Release it Luke18
Text: Luke 18:18-23
Title: Let it go!
Introduction: Our story opens up with a certain ruler coming to Jesus asking a question for life’s ultimate destiny. From the other gospel accounts, we know that this ruler was a rich young ruler. He was a leader in the local synagogue. He was one with authority and he knew the Law. In our text, this rich young ruler initiates a conversation that will impact his life forever. Jesus had just shared with the Pharisees the principles of the kingdom and this ambitious young man knew that despite of this success, power and education, he needed some thing else to meet the needs of his soul. My beloved, there are some things in life that status and money can’t give you. No matter how much, there is still a God’s shaped hole that can only be filled by Jehovah himself. But I have to give this rich young ruler some credit. He knew this and was a least ready to do something about it. Not like some us who know and don’t do…In verse 18, he approaches Jesus saying “Good Teacher”, what shall I do to inherit eternal life”? How do I make it in the kingdom? From the jump, we already see a problem in the text. This young man thinks he can control his destiny by his actions. We know this by the question what can I do which was implies activities and works as a way to salvation. But my beloved, you can’t work your way into the kingdom. You only have access and inheritance by faith! By faith you are chosen. By faith you are engrafted. By faith, you have a heritage in the King’s domain. All you have to do is have faith and believe trusting in the Lord with your heart and obey His word. That’s the key to the Kingdom! Now Jesus engages the rich young ruler in a dialogue. He raises a question that spoke to this young man’s cultural identity making sure that the ruler knew what he was talking about and more importantly who he was talking to. Jesus responds to him by asking him, “why do you call me good?” No one is good but One i.e. God. Jews reserved the quality of good to God. Also, Jesus was deflecting this young man’s flattery in humility even though he was right in what he was saying. He was talking to God in the flesh! Jesus was just making sure that this young man knew it! My brothers and my sisters, make sure you know who you are talking to when you are discussing your destiny. You got to know who Jesus is. He is your beginning and your end. And He is with you in the middle! Make sure you know Him. Next, Jesus affirms the ruler on what he knows as any good Jew would know. He tells him, “you know the commandments”, 5-9. These were the commandments on the second tablet of the Law. They deal with man’s relationship to man. In sense, Jesus was putting up a mirror to this young man saying look at what you know. You know who and what you are. You know your stuff. The rich young ruler replies back to Jesus saying I have kept this since my youth. I have being doing this stuff all my life. I can imagine this young man growing up in a strong Jewish home that was culturally connected. He probably went to the best Jewish school and all his friends came from good Jewish homes. He just did right all his life so to speak. There is some people here can relate to this young rich ruler. There are some sins you didn’t commit. You never step out on your wife. You never killed anybody. You never stole or lied on anybody. And you respected your parents. You profess to so upright! Good for you! But Prov. 21:2 tells us that every man is right in his own eyes. But the Lord ponders the heart. This is the case in our text. Look at what Jesus does in v. 22. When Jesus heard these things he said, He says to him, “you still lack one thing…” My brothers and my sisters, no matter how good you are and what you achieved, you maybe still lacking one thing that keeps you from your destiny. In the original language “one thing” means “there is something you left behind”. You left something out. You are good but you ain’t that good because you still lack one thing. This is why you can’t mess with Jesus. He will pull your coat tail anytime you get beside yourself. There is at least one thing that we lack. Also, this is why we can’t judge anyone. So, stop pointing the finger at other people sin because you left something off your life’s resume. But that one thing we do or don’t do can be the deal breaker that is holding up our kingdom blessing. And if we are serious about the Kingdom, the Lord is going to make us confront it one way or the other. Look at the text. Jesus gives the rich young ruler instructions so he can get the inheritance of eternal life. He tells him to sell all that you have and give it to the poor and you will have the treasure of heaven and come, follow me. Release it and you will have what is in the Kingdom and then follow me. This text does not mean for every believer to sell everything they have and give it to the poor. This was particular for the rich young ruler. But Jesus does give us instructions and conditions in which we may have to give up something to have heaven’s treasure and then following Him. Again, your thing may not be money but whatever you “it” is, the Lord is telling you to let it go! Release it so you can serve Him freely. Get rid of it and make you room for your treasure. My beloved, it’s time to let go of that sin, resentment, anger, bitterness, jealousy, unforgiveness, evil thoughts and actions, pride, arrogance, divisive spirit, self-centeredness, insecurity, man or woman who ain’t right, children, ego, guilt, hard-headedness, impatience, lust, greed, manipulative spirit, rebellion, worry, hate, plotting, strife, murmuring, frustration, rudeness etc. You need to let it go because it is keeping you from being blessed. And I do understand letting go is going to be difficult. Let me show you why. In our story when the rich young ruler heard what he had to do, the text says that he got sorrowful, for he had a lot of money. Sorrow or sadness is a condition of the heart. His heart was tied to his money more than it was tied to the Lord. My beloved, the reason why you can’t let certain things go is because some things are so ingrain in you it has become who you are. It is in your heart. It becomes apart of you identity no matter what it is. Some of you are your issue. (evil, deceit etc). And we get mad and upset because we feel that you are losing ourselves when challenged on it. But the bible tells us in Matt. 10:39 you have to lose your life to gain it. You got to let that stuff go for the greater good! Come on, you know should forgive. You know you should give. You know you should stop gossiping. You know you should serve. Let it go so you can be blessed! The rich young ruler desired to have his money so bad he got upset when he found out that he had to depart with it. This goes back to the commandments Jesus reviewed with him. Jesus, however left off one from that second tablet: Thou shalt not covet. Jesus knew the young man’s heart. Instead of preaching to him on it He asked him to do what a covetous person wouldn’t do. To covet is to have an unhealthy desire a material possession particularly of someone else. I guess the rich young ruler didn’t realize that all he had belong to God. Somebody maybe holding on to stuff that don’t belong to you and it is unhealthy. But you want to hold on to something so tight because our heart is tied to it that is coveting. And some stuff we hold on to is not godly and you need to give it back to the devil.
Conclusion: My brothers and sisters you got a choice? Are you going to hold on to and be stuck void of what God is trying to do for you or are you willing to let go and be blessed? You may be saying I don’t know how to let go when I have been like this for along time. I am here to tell you to give to the Lord. But in order to let it go you first you have to realize that “thing” is a hindrance. Recognize that it is hindering you from the Kingdom! That is our main problem. We don’t think is it is affecting us. Next, Cast you care upon him!! Drop on the altar. Don’t carry it any longer. When it comes up talk yourself thru it and tell God all about it so you can renew your mind. And remember when you give it up, you may be losing something but text says that you will have heaven’s treasure and you can go with Jesus!
Close: I don’t know about you I want be where ever the Lord is! So I am ready to give some stuff up! As you read the rest of the story, it was hard the rich young man to do it. Because you have so much it, it is hard to let it all go. (all the bitterness, hurt, etc.). You tried it and it seems impossible. It may be hard to do it but is possible. In verse 27 it says things which are impossible for man are possible with God! With God’s help you can let it go and get the kingdom! What are going to get in the Kingdom? Peace..etc.