What if you were told, that to get everything you ever wanted, you have to give everything you ever had away?
Would you do it?
The rich young ruler asked Jesus what he had to do to gain eternal life? What he was really wanting was to know how he could buy it. He wanted the 10-commandment, 7-steps, 6-keys version. The ABC, 123, do this and do that, and you'll earn it.
Jesus told him that to gain everything he ever wanted, he first needed to give away all he had.
Let's say you were in that position. Would you give away all you had, to get everything you ever wanted?
Most people would probably say yes, of course. I'll sign on the dotted line -- I do this, I get that.
What if there was no guarantee that you would actually get it all? What if you had to take the chance, that if you really went all in, that you could end up with nothing?
What if that's all it looked like? That you give everything away.. and you won't get anything in return, but an empty promise..
Would you still do it?
The story ends by the rich young ruler walking away. He couldn't do it. He couldn't get past the "give it all away" part. He couldn't see the reward, that the "empty promise" was given by the King of kings, and was guaranteed forever.
There's another story in the Bible -- where someone gave away everything they had, and really had no guarantee of a return.
He gave away his name, his right to a family, his home, his friends, his dignity, his health and well-being.. even his life. He literally gave everything he had. Including his heart.
He had no guarantee that he would get what he wanted in return. The Bible says, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Jesus died for us. Jesus gave it everything.. for us. Even though his own friends ran away, his people rejected him and put him to death.. He still gave his all.. for us. Even though as sinners we were hostile to God, we didn't trust him, we didn't believe in Him.. He still gave everything away.
I couldn't do it. I couldn't give everything away, on my own. It seems illogical, unnatural, and unreasonable to think that if you give away everything you have, you'll get not only everything you ever wanted, but more besides.
God's like that though. When God asked Solomon in a dream what he wanted, and Solomon asked for wisdom, not only did God make Solomon the wisest man who ever lived and who ever will live, but the richest man too. Scripture says no one will ever have the kind of wealth Solomon did. God's like that.
My church background has a saying, "You can't out-give God."
Jesus gave everything he had, just for a chance to ask me out on a date. Just for the chance let me get to know Him. And despite knowing everything about me, despite knowing everything I have done, the good, the bad, the ugly, He asked me to marry Him -- He asked the Father for the Church as His bride. Someday, the waiting will be over, and the wedding completed. O glorious day!
How can I not give Him my everything? How can I not trust the One who gave me everything first, despite not deserving anything.. and promises me, that if I do trust Him, if I do give away everything I have, that I will get it back and more?
Jesus gave it all. Literally everything he had, right down to his last breath. He asks you for nothing in return, but hopes you'll give Him everything He wants. What does He want?