Let me add some valuable context and clarification for this verse. If there has been any drawbacks to verifying the Bible, it is this: allowing for single verses to be quoted without any context narrowing and defining their meaning. In context, Jesus is talking to His disciples about the “rich young ruler” who had just turned away, “because he had much riches”, though he had expressed a desire to follow Jesus’ instructions about gaining eternal life. Jesus responded to him by saying that though he had followed the Law, he would also need to seek his possessions and follow Jesus. The man was grieved, “because he had much possessions.”

The disciples are aghast, wondering how anyone could possibly be saved? Remember that for them, a man with much riches was obviously blessed by God. Riches meant spiritual blessing. So in their minds, this man was a saint. Jesus corrects their thinking with what is a New Testament concept, that physically riches are not a sign of spiritual wealth. So for the disciples, they are thinking that if such a man can’t get into heaven, no one can. Jesus corrects them by saying, (Matt 19:23-24) “it will be hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! … it is easier to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

So what is Jesus saying here? Are riches wrong? No, Jesus isn’t condemning riches, but what happens when a person becomes wealthy. If it is impossible to please God without faith, then you must have faith to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Faith in God can be clouded or obscured when you put your faith in your possessions. When you see your possessions as more important than following Jesus, which this young man did. He had put his security and hope in his possessions. He felt that without his possessions, he was nothing, and worthless. What we discover is that a life that is based and founded in Jesus is far better than holding riches and wealth. Would God give us riches to bless us? Certainly, but we also remember that any riches we receive are not our own, but given to us to manage for the Kingdom. The reason God gives us riches is to use them for His glory. That is why it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because he is afraid of losing his wealth for the sake of the Kingdom.

So what does Jesus mean by this enigmatic “with God all things are possible”? He means it is possible for the rich man to be saved. As far as the man himself is concerned, he cannot save himself. That is impossible. But for God, it is possible to save him, because God can do this act of salvation (through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ). The disciples were thinking that it was great blessing (signified by the man’s wealth) that was a sure guarantee of salvation. Jesus corrected them by saying it was not man’s effort (obvious by the man’s ability in business to create wealth) but God’s effort that saves. Within context, that is the meaning of this passage.

I might also use this passage to give hope to the hopeless. To someone who believes they are hopelessly lost. They may see themselves as lost with no hope of redemption, to which I might say, “for man this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.” A man cannot save himself. But God can save him. There is no sin so great committed by an unbeliever that God cannot save him. And that is saying a lot. But let that be hope for you as well. There is nothing you have done in your limited mortality that God is not so offended that He can’t love you any more.

Dear God, may I come before you humble of heart and soul. The things I have done I am certain have offended you and caused anger in you. Yet Father I have no where else to turn. Though I be the greatest sinner of all men, to You alone can I turn for my redemption. I cannot ask this lightly or flippantly, because my sin has been against You. And when I read Your book and hear Your words, I know I am dust. When I see myself through Your eyes, I know my worth and my sin. Lord I repent of my sins. I can do not other. I have offended the King of Heaven, to whom else can I go? Lord I pray for your forgiveness, not because of my righteousness, but because of the righteousness of the Son of God, who confessed His love for me by shedding His blood on the cross. May I claim that forgiveness for my own and receive undeserved righteousness in place of my wickedness? May He lay His blood upon me and cleanse me from my sin? My Savior and my God? I pray these things in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Every Good Work


Ever feel like you can’t get enough? While there is such things as too much food, or too much sleep, even too much air, there are some things you can’t get enough of. For example: too much money. How much is that?

I was reading an entry on Quora the other day about drug dealers and money laundering. Apparently, there is a way to get too much money. Drug dealers have to work primarily in cash, they have difficulty spending it, of making it into money they can use without suspicion. There is a monetary limit on deposits above which money is reported to the federal government. If you have too many of these deposits too frequently, the government comes in to investigate. Thus, many of these drug dealer types have to resort to money laundering, i.e., funneling money through legitimate business hoping that bo one will notice a few extra hundred dollars in the deposits. For them, there is such a thing as too much money. Apparently, money that comes from “nowhere” is a problem.

What is something you wish you had more of? Time? Money? Health? Joy? What about grace? Grace brings eternal life, both time and health. Grace brings joy, fulfilling joy. Grace also brings money, for wealth is reserved for you beyond your imagination as the child of the King. It may not be the wealth you want, but what you need. All the things that we wish we had more of, God supplies in abundance through His grace. But here’s the catch, and you knew it was coming. That grace is in accordance with His good work. He will supply you with abundance all that you need to fulfill His work in your world. God will grant you grace in abundance. But He grants this grace to equip you to do His work. He is looking for ROI, that is, a return on investment. When God invests His grace in you, He is expecting a return on that investment, like the three tenants who received talents.

So the lesson for today is to observe yourself to see how you are investing God’s grace. Are you hoarding it for yourself, or are you investing in others, passing on what you have received? We have this unique and awesome privilege of sharing what we have received, the grace of the gospel, to others. Let’s go do that today!

Heavenly Father, today is another great opportunity. Show me today where I can share Your grace, freely given, to others who need it. Help me to help others. Let the good investment of Your grace not be wasted on me today. May I in all things be the conduit and the endpoint of your love, mercy, and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Desires of Your Heart


As a father, I try to follow my children’s interests as best I can. My oldest is into Warhammer 40K. My oldest daughter is a Dungeons and Dragons DM for a small group at her high school. My younger daughter loves fantasy and dragons. My youngest is harder to pin down, as he is still finding his thing, but he loves watching videos and playing video games with his friends.

So when birthdays and Christmas come around, I have a notion of what they might be interested in. Of course I give them a gift card because I just can’t do the “wow” gifts anymore, the complete surprises that make them wonder if I can read their minds. I know my kids have dreams of what they want to be and what kind of person they will become. But sometimes I wish I could read their minds, just a little bit.

“Fathers, if you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven?” God knows far more than I do. He knows my heart better than I do, and His gifts are never too late. He always knows what I need when I need it. He knows my frustration. He knows my joys. He knows me.

I should add that the delights of your heart ought to be what delights Him. I would ask yourself, is what I want really something that honors God too? Of what you truly want is something God has expressly forbidden, or worse could cause someone else harm, is that really something you think God is going to give to you?

People are always saying to me when I ask of there is anything I can give them, “Yeah, get me a bucket of money,” or “a million dollars!” They intend is a joke, but it reveals a piece of their heart. All my problems could be resolved if I just had enough money. Yet, if you cannot he content with what you have, what would more money do for you? There is never enough money. Just ask someone who has a lot of it. Solomon was the wealthiest man in the Bible. It wasn’t enough. Just read Ecclesiastes.

God wants to give you what your heart desires, but only when you are ready, and only if He desires it for you. You can’t just take this verse out of the context of the Bible and make it what you want. It has to agree with everything He has written, such as, “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.”

Heavenly Father, I know that my desires are stained with sin and selfishness. I want things that I ought not to have. As a good Father, you have seen my good impulses and rewarded them. You encourage me in doing good and loving others. You have shown me in being a father that it is hard to give your children what they want, to withhold from them when the time isn’t right, and to see them grow and mature, sometimes the hard way. I can’t imagine the grief you feel when we want and grasp for things that will harm us. Help me Lord to be a better father. Help me be a better husband. And help me Lord know what are the good things. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Get Rich Scheme

What would you do to get rich? You’ve probably heard about various schemes, saving and investing, starting businesses or real estate. Many people I know have gotten into many of these means and found success, but strangely that’s not what Solomon recommends. I would be curious to know what Solomon would say about the others.

But Solomom does recommend starting with is both humility and the fear of the Lord. The rewards he mentions are riches, honor, and then long life. That is quite a promise. All three speak to the quality of life in this world. Or so we think. For a life given to humility and fear of the Lord is a life following Christ in our dispensation. It is a life that recognizes it’s own sinfulness before a holy God and is humble, giving fear, honor and respect the Lord of the Universe.

Such a one will receive glorious riches, family and friends that he never knew when he participates in fellowship. His riches will not be measured in dollars, but in spiritual wealth. He will find contentment. He will find family that he loves and love him in return.

He will fins honor as a true child of God, regaining his former honor as God’s image and now as redeemed and justified in His sight.

He will experience long life, even eternal life in the presence of God, no matter how long his days on earth are. Eternity is presented to each one bat accepts Jesus Christ today, humbling themselves in the fear of the Lord.

There is only one part to lasting riches in this world. This world is passing away with it’s wealth, but the word of the Lord stands forever. Long will he stand is one who stands with God.

Make today count. God bless you today!