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The Rich Young Ruler

He went away sad


Jesus loved him, but he loved his riches too much.


Matthew 19:16-26.


What Must I Do?

One day Jesus was walking down a road when a rich young ruler ran up to Him and fell on His knees.  "Teacher," he asked, "What good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

What good things can we do to gain eternal life? (Let the children respond).  The answer is: "Nothing!"  There is nothing that we can do to gain eternal life, because we can never measure up to God's standards.  Not even if you are always as good as gold!

Jesus answered, "Why do you ask Me about what is good?  No one is good except God alone."  Jesus went on to say, "You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not cheat others, honour your father and mother and love your neighbour as yourself."

Go and Sell Everything!

Can we do all of these things? (Let the children respond).   Yes we can.  And what did that young man reply?  The young man said, "I have kept all these since I was a boy.  What do I still lack?"

Jesus looked at him with compassion and loved him.  "One thing you lack," Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven.  And then come and follow Me."

Why was the young man upset about giving away all his possessions?   (Let the children respond).  Do you have to give away all your toys, and possessions and pocket money before Jesus will give you eternal life? (Let the children respond).

Things Keeping Us From God:

What did the young man do?  He was very upset, and he went away sad, because he had great wealth.  What was the most important thing in the young man's life?  (Let the children respond).  Did this stop him from getting eternal life? (Let the children respond).  Yes, it was his riches that were more important than Jesus and getting eternal life.

Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!"  When the disciples heard this, they were astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"  Jesus looked at them with love and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

No man, woman, boy or girl can save themselves, because Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  All of us have to obey Proverbs 23:26 where God said:

"My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes keep to My ways."

The Cost is too Great!

The rich young ruler said, "No, the cost is too great!"  He went away sad and as far as we know never went to Heaven.  He did not realise that Jesus longed to say, "Son, your sins are forgiven."  That would have made Jesus so happy!  But, I'm glad to say that there are many boys and girls who have said, "Yes Jesus, come and live in my heart!

Some of you still need to give your hearts to Jesus.  Are you ready to give Him your heart today?  I pray that there is nothing in your life that will make you say, "The cost is too great!"  May God draw you closer to the love of Jesus until you decide, "I want to give my heart to Jesus!"

God bless.

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The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.