Day 25

Entering the Kingdom

from the Luke reading plan


Luke 18:1-43, Genesis 18:13-15, Jeremiah 32:17

BY Guest Writer

In my high school youth group, we used to play a game I loved. The game was Bigger or Better, and the object was simple: keep trading up for the biggest or best prize. To start, we were divided into teams and each team was given a single paper clip. We were then unleashed on a neighborhood with a simple assignment: “Come back with something bigger and better than this.” We’d go house to house, making trades. At first, we’d trade in the paperclip for something smallish, like a cup or dish. We’d trade that in for something bigger… say, a basketball or framed piece of art. And on and on we’d go, until we were called back together to display our spoils.

Trading up is always a thrill. This is the message the rich ruler seemed to miss during his encounter with Jesus. He had his eyes on the prize of eternal life, but he misunderstood the path to getting there. Though he recognized Jesus as a “good teacher,” he missed God’s heart. This ruler was a good child who turned into a good man, and he wanted assurance that he was good enough.

Jesus rattled off a few of the ten commandments: “Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother” (Luke 18:20). To which the man had the audacity to respond, “I have kept all these from my youth” (v.21). But even if this man had been perfectly obedient with these commandments, keeping the letter of the law is not the same as following the heart of the God behind that law.

Jesus offered him a trade up.

Instead of keeping all the rules, the man could sell all his belongings. You see, Jesus knew that despite his outward obedience, the rich young ruler was missing out. His money was in the way. Rather than asking the man to make a tremendous sacrifice—another religious task—Jesus was really offering the man his freedom. But it does not always appear that way to those of us who hear such offers. No wonder the crowds declared, “Then who can be saved?” (v.26).

Jesus’s response: “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (v.27).

Go on, bring to the Lord whatever you hope will save you. Bring your good works and best days. Bring your charity and church membership. Bring your idyllic childhood and productive adulthood. And trade them in. He may not ask you to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor, but He will ask you to part with anything in your life that’s keeping you from knowing the love of God.

Accept Christ’s invitation to lay down your goodness for something better. It’s a trade up.

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (42)

42 thoughts on "Entering the Kingdom"

  1. Lyna Ninkham says:

    The parables that Jesus shares seems to be valuable and relatable in any season that I’m in. The example of the Pharisee and Tax Collector was convicting as we’ve seen this example of humility throughout the study of Luke.

    Meditating on this verse today:

    “…For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 18:14

  2. Lyna Ninkham says:

    The parables that Jesus gives is relatable in any

  3. Churchmouse says:

    1 Timothy 6: 17. Enjoy what God has provided. Don’t let it become an idol though. Be a cheerful giver. Enjoy the coffee. Enjoy the flowers. Thank God for both. Consider: Invite someone to have coffee with you. And share your flowers – pay it forward. But don’t feel guilty for enjoying what God provides. He’s a good Father. That’s my additional thoughts.

  4. Valerie says:

    luke 18:27 is a verse i have been keeping close to my heart lately as i pray for my S/O to come to faith. i am constantly worrying that i’m not doing enough or behaving in a godly manner to be a good example to him, but today’s reading and devotional helped remind me to surrender this prayer to god, and trade up my efforts for his own better, perfect ones. there are days when i feel hopeless and helpless, but more often than not god has brought me a sense of peace that things will be okay and he is working in his perfect timing. <3

    1. S S says:

      Valerie – you have been in my prayers and I will keep you there until the joyous day that your S/O enters into a personal relationship with Jesus. Until they are transformed by the grace of God!

  5. cinback says:

    Is God really asking us to give up our coffee and flowers (Steph C)? Or is He asking us to check our hearts? If the coffee becomes so important that it keeps us from God then I can see Him asking us to give it up, but is it wrong to enjoy a cup of coffee? Do I literally have to give up EVERYTHING? Is that what God is asking us to do here?

  6. Jennifer AndersMiller says:

    Amen!

  7. Tina says:

    This reminded me of my boys when they were younger and collected football cards… always swapping with the hope of getting a full team or squad…

    My small group watched Heaven is for real yesterday…
    What are we like as believers.???
    We profess and yet when it comes to the crunch, we struggle to let go of the stuff here that are earthly.. we hold on to status..Holding on to the bank balance with a “what will happen tomorrow” mentality.. we hold on to things that are of no consequence, in fear of letting go..
    Here’s the thing, for me, believing nd knowing that all i have.. all that i am, everything good is from God, i have to trust thst when i am asked by my Protector, Provider, my Savior, my Lord and creator to ‘swap’ all i have acheived by and in His Grace, I must trust and believe that the best and better will follow..
    All I have is because of Him.. all I am is by His love grace mercy faithfulness..
    Without Him I am and have nothing.. apart from Him my life is empty.. ‘a sounding gong’

    But God…

    His plans for here on earth are awesome..BUT..
    Oh my goodness the eternal life that Jesus has bought for us… is going to be absolutely out of this world… Perfect and all and beyond whst we could ever dream or wish for..

    Amen..

    Love and blessings sisters. ..always..❤

  8. Mari V says:

    As a mother who is single parenting and always on the go, I treasure these quiet moments with God. I need this time. I thrive for this time. I crave it. Sometimes my mind is so full that I try to pick out at least one thing that I can walk away with from the devotion. I am enjoying this so much. Today what stuck out to me was: What in my life is keeping me from knowing the love God. Something for me to ponder throughout my day today.

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