Nov 04, 2022 18:30pm

Relationships had always been hard for me. I mean, I was great at the “doing” stuff – little surprises, heartfelt gifts, buying or giving things that would wow, even cleaning out a vehicle or the house. I was the master at all these service areas, but I stunk in one department- the actual relationship.

Trust and commitment were a type of love I knew little about. So, when there were no more things to “do”, the relationship dissolved and I was on to the next. A relationship isn’t much without the actual relationship. Boy, that’s a profound statement if I ever heard one.

You get the point. Maybe you have even been there. It didn’t mean that my love language was just acts of service, it meant that I had no real concept or understanding of what “love” was.

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:16-24)

Here is a young man, very wealthy, who wants to know how to get to Heaven. Jesus shares with him 6 commandments in verses 18 and 19. Do you notice anything about those commandments?

Read them again.

They are all about acts towards others. The young man said, “Hey, no problem, I’ve got that down!”

But notice how Jesus responds – sell everything, give to the poor and follow me.

I can hear the tires screeching to a halt.

See, the young man was searching for one more thing he could do to earn Heaven. But Jesus cut straight to his heart. Money had become an idol to the young man. Jesus was saying, give up the thing that means the most to you and come follow me. At that moment, the young man realized what it would mean to have a relationship with Jesus and he wasn’t willing to do it.

And he walked away.

We cannot earn our way to Heaven. It simply has to be a relationship with the Lord. We must surrender everything in order to follow Him and know what true love really is. Because of Him, I now know what it means to be committed, I now know how to trust, and the importance of investing in my relationship.

We might have the horizontal relationships down pat, just like the rich young man, but do we have the vertical one? That’s the one that matters the most.

Lay it down. Everything you are trying to prove, whatever you are trying to earn, lay it down. Come to the foot of the cross. Surrender your heart and your idols. Only Jesus. He alone is worthy of our praise and devotion.

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