Often times, God provides us with a chance of a lifetime but because of our pride, lack of faith, or unwillingness to work hard for the blessing, we allow the opportunity to die. It is one thing to try hard and fail, and it is another thing to give up without even trying. That my friends will make you a “never was.” I am reminded of this very thing in the book of Matthew when a young wealthy man came up to Jesus and asked Him what he could do to get into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:16-26). Jesus told the young man to follow the commandments and listed them to him. However, that young man kept the Law his entire life and wanted to honestly know what else he could do to please God. Then, Jesus told the young ruler, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk], (Matthew 19:21).”
Right there, the Son of God gave this young ruler the opportunity of a lifetime. However, the young ruler could not give all of himself to the Lord. Jesus was extending His hand to this young ruler and gave him the opportunity to become one of His disciples. However, instead of dropping everything and following Jesus, he grieved because he could not part with what he had his love and trust in (money and possessions). Simply put, he did not want to get uncomfortable and give every aspect of his life to God as an acceptable sacrifice. How this young ruler must have felt when he heard the Gospel of Christ. I am sure when he heard how Christ died for everyone’s sins and rose again must have felt like an arrow piercing not only his heart but his soul. To give up the opportunity to fellowship with the Son of God and be empowered by His Spirit to heal the sick and lame, and to cast out demons must have been a deep wound.
This message is not being guided by the Holy Spirit to shame this young ruler but to illuminate everyone reading this today to not follow his mistake. You see, Jesus is reaching out his hand to every single one of us here today. He is giving us the opportunity to follow Him and to become one of His disciples but it is not something to take lightly. You will have to give up parts of your life that makes you comfortable. You will also have to give up all those things that you like to do that does not glorify God. You will have to invest your time and resources in the expansion of the Body of Christ! You will be looked down upon by most unbelievers, to included some of your friends and loved ones. However, this sacrifice is a burden worth carrying. Do not let the fear of hardships and sacrifices keep you from being a “never was” for Christ. Learn from the young ruler’s mistakes and place your trust in Jesus Christ here and now today. Be willing to give up everything that you love and desire and exchange them for the things that please God. It will be the most rewarding work that you will ever do. You will not only gain the opportunity to enter heaven but you will also be given the opportunity to guide others to do the same. We just need to get past ourselves to actually do it and dedicate our full life to following Jesus and accepting the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our life. It is that simple to avoid being a “never was.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your Word to guide us into understanding the importance of fully surrendering ourselves to you. We gladly will exchange our transgressions for the righteousness of your Son in our lives. We pray that you continue to give us the opportunity to make you proud and make the sacrifice of your Son a worthy one. We pray that you fully empower us with your Spirit to do your will. We stand here and now ready to work for your kingdom and to be someone in your eyes. However, we know that this journey cannot be done alone and for this, we seek your strength in our life. Please continue to supply the grace we need daily to make this journey of sanctification even possible. In Jesus’ name, we all pray, Amen!