Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Keep What Ya' Got By Giving It All Away"

That's the title of a song by ex-Stone Roses singer, Ian Brown.

It's also a really good song.

But I particularly like the title.

I'm not sure if Ian Brown knows it or not, but Jesus said the same thing.

People didn't get it when Jesus said it.

They still don't get it today.

Our minds don't seem to naturally bend in that direction.

When Ian Brown sings it we hear it. But hey, it's just a rock song. Who cares what it means.

When the Church says it, it riles folks up and makes them secure all their stuff and complain that all the Church wants is their money.

There's a whole neat story in three of the gospels, where Jesus encounters a very, very rich young man, who has a bunch of money, servants, possessions, etc.

The young man initiates the conversation and wants to know how to receive eternal life.

(What do you get the man who has everything?) lol!

Jesus makes the statement: "You know the commandments", and he replied that he had kept them faithfully since he was a boy. (It really wasn't a question, but we rarely listen that intently to God).

The next thing Jesus told him, as recorded in Luke 18, is curious:

"(22) And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and divide [the money] among the poor, and you will have [rich] treasure in heaven; and come back [and] follow Me [become My disciple, join My party, and accompany Me]."

In the flesh it's a losing proposition. In the Spirit it's a win.

The young man's response?

"(23) But when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich--exceedingly so."

He saw it totally in the flesh.

Now, there's a lot of speculation about this passage.

It causes some to get their shorts all bunched up.

I don't get caught up in all of that stuff.

I see this confrontation at a point in history as biblically and spiritually significant, and not dumbed down into dollars and cents.

Jesus was really saying that the young fellow needed to put to good use the fortune he had and that he would gain by that. Not lose.

He was sort of saying, "Keep what ya' got by giving it all away."

You'll never lose or become less for following Jesus. Things may change. But you won't lose.

If you understand that like I do this morning, then you are in a very select minority.

We should establish a society or something.

Remedially it can be explained as "paradoxical".

Jesus is a paradox, so it stands to reason that He will teach paradoxically.

Jesus is not interested in subtraction and division, but addition and multiplication.

He wants us to add and multiply as well.

We see giving away as subtraction because we don't understand the principles of Jesus.

He sees giving away as a means of us becoming more. Addition. Multiplication.

We are so afraid to trust Jesus. We are afraid to give it away because we think we will be left as beggars.

Never be afraid to give it all away. Your wealth is not contained in your material.

Your wealth is in Jesus, and He will increase your life and make you rich in areas that you never dreamed.

My prayer today is that there would be unparalleled trust in Jesus Christ with all that you have and all that you are. There is freedom in release. It takes an incredible leap of faith to get to where you can trust Jesus with everything. And I mean everything. Yourself, your family, your finances, your possessions, your home. Could you place it in His hands today? Or will you walk away dejected like the Rich Young Man did? These are the watershed moments of our lives. These are the moments that shape not only who we are, but who we will be.

Be blessed in all you do today!

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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