We've Given Everything to You Jesus | Matthew 19:27-30

Mat 19:27 Then Peter said to Him, "We've given up everything to follow You. What will we get?" Mat 19:28 Jesus replied, "I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon His glorious throne, you who have been My followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.Mat 19:29And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.Mat 19:30But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. [NLT]

What does it mean to give everything to Jesus?

This is the "big" question. At this point the disciples are feeling like they have given everything up, careers, family and home; to gain what the Messiah can give them. Remember that at this time it was the common belief that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Roman rule and setup a new Kingdom on this earth. Jesus, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, gives them two things here.

1. Hope in a greater reward because of their sacrifice, and

2. A lesson on what it means to be the greatest and eligible to receive that reward.

Let's start with Mat 19:28 because it is important to note that Jesus is talking about a future reward "when the world is made new.." This may have thrown the disciples a bit of a curve because they were still thinking of temporal reward. Notice the question in verse 27, "What will we get?"

Often Christians today think that following Jesus is about gaining a monetary increase here on earth. They come to Jesus because they have been told that He will give them wealth and influence. This is the same reason that the rich young man came to Jesus. Many modern Christians today have lost sight of what sacrifice really means. They do not understand that it is only through sacrifice of self and the humbling of the desire (giving that desire up) for wealth and supremacy on this earth that we find our true reward with Jesus in the end. Mega churches of today focus on meeting the needs of their membership and in so doing lead them into viewing a relationship with Jesus as a means of having their earthly material needs fulfilled. Jesus has been turned into the Santa Claus of self fulfillment and not the Savior of souls. This is false teaching and the leaders of these churches are false prophets.

We need a change of heart that makes us desirous of nothing this world has to offer. This is a change of heart that is brought on by knowing, understanding and submitting to Jesus. Notice in verse 29 what Jesus states...

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake

We need to give up our homes, our wealth and our families to become true born again followers of Jesus? Yikes!

Some may be able to give up their homes, but our children? Why is He making a list of things that are so precious and important to us?

Don't misunderstand. This is a giving of your complete heart to Jesus allowing Him to live in and through you. Jesus is not stating here that you must give them up literally before you can become his follower; He is only asking for us to give them up in our hearts so that if we are ever required to leave these things behind for HIS SAKE we will be able to do so. This is called conviction. Having a fixed or firm belief in Jesus and His word and promises.

Notice the statement "for My sake," . Some interpretations use the phrase "for My name's sake". Whenever we see the "name" of Jesus mentioned we can interpret it also as "character" of Jesus. In other words, Jesus is saying that if you have His character you are asked to give up everything you hold dear on this earth to follow Him into a future reward that is 100 times greater. It can also mean that as His followers we must give up everything to glorify His name/character. There is one other way to look at this. If we have His character we will WANT to give those things up if they pull us away from doing the Father's Will.

What does this change of heart look like? 

But many who are the greatest now will be least important then...

We have touched on the answer to this question already by stating that we must give our lives over to Jesus. He defines it for us by stating that the greatest now (on this earth) will be the least (in heaven), and those who are least important here (on this earth) will be the greatest then (in the future). Becoming the least means humbling yourself.

Humbling yourself to who or what?

When we humble ourselves to another person or even to another thing we give ourselves to it. For instance; if I become enamored with video games or movies and movie stars and I spend all of my extra time playing them or learning about them or thinking about them then I have humbled myself to these things. I have given myself over to them.

Giving yourself to a "thing" or "idol".

I was once addicted to the game World of Warcraft. I had a couple of close friends that were as well. When we got together it was all that we talked about. Those around us, who were not a part of that game, would look at us like we were talking a foreign language, because they didn't understand the game. I remember family members would  say in irritation; "All you ever do is talk about that stupid game." It was true. We had given ourselves over to it. We had submitted to it and humbled ourselves to what the game had to offer.

Giving yourself to another person.

We can also give ourselves over to another person. We can become so entrenched in their ideologies their way of thinking their direction that we do everything their way. For instance, there are people who  humble themselves to movie stars. They watch what they do. They listen to what they say. They buy what they tell them to buy. They dress the way they tell them to dress. They seek to change and become like the one that they have given themselves over to and they start to look and sound like the movie star.

Humbling yourself means that you are serving what or who you are humbling yourself to.

Jesus understood this principle 100%. He lived it. He gave Himself over to the Father and completely served Him all the way. He did nothing that was not pleasing to the Father. This is full and complete humbleness; full and complete surrender. Jesus understood also the basic principle that we MUST serve someone. There are two persons in this Universe, powerful forces, who seek for you to humble yourself to them. Jesus said...

Mat 6:24"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Two masters.

God seeks for you to humble yourself to Him so that He can care for you and love you, and save you. He does it by being the greatest example of humbleness that ever existed. He gently calls to you. He never forces or pushes you against your will.

Satan, on the other hand, seeks to deceive you into following him. He tricks you with pleasure, scares you with fear, manipulates you with want and "need". He enslaves you with no consideration for your life or your soul. He understands that if he can get you to "worship" or "humble yourself to" anything other than God, he is receiving that worship.

Who will you choose today?

Today is the day of salvation. Humble yourself before God. Give Him the privilege of coming  into your life and let Him start to guide you. Don't worry. He does not condemn your mistakes. He will lead you into new desires and a new focus; gently. Be a servant of Christ and see how joyous life can be!!

Gal_1:10  For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. 


Dear Father in Heaven,

I praise You and I thank You for Your amazing humbleness. Lord, it drives me to my knees. I give You the privilege of coming into my life today. I thank You for what you accomplished on the cross, for me.

Please be with my family and friends. Be with those who are in need and help them to see their need for You. I give myself to You today and I want You to know that if there is anyone that I can work with on Your behalf, please put them in my path and use me.

Thank You for all that You provide. Change my heart. I love You. Amen.

Passing Through the Eye of a Needle | Matthew 19:23-25

Mat 19:23 And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.Mat 19:24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.Mat 19:25 And when the disciples heard it, they were astonished exceedingly, saying, Who then can be saved?Mat 19:26 And Jesus looking upon them said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

I've read a lot of commentary on this passage and most of them seem to focus on the question of whether or not it is easy or hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the statement Jesus is making here. He is clearly stating, by using hyperbole, that it is very difficult for a rich man to make it into salvation. Understanding this to be true our next logical question should be, who is a rich man?

The disciples seem to be perplexed and clearly surprised by Jesus' answer and they ask Him, "Who then can be saved?" Notice in Matthew 19:16-22 that Jesus is dealing with a rich man who has been visibly "good" and kept the commandments as well as any man could expect to keep them. We might even assume by the reaction of the disciples in Matt 19:25 that they see this rich young man as the perfect image of someone who would be right for the Kingdom of Heaven.

What does it mean to be rich and in danger of losing the Kingdom of Heaven?

Now, on to defining what is meant by "rich". Clearly having great monetary wealth and possessions is the physical and worldly definition of rich; but what about the spiritual definition of rich. What is it about being rich that makes it so hard to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven? Was it just his money that made him rich?

We must take into account the common belief of the time. If you were sick or poor or crippled or any other "bad" thing it was the belief of the time that you were cursed by God because of a sin in your life. With that in mind we can now see the rich young man through the eyes of the disciples. They saw him as someone who was blessed by God, not cursed. They saw him as being close to God not only because of his obvious blessing of wealth but because he had also been a law abiding, tradition keeping member of the Jewish community. This is the reason for their astonished question "Who then can be saved?". In other words, "If this guy can't make it in, who can?"

Jesus sees the rich young man through spiritual eyes. He sees that he has only kept the commandments to be seen of men and that there is really no changed heart in him. Jesus knows that this rich man is only outwardly rich, but on the inside he is very poor. Humble selflessness is the money of heaven; not self exultation and outward show.

Jesus is using this experience to teach his disciples and also to hopefully bring the rich man to a place where he can contemplate his inner state. Jesus has already made it clear that keeping the commandments of God is not an outward display but a "circumcision" of the heart. This principle is more clearly stated by Paul in Romans so I will just quote him here...

Rom 2:28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. Rom 2:29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

How do we become rich with heavenly reward?

  • Do good to others, without a desire to be seen of other men.
  • Love those who persecute you and hurt you.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Forgive and forget.
  • Give your heart to God.
  • Make God first in all things.

...or as Jesus put it;

"The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD.  And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."

These are true blessings. These are true wealth. These can get you through the eye of a needle.


Dear Lord,

I praise You for Your Wisdom and Your Holiness. I come now to the foot of the cross and I see the true humbleness that goes beyond my sin-filled souls ability to comprehend. I believe that You accomplished the taking of my sins at the cross through an act of insurmountable humbleness and I PRAISE YOU and YOU alone for it!

Please Lord, I ask that You would come into my life today. Fill my heart with Your life. Give me Your Humbleness and Your Selflessness.

Watch over my children and the children of all believers. I lift up the grandchildren of Ellen Sauder. I praise you for her life.

I ask all of these things in Jesus name, and in His character. Amen.

What Good Deed Must I Do? | Matthew 19:16-22

Mat 19:16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" Mat 19:17"Why ask Me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments." Mat 19:18 "Which ones?" the man asked. And Jesus replied: "'You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Mat 19:19Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Mat 19:20 "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?" Mat 19:21 Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

What good deed must I do to be saved?

It's the age old question. The disciples asked it when they questioned Jesus with "Who will be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" and we ask it often between ourselves and God when we search for the way to eternal life in The Word or from the teachings of others. Sometimes we may even be tempted to think things like; "I wish God would just make a list of things that I must do so I could do them and know I was saved".

Back to the story. Here we have the young rich man coming to Jesus, calling Him teacher and asking the age old question. The first thing Jesus hones in on is the good deed part of his statement drawing attention to the fact that only God is Good.  This actually is the answer to the question, but the young man would never see it. He is focused on what good must be done to be saved, not the One that is Good. He is focused on self and how self can accomplish it's own salvation.

The conversation that follow's is interesting. This young man came to Jesus for a reason. He had kept all of the outward appearance commandments, those that have to do with our relationship with other people, but he still felt that something was lacking in his life.

He had lived upright and outwardly pure so why is he coming to Jesus with this question?

This interaction demonstrates that we can "do" all that we can to earn the favor of God and still be left feeling that something just isn't quite right. This man never would have come to Jesus if he felt assurance of eternal life in his heart. He knew something was missing. Even though he had done all that seem to be required of him he felt that sense that something wasn't quite right.

The commandments that Jesus lists are not just random choices. He specifically lists commandments that have to do with our relationship with others; people we come in contact with throughout life, people who can see us and judge us and affect our lives. He list commandments that it was common for Jews to claim they had followed "perfectly". The young man then makes the claim..

"I've obeyed all these commandments, what else must I do?"

It is a dangerous place to be in when you think that you have done all that is required to attain salvation. Jesus is dealing with a young man who thinks that salvation is something that can be earned or purchased from God. Jesus needs him to see that he is indeed still reckoned a sinner even though he had done all these things.

The reasons why Christ gave him this direction were, probably:

  1.  because it was his duty to keep them.
  2.  because the young man depended on them, and he should understand what was required if he did - that they should be kept perfectly, or that they were not kept at all.
  3. because he wanted to test him, to show him that he did not keep them, and to show him his need of a Savior.

He needs him to see that he has only kept these commandments on the surface and not completely from the heart. As the answer to "What else must I do", Jesus takes him to the place where true obedience is. He requires of him that all of his possessions must be given to the poor and he must then follow Jesus.

The young man may very well have been seeking to follow Jesus. It was common in that day for young aristocrats to come and learn from well known teachers and follow them for a time.  Jewish charity laws  of that time would only require that the young man give 20% of his wealth to any "cause" lest he be reduced to poverty. This requirement from Jesus is extreme by these standards. Jesus sees that this young man needs to be "taken down a notch". He needs to see that he has not kept the law perfectly and therefore is at risk of loosing eternal life. He needs to see his need for a God that is Good to do the work in him. He needs to be reminded that he is a sinner.

True obedience requires 100% of your heart. Jesus made this requirement of the young man because it is the full requirement of the law. We must give 100% to God to be seen as righteous in His Holy Eyes. This is why we must come to Jesus daily and accept His gift of what He did on the cross. Then when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. This is our only hope of redemption and it is freely given.

Following Jesus means that you want to learn from the Master. He can teach us if we give our hearts to Him and let Him do the Good work in us. The Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus always for good reason; because it is through the life of Jesus (not just his death) that we can become sanctified. It is through Him that was have the hope of reaching a place where we are capable of believing enough and trusting enough that we can give 100% of our hearts to Him.

Give your heart to Him today. Ask Him to cover you with His righteousness and know that you are redeemed and reconciled with God. Then, ask for the Holy Spirit to put the mind of Christ in you and allow you to see and think as Christ. Jesus is more willing to help you than you may know. He loves you so very much...


Dear Lord,

Thank You so much for what You did for us on the cross. I praise You for Your love and Your grace and I thank you for forgiving me. I ask You now to fill me with Your mind. Help me to live this day like You.

Thank You for all that I have. Thank You for everything that You have given me; I know it all comes from You. It all belongs to You, so I ask that You would lead me in how to use it. How can I give you something that already belongs to You? I only ask to be a good steward.

Thank you for loving me no matter what I do. I know that nothing I can do will make You love me anymore. I also know that nothing I do can make You love me any less. I praise You for this!!! You are amazing!!

Be with my family and especially my children. Help me to be an extension of You in their lives. I love You Lord. Amen.

Jesus Loves the Little Children | Matthew 19:13-15

Mat 19:13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could lay His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Him. Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Mat 19:15 And He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them before He left.

What does it mean to be like a child?

Considering the climate of Jesus' time, being like a child would have been a terrible burden. The infant mortality rate at that time was very high with many children dying before ever reaching the age of 12. Often, in poorer countries, Gentile children would be abandoned if their parents felt they could not care for them. While children were loved, they were also completely powerless in this society and totally at the mercy of their parents or anyone else who would care for them.Considering these basic facts it is not surprising that parents were bringing their children to Jesus in hopes of receiving a blessing from Him.

The behavior of the disciples is also not surprising at this time. (see Mark 10:13-15) They are fully involved in the idea of Jesus as their Messiah; the One that was prophesied about. The One that would "set the captives free" and destroy the Roman rule. They were not interested in wasting Jesus' time with powerless children who had no political influence. There was a mission to accomplish and no time to waste. But their mission was not Jesus' mission; at least not at first.

Jesus takes this opportunity to not only bless these little ones, I see Him hugging them and praying over them, but He uses this moment to teach His disciples.

"...For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

Back to our original question; what does it mean to be like a child? In the historical context it meant to be powerless. It meant to be weak and sickly. In the case of the children being brought to Jesus at this time it meant to come to HIM with nothing to offer. They had nothing.  They needed His loving arms wrapped around them and they needed His blessing to help them to make it in a sinful hard world. Hallelujah!! Our loving Jesus gave them His love and His blessing with open arms.

We too can come to Him for a blessing. But we need to come emptied of self. Self wishes to glorify self. Self wishes to take credit for some part it played in receiving the blessing. Let's look at some of the things that self likes to say to itself...

Self says,

"Well, I had to make the choice to come to him" Self is forgetting that it came powerless. This is why self came, because self would never have come if it had power.

Self try's to force it's way in and says,

"But I had to make the choice. If I hadn't made the choice then I wouldn't have come to Him and so I had to do something! I played my part!" Self is forgetting that Jesus is the One that created the opportunity for self to make that choice in the first place. Self is not fully thankful. Self is trying to find a way to take some of the credit. Self sure is selfish.

Self likes to deceive self,

"I come to you Jesus. I humbly prostrate myself in your presence. See how far down I am prostrated. See how deep my self abasement is." Self is now deceiving self by drawing attention to how humble self is. True humbleness never demonstrates itself for all to see. It does what the Master asks because it is the Master asking for it, not to gain recognition for itself. Humbleness is capable of taking God at His Word and doing what he asks. Humbleness believes in the Master and not in self.

How do we become selfless and humble, like a child?

The answer is...we must become powerless.

How do we become powerless?

Sometimes the only way we can become powerless is to have our power taken from us. If we truly want to be usable by God than we need to be powerless; so what should our prayer be? Lord, make me powerless. Lord, take from me anything that is more important in my life than You. Lord, help me to come to you with nothing so that everything I do comes from You and You alone. (see Matthew 18:3-10)


Dear Lord,

Make me powerless Lord. Help me to come to you with nothing, so that you can give me everything. Make my life one that shows only You; not in the way that I think it should look but in the way that You think it should look. You gave me everything that I have. You gave me grace and love when I was the chief of sinners. You gave me Your righteousness so that when God looks at me He sees Jesus and His righteousness. Now, I ask that you will use me. Take "me" out of the equation.

I praise You for who You are. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the Creator of EVERYTHING! You alone deserve praise and glory and honor. I love You. Amen.

Divorce - Because of Your Hard Hearts | Matthew 19:1-12

Mat 19:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, He left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Mat 19:2 Large crowds followed Him there, and He healed their sick. Mat 19:3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap Him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?" Mat 19:4"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' Mat 19:5 And He said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Mat 19:6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."
Mat 19:7 "Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?" they asked. Mat 19:8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.Mat 19:9And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful. [And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.]"
Mat 19:10 Jesus' disciples then said to Him, "If this is the case, it is better not to marry!" Mat 19:11"Not everyone can accept this statement," Jesus said. "Only those whom God helps. Mat 19:12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others,  and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can." [NLT]

Divorce - Because of your hard hearts

It was a common argument in Jesus time that a man could divorce his wife for doing something as simple as burning the toast. There is even a recorded argument from one rabbi that you could divorce if you found someone more attractive. The arguments were mostly over the interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 , with one group taking the "conservative" side and the other group taking the "liberal" side.

Marriages were still arranged in this time and because of it men had a sense of fear toward marriage. In this way, divorce had become a common place occurrence and marriage as an institution had eroded into something that lost all meaning and all of God's blessing.

Though we don't necessarily practice arranged marriages we can clearly see that marriage, as an institution, is losing it's grip on sacredness and becoming the convenience store of selfish fulfillment with a dash of conscience soothing tradition mixed in. Today, we throw extravagant weddings with much merry making, alcohol, dancing, and large amounts of money being wasted, only to turn around and divorce a few years later because our spouse "just doesn't make us happy anymore".

Having a wedding in a church does not make it a God centered marriage. Having a wedding in front of a preacher does not make it a God centered marriage. Calling yourself Christians does not make your marriage God centered; what does make it God centered is submission to God's Will and taking Him at His word. (Also known as belief)

So what does Jesus have to say about Divorce?

Let's now look to Jesus as our source of wisdom.

"Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.

Jesus brings the whole argument back to where it should have always been, a matter of the heart and of the Will of God. Jesus reminds them that divorce was never God's true intention and that it was only given by Moses as a concession to the hard hearts of the Israelite's. He takes the argument all the way back to Creation and the joining together of Adam and Eve...the very first arranged marriage. Adam had no choice in the wife he would be given, but I'll bet Eve was exactly everything that Adam needed in a wife. What a privilege to have your marriage arranged by God, the One that knows us so well.

I submit to you today that we too can have that perfect marriage arranged by God. In verse 19:9-11 Jesus says about his teaching on divorce,

Mat 19:9 And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful. [And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.]"

Mat 19:10 Jesus' disciples then said to Him, "If this is the case, it is better not to marry!" Mat 19:11 "Not everyone can accept this statement," Jesus said. "Only those whom God helps. [emphasis supplied]

If we were more willing to seek God's counsel on who we should marry and ask Him for guidance in "arranging" the person we should marry, we would find marriage to be the blessing it was intended to be. If we asked Him to bring into our lives that special person that He intends for us to connect with and become one with; taking our fleshly desires out of the equation and allowing Him to lead, we would find ourselves in marriages that could weather any storm.

Sometimes, the starting line has everything to do with how you finish. Think of a race track. Often, the finish line is exactly the same place as the starting line. The point is this...if we start with God we can end with God. We can take our marital troubles to Him and He can guide us to that place where we are reminded that he "made us one". We can go back to the starting line and remember that God chose this person for me and we can see them through God's eye's once again.

This is a big subject and one that I could continue to write on, but, I think I will stop here at the most important point. Make God the center of your marriage. Let Him be the guide and let Him be the one that joins you together. Make Him your starting line and your finish line.

I submit to you today, that even if you didn't start out with God as the guide to begin your marriage you can create a new starting line right now, today, and He will bless your marriage and become the glue that binds you together.

Praise God that He can make ALL things new! Hallelujah!


Dear Father in Heaven,

Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you so much for what you accomplished through Jesus' life and death and resurrection. I deserve none of it and yet you freely offer it to me today. Lord, I ask a special blessing for marriages today. Please help those who are married to make you the center of their lives. Please help those who are seeking a partner to make you the guide in their lives. Please help us all to no have hard hearts and to let You into our lives.

I praise You Lord today! I praise You for Your promises and Your assurances. I ask you for forgiveness of my sin. I praise You for seeing Jesus when you look at me. I ask for the Holy Spirit to guide me today and I ask to be used by You in any way that You see fit.

Thank You for all that You provide and I ask for the wisdom to use it for Your glory. Amen