by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday August 4, 2004
InTouch Early Light Devotional
Good, But Not Good Enough
Today's Scripture passage describes a man who may seem quite familiar. Church tradition calls him the "rich young ruler," but you may know him as "coworker," "fellow church member," or even "friend." You see, the tale of the rich young ruler is alive and well today.
This character reveals one of the fundamental errors of the Christian life: he thought salvation was something he could earn. He came to Jesus because he wanted eternal life. However, as the story unfolds, we get the definite impression that he was simply looking for a formula of good deeds that would produce the desired results. Simply put, he wanted to check "salvation" off of his lifetime "to-do" list.
Jesus saw through his well-meaning exterior and evaluated the condition of his heart. Then He cut through the pretense and went to the core of the matter. He told the man to let go of that which gave him the greatest feeling of security - his wealth. Unwilling to do so, the man left Jesus sorrowfully. He knew he could not surrender his true love, money.
Was Jesus saying all believers must give up their money in order to receive eternal life? Certainly not. Instead, He was stressing a point that is still urgent today: Anything that is more important to you than faithfulness to God must be removed from your life. Period. The rich young ruler had done some good, but his good wasn't good enough. By what standard are you measuring your good - your own, or Jesus' substitutionary death on our behalf? Only one is good enough.
Are you looking for an outreach that will inspire your children to grow in their faith? Visit Teen Connection (www.teen-connection.info), the official teen outreach of In Touch Ministries. Be sure to check out the latest interviews with Atlanta Braves' pitcher Russ Ortiz and Dove award-winning band, downhere.
For free one-on-one mentoring online from Dr. Charles Stanley, visit