In Luke 18 (and Mark 10), we read the account of the rich young ruler who famously asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Imagine his excitement when Jesus began naming off things he had done, in his own words, “from [his] youth.” Here is where the rich young ruler and I part ways.
You see, most people use this passage to talk about how Jesus can see into your heart and know what “one thing you lack.” And He can do that with ease. He knows our every thought. Of course, He knows what we lack! But here is what I am thinking …
I wish I only lacked one thing!
I’m afraid that if I asked Jesus where I was lacking, the list would be long. No, scratch that. I know it would be long. But this post isn’t a plea for people to reassure me or a pity party, because I believe all of you who are reading this are in the same boat with me! Not to be insulting, but we all lack a lot.
That’s why grace is so wonderful! We can never be good enough, check off enough commandments, fulfill enough areas of service … do anything to merit heaven. In fact, God made it that way so that we can never even try to take credit for our salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). Because of this amazing grace we are able to celebrate the fact that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Because of God’s grace we can thankfully say with Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I am,” (1 Corinthians 15:10a) and like the Ethiopian eunuch who contacted that grace through baptism in Acts 8, we can go on our way rejoicing instead of hanging our head like the rich young ruler. We know we are lacking but our God–and His grace–is not!