He came to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life” (Mark 10:17)? His question appeared genuine. A good question. Jesus’ first response was what he wanted to hear: “You know the commandments…” (Mark 10:19). That, he could do! In fact, that is what he had done. He confidently responded, “All these things I have done!” Then, Jesus told him what he must do: “Go, sell everything you own, give the proceeds to help the poor, take up the cross, and follow Me.” This time, his response was not so confident. This, he had not done. This, he could not do.
Last week, I began a three part series entitled, The Zone of Entire Consecration. In his book, The Secret of Spiritual Power, G.D. Watson defines entire consecration this way: “…consecration is of the nature of making a will, of giving ourselves up a free-will offering to God, of making a quitclaim deed of ourselves and all our effects” (61). But how do we know when we have entered the “zone of entire consecration”? Watson details “three great lines of consecration” (66). In part one we looked at the first line of consecration: “to be anything the Lord wants you to be” (Watson, 66). This week we will look at the second great line of consecration:
Do anything the Lord wants you to do.
The story of the Rich Young Ruler, found in Mark 10:17-22, wonderfully illustrates this second line of consecration. Jesus’ instructions to this young man reveal four important elements that help us understand what it means to do anything the Lord wants us to do:
- What the Lord asked him to do required him to forsake what he loved most.
- What the Lord asked him to do required him to forsake what he loved most in order to serve others.
- What the Lord asked him to do required him to forsake what he loved most in order to trust God for an eternal reward.
- What the Lord asked him to do required him to forsake what he loved most in order to suffer with Christ.
Would God really ask you to give up everything in order to do His will? He may. However, I don’t think the message of this story is that everyone must sell all of their possessions in order to serve Jesus. Rather, the question is, what are you willing to do because you love Jesus?
My wife’s family recently buried both of her paternal grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma Stetler were two of the godliest people I have ever known. Their faith and godly character was forged in times of decision much like what we read about in the encounter of the Rich Young Ruler and Jesus.
Grandpa and Grandma Stetler were married in 1950. Shortly after that, grandpa began working at the Proctor and Gamble factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. Things were looking up for these two, poor farm kids. They welcomed their first child into their home the next year, and with grandpa’s new job, they were able to buy a car and grandma was able to buy brand new clothes, off the rack, for the first time in her life.
It was during this time that the Lord began to ask grandma if she would be willing to give up all of these new luxuries. For several days, as she stood at the kitchen sink, the Lord would speak to her, and she would weep and pray. On one particular afternoon, as she stood washing dishes, with the tears dripping off her chin into the dish water, she told the Lord, “I’d do anything for You! You’ve done so much for me, I’d do anything for You!” And with that, it was settled.
Little did she know, but that week grandpa had been asked to attend management training school at Proctor and Gamble. The new position would have been a significant promotion with a nice pay raise. However, grandpa had also been asked that same week to teach full time at God’s Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio. This position came with no perks and would mean a sharp pay cut. The Sunday afternoon after grandma had settled it in her heart to do what God asked her to do, grandpa approached her with the two offers. Without a moments hesitation, grandma responded, “Call GBS and tell them we’re coming!” Because of their love for Jesus, Grandpa and Grandma Stetler were more than willing to do anything the Lord wanted them to do, even if it cost them greatly. They surrendered what they loved in order to serve others and suffer for Christ’s sake, trusting Him for an eternal reward.
What are you willing to do because you love Jesus? Leave your comments below.
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All Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version.