Matthew 19:16-30

Last Friday morning I sat down at a large conference table and signed my name approximately 3,289 times on various papers, forms, and documents. Thirty minutes (and one case of carpal-tunnel) later, I own a home again!

Well, kind of.

For the foreseeable future, I’ll be tied down to a mortgage payment, ongoing renovations, and the inevitable repairs that come over time when “owning” a home. When you look at it that way, the home really kind of owns me.

This is similar to what we find in the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-30. On the search for something more, the man approaches Jesus about what it takes to have eternal life. In a brief exchange Jesus quickly pinpoints exactly what’s keeping the man on the outside looking in—his stuff. But the problem was not that “he had great possessions”; the problem was that his great possessions had him. For the rich young man, the treasure he had acquired on earth outweighed the treasure that would be made available to him in heaven. He valued the temporary over the eternal. The reality is that the man’s possessions had become a functional lord to him, ruling and reigning over his life.

What about you? What things or people compete to usurp the Lord’s rightful authority in your life? It might be your possessions, but it might not. It might be your career, your image, your reputation, your calendar. It might be something else entirely—after all, life in a fallen world means there are an infinite number of things that are vying for ownership in our lives. But let us remember: the Lord sits on a throne, not a couch. He shares his authority with no one.

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