The rich man had allowed his wealth to create a false sense of security and self-sufficiency (see Matthew 19:16-30). He relied on his money more than on God. He thought he was in control of his life.
The Bible tells us to live differently from that rich ruler. Paul told Timothy, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17).
No amount of good deeds, carefully-followed rules, or financial offerings can gain a person's salvation.
When we focus too much on our earthly resources, we easily become tied to those things. Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
This young ruler was entrenched in a mentality that fostered greed and selfishness. He probably thought he could make a sizable donation and buy his way into heaven. Yet Jesus was saying that no one can come to God the Father through his or her own efforts. No amount of good deeds, carefully followed rules, or financial offerings can gain a person's salvation. Only when we approach God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son can we spend eternity with Him. "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'" (Matthew 19:26).
Only God can change a sinful heart. Only God's grace can change a person's destiny from eternal torment to eternal bliss. No matter our financial situation, we can only come to God through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on Calvary.
Prayer: God, thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross for me. Help me to remember to put my hope in You every day, not in my finances. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).