“You remember what Jesus said about the camel and the eye of the needle?” Stan asked me one morning.
“Kind of,” I replied. “Didn’t He say something about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom?”
“He did,” Stan said. “And it seems there’s been a lot of discussion about what Jesus meant, whether it was an actual needle, a gate in Jerusalem called the ‘Eye of the Needle,’ or something else.”
“In any event,” he continued, “last night I was talking to one of my neighbors who seems to be quite wealthy and he said something about this that I found quite amusing.”
“He said that he hopes Jesus was talking about a special breed of camel that is really tiny, so small that one could easily pass through the eye of a literal needle!”
“I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about,” I replied.
“Me neither,” Stan said, “but it does raise the point of how difficult it is for a rich person to surrender all for the sake of God and His kingdom.”
“Kind of like the guy referred to as ‘the rich young ruler’,” I replied.
“That’s right,” Stan said. “When Jesus told him what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life, to sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Jesus, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He thought he was too rich, not realizing that Jesus could have taken care of everything if the rich young guy would have chosen to be a disciple who followed Jesus.”
“The Bible seems to have a lot to say about money, wealth, riches, and the like,” I commented. “Didn’t the apostle Paul write something about money being evil?”
“He wrote about money and evil, but I think he had it right when he said it’s the love of money that is the root of all sorts of evil.”
“The love of it, rather than the actual money?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Even people who don’t have any money can love it and do whatever they need to do to get it. That love can certainly lead to all sorts of evil.”
Bible verses to consider:
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24.
Jesus said to him, “if you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property. Matthew 19:21-22.
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. 1 Timothy 6:10.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have provided for me: life eternally with you when it’s time, the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity, and all of the material possessions you allow me to enjoy and want me to share with others. I confess that too often I do not use what you have provided the way you intend. Please forgive that foolish self-centeredness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I use your resources only as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s provision for spending eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? It’s the greatest and richest blessing you could ever hope for! If you are a Christian, how are you doing with the treasures that have been given to you on this side of eternity? Are you laying up treasure in heaven rather than hoarding earthly treasure here? If you sense the need for change in how you view and utilize what God provides, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?