witnessed a miracle or two. Maybe it’s possible that this rich young Tyler has heard stories, Rumor’s and accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, and made the conscious decision to make his way into the presence of Jesus. Perhaps this rich young ruler had heard reports and rumors about Jesus and decided within his heart and mind that He needed to make His way into His presence to inquire of Him. What is so absolutely and incredibly interesting and intriguing about this passage of scripture is the fact that this rich young ruler didn’t leisurely or casually walk into the presence of Jesus the Christ. What we find within this passage of scripture is the rich young ruler running unto Jesus and essentially running into His presence. Within this passage of scripture we find a deliberate and intentional pursuit of Jesus. Within this passage of scripture we find a deliberate and intentional venture into the presence of Jesus, and one that has a specific purpose. I am convinced that you do not run unto Jesus and you do not run into the presence of Jesus unless you are in a place of desperation. I am convinced that you do not run into the presence of Jesus unless there is something truly and genuinely stirring within your heart and your soul and you need to fulfill that longing, that desire, and that need that is found within your heart. When this man came into the presence of Jesus He didn’t come walking, but came running—this indicating the intensity of passion and fervor that was found within the heart of this young ruler. The fact that this rich young ruler ran into the presence of Jesus rather than walking suggests an urgency and an intense need to make his way into the presence of Jesus. In all reality, I would dare say that there was within the heart of this rich young ruler an intense burning and an intense longing within his heart concerning Jesus, and he could not and would not casually enter into His presence but needed to run into His presence. Can I be bold right now and declare that there is something about running into the presence of Jesus rather than simply gingerly, casually and leisurely walking into His presence. There is something about the intensity and level in which this young ruler made his way into and entered into the presence of Jesus without holding back.

One of the things that I absolutely love about this passage of scripture is that this rich young ruler was deliberate and intentional in his pursuit of Jesus, as well as His entrance into the presence of Jesus. This rich young ruler must have had an intense longing and an intense desire burning within his heart in order for him to not walk into the presence of Jesus but run into His presence. I would like to point out the power of desperation and the power of need and declare that there is something about running unto Jesus that is truly wonderful and magnificent. There is something about running into the presence of Jesus that demonstrates zeal, passion, desire and need more than anything else within our hearts and lives. There is something about those who cannot and will not simply walk and casually enter into the presence of Jesus but will mister yo all their energy and strength to run unto Jesus the Christ, and to run into His presence. There is something about those who have such a desire, such a passion and such a zeal within their hearts and souls that they need to run with all their light unto Jesus in order that they might enter into His presence. There is something absolutely remarkable and truly astounding when you consider not merely walking causally or leisurely into the presence of Jesus, but actually running with all your might into His presence. As I sit here this morning and consider the account of this rich young ruler entering into the presence of Jesus I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated about the power of running into the presence of Jesus—gripped with and by the fact of desperation with has both seized and gripped the hearts and souls of those who have such a passion and zeal within their hearts and souls that they can’t help but run into the presence of Jesus the Christ. I absolutely love what Scripture writes and declares of this rich young ruler, for Scripture paints the picture of one who was truly desperate and one who was truly sincere in their pursuit of Jesus the Christ. I can’t help but wonder if this rich young ruler didn’t run with all his might and put forth all his energy and effort into the presence of Jesus rather than simply casually walking into His presence. I can’t help but wonder if there was within the heart and soul of this rich young ruler which caused him to feel the need to run into the presence of Jesus, and to come running unto and before Jesus. I wonder what this scene looked like as this rich young ruler arrived in the presence of Jesus—perhaps out of breath, perhaps gasping for air, perhaps tired and worn out after the journey he had made in order to enter into the presence of Jesus. What was it like for this man when he finally made it to Jesus, and when he finally entered into the presence of Jesus? What was it like knowing that his journey into the presence of Jesus had resulted in His ability to not only stand before Jesus, but to also ask Him a question that was perhaps burning within his heart.

When I read and consider the words which are found within this passage of Scripture I am immediately gripped and captivated with and by he fact that concerning this rich young ruler, Scripture records how this young ruler came running unto Jesus, and once entering into His presence kneeled before Him. Oh, pause for a moment and please don’t miss the tremendous significance of what is taking place within the life of this rich younger ruler on this particular occasion during his life. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of that which is taking place within the heart and soul of this rich young ruler, for Scripture doesn’t merely write and record how he came unto and entered into the presence of Jesus, but rather how he came running into the presence of Jesus, and how once in the presence of Jesus, He kneeled down before Him. How absolutely remarkable and wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that this rich young ruler was in such a place of desperation, and such a place of zeal and need that he made the journey unto Jesus, and made the journey into His presence running rather than walking. I can’t help but wonder how fast this rich young ruler was running in order to come unto Jesus and in order to enter into His presence. What’s more, is I can’t help but wonder how far this rich young ruler had run in order that He might make his way into the presence of Jesus. Furthermore, there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it was that caused this rich young ruler to run and not walk into the presence of Jesus—to run and not walk unto Jesus the Christ. What was it within the heart and soul of this rich young ruler that propelled him to run with all his might and all his strength into the presence of Jesus the Christ in order that He might inquire of Him. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be reminded of words which are found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as words which are found within a song sang by Vicky Yohe entitled “Mercy Seat.” In all reality, I am convinced that both the words of David within the twenty-seventh Psalm, as well as the words which are found in the eighty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms are wonderful and powerful passages that help shine and shed a great deal of light onto what we read and find in the life of this rich young ruler. What’s more, is that I am convinced that the words which are found in the song which Vicky Yohe wrote entitled “Mercy Seat” helps shine an even greater light onto what we read and find within this passage of Scripture. Consider if you will that this is found in the Old Testament book of Psalms, as well as the words which are found in contemporary Christian artist Vicky Yohe’s son “Mercy Seat:”

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His Temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; He shall set me upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies” (Psalm 27:3-11).

“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainted for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Delay. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also fillets the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Delay. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man that trusteth thee” (Psalm 84:1-12).

“In the darkness, where everything us unknown. I faced the power of sin on my own. I did not know of a place I could go. Where I could find a way to heal my wounded soul. He said that I could come into His presence without fear. Into the holy place where His mercy covers near. I’m running, I’m running, I’m running to the mercy seat. Where Jesus is calling, He said His grace would cover me. His blood will flow freely, it will provide the healing. I’m running to the mercy seat. I’m running to the mercy seat. Are you living where hope has not been. Lost in a curse of a lifetime of sin. Look, the illusions, they never come true. I know there’s a place of mercy for you. He said that you could come into His presence without fear into the holy place where his mercy hovers near. Come running, come running, come running to the mercy seat. Where Jesus is calling. His grace will be a covering. His blood will flow freely. It will provide the healing. Come running to the mercy seat.”

In the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews we find the author of the epistle emphatically instructing and inviting us to come boldly unto the throne of grace in order to receive grace to help in time of need. I can’t help but be reminded of these words when I consider that which is found in the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as that which is found in the song which Vicky Yohe wrote, for there is something about not holding back, and about running unto the person of Jesus the Christ. There is something about running into the presence of Jesus that elevates the need and the desire that is found within our hearts and within our souls. There is something about a willingness within our hearts and our souls that propels us to not leisurely and casually come unto Jesus the Christ, nor casually enter into His presence, but to actually run with all our might and all our strength into the presence of Jesus the Christ. There is something truly remarkable and wonderful about a need and a passion that is so great within our hearts and our souls that we can’t walk into the presence of Jesus, but must in fact run into the presence of Jesus. What’s more, is that there is something about running into the presence, and upon arriving in the presence of Jesus, we can do nothing less than kneel and bow ourselves before Him within His presence. There is something about this rich young ruler who not only came running into the presence of Jesus, but also knelt down before Him in His presence once He finally arrived in His presence. I am completely and utterly convinced that there is something about a willingness within our hearts and our souls to expend physical energy, and perhaps even exhaust ourselves—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in order that we might enter into the presence of Jesus. Oh tell me dear brother, tell me dear sister—when was the last time you exhausted yourselves in order that you might come into the presence of Jesus? When was the last time you exhausted yourself physically in order that you might make your way unto Jesus and kneel before Him in His presence? When was the last time you exhausted yourself mentally in order that you might enter into the presence of Jesus and simply kneel in His presence and make your request known? When was the last time you emotionally exhausted yourself in an attempt to enter into the presence of Jesus and make your request and your petition known unto Him? When was the last time you even exhausted yourself spiritually in order that you might come into the presence of Jesus? There is something about one who is willing to exhaust themselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually that is very attractive in the sight of the living God. There is something about one who is willing to expend their strength and their energy in a furious attempt to enter into the presence of Jesus, and to kneel before Him, and to make their request known unto Him. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to exhaust ourselves in order that we might make our way unto Jesus, and in order that we might enter into His presence where we can kneel before Him and make our request and petition known unto Him.

What I find to be absolutely unique about this passage of Scripture is that while it is true this rich young ruler came running unto and into the presence of Jesus, and while it is true that this rich young ruler knelt down before and within the presence of Jesus upon entering into His presence, once in the presence of Jesus the rich young ruler asked one very specific question of Jesus. As you continue reading this passage of Scripture you will find that this rich young ruler came running into the presence of Jesus, and upon kneeling in His presence asked Jesus, saying, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” I am convinced that it is absolutely necessary that we read and pay close attention to that which is found within this passage of Scripture for there are essentially two factors at work within this single question which was asked by the rich young ruler. On the one hand we find the rich young ruler asking Jesus what he needed to do in order that he might inherit eternal life. In the New Testament gospel account which was written by the apostle Matthew we find Matthew writing how the rich young ruler entered into the presence of Jesus and asked Him, saying, “What good thing must I do to inherit eternal life.” It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that which this rich young ruler was asking Jesus, for although He came and entered into His presence with all genuineness and sincerity, He entered into His presence making it all about himself. As you read that which the rich young ruler asked Jesus the Christ you will find that his question not only made it all about him, but it also made it about what he would do in and of himself in order that he might inherit eternal life. The question which the rich young ruler asked the Lord Jesus Christ made it all about works, and made it all about his own efforts and endeavors rather than on the grace of the eternal and living God. It might have been true that this rich young ruler wanted and perhaps even longed for eternal life, but with that desire came a certain naïveté that caused him to think that he could inherit eternal life based on his own merits, and based on his own works. The question which the rich young ruler asked the Lord Jesus Christ was a question that put all the focus on his own ability, and on what he could do in the sight of God in order that he might inherit eternal life. The question which he asked was one that was all about himself, and actually had absolutely no room for the grace of the living God within his life. Did you know that it is possible to be so caught up and consumed with a life of works that there is absolutely no room for the grace of God to have any impact and affect within our hearts and lives? Did you know that it is possible to live such a works centered life that the grace of God is of none effect within our lives. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifth chapter of the epistle which he wrote unto the churches which were in Galatia, as well as that which is found in the New Testament epistle which was written unto the Philippian congregation—words which help shine an even greater light onto what we read and find within the life of this rich young ruler:

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of none effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avail either any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased. I would that they were even cut off which trouble you” (Galatians 5:1-12).

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made comfortable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:3-14).

In addition to the question which the rich young ruler asked being centered upon himself and what he could and possibly would do in order that he might inherit enteral life, we must also recognize and understand that the ultimate desire of this rich young ruler was enteral life, and not necessarily Jesus the Christ. I am absolutely and utterly convinced that there is a fundamental and dangerous trap that has been laid within the church of Jesus Christ, and among the followers of Jesus Christ. The trap that I speak of which is both deadly and dangerous is the trap that focuses on the prize and reality of eternal life rather than on obtaining and laying hold of Christ. There is a growing tendency to think and believe that eternal life is the ultimate pursuit and the ultimate goal, and yet I am convinced that eternal life is not the ultimate prize, nor is it the ultimate goal. When you read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Philippian church and congregation you will find him writing about knowing Christ, knowing the fellowship of His sufferings, and the power of His resurrection. When writing unto the church which is in Philippi you will find the apostle Paul writing how he counted all things loss for Christ, and how he counted all things as loss for the excellency of knowing Jesus Christ His Lord. What’s more, is the apostle Paul also wrote about winning Christ and being found in Him, and even apprehend Jesus the Christ. Please don’t miss the language that is found within this particular epistle, for that which the apostle Paul was desirous of, and that which the apostle Paul pursued was not necessarily eternal life, but rather Jesus the Christ. The apostle Paul knew, recognized and understood that eternal life was a byproduct of apprehending and laying hold of Christ. The apostle Paul knew and understood that eternal life was a byproduct of following and knowing Christ, for if we came to know Jesus the Christ, we would inevitably and ultimately inherit eternal life. What’s more, is that there has been a teaching that declares the ultimate rest for the Christian and for the saint is eternal life, and I am convinced that this simply isn’t the case. I am convinced that the greatest pursuit, the greatest desire, the greatest need within our hearts and lives is not necessarily eternal life, but is actually Jesus the Christ Himself. In fact, I would dare say that if you pursue anything other than Jesus the Christ you are sorely and severely mistaken and are pursuing the wrong thing within your heart and life. I am convinced that until and unless we make Jesus Christ our single pursuits and our single ambition, we are sorely and seriously missing the point of it all. It is true that eternal life is the end result for those who have believed in and trusted on the Lord Jesus Christ, but eternal life is about so much more than the reality of heaven, for it is about an eternity of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life is more about fellowship with Jesus the Christ, and obtaining eternal fellowship and relationship with Him.

The rich young ruler asked what good thing he must do in order that he might inherit eternal life, and I am convinced that eternal life in and of itself is not necessarily the single and sole ambition and focus within our hearts and lives. It’s worth noting that when the rich young ruler declared unto Jesus how he had kept all the commandments He listed from his youth up, Jesus beheld Him, and loved Him. What’s more, is that there is something within the New Testament gospel of Matthew that shines an even greater light on this encounter that is not found within the gospel account written by Mark. In the New Testament gospel of Matthew the apostle of Jesus Christ records how this man asked Jesus what he still lacked. In other words, he acknowledged that he had kept the commandments which were listed by Jesus the Christ, but he recognized that there might still be something he lacked. The commandments which this rich young ruler heard from the lips and mouth of Jesus the Christ were commandments which dealt specifically and exclusively with his relationship with men, but did not touch his relationship with the living God. When Jesus Christ spoke unto this rich young ruler He declared unto him that he still lacked one thing, and that was to go his way and sell all he had, and to give to the poor. Once he had given to the poor, he would then have treasure in heaven. Upon selling all he had and giving to the poor, this rich young ruler was then to come, take up his cross and follow Jesus. What was lacking within the heart and life of this rich young ruler? It wasn’t necessarily the riches he had amassed and accumulated for himself, but rather it was the fact that he had not yet denied himself, he had not yet taken up his cross, and he had not yet begun following Jesus. Oh, it is true that he kept the commandments of the Lord given unto Moses, but despite the fact that he kept those commandments, he did not follow and was not following the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more, is that he had not yet taken up his cross in order that he might follow after the Lord Jesus Christ. It is quite clear and quite evident when reading this passage of Scripture that eternal life is not necessarily the ultimate and end goal, for the ultimate pursuit is the person of Jesus Christ. In all reality, eternal life is Jesus Christ, and eternal life is about nothing less than Jesus Christ. Eternal life is about the streets of gold, and it is about passing from death to life on the other side of the grave, but it is ultimately about laying hold of Jesus the Christ. Eternal life is about apprehending and winning Jesus the Christ—even if it costs us everything within our hearts and lives. This is what was so significant about this encounter between the rich young ruler, for that which was lacking and that which was missing within his life was a denial of self, a taking up of his cross, and a passionate following after Jesus the Christ. It was true this rich young ruler came running unto Jesus, and knelt down before Him in His presence, but this rich young ruler had not yet denied himself, taken up his cross, and begun following Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that I would dare say that this rich young ruler was misguided in his pursuit, for there can be no eternal life without and apart from passionately pursuing the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no eternal life without following Jesus the Christ, and without taking up our cross and coming after Him. Oh that we would recognize that there is a vast and fundamental difference between coming running into the presence of Jesus and actually coming after and following Jesus. The one may get us an audience with Jesus the Christ, but only the other will actually get us fellowship with Jesus the Christ—a fellowship which will equate and amount to eternal life on the other side of the grave.

I wrote and mentioned earlier how this passage starts as one that is most promising, yet concludes as one that is most discouraging, and perhaps even depressing, I would like to conclude this writing by explaining why I feel and think this way. If you come to the twenty-second verse of this particular chapter you will find that when this rich young ruler heard the final saying of Jesus—the saying that instructed him to go his way, sell all he had, give to the poor, and then to come after Jesus, take up his cross and follow Him—he went away sad, and perhaps even disappointed. What began with this rich young ruler running into the presence of Jesus would ultimately end up with the young ruler leaving the presence of Jesus sad, disappointed and perhaps even a little discouraged, for that which Jesus invited, and that which Jesus instructed him to do was much more and much greater than what he had bargained for. In the account of this rich young ruler with Jesus as recorded by the apostle Matthew we find the rich young ruler asking what good thing he must do in order that he might inherit eternal life, and yet in both cases what we find is not necessarily one single thing he must do in order that he might inherit eternal life, but rather a lifetime of things he needed to do—a lifetime of denying himself, taking up his cross, and following after Jesus. It wasn’t merely about the rich young ruler doing one specific task in order that he might inherit eternal life, but it was about him selling all he had, giving to the poor, gaining treasure in heaven, and then denying himself, taking up his cross and following after Jesus. It’s worth noting that this rich young ruler asked what good thing he must do in order that he might inherit eternal life, and yet Jesus spoke to him concerning treasure in heaven—a reality which brings me to the place where I am convinced that we cannot expect to have and lay hold of eternal life without and apart from having treasure in heaven. There are many among who us in this generation who would seek to inherit eternal life, and yet they have no treasure in heaven, and they have spent all their time amassing treasure here on the earth. Jesus declared that where our treasure is there would our heart be, and it is undeniable that for this rich young ruler his treasure was his wealth, and his heart was directly linked and connected to his wealth. This rich young ruler might have desired eternal life, yet he was attempting to do so without detaching himself from having a heart that was bound to the earth, and without detaching himself from that which meant the most to him. The rich young ruler might have desired eternal life, and yet eternal life would require this rich young ruler to detach himself from material wealth and possessions, and to give himself completely an totally to taking up his cross and following after Jesus the Christ. In other words, it wasn’t merely about laying hold of eternal life, but it was about treasure in heaven, and it was about following after Jesus who is the ultimate treasure in heaven, and the ultimate treasure of heaven. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are willing to lay aside the treasure(s) of this earth in order that we might lay hold of the treasure of heaven which is in all reality Jesus the Christ.

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