By Mark Harris, Founder and CEO of 4Tucson
Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.' " And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth."
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! Luke 18:18-24 (NKJ)
In this story, we see that the rich man became sorrowful because he had to choose between what he valued most and the kingdom of God. The choice he made caused Jesus to be very sorrowful.
In life, we all face the same decision, not once as in the story, but over-and-over throughout our lifetimes. If you were to similarly stand face-to-face with Jesus, what would He say is the one thing or the one relationship that you put ahead of Him? If Jesus asked you to give up your position, your title, your influence or your ministry in exchange for the kingdom of God, could you do it? Would your decision be to hold on to what you value most, and bring Him sorrow, rather than follow Jesus completely?
I ask myself those questions often. Most of the time I am pleased with my answers. But, to be totally honest, there are times I prefer to hang on to the very thing that blocks God’s blessings in my life. It is easy to condemn the rich young ruler, but I am no different.
Matthew 6:33 states, “seek first the kingdom of God and these things will be added to you.” Have you ever stopped to ask, “What does Jesus actually mean by that statement?"
The kingdom of God is not clearly defined in the Bible, yet the term is one of the most used in Christian circles.
The kingdom of God means God’s kingly rule — His reign, His action, His lordship, His sovereign governance over everything.
The kingdom of God is His rule and reign over every aspect of creation.
The kingdom of God is His rule and reign over every aspect of your individual life.
The kingdom of God is His rule and reign over every structure and institution that man has created.
The kingdom of God is His rule and reign over the forces of evil, which He will one day return to subdue once and for all.
So the question for each of us to consider is this: Does God truly rule and reign over every aspect of my life?
If He said, “Lay down whatever you value the most, because it is preventing you from receiving the kingdom of God,” could you do it? Would you do it? Would we walk away sorrowful that we had kept all of God’s commands but still missed the kingdom of God?
We cannot expect to change the city if we hold out on seeking first the kingdom of God in our own lives. Let us hold nothing back! Let’s take the city for Jesus!
There are two types of city areas; explore the Large Sphere of Influence or the City Focus Area where God is calling you.
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