If you like your creature comforts.
If you would rather not be discomforted by poverty. By famine. By disease.
If you want to grab your piece of the American Dream.
If you have it all planned out.
If you want Jesus to be Savior but not necessarily Lord.
If you don't want to read words like these:
If Mark 10 teaches us anything, it teaches us that Jesus does sometimes call people to sell everything they have and give it to the poor. This means he might call you or me to do this. I love the way one writer put it. He wrote, "That Jesus did not command all his followers to sell all their possessions gives comfort only to the kind of people to whom he would issue that command."Can't say I didn't warn you.
So what about you and me? Are we willing to ask God if he wants us to sell everything we have and give the money to the poor? Are we willing to ask and wait for an answer instead of providing one of our own or justifying our ideas of why he would never tell us to do this? This seems a bit radical, but isn't it normal and expected when we follow a Master who said, "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple"?
Once again we find ourselves back at what it means to follow the Jesus of the Bible, not the Jesus we have created and are comfortable with. The rich man in Mark 10 didn't see Jesus for who he was. The rich man perceived him as a respectable religious figure, calling him "good teacher." However, Jesus was not, and never is, interested in being seen as a respectable teacher. He is the sovereign Lord. He doesn't give options for people to consider, he gives commands for people to obey.
So, then, what if he told you and me to sell everything we have? What if he told us to sell our cars for more modest ones - or for no cars at all? What if he told us to give away all but a couple of sets of clothes? What if he told us to empty the savings accounts we have been building for years if not decades? What if he told us to change our lifestyles completely?
Now, before you and I think of all the reasons he would not tell us to do these things, we need to think about this question first: is he Lord?
Are you and I looking to Jesus for advice that seems fiscally responsible according to the standards of the world around us? Or we are looking to Jesus for total leadership in our lives, even if that means going against everything our affluent culture and maybe even our affluent religious neighbors might tell us to do?
Jesus never intended to be one voice among many counseling us on how to lead our lives and use our money. He always intends to be the voice that guides whatever decisions we make in our lives and with our money.