"Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." -- Matthew 19:21-22
When once asked, "How much money is enough money?" John D. Rockefeller replied, "Just a little bit more." As for this extremely wealthy man, he believed that his purpose in life was to make as much money as possible and then use it wisely to improve the lot of mankind. From his very first paycheck, he tithed ten percent of his earnings to his church. As his wealth grew, so did his giving, primarily to educational and public health causes, but also for basic sciences and the arts. All told, Rockefeller gave away about $550 million. While Rockefeller possessed great wealth, his wealth never possessed him.
Jesus set a rather high standard for the young man in our reading. His demand was quite personal due to a heart condition. The young man was righteous in his actions, but his worship was compromised. His roots were tied down to his great wealth and in many ways it had become his god. He lived for the possessions of this life so much that he lost sight of treasure in heaven through spiritual pursuits. Unlike Rockefeller, this was a man who was possessed by his wealth.
Your salvation is a free gift my friend. Jesus never asks us to purchase eternal life. Yet, our belief in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus demands a total trust in him alone. He desires our uncompromising faith and worship. Furthermore, our spiritual growth and ministry will only be a strong as our focus on eternal values. Life and all that comes with it is to be possessed and used for the Glory of God.