TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, January 17, 2018:
Excellent; virtuous; righteous; sound or valid; morally right.
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked: “Teacher, what good things must I do to get eternal life?” Matthew 19:16.
Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So, we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. Galatians 2:16.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Good works cannot erase sin. That is why good works can’t save us. No amount of good works will cover the sin debt that we owe. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross can do that. It is the crucifixion of Jesus that makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins. There will never be anything else, including all of the good works done in the world, that can eliminate our death penalty for the sins we have committed.
In the verse we have put above from Matthew a rich young man approached Jesus and asked Him what good things he would need to do to spend eternity in heaven. What he was really asking was that he had done so many good things in life hadn’t he done enough to earn eternal life? Like so many people today this young man was asking the wrong question.
The young man’s emphasis was on what he could do to earn salvation. Unfortunately, this is the great deception because eternal life cannot be earned by any amount of good works. This is the way that many people approach God. They ignore their sinful nature.
The young man did not understand the source of eternal life. The man was rich so no doubt he was accustomed to getting what he wanted because he had the money to pay for it. Eternal life cannot be bought for any amount of money. When the young man realized this, he thought he could earn it by good works.
In answer to the young man’s question we read in Matthew 19:16 that Jesus told the young man to keep God’s commandments and listed six of them. The man replied saying that he kept all of them. No doubt the man thought that he was looking good. The six commandments dealt with human relationships not his relationship to God. When Jesus told the man to sell all he had and give the money to the poor, Jesus exposed his sin. The truth was that the man’s riches were his idol and he could not give them up. He was a good man but he had not kept God’s greatest and most important commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3.
The sad thing about this young ruler is that he walked away from the one person who could give him eternal life -- Jesus. This is the tragic decision that too many people make today.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Proverbs 3:9.
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase.
Thank You for Your goodness and grace in giving me eternal life through the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You that salvation is a free gift that does not depend on my goodness because there is nothing I can do to be good enough to earn eternal life.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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