Christian Living
Heeding the Warnings of Jesus
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Jan 4, 2023

jgc 24


Read Mark 10:17-31.

With so much uncertainty in the world, so much volatility in the economy, and so much negativity all around us, it can be tempting to envy the rich. After all, the wealthy are not as vulnerable to higher prices and the fluctuations of the labor market. They have money and resources in reserve—just in case life takes a turn for the worse. Many rich people also have connections that ensure they have access to the necessities of life if there are shortages.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus warned people about the danger of placing their hope in money and possessions.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself. Many heroes of the faith in Scripture were wealthy—Abraham, David, and Daniel to name a few. The Bible never condemns riches outright; rather, the Word of God condemns men and women who place all their hope and trust in their wealth. When anyone becomes so arrogant and conceited that they forget it is God who has blessed them, then their wall of security will be easily scalable.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus warned people about the danger of placing their hope in money and possessions. In Mark 10, a young man came to Jesus and wanted to follow Him, but he had placed all his trust in his wealth. Jesus loved this rich, young ruler and told him, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me" (v. 21).

You see, this young man was needy in spite of his wealth. He was restless in spite of his resources, lost in spite of his trust fund. But he could not bring himself to make the transition from trusting in his own possessions to trusting in Jesus. That is why, when he heard what Jesus wanted him to do, "the man's face fell. He went away sad" (v. 22). Jesus was offering him true wealth, true security, true salvation—but his wealth had such a grip on his heart he missed out on the greatest offer of his life.

Another time, Jesus told a parable about a rich landowner who was so blessed that he decided to build bigger barns to store the abundance God had given him. He said, "I'm going to expand my business." There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. He said, "I will plan to be richer than ever." That's fine too. He said, "I'm going to build a place in Jericho for the summer and another in the Negev for the winter." There's no problem there either. But then he said to himself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19). That's a problem. This wealthy man was so focused on life here and now, he had neglected to plan for eternity. That very night, he died, and he found himself woefully unprepared to meet the Lord.

My friend, don't make this mistake! Do not trust in anything other than Jesus Christ. He is the only refuge that will not fall in the storm. Those who run to Him are secure. Recession or no recession, they are safe. Whether the market goes up or down, they are safe. Whether there is a boom or bust in the economy, they are safe. Whether the world is at peace or in turmoil, they are safe. Life or death, they are safe.

Never forget: If you have Jesus, you already have everything you need.

Prayer: Father, thank You that in Christ all things are mine (1 Corinthians 3:21-22). You have made me a co-heir with Christ, and I am humbled and thankful. Help me to press on in this life with whatever circumstances You have deemed for my good—whether riches or want—remembering the hope of glory that is mine today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!'" (Mark 10:23).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon When God's Plans Differ from Ours in Timing: WATCH NOW