One Thing Thou Lackest (Mark 10:21)
Mark 10:21, Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
One of the most memorable Super Bowl football games ever played in NFL history took place on January 30, 2000. This game was Super Bowl 34 and it was played between the St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. The game was close from start to end. With six seconds left in the final quarter of the game, the score was 23-16 with St. Louis in the lead. The Tennessee Titans, however, had the ball on the ten-yard line and had time for one more play. If they could score, they would tie the game and put it into overtime. The ball was hiked and quarterback Steve McNair threw a short pass to his wide receiver Kevin Dyson, who caught the ball, headed for the goal line, but was met by linebacker Mike Jones at the 2 1/2 yard-line. With his legs wrapped by the strong arms of Mike Jones, Dyson stretched out his hand with the football as far as possible, and tried to get it over the goal line to score, but the ball came down one.... yard.... short, and time was out. The game was over. Oh, the frustration of being one....yard...short. Both teams gave their best, their all, but the Titans were still one...yard...short! Can you relate to this situation? Have there ever been times in your life when there was something you wanted to do, to accomplish, to be, or to purchase, but you were short of your goal or what you needed by a little margin? Do you remember the frustration?
Such was the case of a ruler who came to Jesus and wanted eternal life. He was a good man that had kept the commandments, but Jesus told him, "There is one thing thou lackest." We are just like this guy in many ways. There are many things we do right, yet there is usually at least one thing, just one key thing, we are lacking that we need to work on or change in our lives.
1. He was Looking (Mark 10:17)
This man sought Jesus asking how he might obtain eternal life. Jesus expounded the demands of God’s Law to this man in order to show him his sinfulness and his need for redemption.
2. He was Lacking (Mark 10:21)
Christ touched the weak point in the man's character. It was his passion for wealth. Selling his possessions and then giving them away was too much for the man, for he was too attached to his possessions to give them away. Jesus is not advocating a "works" salvation, nor is He saying that it is wrong to be wealthy. He is advocating faith in Christ. He is asking this particular ruler to trust in Him by selling all that he had to give to the poor and follow the Lord. That would require this young ruler to first of all humble himself. It would require him to trust in the Lord by faith to meet all of his needs. Surrendering his possessions would be the test of whether he would put the Lord first in his life or his possessions. Would he deny himself or keep "self number one?” Would this young man seek heavenly treasures or earthly ones?
3. He was Loved (Mark 10:21)
Though this fellow’s attitude was wrong, Jesus nevertheless, had compassion on him and loved him. Jesus knew the man needed first to have a change of attitude. His god was his wealth. Jesus instructed him to get rid of that first and then he could have treasure in heaven. The cross, to the world of that day, was a symbol of death. Jesus, essentially, told him to not only come to Himself, but to die to self, thus following Him. Implicit is not only repentance leading to saving faith, but also self-denial. Some had accused Jesus of lacking love for this man because he asked much of him. Keep in mind, Christ gave up great riches to save mankind.
4. He was Lost (Mark 10:22)
The man went away sorrowful because he was unwilling to part with his possessions. This young man possessed everything except that which mattered most. His home was filled with valuables, while his soul remained poor.
All of us have one thing we lack. When you think about it, in our own lives, there is almost always at least one thing or one area we lack. A Christian can be outstanding in many areas of their life, but there is usually one thing they lack. Regardless of who they are, what they do, or where they have been, there is at least one weak area in each one of us.
Are you searching for that means of peace and comfort that this world has not been able to provide? Understand, as beneficial as church attendance and living a moral life are, it is not enough, they cannot save. Have you realized you are lacking? If so, you don't have to continue in that state. I urge you, if you are trusting in anything but the shed blood of Jesus, come to Him today and receive salvation. All the wealth and influence in this life cannot prevent death and it cannot secure salvation.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I thank You for seeking me long before I sought You. Help me to remember that You will never force anyone to surrender to You. Help me to keep Your Gospel simple and to be sensitive to those I encounter. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.