Lenten Reader | Day 30


Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’[c]”

The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.

When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.”

“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”

- Luke 18:18-30
We all want reassurance…some way of knowing for sure we have eternal life (and that our family members do too). I have learned though that no one can be saved by his or her own achievements. Salvation cannot be earned; it is God’s gift to us.

We allow our finances or belongings to make us comfortable, to give us power and security, to define us. Jesus does not ask all believers to sell everything they have, but he does ask us to get rid of anything that has become more important than God.

My oldest son struggles with addiction and mental illness. My desire to “save” him became a priority that I placed above God without even realizing it. He became my focus, and even though I was praying and asking others to pray for him, I was still relying on myself to try to control every situation and every circumstance. I thought if I could just make everything around my son perfect that he would change and turn things around. It took a very scary confrontation for me to wake up and realize I was not controlling anything but was actually being controlled. I prayed to God to release me from that fear of what might happen to my son and to give me the strength and ability to truly hand my son over to him. The peace I felt was unreal. The false sense of security I had in trying to control everything became a true security in Christ.

I currently do not know where or how my son is, but I continue to pray for him and for his salvation. I know that like the scripture says, “what is impossible with men is possible with God.”

-Carrie North