Weigh The Meaning Of Value In The Balance

QUESTIONING VALUE

I’ve been thinking A LOT about the significance of “value” for a few weeks now… “what does it mean? How is it defined? When I wake up and decide to drink some water, take in sustenance; I don’t naturally think to myself… “why am I doing this?”. I just do it. But thinking about it now, it feels as though I’m a slave to this…“value system. Things just don’t add up. “Is this our purpose in life?” Wake up and use the restroom, drink water, eat food, calculate your contribution to life and go to work. “Where is the value?”, I wonder. I’ve decided to detach myself from what I think the meaning of value is in the world and take on a different approach. “What if I choose to go to work without earning money?” The idea is to work as though I wasn’t going to receive a paycheck, that may sound stupid but in principle, it’s not. Money is not God, it is a necessary tool of prerogative for not offending the world governed by such a value system (as though it is God). Let me explain.

In the gospel according to Matthew 17:24-27; my understanding from research is that the temple tax collectors came to Capernaum and confronted Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax (that apart from the priests every Jew 20 years and above was required to pay) which is basically contributing to the upkeep of the temple (where God dwells). And seeing how Jesus and the apostles were not considered priests of the temple, they too were required to pay this tax according to the custom of old testament law. However, let’s investigate what Jesus says and does about this temple tax collection considering how Jesus is actually, the ultimate Priest. The power of the priest is found in virtue, not money. Observe…

24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?” 25 He *said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

Now according to google and the coinmill converter, a shekel today is worth 0.29 cents of the United States Dollar. There is so much I want to dive into with this idea of currency, but what fascinates me presently is the measure of value exchange between the Israelite’s and their temple priests collecting this two-drachma tax at that time. According to my research—specifically amazing discoveries—in Exodus 30 and Numbers 3 we find the reason for this contribution to the temple.

11 The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.(Exodus 30:11-14)

44 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. 46 For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” (Numbers 3:44-48)

But why did Jesus make a point to question Peter about the collection of customs? Who are the kings of the earth? And why did Jesus say that the sons are exempt? It sounds to me like Jesus is clarifying a point for Peter to recall later. Are all Israelites exempt from such customs? The answer is yes, but it was not time for that answer to come into fruition yet. The next phrase from Jesus is of most importance because it gives revelation to the meaning of value. “However, so that we do not offend them…“, but why? Why not offend these collectors with the truth about the pointlessness of this contribution?

For My Fellow Addicts

The Unheard Website: by Dallas Fluegel

Introducing The Unheard article by Dallas Fluegel

Click the link above and discover The Unheard where my friend Dallas Fluegel brings a mixture of flavors from the musical world to your ears. Below is a taste of Dallas’s’ work and I pray it moves you as it has moved me. For The Addicts. Enjoy!


Breathe Again by Swingin Hammers

Nashville Tennessee’s Swingin Hammers is Benjamin Rupe, father, husband, and a shockingly authentic human being. Ben describes himself as a fighter by nature and his mission is to “challenge unto life.” What does that mean!? I’m sure we can find out. Swingin Hammers currently sits at 6,473 monthly Spotify listeners making him a prime candidate for our artists spotlight.

Swingin Hammers released his self titled album in 2017 and Quite, Vol 1 in 2020. The song that really got my attention was Breathe Again from the Album Swingin Hammers. It is a raw, heartfelt ballad expressing deep, emotional truths. The song is simple, but stunning. It can have me nearly in tears and smiling in the same 4 minutes. There is so much I can say about it, but Benjamin was kind enough to tell me about the song and I will share that with you after you give the song a listen. Lyrics, Meaning, & Commentary below.

LYRICS (Courtesy of jesusfreakhideout.com)

Stepping out into the light
Look around you say it’s alright
It hurts to peel the bandage off
But I see now just what it costs

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

When I was clear, oh so honest
About the doubts and confusions in my mind
You did not, no, cast me down to hell
You just looked at me and you kindly smiled

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

Oh cause I been runnin’
Away from confession
I been lookin’ for healing
Where it’s not mine to find
Without the pain of a strong love
That loves enough to wound

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Just learning to breathe you in

It’s like I can breathe again
It’s like I’ve got a heart within
It’s like I can feel again
Gotta learn to, gotta learn to breathe you in

Meaning (according the author)

“Breathe Again is a song about how excruciatingly painful and how unbelievably freeing confession is. It was written with my porn addiction in mind mostly, but also my previous life in alcoholism as well. At least those are the two most tangible ones that I think of. I remember having to confess that sin of porn over and over again and how every single time it felt like a bandage that just needed [to be] ripped off. It was exhausting and TERRIFYING every time, but it would free me of my sin. All of that’s based off of 1 John 1:7-8. Here: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. All that to say, Jesus is incredibly kind to us.”

Commentary

When the Church is done right it is a breathtakingly beautiful institution. I remember my first taste of confession. I remember being afraid to say what I was going through. I remember being scared of being kicked out of the group. And then I remember my friends responding with a smile and some of the most powerful words in the world, “Me too.”

You did not, no, cast me down to hell
You just looked at me and you kindly smiled

Wow. What a moment. To know that I wasn’t alone in my brokenness meant so much to me. Overtime I have become fully known and fully loved. Being fully known means my church group knows my past and they know my thought life, past and current. They have heard the darkest, most vile thoughts of mine and have welcomed me into their home. It’s crazy. It’s wonderful. It is powerful.

Benjamin says Swingin Hammer’s mission is to ‘challenge unto life.’ I think this means he wants encourage people to not live a life of mediocrity. The life he is imploring us to is one of authenticity and meaning where we can be fully known and fully loved, then fully know and fully love others.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.” ~ Jesus in John 10:10

If you want to hear Benjamin’s additional commentary on the song you can find it below.

You can find Swingin Hammers on their website or follow them on FacebookYoutube, or Spotify. You can get a free copy of Swingin Hammers most recent album here. You can buy the self titled album, Swingin Hammers on iTunes or Amazon.

As always feel free to share the music, the website, or maybe even both with your fellow music lovers.


This article from Dallas speaks so much to me because addiction is real, a real problem, and whatever addiction it is… will suffocate the life out of us if we let it. Benjamin is singing to the heart of multitudes that are drowning in addiction, suffocated by the waterlog torture of false satisfaction and pleasure. But when you encounter the truth of Christ! You can, BREATHE AGAIN!

How To Deconstruct False Faith And Transform

What does it mean to have faith?

Faith means that people function as subjective truth to the God of objective truth. People are subject to their function, and I don’t mean personal ambitions, but quite literally sitting on the toilet to obey the necessary functions of the digestive system. You might not want to take a poo, but that poos’ coming whether you like it or not. So we are required to live in relationship with the objective truth that designed our bodies to function in that truth, subjectively. We didn’t design our parents to subject themselves to their reproductive systems for our birth into this world, yet the information is written into the male and female genetic code.

Faith is the evidence that proves we didn’t write the language of our existence, yet we exist for a genetic function of sustainable truth, but what’s more is our profound ability to know that science. We’ve come to the age of technology where truth is discoverable at the quantum level. You’d think by stepping on the scale of our intellectual capacity today in caparison to millenniums ago we’d figure out the significance of faith by now—not to insult—but to enlighten us about the meaning of life. That understanding should bring us to an experience of hope. There will hopefully come a time millenniums in the future where our kids will experience truth in the twinkling of an eye, in a moments’ time. Why not hope for such transformation?

Until then though… we have each other right now to make sense of our faith by the truth we have available to us today. Apart from the fact we can think for ourselves, what are we exactly? Are we no more than a species of biological organisms called “human beings”? If we apply the concept of choice and choose not to think beyond what limits us biologically, what is a human being without the consciousness of our knowledge that governs our convictions to educate? Are we not anything more than a species of animal that plays with “fancy” rocks? Or is that the test of our faith? To not give into the experimentation that tempts us beyond the natural responsibility of care for this ecosystem? What is the correct interpretation of the language that preaches the fear of the Lord through faith?

How do we interpret the meaning of faith?

We interpret it by an admittance of the unknown. We are not an objective species in the sense that we created ourselves and breathed life into our lungs for the purpose of being God our Father. We are a species of creature that understands two independent truths that I mentioned before—subjective truth and objective truth—and function in respect to the nature of such truths’ for a purpose. That purpose is to transform from the creature we are into the creature we become. What creature will you become? Will you be an evil devil or a godly person? The relationship you have between the objective and subjective truth will determine the creature you become in the future.

Did you wake up lying to yourself and everyone else around you because of unanswered questions to the meaning of your life? Do you eat whatever you want without care for consequence? Do you think your heart beats and your mind thinks because you formed yourself in your mother’s womb? Can you go without coffee or tea, sugar or cream, whatever that desire is that is impulsive to your creature? Do you abuse the creature you are because you deny the truth about what you are consuming? Is what you consume the interpretation of what you will become unless you accept the help from the objective truth that gives you life and wisdom? The Holy Spirit of God.

It might be that you are raised in a country where your religion is your god? It might be that you refuse to accept the power of God because you are not Jesus Christ, the Son of God? It might be that your desire for “numbers” is to feel valuable by an objectively calculating value system? It might be that you desire to be king, ruler, leader, and administrator of changing peoples lives for the “right” cause? It may be that you want to be worshiped for saving peoples lives as to replace the God who gave you life? It may be that you don’t feel worthy of life and are giving up on the reason to live?

Why we are going to transform?

We are going to transform because it is written in the language of objective truth. Objective truth sets the standard for eternal life and gives inspiration to the creatures willing to subject themselves to that standard. When creatures that live in sin are aligned with the standard of objective truth they are accepting the help of the Holy Spirit for personal transformation. The process is not easy nor simple, but development is not meant for false faith—don’t give into the enticement of your addictions—when you know how strong the Lord of your salvation is! Keep the faith! Don’t be afraid!

The creature that you are now is a body of flesh and blood susceptible to deceit and delusion unless you gear up and accept the necessary discipline for change. Stop looking at pornography and read a book. Stop fantasizing about pleasure and build a table for your office. Stop taking advantage of the innocent and teach wisdom. Stop condemning the sinner and hope for their salvation. Stop lying to yourself and live out the language of objective truth that will save your soul. Look at your metaphorical compass and see what direction your facing, then ask yourself, “Where am I going and why?”.

You have a responsibility to yourself, your family, and those involved on the path you are on. (2 Corinthians 5:16-18) The apostle Paul said, 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,. Faith is your God given ability to be aware of good and evil for the reason of accepting love through the blood given on the cross of objective truth, life eternal in the kingdom of heaven. Since death is defeated in Christ, what more is there than to behave as ready for the time to live again as the new creature you are in faith?


The Heart Speaks Before The Mouth Opens

INTERNAL DIALOGUE

Silence… can you hear the language of your heart? …I for long time wondered whether someone could hear and understand the heart of my thoughts to interpret and explain their meaning? This month that wonder came into fruition and manifested when some friends of mine in a group text shared these two videos that were not directed at me specifically, but turned out meant for me inevitably:

Jordan Peterson has exemplified my title, a proverb, the heart speaks before the mouth opens because he’s contended with God or Being, and become successful. I’ve been greatly encouraged as I investigate the counsel from this man. I’m soaking up his material online, already bought his books. Jordan is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology that is completely unaware of how his teachings are presently enlightening me to a different way of learning; in general yes, but about myself specifically, and everyone else especially.

I’ve been fascinated about the science of behavior, philosophy and psychology, especially between the ages of 14 to 24 because of the essay to understand the reason for traumatic events that brought about enough confusion in my life to pursue unanswerable questions, or at least, what appeared to be unanswerable. But this professor guy is like a prescription drug, your very own amphetamine to get focused about the meaning of life.

INTERESTING BEHAVIOR

Something I’ve found most interesting about Jordan is his behavior when asked about the figure of Christ during his interview with Susan Blackmore on the YouTube channel “Unbelievable?”, the question title of conversation was… “Do we need God to make sense of life?”. Jordan answers that question profoundly in my opinion considering the scriptures, “33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),” (John 10:33-35 and Isaiah 41:23).

In the clip above you’ll see how Jordan is tested about the figure of Christ, but answers in an extraordinary way, “…render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s…”. I feel like Jordan is perceiving their test rightly by that answer, because the personal relation between the person and God is an area of intimacy that no one has right to determine the truth of, and the claim they are seeking out of Jordan is a truth they already know and understand for themselves but ignorant of the significance in my opinion.

LEARNING SPEECH

I’ve been learning about the significance of believing how Jesus is the Word of God before proclaiming what that truth means. Anyone can say they’ve accepted Jesus as Lord; but is that someone truly understanding the power, weight and depth, gravity of what that actually means? Let’s take a look at that, because if you think that words of faith live separate from actionable belief then you are in need of self examination.

I suspect, the person who speaks belief without living it out is not enlightened about what truth means, and is either looking for it or is possessed by an evil ideology and is convinced it’s “truth”. For anyone looking for truth should feel excited for that adventure whereas anyone possessed of false ideologies should feel warned. To be convinced of an evil ideology as truth means to construct an evolutionary heart of hell. Let’s not do that. We need to deconstruct from those ideologies.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)

TALK IT OUT

How to learn the meaning of life is of an eternal value, but it will always come short of glory when not trusting the Person of God for salvation from sin. That is what it means to have a PERSONAL relationship with God through the name of His Son… so if you don’t, lets talk it out, aye?

What Does Home Mean?

“”Can you hear me say, “I love you” from across the sea?””

Much like my friend Dallas Fluegel, I contain no musical talent but love how Dallas is contributing to the musical world by his website “The Unheard“! And through his vision am inspired to share in that contribution spreading the word to those unheard; ha, that rhymed! But in all seriousness… everyone, because the unheard need be heard much more!

I’ve been listening to the song Oslo by De Joie (Kaley Rutledge) and meditating on the question given by Dallas at the end of his article…

WHAT DOES HOME MEAN?

This song is beautiful! And you can read about it with the lyrics by clicking the link above in that question (“what does home mean?”)!

MY TAKE

As I listen to the song, I experience a mental simulation of myself walking along this shore of a sea or ocean. And as I’m walking along… I peer out across this vast expanse of water, incapable of seeing where the water meets the shore on the other side. I wonder to myself, “”can she hear me say, “I love you””.

I especially resonate with this idea of hope for home to know, “I love you”, while in the same verse communicating, “I’m wild and free”. Funny, because essentially that’s saying, “I’ll miss you, but don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.” I think there is this sense of security we have from home that gives us this ability to roam as though wild and free. And as you can see, Norway is a long way away from home.

I’ve never been to Norway, but have been to Germany. My grandma saw me off with a prayer and there I went, far from home on a mission trip to Weimar with my church at the time. I’m so impressed with how this song fits the description of feelings experienced at a particular stage in my life far from home, wild and free. But when I was there did my grandma hear me say, “I love you”, from across the sea? And, “don’t worry, trust me, I’m in good company.”

The meaning of home, for me, at that time, was my grandma. I was at a crossroads—a very difficult time in my life in my early to mid twenties. I was in a very broken place, vulnerable, but through unexpected events and immense amount of love and care from the God in my grandma… I found the meaning of home. I can hear God say from across the sea, “I love you”. And because I can hear it, my home is complete.

So now here I am away from home, not too far off from my twenties at 32, married to my beautiful wife, Laura. Saying from across the sea, “I love you”. And wonder… “can she hear me?”

To think on that causes me to feel something special. A metaphor with the potential to penetrate every soul with the sound of God. Because just like we tell home from across the sea (metaphorically), “I love you”. So too does God from across the other side of life because death will eventually be abolished. We can hear Him say, “I love you”. And we don’t have to worry, we can trust Him, because we are in good company.

You can know that you are in good company because of the seal of the Holy Spirit given by God through believing in Jesus Christ. When we make the personal decision to accept the Word of God as the truth that it is, we are claiming the gift of the Holy Spirit to seal our salvation from death and resurrect to life eternal by faith in the work of God. We are incapable of salvation apart from this help of the Holy Spirit to sanctify our souls from living amongst the enemy of God, that enemy is the dust of death.

That is why I believe we can feel a sense of security here on this side of eternity, wild and free in good company, because God is where our home is. Can you hear God say, “I love you”, from across the sea?


Can This Post Feed 5,000?

Featured photo: The Chosen  (Season 1 Episode 3)

Has there ever been a time in your life where you had food prepared and ready to go for work but woke up late? You just left it thinking by some hope of providence, you’ll get fed. And it just so happened the boss brought donuts just for you to have an excuse to break that diet and get through the work day!

Or perhaps there was a time in your life where food was expected, but not given? Your friends invite you over for steak, you get there… no steak. What the heck! Turns out no one really cared about your appetite, and the lack of consideration is quite discouraging so you plot to kill em all.

Not really. But still! Not only is that plot idea relevant to this post, It’s time for some new friends, don’t you think? because true friends will treat you like a king or queen. And this post is about to become your friend.

BECAUSE YOU ARE A KING QUEEN!

Alright friend, let me take you back in time! lets hit the rewind from A.D. 2020 to peer into the time of A.D. 27 through A.D. 34! Who and what are you thinking about when this history comes to mind? For me… it’s about Jesus and what he did!

There was a time in history that maybe you’ve heard of? An event where 5,000 people went hungry for food after watching and following a man capable of doing miraculous signs. They of course knew this man as Jesus of Nazareth, until this event nearly changed everything!

They didn’t have vehicles back then so Jesus walked to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias) up on this mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. See now… Jesus knew these people needed to eat and had a plan to feed them, but how in the world was he about to feed 5,000?

Even his disciple Philip was like, yo, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them” to even receive a little. But the point of all this was to concern themselves for the people, to feel and have compassion for these people traveling to see and experience these miraculous signs that Jesus is doing.

The reason for these signs is much more than just proof that Jesus is the Messiah, but an expectation for the King of the Jews.

Now that the hearts of the disciples were focused on compassion for these people in response to Jesus’s’ prompting question, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”. Thankfully one of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him,  “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” That’s like me asking…

What is this post for so many people?

Jesus knew what he was about to do and how it was going to reveal to compel their idea to make Jesus the King of the Jews, but not for the reason the Jews anticipated… which was to deliver them from the oppression of Roman governance.

So as you can see, this “lad”… had a significant role to play in bringing the 5 loaves and 2 fish because it is through this selfless act of provision that the miracle of feeding 5,000 persuades the crowd to force Jesus into becoming the King that delivers them. But that is not the reason Jesus was to become King, do you know what that reason was?

You might want to sit down for this… considering that was the instruction of Jesus at that time for all these people, “Have the people sit down.”. Gaw… I love this, because in it we can recognizing the work of God! This act of communion bears so much meaning and symbolism to the body of Jesus being broken on the cross… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Jesus is already the King, but desires these people, his inheritance, the chosen of God to share in His Kingship. Behold Israel! For salvation is from the Jews! But because these chosen people so strongly desired deliverance from Roman oppression, missed the reality of their own sin.

And so this Prophet who is to come into the world withdrew himself from these people to be alone on this mountain. He was like, “yo Pops, I need some new friends up in this house, these people aren’t cuttin-it”. No… of course he didn’t say that, it was more like, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

So now here comes the question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”! Can you imagine eating your favorite donut without the side affects forever free, or how about a nice juicy steak for free whenever your appetite calls for it? I think that’s what these people had in mind, like yo…

FREE FOOD FOREVER!

But that wasn’t what Jesus was communicating and to their defense, they didn’t have a personal relationship with God through the seal of the Holy Spirit at that time to understand God intimately. That is what it meant to follow and believe in Jesus, to understand the heart and mind of God. But they just wanted the ability to have free food.

So then what is the answer to that question, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Well… it’s this, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” It’s quite simple really, believe in Jesus Christ. If you do believe, you’ll find that breaking open your Bible to John chapter 6 is where your spiritual meal is waiting.

LET’S EAT! I’M FAMISHED!

Why The HECK Should We Pray Anyways?

Let’s read through Luke 18 together.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” ‭‭Luke‬ 18:1

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. That is the meaning of the parable Jesus is about to tell us. We don’t even need to read it to find the meaning. It’s clear.

When we do read it we find the parable of the unjust judge who provides justice for the widow because she is a persistent (maybe even annoying) person. Jesus is saying to us, if that is what an unjust, powerful official does for their subjects, God will surely bring justice to his chosen ones. 

He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18: 2-8

A little while after this parable we come to the story of the rich young ruler. A man who would not give up his great wealth and follow Jesus to earn his salvation.

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Luke 18:18-26

I feel for the rich young ruler. Immediately after I read this I hesitated to pray, ‘Lord take my riches if that’s what it takes for me to be a true follower of you.’ Clearly – there is still room for sanctification to happen in my heart. But Jesus tells us, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27), so there’s hope for me yet.

In fact Jesus goes on to promise us that those who leave everything to follow him will get more than that in this age… and in the age to come. That means in this life and the next! What a promise!? It just takes some trust. 

2“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30

At the end of this chapter we see a little bit of a call back to the parable of the unjust judge. A blind man yells at Jesus as he is walking by and continues to call out to him despite others telling him to stop and to be quiet. The blind man is persistent. Jesus hears him. Asks him how he can help. And then gives him sight.

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35-43

Conclusion

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. Our just God will hear you.