Posted: May 9, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, Lifestyle, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

– Matthew 7:13b NIV

The Bible’s account in Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s gospel of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking to understand what it would take to inherit eternal life reveals that he walked away sad, feeling disappointed, because the bible said that he had great wealth. From a worldly perspective, the rich young man was doing fine for himself. From a heavenly perspective, Jesus said that he still lacked something. The rich young man walked away sad realizing he would not be able to do anything, within his own power, to inherit eternal life. His own merit of goodness, along with good intentions, would not be sufficient to acquire what God freely gives to those who believe with their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is the Son of God and was raised from the dead after dying for our sins on the cross.

In fact, the rich young man discovered through his discourse with Jesus, that the spiritual life he was inquiring about would cost him something. He discovered that the price of perfection, the life of Jesus Christ, would cost him his life. Jesus told him to go and sell all he had, then give it to the poor and he would have treasure in heaven; then, come, and follow me. Inheriting eternal life requires me to give up the life I knew (personal sacrifice) to receive the hidden life with Christ in God (salvation).  Too often, we miss the part and the point of the treasure in heaven Jesus mentioned to the rich young ruler, because our brief time in this world is spent in trying to attain, amass and achieve while we are here forgetting about the time we’ll spend in eternity with Jesus. What the young man was seeking, he did not realize was more than what he could imagine it to be and what it would cost to acquire it. What must I do to inherit eternal life?

In Matthew 7:13 we see that the hidden life with Christ in God is not easily accessible or available to everyone, only because everyone is not seeking to discover the spiritual life, through faith in Christ, God desires for us to encounter. In fact, Jesus says that only a few find it. Wide is the gate and broad is the path that leads to destruction that many travel, which I am learning includes Christians too, but there is another path, that few find, that leads to life. There is only one path to God, through faith in Christ, but even after salvation a Christian can find themselves on the broad path that leads to destruction when they are still operating in the world according to the way the world operates.

During His sermon on the mount, in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus explains that the spiritual lifestyle begins by seeking first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. The rich young ruler was deceived, by his own self-righteousness and wealth, that he did not lack anything that would merit inheriting eternal life. According to scripture, our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, so to seek the righteousness of God is to accept that I am not sufficient in myself, in light of God, to justify myself as righteous. To seek God’s righteousness is to acknowledge my need for Him in recognition of what Christ accomplished on the cross. To seek His kingdom is to prioritize the word of God and the will of God as the motivation for how I will seek to live. As the Apostle Peter describes in his epistle, 1 Peter 3:15, I will set apart Christ as LORD in my heart. If He is LORD, then I will strive to do what He says in His word.

The hidden life is the manifestation of the word of God and the will of God in my actions and the way I seek to live daily in how I operate in the world around me. The hidden life is the person, power and presence of God working in me and through me, by His Spirit, to help me grow in the image and likeness of Christ in a way that makes me a better person and the world around me a better place. Salvation is only the beginning of being positioned to experience the fullness of life Christ came for me to have. Jesus came that we may have life (salvation) and have it abundantly (continual exponential encounter of the spiritual life), or to the full.

Beyond salvation, God wants me to encounter His glory while I am in this world and does not want me to wait until I get to heaven to experience His splendor and His majesty and the greatness of His holiness. Surely God intends for me to experience more than just having Him on the inside of me that occurs  in the initial work of salvation when I believe and confess Christ as LORD. The ‘more’ He intends for me to encounter, the hidden life with Christ in Him, begins when I seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. When I sincerely invest time with His word, prayer and desire to live according to His will.

May God bless you and help you to discover the hidden life with Christ in Him by prompting you to invest quality time with His word, prayer and the desire to do His will to experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.


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