Monday, October 23, 2023

God’s Trade-In Deal

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23 NLT)

How we can find eternal life? Where do we look? And who has it?

We find the answer in the Gospel of Luke, in a conversation that Jesus had with a man whom Luke simply identified as “a religious leader” (18:18 NLT).

And the answer Jesus gave to this man’s question is relevant to each of us today.

He approached Jesus and said, “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” (verse 18 NLT).

Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? . . . Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother’ ” (verses 19–20 NLT).

Jesus took him back to the law. That’s because God did not give us the commandments to make us righteous. Rather, He gave us the commandments to function like a moral mirror in our lives and show us what we’re really like. When we look at God’s law, we realize that we fall short.

Amazingly, this man said that he had obeyed all those commandments since he was young.

So, Jesus told him, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (verse 22 NLT).

This leader had so much going for him. He was moral, religious, and powerful. He was sincere and could have easily qualified for membership in most of our churches today. Yet something was still lacking in his life.

He may have been the only person who ever came to Jesus and then left in worse condition than before. It wasn’t because of what Jesus said. It was because of his own reaction. He didn’t like what Jesus said to him, so he walked away, filled with sorrow.

Even though he came to Jesus with the right question and received the right answer, he made the wrong decision. Why? Because he was not honest with God or himself.

As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “There are two sources of unhappiness in life. One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it.”

So many people believe that one of these days if they win the lottery, if they strike it big, then they will be happy. And if they do actually realize their dreams, they often discover that it didn’t bring them happiness.

The same Jesus who offered eternal life to that religious leader so long ago is also offering it to us. First, we must realize that we’ve sinned. We all have broken God’s commandments time and time again.

Second, we must recognize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for us. He shed His blood for every sin we have ever committed.

And third, we must be willing to repent of our sins.

That is what we need to do to inherit eternal life. That is God’s trade-in deal.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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