Three Strikes your out!

Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

The week before Jesus died was a week of weeks. He blessed the children, raised Lazarus from the dead, talked to some Greeks about eternal life, healed poor blind Bartimaeus, calls to Zachaeus to get out of the tree, cleanses the temple, gets anointed with oil by Mary, rides a donkey into Jerusalem, and washes the disciples feet just to name a few. I can’t help but to think that each one of those encounters mean something to us, but it’s the rich young ruler I want to focus on. He blew it, plain and simple. He reminds me of many of us today, clueless, blind and dumb. Let’s see how he struck out.
Mistake #1- “Good Teacher”- His first mistake was that he put Jesus into his religious little box by calling him “Good Teacher”. He reminds me of many who are ever seeking but never finding, always examining but never reaching the end. In 1994 Frank and I found ourselves returning to our first love, revival had swept through our church and our lives. Most of our friends just shrugged their shoulders and said, “oh, you needed that!” (Don’t we all need revival?) In other words this young man didn’t see who or what was in front of him. Do you?
Mistake#2- “What must I do?” His second mistake was he thought he had it figured out, that he just needed to do something and he could acquire eternal life. After all he was rich, probably from his dad working very hard in life and teaching him the same principles of success in life that he had learned. I am amazed that I meet the nicest unchurched people, they have great kids, great marriages, and just great everything! They have it all together, they too think Jesus was really a good man.
Mistake #3- “I have kept all the commandments”- that’s the problem with good people. They really believe in themselves and their ability. But Jesus finally laid it on the line. Look, buddy, you lack this one thing- “SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST, AND DISTRIBUTE UNTO THE POOR, AND THOU SHALT HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN, AND COME, FOLLOW ME.”
The rich man went away very sorrowful. Jesus hit the nail on the head all right. What lack I yet? Let’s step over and follow him to the fullest. The Rich young ruler has so much to gain but He left sorrowful with his pockets full. We come empty handed and he gives us joy! Which way will you choose?


  1. some realility check, I have to ask myselve readding this this morning do I really have this in my life where the lord has full control, I can see areas where im lacking, but I know if I ask the lord he will and is able to work in my lifeso i can please him have a blessed day!

  2. How Timely, this past week the Lord was really speaking to me about this very thing. The truth is that, it is shocking that someone like me is saved and beliving in Jesus…I was and am still in a lot of ways like this youmg ruler…before I was saved I thought I had it all together, living a socially acceptable life, not totally moral, but I was doing what others were doing and in my view compared to some I wasn’t even a percentage as bad as them, so I was doing good right…NO!! It seems that this whole past week I just kept remembering things that were in my life before I knew Jesus, things that I look back on now and see that they were so sinful and horrible and I am so glad that he saved me from myself. Now that I am a beliver, I have speant the past 10 years on a journey of discovering how NOT GOOD I am!!!! This is really interesting, but so good for me, I don’t have it together, I am not good, I have nothing to give but my dirty rags of a life, and I desire to spend it all on him. There is still the urge at times to think, I’m a good person, why is this happening or that, but the truth is….spend it all, even if I thought my life was worth so much and what I had to give was so awesome, Jesus is still more and worth more than any of it….and it would be a small sacrifice to leave it all and follow Jesus!! Thank you Lord for your mercy that helps me to see my sinful state, before knowing you, and even now as I journey to know you more!!!

  3. Wow this started my morning off on a good note , Since I turned around and started seeking God more then I ever had before I am seeing that for me life on earth is just a journey and in a way a test for what life is gonna be for me after death. It’s not about worldly things , the money, the materialistic things which for me didn’t bring true happiness. Helping others without, and putting God first is what I’m finding brings joy.I want and need God in my life to practice these things.

  4. What an incredible tool God has released to us at this time. To be able to turn on these computers and receive provoking encouragement,teaching,correction,& testimonies. I believe for me, it is helping keep oil in my lamp, having been one to try & run on empty to many times in the past. This gift is an answer to many desperate prayers for help. Thank you Pastors, Thank you repliers.

  5. This devotion has so much swirling around in my head it is dizzying. A good dizzy!!!!!!! Human beings come into this world little children and totally dependent. Not long into this life we are encouraged and rewarded to become self-sufficient through hard work (doing things). This world indoctrinates us into relying on our own ability to get us through. Set your goals, get a plan and work hard at achieving the desired outcome.
    On the other hand God spoke through His profits giving us glimpses of how to live, contrary to the world.
    Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
    Psalms 37:4 – Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    Then enters the supreme contradiction, Jesus.
    Luke 9:24 – “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
    Matthew 5:43,44 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
    Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
    Matthew 19:14 – but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
    Now some quotes from men whose lives were radically changed by Christ.
    Peter when confronted by the men that had Christ put to death is given a choice, stop preaching the gospel of Christ or else.
    Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
    The apostil Paul
    Romans 7:15 – For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
    Gal 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    Phl 3:8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
    Much I was taught by this world got turned upside down when Christ came into my life. Many times what I am instructed to do by the Holy Spirit makes no worldly sense but has me abandon logic and walk in faith. This is a work in progress and will remain so but I find peace in knowing – Phl. 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Now that I know Christ I understand better John 6:68 – But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

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