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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« on: March 14, 2016, 05:33:05 PM »
Chap. 57 - "One Thing Thou Lackest"



Listen to "One Thing Thou Lackest"

 







     "And when He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 
     The young man who asked this question was a ruler. He had great possessions, and occupied a position of responsibility. He saw the love that Christ manifested toward the children brought to Him; he saw how tenderly He received them, and took them up in His arms, and his heart kindled with love for the Saviour. He felt a desire to be His disciple. He was so deeply moved that as Christ was going on His way, he ran after Him, and kneeling at His feet, asked with sincerity and earnestness the question so important to his soul and to the soul of every human being, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 
     "Why callest thou Me good?" said Christ, "there is none good but One, that is, God." Jesus desired to test the ruler's sincerity, and to draw from him the way in which he regarded Him as good. Did he realize that the One to whom he was speaking was the Son of God? What was the true sentiment of his heart? 
     This ruler had a high estimate of his own righteousness. He did not really suppose that he was defective in anything, yet he was not altogether satisfied. He felt the want of something that he did not possess. Could not Jesus bless him as He blessed the little children, and satisfy his soul want?   
     In reply to this question Jesus told him that obedience to the commandments of God was necessary if he would obtain eternal life; and He quoted several of the commandments which show man's duty to his fellow men. The ruler's answer was positive: "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"   
     Christ looked into the face of the young man, as if reading his life and searching his character. He loved him, and He hungered to give him that peace and grace and joy which would materially change his character. "One thing thou lackest," He said; "go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." 
     Christ was drawn to this young man. He knew him to be sincere in his assertion, "All these things have I kept from my youth." The Redeemer longed to create in him that discernment which would enable him to see the necessity of heart devotion and Christian goodness. He longed to see in him a humble and contrite heart, conscious of the supreme love to be given to God, and hiding its lack in the perfection of Christ. 
     Jesus saw in this ruler just the help He needed if the young man would become a colaborer with Him in the work of salvation. If he would place himself under Christ's guidance, he would be a power for good. In a marked degree the ruler could have represented Christ; for he possessed qualifications, which, if he were united with the Saviour, would enable him to become a divine force among men. Christ, seeing into his character, loved him. Love for Christ was awakening in the ruler's heart; for love begets love. Jesus longed to see him a co-worker with Him. He longed to make him like Himself, a mirror in which the likeness of God would be reflected. He longed to develop the excellence of his character, and sanctify it to the Master's use. If the ruler had then given himself to Christ, he would have grown in the atmosphere of His presence. If he had made this choice, how different would have been his future!   
     "One thing thou lackest," Jesus said. "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered.   
     Christ gave this man a test. He called upon him to choose between the heavenly treasure and worldly greatness. The heavenly treasure was assured him if he would follow Christ. But self must yield; his will must be given into Christ's control. The very holiness of God was offered to the young ruler. He had the privilege of becoming a son of God, and a coheir with Christ to the heavenly treasure. But he must take up the cross, and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial. 
     Christ's words were verily to the ruler the invitation, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. The choice was left with him. Jesus was yearning for his conversion. He had shown him the plague spot in his character, and with what deep interest He watched the issue as the young man weighed the question! If he decided to follow Christ, he must obey His words in everything. He must turn from his ambitious projects. With what earnest, anxious longing, what soul hunger, did the Saviour look at the young man, hoping that he would yield to the invitation of the Spirit of God! 
     Christ made the only terms which could place the ruler where he would perfect a Christian character. His words were words of wisdom, though they appeared severe and exacting. In accepting and obeying them was the ruler's only hope of salvation. His exalted position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his affections. To keep back little or much from God was to retain that which would lessen his moral strength and efficiency; for if the things of this world are cherished, however uncertain and unworthy they may be, they will become all-absorbing.   
     The ruler was quick to discern all that Christ's words involved, and he became sad. If he had realized the value of the offered gift, quickly would he have enrolled himself as one of Christ's followers. He was a member of the honored council of the Jews, and Satan was tempting him with flattering prospects of the future. He wanted the heavenly treasure, but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him. He was sorry that such conditions existed; he desired eternal life, but he was not willing to make the sacrifice. The cost of eternal life seemed too great, and he went away sorrowful; "for he had great possessions." 
     His claim that he had kept the law of God was a deception. He showed that riches were his idol. He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved the Giver. Christ had offered the young man fellowship with Himself. "Follow Me," He said. But the Saviour was not so much to him as his own name among men or his possessions. To give up his earthly treasure, that was seen, for the heavenly treasure, that was unseen, was too great a risk. He refused the offer of eternal life, and went away, and ever after the world was to receive his worship. Thousands are passing through this ordeal, weighing Christ against the world; and many choose the world. Like the young ruler, they turn from the Saviour, saying in their hearts, I will not have this Man as my leader. 
     Christ's dealing with the young man is presented as an object lesson. God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.   
     The ruler's possessions were entrusted to him that he might prove himself a faithful steward; he was to dispense these goods for the blessing of those in need. So God now entrusts men with means, with talents and opportunities, that they may be His agents in helping the poor and the suffering. He who uses his entrusted gifts as God designs becomes a co-worker with the Saviour. He wins souls to Christ, because he is a representative of His character.   
     To those who, like the young ruler, are in high positions of trust and have great possessions, it may seem too great a sacrifice to give up all in order to follow Christ. But this is the rule of conduct for all who would become His disciples. Nothing short of obedience can be accepted. Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save man than to cut away those things which, if entertained, will demoralize the whole being. 
     When Christ's followers give back to the Lord His own, they are accumulating treasure which will be given to them when they shall hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Matthew 25:23; Hebrews 12:2. The joy of seeing souls redeemed, souls eternally saved, is the reward of all that put their feet in the footprints of Him who said, "Follow Me." 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 05:28:16 AM »
I know that this is a needed lesson just as the story of Judas is a needed object lesson. However, this is one of the chapters I find hard to read. Simply because I find it sad that this young ruler turned away from Christ. :(

However, there are some important lessons to be learned. Like this...

His claim that he had kept the law of God was a deception. He showed that riches were his idol. He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved the Giver.

Please don't think I'm letting the ruler off the hook nor others like him with my next comment but it is because the devil has blinded them. They find it hard to see knowing Christ as the most wonderful reward. Even Heaven is hard for them to imagine because they can't see it. It is not here and now. Their sin and the devil has blinded them. All they can see is what is before them. No wonder Christ said it is hard for a rich man to enter Heaven.

A more hopeful story and almost the counter story to the rich young ruler is the story of Zacchaeus. Keep reading with us to discover hidden gems in that story also.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 06:01:37 AM »
Yes, Jim, it is a very sad story. But, even more sad was how Satan had so blinded God's chosen people that they murdered their Messiah. There is a verse that explains how much of humanity will do as did the rich young ruler.

    "Many are called, but few are chosen." Many hear the invitation of mercy, are tested and proved; but few are sealed with the seal of the living God. Few will humble themselves as a little child, that they may enter the kingdom of heaven. 
     Few receive the grace of Christ with self-abasement, with a deep and permanent sense of their unworthiness. They cannot bear the manifestations of the power of God, for this would encourage in them self-esteem, pride, and envy. This is why the Lord can do so little for us now. God would have you individually seek for the perfection of love and humility in your own hearts. Bestow your chief care upon yourselves, cultivate those excellencies of character which will fit you for the society of the pure and the holy. 
     You all need the converting power of God. You need to seek Him for yourselves. For your soul's sake neglect this work no longer. All your trouble grows out of your separation from God. Your disunion and dissension are the fruit of an unchristian character. 
     I had thought to remain silent and let you go on until you should see and abhor the sinfulness of your course; but back sliding from God produces hardness of heart and blindness of mind, and there is less and less perception of the true condition, until the grace of God is finally withdrawn, as from the Jewish nation.  5T 51. 


The good news is that Jesus is long suffering towards the children of men. Even murderers such as those who put Jesus on the cross are loved. Think of Saul the persecutor, and King David the adulterer who murdered an innocent man to cover up his evil deeds. What a God we serve!!

Do we appreciate what He has done for us? From today's reading:

     Christ's dealing with the young man is presented as an object lesson. God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 09:02:27 AM »
Amen, Richard! I was also struck by the same paragraph, but especially by the last few sentences:


"The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us." – {DA 523.1}

There are those who want salvation without the blessing (and self-sacrifice) of being colaborers with Christ--but the blessing of salvation means abiding in Christ, letting Him work in and through us!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 06:06:25 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. And, if we keep going, we are to understand the reward of being converted Christians does not wait for the second coming. No, it is more blessed to give than to receive. When we have done that which we have been bidden to do, when we find the lost sheep, when we see them melt under the grace of Christ, we have our reward in this world. Many have never experienced the joy of sharing a revelation of the love of God and seeing what that can do to a sinner seeking truth. There is no greater joy. This is what Jesus holds out for us today, if we will come o Him just as we are. If we will behold this great love ourselves, then we shall have something to share.

     When Christ's followers give back to the Lord His own, they are accumulating treasure which will be given to them when they shall hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Matthew 25:23; Hebrews 12:2. The joy of seeing souls redeemed, souls eternally saved, is the reward of all that put their feet in the footprints of Him who said, "Follow Me." 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 09:04:17 AM »
Amen, Richard! I was about to share the very same paragraph, but indeed, this is a glorious truth!

Another paragraph that I was moved by is as follows:

"One thing thou lackest," Jesus said. "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered.{DA 519.4}

Only by beholding the loveliness of Jesus and surrendering to Him entirely can self be crucified, and all the blessings Christ has bequeathed to us be used for God's glory. The rich young ruler lost the greatest blessing of Christ abiding in the heart and held on to the earthly.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 06:07:16 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. It seems the young man was comparing his loss to his gain and was only factoring in eternal life. What of the transformation of character? He did not compute the value of this. And, he greatly devalued even eternal life. At some point in his life, he would surely recognize the error he had made, but it would be too late. When life was coming to its end, then he would see the value of life eternal in a world of peace and joy with Christ. How much is this worth? It cannot be  valued in terms of the wealth he was unwilling to give up. 

We have such dull minds that we are often unwilling to give up all for Christ. This is the cost, everything we are and everything we have must be given up. We must make a full surrender. How many draw back from giving all for Christ? Many are called, but few choose Jesus. They choose the world.

      The ruler was quick to discern all that Christ's words involved, and he became sad. If he had realized the value of the offered gift, quickly would he have enrolled himself as one of Christ's followers. He was a member of the honored council of the Jews, and Satan was tempting him with flattering prospects of the future. He wanted the heavenly treasure, but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him. He was sorry that such conditions existed; he desired eternal life, but he was not willing to make the sacrifice. The cost of eternal life seemed too great, and he went away sorrowful; "for he had great possessions."
     His claim that he had kept the law of God was a deception. He showed that riches were his idol. He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved the Giver.


How can we love God more? We must learn of Him, we must behold Him daily. Then we will have spiritual discernment to understand what is required for eternal life. Many professing Christians do not understand what is required. They have been deceived believing they are rich when they are poor indeed.

     God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 07:46:30 AM »
Amen, Richard! Many precious truths are revealed in our reading. One that spoke to me was how Christ so longed for this young ruler's conversion:

Christ's words were verily to the ruler the invitation, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. The choice was left with him. Jesus was yearning for his conversion. He had shown him the plague spot in his character, and with what deep interest He watched the issue as the young man weighed the question! If he decided to follow Christ, he must obey His words in everything. He must turn from his ambitious projects. With what earnest, anxious longing, what soul hunger, did the Saviour look at the young man, hoping that he would yield to the invitation of the Spirit of God!

So Christ longs for every soul--and only when we see Christ in His loveliness is the invitation clearly revealed, and we see that only a full surrender is acceptable to God. Christ called for a full surrender, for apart from that there was no hope for the man's conversion. Apart from a full surrender, Christ's life cannot be wrought out in us, for He will not accept a divided service. It is for our own benefit to realize that in all that Christ calls us to "give up" He is really inviting us to something better!

This reminds me of how clearly this truth is also revealed in Steps to Christ:

But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! I am ashamed to hear it spoken of, ashamed to write it. {SC 46.1}

God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves. Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God. No real joy can be found in the path forbidden by Him who knows what is best and who plans for the good of His creatures. The path of transgression is the path of misery and destruction. {SC 46.2}


Let us choose Christ and His way, as we learn from the experience of the rich young ruler. Let not His constraining love calling for full surrender be repulsed!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 07:00:47 AM »
I am so thankful that Christ will only accept a full surrender--for in no other way can our character be WHOLLY transformed to reflect Him! While the young ruler turned away, let us pray that we will follow Jesus because we choose to believe the love He has to us, and come to value that love more than anything else in this poor, dark speck of a world!!

  Christ was drawn to this young man. He knew him to be sincere in his assertion, "All these things have I kept from my youth." The Redeemer longed to create in him that discernment which would enable him to see the necessity of heart devotion and Christian goodness. He longed to see in him a humble and contrite heart, conscious of the supreme love to be given to God, and hiding its lack in the perfection of Christ.

When you and I choose to make a complete surrender to Christ, and allow Him to make us partakers of the divine nature, we are perfect in the sight of a holy God. But yet there is more in which we need to grow. We are made perfect by the imputed righteousness of Christ and the imparted righteousness of Christ given us by the Holy Spirit, who reveals Himself in the life by all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. As long as we maintain a living connection with Christ by faith, our "lack" is hidden--for we will ever sense our absolute helplessness and need of divine aid to do any good thing. If only the young ruler had been willing to have an experience FAR BETTER than what he was choosing for Himself! Let us pray, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief"--that is, that we would pray that God will help us to value Him and His work above any gift He has bestowed upon us!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 11:38:33 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!   How could we not value Jesus more than anything we have and anything we are! If we know Jesus as it is our privilege to know Him, we shall see He is worth more than all the silver, gold, and rubies this world has to offer.

The rich young ruler had not experienced the joy of leading others to salvation. How many today are laboring for salvation without having experienced the joy of telling others of the character of our God?  What a joy it is to share Jesus with someone who is open to the truth!! What should we exchange this joy for? A mess of pottage?  How very sad. We must keep Jesus in our thoughts, we must continue to behold Him that we might become like Him in character (2 Cor. 3:18).

If we will spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating His life, we would not deny Jesus His reward for all He has suffered while we were yet sinners. He longs to see Himself reflected in His children. And, so it with us.

The joy of seeing souls redeemed, souls eternally saved, is the reward of all that put their feet in the footprints of Him who said, "Follow Me." 


Come and taste of the loveliness of Jesus. Share your thoughts with all who are reading in this topic daily. It will bless you and us!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 07:40:19 AM »
When Jesus speaks to His people today, He says "repent". Why would His people have to repent? Because they believe they are saved when they are not fully surrendered to Him. They prize something more than Jesus. They believe they may sin and retain salvation. But, in today's reading, we find that all who lack one thing do not have eternal life, even if they had made a full surrender in the past. Those who teach that once one has given the heart to Christ, may sin, and remain in the "family of God" are teaching heresy.

     Christ's dealing with the young man is presented as an object lesson. God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.   


It is not for God's good that we give all to Him, but for our good. "Nothing short of obedience can be accepted. Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save man than to cut away those things which, if entertained, will demoralize the whole being."

When we behold the loveliness of Jesus we shall willingly give Jesus the whole heart. Nothing is more important than pleasing the One who gave all for us while we were yet sinners. It is the goodness of God, His grace that leads to a repentance not to be repented of. Who could not love such a God!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 08:42:58 AM »
Amen, Richard! We can be thankful that Christ reads the heart like an open book, and in every invitation to make a full surrender, He is only inviting us to what is for our best good, that the perishable things of this life will not be given priority over beholding Him and walking in full surrender with Jesus moment-by-moment.

  Christ made the only terms which could place the ruler where he would perfect a Christian character. His words were words of wisdom, though they appeared severe and exacting. In accepting and obeying them was the ruler's only hope of salvation. His exalted position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his affections. To keep back little or much from God was to retain that which would lessen his moral strength and efficiency; for if the things of this world are cherished, however uncertain and unworthy they may be, they will become all-absorbing.   

Christ was not being narrow to call the young ruler to sell what he had and give to the poor--He was offering Him the way of obtaining eternal riches, and of having a fellowship with Himself which was far more valuable. But if we do not spend this "thoughtful hour" with Christ, we will be deceived as was the young ruler to think we are in a saved condition while not fully surrendered:

Revelation 3:17-19
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


It is because Christ loves us that He calls us to repentance. I was listening to a testimony by Scott Ritsema in which he shared that, and it has caused me to realize that the passages in the Bible that seem like a strong rebuke are only the pleadings of unutterable love. Oh, may we trust God's words instead of our own faulty vision unaided by the Holy Spirit! Unless Christ is in our hearts, we remain blinded by sin and unable to see how needy we are. Christ knows how liable we are to think we are "fine" when we are not--and the only remedy we find is in beholding the loveliness of Jesus and surrendering the whole mind and heart. Then Christ will come in and abide in our souls, feeding us with the words of life--so that we will sup with Him! The evidence that we have let Him in is that all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing!

Revelation 3:20-21
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.


Heaven is cheap enough! Overcome by beholding Jesus continually! To behold His loveless and cherish Him in the soul temple is to abide in Him, and flourish!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 08:53:40 PM »
 Such a sad story this chapter tells. Christ requires 100 percent obedience. The young man thought he was a keeper of the law in every point but his reaction to the test Jesus set before him shows that he was anything but obedient to God’s law.
“God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to God’s law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character.......Think of what it means to say “No” to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.”
What a blessed gift Jesus offers to each one of us. But it is conditional. To become sons and daughters of God self must be yielded and our will’s must be given into God’s control. We make the choice to follow Him and as we cooperate with Him, He does the work in and through us. Thank you Jesus for your wonderful plan of redemption.
 
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 05:46:03 AM »
What a blessed gift Jesus offers to each one of us. But it is conditional. To become sons and daughters of God self must be yielded and our will’s must be given into God’s control. We make the choice to follow Him and as we cooperate with Him, He does the work in and through us. Thank you Jesus for your wonderful plan of redemption.

Amen Dorine, what you wrote reminded me of this passage...

Hebrews 10:16-17   16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”[c] 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

And once we've allowed Christ to do this work in us then we can truly say this...

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 07:05:14 AM »
Amen, Dorine and Jim.  What is the lesson to be learned from this chapter? Why is it important? Because so many in the Christian faith have been deceived as was the rich young ruler. They believe, like him, that they are "rich and increased with goods, but know not they are miserable, and wretched, and poor, blind, and naked."

Jesus "loved him, and He hungered to give him that peace and grace and joy which would materially change his character." He has proved His love for us all when He came to this dark spot in the universe to suffer and die in our place. He attempts to save the young man by pointing out a truth that many ignore or outright reject. He, like many today, do not understand salvation requires that we give the whole heart, not part of it. As Him points out, when we given Jesus the whole heart, God writes His law on the heart. What does that mean? We are empowered by the Spirit to keep all of the law to the extent we know it. And, beyond that we will manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit whether we know them or not, not one will be missing.

Like the Apostle Paul before he was converted, the young ruler thought he had been keeping all of he law, but in fact he was not keeping any of it. How can that be? The law reaches to the intent of the heart. It is the motive that God looks at. His motive was selfish. We cannot serve two masters, we serve God or Satan, but not both at the same time. If we do not love God supremely, we do not keep any of the law.

     Self-surrender is the substance of the teachings of Christ. Often it is presented and enjoined in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save man than to cut away those things which, if entertained, will demoralize the whole being. 


When we study the Sabbath School lesson this quarter, we must always keep before our minds and the readers that there is something we must do in order to be saved. It is not enough to make a profession of faith, we must sacrifice all we have and all we are in order to be saved. Paul was addressing a people who thought they were saved when they, like the rich young ruler, obeyed outwardly part of the law. When we love God with the whole heart, we will give Him everything. He is worthy of this love.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2017, 08:02:52 AM »
Amen, Richard! We will give Him everything as He indicates He has need of it to do His will. We will truly say "Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine"--for this means we are surrendered fully and no longer count anything more valuable than Christ Himself and His will for us:

  "Christ's dealing with the young man is presented as an object lesson. God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say 'No' to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us." {The Desire of Ages, page 523, paragraph 1}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2017, 02:58:23 AM »
This day Christ is looking into your soul, and He loves you. He sees that you are either filled with all of the fruits of His Spirit so that not one is missing, as this is always the result of a complete faith surrender to Him as an ever-abiding Savior, or He sees that something is cherished or allowed in your life that is keeping Him from reigning on the throne of your heart. There is no middle ground. Either Christ is upon the heart, whose presence purifies and renews the heart and mind to experience the "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), or there is a separation between the soul and God because of any known sin in the life. Jesus calls us to surrender all--not to be harsh to us, but because in no other way can we be saved. Anything we hold on to that God has said to let go of becomes an idol; anything we refuse to do because it is inconvenient or involves reproach for His sake--becoming a sin of omission--reveals that self is first, not Jesus. Self is a tyrannical master, and only by beholding the loveliness of Jesus and surrendering fully to the revelation of His love moment-by-moment can we be set free from the controlling power of the fallen nature, and live by the faith of the Son of God, a faith that means our old selfish nature is crucified. While at conversion we still have a fallen nature, we need not let that old nature be revealed in thought, word, or deed for even a moment as long as we are completely surrendered to Christ and letting Him reveal the loveliness of His divine nature in us as we cooperate with Him. Let us learn from how Jesus dealt with the rich young ruler and surrender all to Jesus!

"Christ looked into the face of the young man, as if reading his life and searching his character. He loved him, and He hungered to give him that peace and grace and joy which would materially change his character. 'One thing thou lackest,' He said; 'go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.'" {The Desire of Ages, page 519, paragraph 1}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 07:56:15 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  Jesus loves us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be with Him in heaven. He offers us to work with Him for others on this Earth. He offers us eternal life. But, there are conditions. Unlike the false teachers who point us in the opposite directions, that salvation is by faith "alone", and do not tell us we must keep the law of God in order to enter heaven, Jesus tells us the truth.

This chapter explains what it means to be converted. There is great detail in explaining there are conditions to being justified. It is true that we are saved by grace. There is nothing we can do to gain heaven except receive this grace. Then where do the conditions enter? The conditions are that we accept the grace. And when we accept the grace the heart is cleansed from sin and selfishness. We need this grace continually. And when we have it in the heart, the life is changed. So, we can then say, unless we are changed because we accepted God's grace, the life will not be changed. We see this in the life of the rich young ruler. He would not accept the grace offered. Why not? Because he was unwilling to give up his riches.

Is giving up his riches a condition for salvation? Yes, it is. We cannot keep our selfishness and at the same time love Jesus supremely. Thus, grace is still the only way to be saved. For grace is the only power that can transform the sinner into a saint that lives for Christ. Without grace, the rich young ruler's heart would not be changed, cleansed, converted. As we read through the chapter we find this being said over and over. The sacrifice was too much for the young man. Thus, he rejected God's grace, His love. He understood that he had to choose between his riches and Jesus. How very sad he did not know that if he had a better knowledge of Jesus, if would have chosen to spend time with Him, his love for Him would have increased. But, his selfishness turned him away from Jesus. \

So it is with many today. We do not know Jesus well enough to trust Him with all we have and all we are. We must love Jesus with the whole heart, not part of it. This requires an intimate knowledge of His character. Thus, the truth comes to the front, it is by beholding Him that we are transformed into His character. It is by knowing Him that we love Him. We love Him because we have learned of His great love for us. If we do not know Him, then we shall not trust Him and love Him supremely.

    Jesus told him that obedience to the commandments of God was necessary if he would obtain eternal life; and He quoted several of the commandments which show man's duty to his fellow men. The ruler's answer was positive: "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"   


Are there conditions for eternal life? There surely are. We must keep the commandments. Does this do away with justification by faith? Absolutely not. When we are justified by our faith in Christ we will obey the law to the degree we understand it. We are partakers of God's divine nature and escape the lust within.

     Christ gave this man a test. He called upon him to choose between the heavenly treasure and worldly greatness. The heavenly treasure was assured him if he would follow Christ. But self must yield; his will must be given into Christ's control. The very holiness of God was offered to the young ruler. He had the privilege of becoming a son of God, and a coheir with Christ to the heavenly treasure. But he must take up the cross, and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial.
     Christ's words were verily to the ruler the invitation, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. The choice was left with him. Jesus was yearning for his conversion.


Again, we are saved by grace through faith. But, it must be understood that being saved means being transformed, converted, undergoing a radical transformation of character. We must give up self and love God supremely. This is not being taught as it must be taught. We are being led to believe Christ's character is good enough, that it stands in place of our sinful character. No, we must die to self. If self is alive, then we do not possess salvation. We must love Jesus with all we are and all we have. If we sin it is because we value something else more than Jesus. We must maintain our love for Him by maintaining our connection with Him.

    Christ's dealing with the young man is presented as an object lesson. God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 03:16:33 AM »
I love Jesus and the privilege He gives us in winning souls! Pastor Holmes (the senior pastor I get to work with in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) told me yesterday when we were having a baptismal preparation study with a family that when I’m in the baptismal tank doing a baptism that I have a huge grin of joy on my face (which he sees, but I can’t see my own face). It is the joy of the Lord!

“When Christ’s followers give back to the Lord His own, they are accumulating treasure which will be given to them when they shall hear the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ ‘Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Matthew 25:23; Hebrews 12:2. The joy of seeing souls redeemed, souls eternally saved, is the reward of all that put their feet in the footprints of Him who said, ‘Follow Me.’” {The Desire of Ages, page 523, paragraph 4}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--57--One Thing Thou Lackest
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 06:48:57 AM »
I can only imagine Pastor Sean the joy of baptizing a new soul into Christ. That is just a glimpse of what Christ feels when a soul surrenders their life to Him. Thank you for sharing your experience.

The huge message in this chapter for me is that it's not enough to be a good person. It's not enough to have a desire to follow Jesus. It's not enough to do and say all the right things. And it's not enough to admire Jesus and even love Him. It points out that although this young man felt he lacked in nothing that the Saviour could find fault with there was still a void he could not fill himself.

  "One thing thou lackest," Jesus said. "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered.

In this mans case it was wealth that was his god. When put to the test he was not willing to make Jesus his all in all. What will Jesus say to me as I ask Him that same question today. If I am honest the Holy Spirit will be revealing daily the things I need to surrender. He doesn't pile it all on at once. It would be overwhelming. But He wants to give us victories over self each day. As much as Jesus loved this young ruler and saw in him such valuable traits for His kingdom He could not accept even 99% of his heart. What a lesson for us today.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14