The following is an excerpt from Kelly Minter’s new study, No Other Gods. This revised and expanded edition includes fresh content that reflects how God has continued to grow Kelly, interactive teaching videos, and additional recipes. Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/NoOtherGods. You can also pick up a copy at your local LifeWay Store!
Many of us imagine God ruling us with an iron fist, telling us everything we need to give up so we can measure up. This account tells a different story, beginning with the revelation that Jesus loved the rich young ruler. This young man would never be able to truly follow Jesus if money remained his god. You can’t follow Jesus while your heart and trust are tied up elsewhere.
If the Lord is convicting you about a false god that’s ruling your life, He’s doing so from a heart bursting with love. He doesn’t want you to miss the adventure of following Him for the stuff of this world. It’s stuff that won’t last, entangles our lives, and ultimately won’t satisfy. Don’t walk away from His love because you’re unwilling to trust Him. He has more for you than you can imagine both in heaven and on the earth you now tread upon.
Jesus was exposing the idols of the rich young ruler’s heart to show him how incapable the ruler was of saving himself. After the rich young ruler walked away sorrowful, the disciples wanted to know how in the world anyone could be saved (enter God’s kingdom)—especially people who have their trust in wealth! Jesus then responded with those life-saving, fear-releasing, hope-giving words: what is completely impossible for us is possible with God.
When we realize we’re not good enough, regardless of what we are trusting in, this is precisely where Jesus meets us—at the point of our reckoning how incapable we are to save ourselves.
Whether you’re clinging to your wealth, heritage, or your ability to be a good person to get you into heaven, I want to make clear the good news of the gospel that Jesus was pointing to. He was demonstrating the sheer impossibility of our ability to keep all of God’s commandments perfectly. He was saying we can’t rely on our achievements or self-effort. He made the case that no matter how righteous we think we are, we still lack one thing—total trust in Him. This is why Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin and bear the penalty that should have been ours. This is why He specifically stated that salvation is impossible for us but possible with God. And what the rich young ruler didn’t understand is that the Jesus he’d called “Good Teacher” was God Himself and would be that salvation.