Transformed Lives, Transformed Churches

determinationMatthew 19:16-22

What does commitment to God look like? The list can vary and be quite lengthy, including such things as attending church once, twice, or three times a week; teaching a class; serving on a committee; being morally good; not cursing, smoking, drinking, or doing drugs; making good choices; being a good parent; giving; taking up the offering; or being nice. What it should look like is loving Christ with all our beings until it changes our attitudes, actions, and thoughts.

  • Transformed Lives Are More than Motion

The rich young ruler appeared to have things in order, but he wasn’t sure of eternal life. He may have had a misconception of how it was attained, and he obviously wasn’t happy. He wanted more. Jesus went to the core of his problem by identifying things in his life that needed to go or at least be thought about differently. Jesus told him to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and follow him.

Rote motions cannot substitute for a relationship; nor can they bring happiness or replace attitudes that need changing.

  • Transformed Lives Involve a Vibrant Relationship

The rich young ruler did all the right things, but the one wrong thing was stealing his joy. His wealth was his god, and it got in the way of a fulfilling relationship with God.

Our relationship with God is only vibrant when we obey the two commands Jesus says are the greatest: love God with all our being and love others as ourselves. A supreme love for God leads us to alter what’s causing the void in our lives. Jesus revealed to the rich young ruler what was keeping him from enjoying a vibrant relationship with God—his wealth. Sadly, he wasn’t willing to give it up and went away sad.

When God shows us what needs to go or be reprioritized, we should be willing to act. If not, we’ll go away sad every time.

  • Transformed Lives Are Abundant

Our play toys may not be necessarily wrong—just in the wrong place. An old saying states it well, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself, but it was for the rich young ruler because it got in the way of his abundant living.

What play toy is causing you to miss out on God’s abundance? What are you unwilling to give up for God? Whatever it is will keep you from living a transformed life.

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