We had a wonderful and profitable time the weekend of August 23 and beyond. The General Conference, North American Division, Atlantic Union, and five local conference Stewardship directors held meetings on stewardship on Friday night and Sabbath morning and stewardship training seminars at Mount Vernon church on Sabbath afternoon. The churches were packed and the training seminar on stewardship was well attended.
A lot of good things can be said about the rich young ruler. Jesus looked upon him and loved him. Jesus was impressed by this young man and the rich young ruler was impressed by this new teacher having magnetic personality and eyes that griped you and welcomed you.
I would like to champion the cause of this young man for a moment. The rich young ruler was very courageous. He belonged to the ruling class and he was not suppose to mingle with Jesus and the disciples, but he came during daylight, talked to Jesus, and spent quality time with Him.
He was a very spontaneous young man. He came running to Jesus. He knew the consequences, but he nevertheless came to Jesus running. Did not want to waste any more time.
He was humble. He knelt before Jesus. Thank God his status in the establishment did not make him arrogant, important, and proud. He fell down on his knees in the middle of the road. He was not concerned about becoming the target of the ruling party.
He was very sincere. He was not coming to Jesus with tricky and misleading questions like the Pharisees. He came in genuine sincerity. Good master, “What must I do to inherit eternal life.” Tell me the secret of authentic living.
He was religious also. Jesus said you know the commandments. He said I know them and kept them from my youth up. He was not trying to be pious and holy, but he told the truth. He made an earnest effort to serve God.
There are a lot of good things to be said about this young man. He was courageous, humble, sincere, and honest, but he said no to Christ. Jesus told him “go and sell all you have and give it to the poor” Wow, that was pretty heavy blow. Jesus did not want the rich young ruler’s money or possession. Jesus wanted the young man’s heart. The problem was the money the riches standing in the way. It was a question of priority—Jesus or wealth. What is our priority? Is it self and family first and God last or is it God first and self last. Priorities are very important to God. We need to be 100 percent stewards not partial stewards. We need to be faithful stewards in our tithe and offerings.
God is telling us to be faithful stewards of the blessing that He has given us. He will pour his blessing on us as we stay faithful to the stewardship principals by putting God first. Do not say no to Jesus.
Friends, what is that thing in our lives that blocks us from committing everything to God? What is it that holds us back from accomplishing His will? It may be surrendering our radical self reliance or money or wealth or unforgiving spirit. Whatever it is that blocks and separate us from total commitment to Christ we need to get rid of the obstacle. You know what it is, just get rid of it.
Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus looking upon him with love, said “You lack one thing, go sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasurers in heaven, and come and follow me.”
Friends, trust, believe, test, and try Jesus. He will not disappoint you.
Leon Thomassian is the Atlantic Union Conference treasurer and trust services director.