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WHAT DO I LACK?

June 25, 2013

Text:  “The young man said to him, “All these things I have kept. What do I still lack?””  Matthew 19:20

A young man, evidently very earnest about going to heaven, came and asked Jesus, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Matthew 19:20  This must have impressed Jesus for Mark’s account says, “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” Mark 10:21  The Lord enumerates several of the Ten Commandments, which the man avers to have kept, then poses our text’s question, “What do I still lack?”

The young ruler displays a sense that his efforts have fallen short of Jesus’ expectations, but he balks at sacrificing what he loves most (his possessions).  Jesus tells him that if he will part with what he loves in this world he would have “treasure in heaven “. Ask yourself, “What do I lack” in my heart that keeps me from completing my potential in Jesus Christ?

Each of us has deficiencies of character, performance, or morals. Each of us has sins.We experience temptation every day. We wrestle with the temptations and failures, but our own efforts fail us. We continue to struggle to conquer ourselves, but finally realize that our inner resources are inadequate. We grow frustrated  by our failure to conquer our sins. Why?  Too much self and not enough God! God can defeat Satan. His Holy Spirit’s job is to sanctify you. (cf. I Peter 1:2) But the Spirit’s efforts can be thwarted. “Do not quench the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5:19  Thus we must work  against unrighteousness and for righteousness in our lives. Let God’s word and Holy Spirit do their work. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:1 6 “How,” you ask?

Since the Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian, our first resource is the Word of God. Read it. Study it. Memorize portions of it. Live it. There are some who study it merely for facts; others only for doctrine. But it is important to study it also for daily living. Some want to separate the Bible and morality; others doctrine from virtue. A lawyer approached Jesus and asked him which was the greatest commandment. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and all the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 Notice how Jesus bound them together: law and ethics. Inseparable!

There are several lists of virtues in the New Testament.  They are disclosed as examples for Christians to inculcate into their hearts and behavior. There are likewise lists of vices to be shunned. One of these lists of excellencies is Galatians 5:22-23 (fruit of the spirit). Another is II Peter 1:5-8.  My suggestion is that you read and memorize  these virtues, then go on to incorporate them into your life. Take some time daily, select one and contemplate it for a few minutes. What is the meaning of the term? Think what it means to make this a part of your life. Think of how to apply this virtue. Have each one ready to use on opportunity. Continually practice these and move on to the next.

Keep asking yourself, “What do I lack?”

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From → faithfulness

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Thank you. Very practical and scriptural.–ls

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