A couple of weeks ago, after my preaching minister went on sabbatical, I was asked by my involvement minister if I’d like to speak on a Sunday evening. I said yes, and that Sunday evening was last night.
I wanted to let my church family know a little about what I do; that I work with a lot of terrific people; and that we’re all ministers in service to God – whether employed by the church and titled “minister” or not.
I also wanted to share something that’s been on my heart, something I’ve wanted to blog about for months and be able to say that I’ve struggled with and conquered and have an answer to.
But I don’t.
The message I shared was a more grown-up version of the one I had shared with the children of many of them who attend the Christian school with a campus at our church facility; one I blogged about as What the Rich Man Lacked.
You can listen to it here or download it as an mp3 here.
I went too long. I spoke too much. I should have stuck to the condensed, kids’ version.
Still, I was able to share a burden that has been weighing on me for some time now.
Jesus said, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (Luke 12:33-34)
Was it a command? A suggestion? A gift that, if accepted, would bless our lives with the joy of sacrificial giving – experienced first-hand?
I don’t have the answer yet.
All I know is that Jesus said it.
And I have never done it.
14 thoughts on “Sell Your Possessions”
Yes, I struggle with that scripture (and some others, too)–I listened to your lesson–I am really looking for answers.
Folks, I’ve already said it privately, in the form of an e-mail, but let me just put it out here for all to see: It was SUCH A BLESSING to be able to hear Keith share his heart with us Sunday evening! If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, go ahead…click one of his links, and allow him to share with you too. I promise it will be well-worth your time. >>I absolutely loved being able to hear this post from a couple of years ago, directly from Keith, with still just as much (if not more) heart poured into it as when it was written. (And technically, I got a pretty sweet deal–two for the price of one! Because I <>knew<> I’d heard that < HREF="http://keithbrenton.blogspot.com/2005/12/heartworship-enough-is-enough.html" REL="nofollow">trash compactor story<> before too!)>>Thanks again, Keith, for sharing your heart so openly with all of us. Much love–mmlace
If you figure it out, please share…this one troubles me as well. (and yet I keep adding possessions….why?)
keith, I just sat here in my office and listened. I feel the need to tell you that I cried. I look forward to hearing (reading) when your hair is cut.>>Thank you for sharing that.
You’re not the Lone Ranger……I haven’t either.>>DU
Thanks Keith for sharing this. I have been blessed and challenged.
On Tommy’s suggestion I listened to the sermon….I too was very touched and will await your continuing story.
Rich Young Ruler:”Hey Jesus, I have lived a good life all my life. But I don’t feel like I’ve done enough. I want to do something good to assure my place in heaven. So what will it take? I’ve got money. I’ve got influence. How about a new wing to your church building? New song books? What can I do to tip the scales firmly in my favor?”>>Jesus: “Why are you talking about doing good things? The only ‘good’ you should worry about is God. You need to take that money you are depending on for your salvation and give it to someone who can use it for what it is intended, day to day living. Then you need to come with me and see what it is like to be totally dependent on God for everything you have.”>>There follows the parable showing that the reward is God’s doing, not man’s.>>I’ve heard that the phrase “one thing you lack” means something along the lines of “you have missed the boat completely”.>>If your dependence is on your posessions instead of God, perhaps you should sell them.
Maybe. But if he young man was that sure his wealth could ‘save’ him, why ask Jesus at all? Why rush up to Him and fall on his knees before Him?
It appears that he recognized Jesus as a teacher worthy of respect. It looks to me that the problem with the young man was an assumption that he could obligate God to reward him based on his good works, or that he ‘deserves’ eternal life because of the way he used his money and influence. Hence the corrective parable about the workers in the field.
One example of following the instructions of Jesus on this subject can be observed in the lives of A. M. Burton, and his wife (members of the COC,) who owned a large insurance company in Tennessee. Their company made millions of dollars, yet they only retained enough to live modestly year-to-year; giving millions to the Lord’s work all over the country.>>Perhaps they had the answer, tough as it is to grasp, and even tougher to put into action.
I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t struggle on at least some level with this passage. I probably struggle with it more than a lot of people.>>Of course, here lately, I’ve definitely had to rely on God more than any earthly thing that I could ever provide for my family or myself.>>The naked truth is that I like my toys. I want my toys. I don’t want to give up my toys.>>But, what good is it to a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his own soul?>>I’ve known many wealthy people in my life. Some of them were absolutely stuck on their things… some of them used the physical blessings they have to help others. >>I don’t know if I’ve ever known anyone who falls in the middle.>>Just some random thoughts, my little $.02… my yadda yadda
Keith Brenton, are you still alive and well??? I certainly hope so…you haven’t blogged in <>ages!<> Huh? What’s that you say??? It’s only been a week and a half??? >>Maybe it just <>seems<> like ages when you miss out on the thoughts of one as interesting and insightful as yourself. >>Hope all really is well, miss you bro, much love in Him–mmlace
Please get off my toes and post about something else!