What Must You Do To Inherent Eternal Life?

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18 ESV.

ruler 2

This question came from a rich ruler who sought the answer from Jesus. Jesus in His usually manner went right to the ruler’s heart. He started by stating five of the Ten Commandments which relate to human relationship. The ruler replied that he has kept these from his youth. Then Jesus threw the zinger at him. Jesus knew that the one major area of the ruler’s life that came between God and him was his wealth. Therefore, Jesus told him there was one thing he lacked. Too sell his possessions and follow him.

Many Bible teachers emphasize the first part of Jesus’ reply rather than the last part. The emphasis they place is on the wealth rather than on Jesus. Many Christians even today struggle with the answer. What Jesus stated and repeated later is that man doesn’t have the capacity within himself apart of God to do anything that earns him eternal life.

Jesus recognized the idol of wealth in the rich ruler’s heart. He offered him the opportunity to join him right then and there. Yet the decision to sell everything was more than he could do. Like many of us, we come to the place where we realize we can’t do what only God can do. We do not have the sole capacity to do anything to earn eternal life.

Only the Triune God can change a person’s heart. When the Holy Spirit resides and moves within a person’s life, transformation occurs. Only God can replace a stony, hard heart with a soft, pliable one. That is why Jesus stated shortly thereafter that what is impossible for man is possible with God.

We all have idols in our lives. Typically idols are good things in life. However, we make them the ultimate thing. And when they become the ultimate thing, they replace God’s position in our life. That is what makes an idol. Wealth, family, career, education, and food are all good things. However, when they become the most important treasure of our heart, then God is being replaced by a forgery. God knows that we are wired and operate fully human when He is the center of our life. When something else takes that place, we suffer and never experience the rich relationship with Him and others. This is what Jesus saw in the rich ruler.

Jesus gave the rich ruler the opportunity to follow Him. Whether the rich ruler eventually came to follow Jesus or not, we are not told. However, Scripture does reveal to us today that eternal life is God’s gift to us for those who believe in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11).

So if you haven’t done business with your Maker, maybe today is a good time to look into the life of Jesus and learn what He has to say about your life now and for all eternity.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Idols

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 ESV

idols 1

What makes something an idol? Why is an idol so destructive in your life? Or is God simply on an ego trip?

Setting aside any religious understanding you may have on idols, let’s look at it from a practical point of view.

What was the first idol that appeared on the world scene? Would you believe it involved an archangel. The Bible states that God created Lucifer more beautiful than any other angel. However, rather than show gratitude to God and walk humbly with Him, Lucifer began to look at himself. He basically began to look at himself as superior to God. His pride turned himself into an idol. The result was a failed coup of heaven and banishment from authority within God’s domain.

What was Adam’s and Eve’s sin? Didn’t Eve make the forbidden fruit an idol? Rather than spend more time with God or Adam in developing their relationship, her focus became the fruit. Upon the Serpent’s temptation, she allowed the idol to supplant her relationship with The Lord. Like Satan before her, she wasn’t satisfied in keeping the relationship between her and The Lord in place. She was created to be like God, but limited in her physical attributes. She wanted more. She wanted to be more like God and took circumstances into her own hands to make it happen. She wasn’t going to wait for God to bring it about in his way and schedule. Her idol became her Achilles heel.

An idol is simply anything that comes before God. Generally speaking, idols really don’t exist anywhere but in our hearts and mind. Whatever takes the place of God in our worship, love, and passion is a candidate to become an idol. Money, power, sex, food, friends, family, country, religion, science, are some of the candidates that we convert into idols. By themselves, they are usually neutral and generally very good for our well-being. However, whenever they become more important in our life than the Triune God, we have crossed over into idol worship.

The result of idol worship is generally a kick in the pants. Idols are false strongholds that empower us away from God and reality. God has designed a divine order in how life works. When we build our life outside of his order, holes and craters will appear. The result is usually pain and sorrow and maybe even premature death.

God created us. He made us to worship him. He designed us to walk with Jesus Christ. He encased us to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Like any healthy marriage relationship, a third-party (mistress) takes away the intimacy between the two. The same is true when an idol comes between our Heavenly God and ourselves.

You may not recognize the idols in your life. God does. He knows your spiritual condition. That is why I am most grateful for Jesus Christ. His act of justification on our behalf and the outpouring of his grace only demonstrates his awesome love for us. I for one am thankful that he cares enough for us that he takes the time to help destroy the idols in our lives. We may not like the process, but the fruit at the end of the day is most scrumptious.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

How Do Idols Hurt You?

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses He gave specific instructions that would benefit humanity. One of those instructions was to refrain from worshiping idols; or as the Bible emphatically states “You shall have no other gods before me”[Deuteronomy 5:6-8].
Now some of us may think that God is a jealous Being who does not tolerate us worshiping someone more than Him. Some may look at that commandment from a religious aspect which means it is what I have to do to receive blessings from God. Others may look at it strictly from an obedience view which emphasizes we only do it without contemplating the impact toward others. We even search the Bible which demonstrates what happens to a people when these instructions are ignored. In other circles, God is believed to be an ego centric Being that wants total domination over His creation along with total adherence to all the rules so He may better control us.
The plain truth of the matter is that God realizes if we don’t have a direct relationship with Him, we are then living and pursuing a lie that eventually hurts ourselves and the people around us. Instead of dealing with reality, idols drown us to live in a fantasy that will boomerang and hit us on the side of the head when we least expect it. Typically, it is a false, short term substitute.
For the record, idols are basically anything that comes between you and God. It is what we believe we want now and cannot wait for God’s timetable. It becomes our main focus, drive, and passion that we worship and adore it instead of the living God. Typically it is the false illusion of temporary satisfying our inner desires. It is something that has a hold of our heart and doesn’t allow the Triune God to lead the way. The end result leads to treading outside of His Will. When we live outside of His Will, we are on our own. Yes it may work out for the short term; and yes you may even blossom from it for the short term. But eventually the sour taste of sin and godliness will emerge. The outcome will not be as fully rich and abundant for all stakeholders as you initially thought.
Many of us eventually learn that idols are a poor substitution for the Triune God. We come to the place that the more we seek to walk with the real God, the stronger our faith becomes and the less we need idols in our life to provide the temporary pleasures and escapes that we seek. We become like the Thessalonians that Paul writes about in Chapter 1:9 “… and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Like these Thessalonians, when one places the true God as the center and priority in everything we do, idols lose their luster and sway. The sooner one learns which idols are hurting the self, the sooner one discovers the intimate and enriching personal relationship one has with the Triune God. So, what idols are preventing you from walking in step with the Spirit? What are you going to do about it?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Holy Father, Holy Lord, and Holy Spirit: Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Thank you for pursuing us until we caught you. Thank you for opening our minds to understand the riches of your ways. Thank you for everything you do.
Help us to always aim our heart, mind, body, and soul toward you, your church, and your Kingdom. Help us to identify the idols in our lives and eradicate them out of our life. If possible, help us simply to place you ahead of our gods and submit our gods into your hands for your cleansing. You know what brings joy into our life. Bless us with your favor. Bless us for your name’s sake.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.