One Thing For Treasure in Heaven
When a rich young ruler came to Jesus, the man told Jesus he felt like something was missing in his life. At first, Jesus told him to keep the commandments, to which the ruler said he had kept all of them since childhood but something was still missing. Then Jesus told him to go back, sell all he had, distribute to the poor, return, and follow Him. This would cause the man to have the treasure in heaven that he instinctively knew he lacked. His act of obedience to the word of Jesus would make him complete, whole, and well.
The Lord has a way of saying exactly what we need to hear. He did this for a rich young ruler who realized somehow that the life he lived was not enough to merit heavenly rewards. Jesus told him the one thing he needed to do, and each of us today may have one thing God requires of us to gain treasure in heaven. Whatever that one thing is, God will give us the grace to accomplish it through our abiding in His Son and His well-message to us. Since Christ has overcome all through the divine will, He will lead us by His grace to do the will of God. If we wake up, listen to the Lord’s word and do what He says, we can be confident of being rewarded in heaven.
If I am honest with myself, I also lack something now that I need to gain the confidence of heavenly rewards. Storing treasure in heaven requires a certain action in obedience to the words of Jesus. If I truly believe God loves me and knows what I need before I ask, then worrying about what to wear and what to eat means I need to trust Him more than I do. I need the grace of Christ to do God’s will.
Jesus teaches that seeking first or making the Kingdom of God supreme in heart and mind causes a shift. It puts God our Father as the center of life and into the role of provider of all things. Jesus promised that God would add to us all we need if we keep seeking His reign. That means that God intends to give us all we need as His servants. He causes wellbeing through the humble return of our will and heart to Himself.
What I perceive as impossible, as is threading a camel through the eye of sewing needle, is possible with God. The one thing needed for all humanity comes through abiding in Jesus the Messiah and His well-message to us.
Gary Keller, the founder of Keller Williams Realty wrote the book The One Thing because he learned the need to focus on the one thing from which all other things either become easier or even unnecessary.
Your challenge or mine may not be growing our international real estate business as it was for Gary Keller, but it is just as important for each of us not to ignore our sense of lack and need.
The rich young ruler’s realization that he was missing something from his life motivated him to come to Jesus for the answer. A business problem caused Gary Keller to seek help, but Christ holds the answer to whatever issues arise in us or in our circumstances. Need is the opportunity God has chosen to rouse us from our sleep and draw us near to Himself.
We know if life as we experience it now is the very best God has planned for us, or if we have settled for something other than the best. If we can be honest with ourselves about our need and come to Jesus with that realization, He will look into our eyes with love and speak to us the words we need to hear, as He spoke with love to the young wealthy ruler.
For each of us who are dissatisfied with where we are spiritually, who realize we need something else to be complete, that we are called to live fulfilled and joyful lives but are not, Jesus knows the one thing we need, even if it is not what we imagined and if we think it is beyond our capabilities. We must trust that God will, by His grace, accomplish the impossible as He leads us to narrow our focus on doing that one thing He is calling us to do.
Why would Jesus point out to the rich young ruler the one thing that he would perceive as impossible? The words of Jesus identified what was keeping the man’s heart from God’s Kingdom as well as the way forward to experience God’s reign. We may also ask, why would Jesus tell James, Peter, and John to keep watch for Him in Gethsemane when He knew they would repeatedly fall asleep instead of remaining awake? Again, the word of Jesus pinpointed the weakness of their will to fulfill God’s desire, but yet, as Jesus said, all things are possible with God.
The failure of the three disciples in the garden brings to mind another time when Jesus brought the same men with Him up Mt. Hermon, where He was transfigured before their eyes. They were brought into the realm of the divine counsel among Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and the Father, and God instructed them to listen to His Son Jesus with whom He was well pleased. As the life Jesus lived on earth was full of grace of truth, the words and will of Jesus give us the grace to obey Him and experience His authority in our hearts. His transforming and resurrection power wakes us up and calls us to life, empowering us to complete the work He has for us to accomplish before His return.
God’s word to us brings us face to face with our need to call upon the name of Jesus to raise us up to experience His victory. His transfiguration on the mount declared His victory over the powers of darkness that have ruled upon the earth since Babel. His transformation of our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh demonstrates His victory over everything that could hold our hearts and keep us from His will.
Our being roused from our sleep to do the one thing Christ asks of us displays His grace to redeem us from the constraints of our human nature, so we can please God and store up treasure in heaven.