Remember when the so-called rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked about eternal life? Jesus told him to obey God and keep the law. He said “I’ve been keeping the law…what am I lacking?”

And Jesus, who can see right through anyone, and who can know us better than we know ourselves, answers his question plainly: He says you’re following yourself…not God.

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:21-22

This person loved his money more than his Lord. That’s obvious for two reasons. Number one – Jesus makes the mans money the issue in v21, so obviously that was the issue. Number two – the man walks away “because he had great possessions.” In other words the man proved the problem was loving money by walking away from the Lord’s invitation.

Jesus knew what this person’s problem was, but the rich man himself didn’t seem to know it. Actually I think its more likely the man just didn’t want to admit to himself what the problem was.
He wanted a relationship with God, that’s why he came to Jesus. You can hear the frustration in his voice when he asks “what’s missing in my life?” He knows what he’s lacking, and deep down he knows his problem is he loves his stuff too much, but BECAUSE he loves his stuff too much he refuses to admit that. So he lies to himself and says “I don’t know whats missing.”

Jesus just tells him “Your missing a true love for God” But notice exactly what the Lord says to him: “Go sell your possessions…” (prove your love for God) “…and come follow me.”

The Lord is not asking us to be beggars on the street, needy and in want. Hhe tells this person GO SELL YOUR THINGS because his things meant more to him than God did. But if he HAD sold his things what then? What would have happened to him?

He would have FOLLOWED Jesus. Jesus…the provider!

God will take care of you. Through every day, o’er all the way. He will take care of you. God will take care of you.

Why do congregations struggle with contribution? Because Christians struggle following Jesus. We keep our money because we need our money, because we’re following ourselves.

“I have to take care of me, thus I need my money!” we tell ourselves.

Jesus says “Let go and trust. Follow me and I will take care of you.” That’s His invitation and its very sad how few people take Him up on that amazing offer.