Many times, Jesus addressed the obsession, greed and sin of pursuing material assets and the love of money. One Bible story in particular that my wife and I often talk about regarding this important topic is that of the Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-30).

This story is included in SIU”s “Discipleship/Obedience” story collection, which is used for training our indigenous partners in evangelizing and discipling unreached people groups through Bible storytelling.

The story ends with a challenge from Jesus to the rich young ruler:

22 When Jesus heard this, he told him, “You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.” 23 But when the official heard this he became sad, because he was very rich. 24 So when Jesus saw how sad he was, he said, “How hard it is for rich people to get into the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.”

He became sad because he was very rich.

That one simple phrase is something my wife and I frequently remind ourselves of, whenever we have a desire to treat ourselves to an unwarranted, selfish need—or as we call it, an “urge to splurge”—especially when we should be focusing on serving and giving to others.

And then our Lord and Savior reminds us how hard it is for rich  people to enter the Kingdom of God. This is as true today as it was when the disciples first heard it from Jesus over 2,000 years ago.

So where are you storing up your treasures?

I hope it’s “where moth and rust don’t destroy,” as Jesus states in Matthew 6:19-20:

19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

To be honest with you, I know that while I’m here on earth, in this weak, fragile, broken body and state of mind, I often struggle with adhering to our Lord’s commandment regarding earthly vs. heavenly treasure. It’s only through His Holy Spirit living within me that I am able to deny myself, and be able to live with an eternal perspective and focus on “dying to self” each and every day. This is just one of the many blessings of being a follower of Jesus Christ, and I can’t imagine living without Him.

So what “Treasure Ride” are you on? Is it an earthly, temporary “get all I can for myself now” path or an eternal one that requires sacrifice now for a greater, never-ending reward in heaven?

Christ offers an abundant life that pales in comparison to any short-term earthly assets that we can accumulate or enjoy temporarily. The missionary trainers at Scriptures in Use can witness to the exciting roller coaster ride that only God can provide when you choose to follow him. Additionally we have the privilege of partnering with many leaders of faith around the world, whose lives are a tribute to the Glory of God. It is a journey that I want to be a part of, and I hope you do too.

12 replies
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, EC. We thank God for your’s and Carolyn’s mentoring of me, my wife and my kids over the last seven years. We miss you and pray for your often. God bless, Kent

      Reply
  1. Jim Weisert
    Jim Weisert says:

    Insightful perspective my friend.
    Praying that God will bless and prosper all your prayers, dreams, and goals in 2017. Amen!
    God bless
    Jim

    Reply
  2. Dennis Davenport
    Dennis Davenport says:

    Kent,

    Your blog post hit home because we live in the USA – where we all have so much more than most of the rest of the world.

    Dennis & Eileen

    Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      Hi Dennis & Eileen, so good to hear from you two. Thanks for the note of truth and encouragement and I pray your 2017 is starting out well with your family, friends and business endeavors. So grateful for your impact to His Kingdom in the US and around the world with our SIU partners. God bless, Kent

      Reply
  3. Paul White
    Paul White says:

    Excellent reminder Kent of how we need to focus more on storing up treasures in heaven… by seeking Him and His Kingdom first and all the rest of our earthly needs and desires will be taken care of! Love you my dear brother and I know our Lord is proud of you and the amazing work SIU is doing around the globe! Blessings, Paul

    Reply
    • Kent
      Kent says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Paul. With your prayers and your generous financial support, YOU are part of this catalytic movement sweeping across the world with the Oral Majority (with billions of Oral Learners) wanting to make a difference for Christ. To God be the Glory!

      Reply
    • Kent Kiefer
      Kent Kiefer says:

      So good to hear from you Yvonna! I pray you and the family are doing well. Thanks for reading this blog and encouraging me and the use of “Bible Story” in all our evangelism and disciple-making efforts. God bless you, Kent

      Reply

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