June 10, 2018


Matthew 19:16-30 (NIV)

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wifeor children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.


There are many lessons that we can learn from the story of the rich young man. But the one that has been speaking to me lately has to do with an attitude of faith that I have seen in many people including myself at times

 It goes something like this…

 ·       I tried that, but it didn’t work

When this young man comes to Jesus he immediately asks Jesus the Key to success…  what must I do to get…. He wants to know what it takes to make faith work for him.  But when Jesus gives him the answer, he immediately responds with what sounds to me like “I tried that, but it didn’t work.  I didn’t get the results I expected.  I need something else.  Something that I can be sure will work.”  Jesus responds by telling him to go sell all he had and give it to the poor and follow him.

Here’s what I hear The Holy Spirit telling me about this passage.  I hear Jesus saying. “Yes, you tried it, but are you willing to live out these principles of faith” 

·       Trying something is much different than living something.  

It’s like the joke about the chicken and the pig… 

A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. As they passed a church, they notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution. 

“Great Idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!” 

“Not so fast.” said the pig. “For you, that’s just a contribution, but for me, it’s a total commitment.” 

So many people say “I tried it, but it didn’t work” 

·       I say it is not a matter of trying it, but living it 

Jesus encounter with the rich young my ruler is an example of someone saying I’ve tried it, but who was unwilling to go that extra step of living it 

·       What areas of your Christian life are you guilty of trying it but not living it?   


Trusting God 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 When it comes to trusting God do you just TRY it once in a while or do you LIVE it out every day 

·       Even when things go wrong?

·       Even when it doesn’t seem to be working?

·       Even when answers haven’t come? 

James 1:2-8 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. 

Some people look at this passage and think…  I’ve got to believe harder… I have to have more faith 

But I see a principle here of living it rather than just trying it. Too many people spin their wheels going from one solution to the next looking for the right spiritual principal to solve their problems. They are blown and tossed by the wind. The real answer is to let perseverance finish its work. Trust God and live in that trust every day. God will come through. 

Now let’s look at a few more areas of faith where we can apply this principal  



I love it when people come to faith with this principal at the foundation of their understanding of God. 

I am amazed at what Missionary Church Planter Kerry Mauldin does in his Church Planting efforts in India. He teaches Tithing, giving, generosity. He teaches that if we don’t obey God’s command to trust him in our giving that we are robbing God.  

I don’t know at what point in my Christian faith I began to learn about Tithing, but I do know it was very early on. And I do know that I have been blessed, not because I have tried Tithing on occasion, but because I learned to live it out 

·       When I had almost nothing

·       When I wondered how we were going to pay our bills

·       When family members questioned our desire to tithe 

Now you will never hear me preach that tithing is a way to get rich. I don’t believe in the name it, claim it prosperity Gospel. But I do believe in a God who honors His Word. And His Word says… 

Malachi 3:8-10 (NIV)

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  

His Word says… 

Luke 6:38 (NIV)

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” 

I can honestly say that I believe with all my heart that when we learn to live out Tithing rather than just trying it now and again, we will be able to say with David… 

Psalm 37:25 (NIV)

25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 

Try it or live it… 


Loving others  

John 13:34-35 (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

·       We don’t try to love we live with love every day to everyone 

1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that love must me lived out 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 



·       We don’t try to forgive we live with a continual heart of forgiveness 

That’s why Jesus said 7 x 70  

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 

So you can do what Peter did and try to put a number on it 7, 70, 77, or 490. Or you can see Jesus words as a command to live with a continual heart of forgiveness  

People who try forgiveness pick and choose who and when to forgive and set their own limits on forgiveness 



Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

Notice he didn’t saying blessed are those who snack and nibble on righteousness.  

·       We need to make a commitment to living righteously  

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 

The problem is we keep going back and putting on our old clothes



We don’t pray about something we pray through everything…. We don’t try prayer, but we live a prayerful live 

·       That’s why Jesus say pray and don’t give up 

Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 

·       Pray without ceasing 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

17 pray without ceasing;



Let’s go back to our key text to find out how we can move from trying it to living it 

Matthew 19:26. 29 (NIV)

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  


  1. I’ve missed your sermons. This one is food for thought and reflection. “Simple” words yet difficult to commit to doing without Holy Spirit direction and help. Not all at once but a continued perseverance of faith.

    • Thank you Patrice… We miss you guys when you are gone. You encouragement on my sermons is always a blessing!

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