Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:21-22).
To love God with all our hearts we need to understand the barriers to such love in our hearts. We see one displayed in the story of the man who chose earthly wealth over a relationship with Jesus.
The young man’s preoccupation with himself is revealed early in this account. He asks Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus hears the assumption that one can do enough to qualify for heaven and points down a different path.
“Only God is good,” says Jesus. Sadly, the young man misses the point, and seconds later claims that he is as good as God, deserving an eternal inheritance.
All along, the goal of the man’s devotion was the expansion of his own affluence – wealth on earth and in heaven. That’s why he cannot engage in devotion that would threaten his bank account. His sin is not his wealth, but his assumption that God would owe him for the man’s own extraordinary goodness.
The heart humbled by grace does not send God a bill for our goodness but devotes itself to the One who paid it all.
Heavenly Father, help me to see the treasure of grace for which my merits could never pay so that I will live in gratitude for the salvation my Savior fully purchased. Make my devotion a response to grace not a demand for it.