Possessions & the Kingdom

Open Your Bible

Mark 10:1-52, Isaiah 51:17, 1 Peter 4:13

When we began to look for a preschool for my son, all the women in the neighborhood said, “It’s too late. You should have applied when he was first born to get him on the waitlist. Now you’ll never be able to get into the school you want.” My son was only two at the time! How was I to know getting into preschool would be almost impossible?

There were so many ways I wanted to solve the problem. Should we see if we have any connection to the school? Should we just tell them we’re really nice people, so they will accept our son? What would it take to get us in?

Similar questions were raised in Mark 10, when the disciples were concerned about getting into heaven. In this chapter, a rich young ruler asked how to inherit eternal life (vv.17–22). He seemed to be doing all the right things, but he could not give up his affection for wealth in order to follow Jesus. And then Jesus said that it’s easier for “a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (v.25). At this, the disciples grew worried. How would they ever be able to enter heaven? What more could they do to get into the kingdom of God?

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we often try to prove ourselves worthy of our spot in the kingdom. We want to be seen giving to charity, praying the best prayers, and reading our Bibles daily so our salvation seems credible. If our salvation rested on us alone, though, we would also need to reconcile our sin, much like the rich young ruler. What comforts do we still cling to? What idols are we still resistant to rid ourselves of? Do we really want God more than anything or anyone else? 

Thankfully, our ability to follow Jesus does not rest on our strength. Like James and John, who wondered how they could get a seat of honor in heaven, we may think we can earn our way into God’s kingdom. The truth is, redemption is an act only God Himself can accomplish. “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). 

God opened the gates to His kingdom through Jesus’s death and resurrection. There are no waitlists in God’s kingdom. There are no impossible standards of holiness to attain—only the perfect righteousness Jesus already achieved and extends to us.

(57) Comments

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57 thoughts on "Possessions & the Kingdom"

  1. June Pimpo says:

    Lord, may I be willing to share in your sufferings so that I will be able to see your glory revealed ❤️

  2. Tammy Talton says:

    Have courage! Get up; he’s calling for you!

  3. Jos ByHisGrace says:

    Whatever we are facing today may look like it’s the end of the road. But the truth is, it is not. Because He is risen. Take heart, there is hope in Christ! Happy Easter!

  4. Brandy Deruso says:

    God is god of the impossible!

  5. Dom Sch says:

    Prayers! Glad he is doing well!

  6. Paula Strong says:

    I’m behind in my reading ha so just getting to today. My husband had a heart attack and had a hard time finding time to dive into scripture. I had an anxiety attack because of my situation but love having this time to calm my heart and anxiety. Amazing I was complaining about my husband and then this happened. It has completely changed my attitude about everything. God saved my husband – he got to hospital just in time.

    1. Brandy Deruso says:

      Healing to him!

  7. Christa Strader says:

    I really found the part where the Pharisees were asking about divorce …. Jesus asked them what Moses instructed…. “Moses wrote that commandment” is what Jesus replied…. not God wrote but Moses wrote…. food for thought

  8. Terany Garnett says:

    God your word are gentle to my broken heart. Thank you for speaking to me after my fast thank you for allowing your son to die for my imperfections so we can be together one day. Thank you for loving your creation. In my brokenness and mistakes I’m opened to you bc I don’t want to hide from you anymore. I will try my hardest to stay vulnerable to you and your word. Give me comfort in my sadness as I experience persecution and shame for choosing your will wholly in my life.

  9. Tracy Mattison Brandon says:

    What are we holding onto that God is inviting us to let go of in order to grab ahold of Jesus that we may follow him wholeheartedly?

  10. Laurie Crary says:

    Amen, Angela.

  11. Stacy J says:

    depends on what I do. What a relief that it is not about me. With God all things are possible!

  12. Stacy J says:

    Our ability to follow Jesus does not rest on our own strength. So often I forget this and think it

  13. Sarah Weaver says:

    I felt like I could relate to the rich man today. I feel rich…I’m not hungry, not in need. I’ve been blessed with family, husband, children, house, job of stay at home mom/homeschooler, and not hurting financially. I could easily see myself as this rich young man asking how to get enteral life. Verse 21 really stuck out to me, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” Jesus sees past our physique of a perfect life and sees our hurting, searching heart. He looks past our pride and self righteousness. God can continue to work in a persons heart and soul…”all things are possible with God” (vs 27) I wonder if this rich young man finally came back to Jesus later. God loves everyone…even those who have it all on earth and think they don’t need God.

  14. Nory Diaz says:

    Jesus you did it all for us❤️ How truly amazing!!! I am wrecked as I read today’s passages. God is soooo good!!!

  15. Jos ByHisGrace says:

    18“Why do you call me good? ”  Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. — I thought that I am good or can be good at my own effort…. turns out that I can’t .

  16. Lisa C says:

    Thank you❤️

  17. Melissa Mcronney says:


  18. Addy says:

    I am new too, a feel connected to all of you through the daily readings. Love the body of Christ. SRT has been transformative for me!

  19. Nicole Calvert says:

  20. Victoria E says:

    Bonnie I am so with you! I am seeing both the ruler and the blind man in myself too! I am so thankful our salvation does not depend on us!!

  21. Melanie Rastrelli says:

    Thank you Patti for responding to my post and prayer request. I have only posted short bits to people asking for prayers in this past year I’ve been on SRT. I just didn’t feel comfortable doing so. I guess because I’m a little bit shy putting things out there for everyone to see. I need to be strong because God is strong and makes me strong thru my weakness.
    So glad to meet a newbie sister to SRT. This brightened my day when I came back and saw your support. ❤️

  22. Susan Merritt says:

    Thanks for sharing this! This is great!

  23. Chelsea Little says:

    What a great connection here, thanks for sharing

  24. Chelsea Little says:

    I can agree with this 100%

  25. Mercy says:

    “What do you want God to do for you now?” I paused at this question and changed my answer several times for some odd reason. Years ago, my answer would be a list of tangible things. But now I will say, Lord I desire to have the knowledge of You, anything concerning you, your heart, your mind, your pain and your heartaches, your will, your agenda. What hurts you God? Will the things that hurt You hurt me too? I used to wonder when I was little if God cries. Since Jesus did seeing people suffering, and so I realize that God also cries. I desire to know the heart of God, it’s the most precious heart with many unknown pain and hidden mysteries. God, allow me to be the one that makes You smile. I love you God.

  26. Bonnie Cochran says:

    I also found it profound when today’s devotion said, “There are no waitlists in God’s kingdom. There are no impossible standards of holiness to attain, only the perfect righteousness Jesus ALREADY achieved and extended to us.”
    That was SO encouraging to me! The only race I have to run is my race with God. The only race I have to compare mine to is the growth from my past to my present to my future. I don’t have to change who I am, mold myself into a more “approved” woman in society. Thank you JESUS.

  27. Bonnie Cochran says:

    I’m truly just in awe of how striking the Gospel ACTUALLY is. I’ve read some of these stories other before and every time it reads me differently. Truth be told, I AM the “rich young ruler,” clinging on to what *I think* is best for me, comforting to me, etc. But also in this particular season of my life, I want to be more like Bartimeaus. I want to be so sure in my faith in Jesus that I cry out to Him for healing regardless of what my unhealthy thoughts and feelings or what others may think about me. Heavenly Father, help my unbelief. Help me to drop the things I hold closer to my heart than your Word.

  28. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would put Jesus first and foremost in my life. That all other idols would now at his feet. Thank God I can’t get salvation on my own, I probably would have lost it by now.

  29. Donna Wolcott says:

    Amen Churchmouse! Amen

  30. Traci Gendron says:

    Dorothy my story feels very similar to yours. Prayers for you and your family today.
    I enjoy decor & fashion. Does it get in the way of spending time with God? Yes. I need to set my priorities right.

  31. Penny M says:


  32. Maura says:

    Dorothy thank you for sharing and thank you for serving as a LPN. Your words of thankfulness for the tough times as well as the blessings reminded me again that God meets us right where we are. Praying for your family may they feel His love and comfort embracing them during this time. Praying for you too Taylor and your friend He knows this sorrow, may you both feel His love and peace. Also for a new place to call home, that you will see again how He is providing and that it will be exactly what you need. Shannon thank you for serving in Pediatric Neurosurgury. May you know that He is there with you and your prayers avail much from our Lord. Angie, and all you teachers out there welcoming the little ones with open arms and listening ears and caring hearts for seeing your students as the treasures they are. Thank you. Praying you find His rest that restores you, His strength and love abundant as you serve. What gifts and what a difference you all make wherever you are my Sisters, He is near and He is working through all you give. Praise be to our God!

  33. Jane K says:

    Lifting up all my SRT sisters’ prayer requests today. Praying for you and your family, Dorothy, that you feel God’s perfect peace as the anniversary of your niece’s death nears. I am praying for you too, Renee, and your son. My teenage daughter went through a terrible time of depression and anxiety. A local pastor and a small group of believers prayed over her and cast out any evil spirits. We also got her to a Christian counselor, who she still sees periodically. Just be sure it’s the right counselor and you trust what they are saying. It was a very dark time for us, but God, only God saw us through it. Love and blessings to you all.

  34. Sarah Rogers says:

    Angela thanks for what you shared, it resonates! Some days faith and understanding are a close companion but then others it’s like I’ve totally missed the boat and forgotten that I am a daughter of God who’s strength comes from Him on my greatest weaknesses. I’m so thankful for His faithlessness on all days and gentle reminders on my unfaithful days!

  35. Carol says:

    Grateful that perfection isn’t required to become a child of God.

  36. Melanie Rastrelli says:

    Thank you Linda. I am so blessed by your prayers

  37. MARTHA HIX says:


  38. Linda J says:

    Praying for you and your daughter, Melanie. .Thankful you’re in the SRT family.

  39. Mari V says:

    There is no waiting list. I don’t have to be perfect. I am already HIS❤️.

  40. R Costello says:

    It really strikes me in the reading that Jesus asks the rich man why he is calling him good. I think he’s calling out the man for his self righteousness. He thinks he’s achieved salvation through his good works, and Jesus is showing him that he has failed to love the Lord with all his heart soul and strength. His possessions hold first place in his affections. Thus the comment- There is none good except God. The solution to his sinfulness is to recognize he needs Jesus to save him. It’s hard for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God because they don’t need anything. They are self sufficient, whether the riches of their own good works or the riches of a physical nature.

  41. ADB says:

    Praying for you and your sister’s families.

  42. ADB says:

    Angie thank you for what you do for your students! Praying for renewed strength and refreshment for you.

  43. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Praise to God that Jesus paid it all! Because of His love for me, because Jesus shed His blood for me – I then can have eternal life!

    Dorothy – praying for Carol, Jake, and for you as this “anniversary” approaches. May God extend His arm of comfort, love, mercy and grace to you all during this very difficult time. ❤️ &

  44. Angela Sutherland says:

    It’s so easy to sit in my cozy chair, sip my coffee and read about the disciples and shake my head “how did they not get it yet?”….but upon further reflection I may as well just add my name to the 12! How often I doubt, or worry, or fight for a position of importance rather than just believe, trust and follow Jesus and His example. I’m also the rich young ruler who clings to things I believe bring me comfort when Jesus has so much more for me! I want to be the one who calls out to Jesus in faith, but more often than not, I’m the doubter. Jesus has proven his faithfulness to me time and time again…oh that I will remember and step forward in faith in full confidence of my Saviour!

  45. Taylor says:

    Lifting up your family in prayer Dorothy! April 2nd holds a lot of weight for me and my best friend’s family as it will be the her mom’s first birthday in Heaven, and her first birthday not here with us on Earth.

    I’m so glad I don’t have to prove myself worthy of salvation. I am the chief of sinners! I cling to so many comforts, still have so many idols – yet Jesus calls me daughter anyway. Resting in the GIFT of salvation today!

    Also a small prayer request: now that I have accepted a job and begin April 5th (praise!), I would really like to start looking to move out of my parents house. I’ve reached out to some people that are still in the area as possible roommates, but no luck. Yesterday’s devotion was so needed because finding housing really stresses me out and I am trying to control the situation; however, what I really need is to rest in His presence and look for Him, wait for Him, and enjoy Him. He will provide!

  46. Deanna says:

    Churchmouse, I keep reading the words and actions of the 12 and thinking, “These guys were with Jesus daily. They knew He was ‘more’ – he kept telling them over and over again what was going to happen, and yet they didn’t get it.” I always want to think I’d have done better than Peter, with his questioning and his pride and his denials, but I know, deep down….

    I still need to be helped with my unbelief.

  47. Deanna says:

    Miriam, thank you for sharing this. It hit my heart.

  48. Miriam says:

    I had this note written in my Bible regarding the rich young man: “He was holding onto something so tightly when Jesus wanted to bless him beyond his understanding with something so much better. What am I holding on to that is keeping me back from experiencing Christ completely?” So convicting to me that I so many times choose the temporary things instead of the wonderful spiritual riches Jesus has to offer.
    (I think this was from a study called “Experiencing God” but I’m not quite sure).

  49. shannan ward says:

    Its funny because i work in pediatric neurosurgery and just last night posted about a superhero sticker that a kid gave me yesterday and how he was the one with the fl trauma, not me, and how it touched me how children are so kind resilient and thoughtful and how we should aspire to be more like them…

    My idol…well I feel like Im always striving…trying to be the best wife, mom, stepmom, daughter, sister, house cleaner, cook, employee, Christian , friend, neighbor etc etc possible…its not comparison…I have learned not to compare myself to others standards and expectations for me but to fear and obey what I feel like God is asking me to do…however, long comma…I feel like I fall short a LOT because God has given me so much I feel like a lot is expected of me in return….just knowing that it’s impossible for me to do it all can be overwhelming until I really breathe in the verse “with God all things are possible”…and really let this truth fill my lungs and mind and body…it’s then i can exhale knowing that it’s Him in me not me in me that makes all the difference. This is how we can become like children…they trust,
    have faith…they haven’t lived long enough to be hurt or burned and they just don’t sweat the small stuff….so today I have to remember I can’t do it all…but God can and that is ENOUGH.

  50. Heidi says:

    Uhg. It’s been a morning of interruptions already, so not a lot of time to really contemplate all of this yet. Hopefully I will have some time to return later today. I DO wish some of this was spaced out more!! ;) Mark runs through all of it so quickly- today alone there were about (to me) 4 different huge topics to work through!! :)

    DOROTHY- you and Carol, Jake, Andrew, and Daniale are all being lifted in prayer by so many of us here. May His peace and comfort and grace be experienced in FULL and may their/your heart AND mind be fully guarded by our Savior, Christ Jesus.

  51. Angie says:

    I love the part in today’s scripture where Jesus wants the little children to come to Him and he blesses them. I have many needs in my elementary classroom this year – deep needs in the children’s hearts, minds, and families. I pray every day that I can be the hands of Jesus welcoming them into arms that bless in His power and love (often the parents need those arms of love extended as well). Yesterday I said to my principal that I just need one day without having to deal with something. I see God’s hand at work every day, and I am thankful for each child He has given me. I am also tired. Perhaps the needs are intensified this year because of the experiences of this pandemic. I know I am where the Lord has called me and, I go forward in His strength.

    I also see the young man who comes before Jesus and asks what he has to do inherit eternal life. I am inspired by the words in scripture, “…and Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said…” Later James and John were vying for positions at Jesus’s right and left-once He came into His kingdom. Those who had everything…wanting more, pushing for more. Later, blind Bartimaeus calls out. He has nothing. Jesus asks him what he wants and he knows exactly…he wants to see – and Jesus heals him. I am humbled in gratitude that Jesus knows exactly what we need and because of His great love, only gives us what is best for us. I am also struck by the wisdom of Bartimaeus that he knew what he wanted. Sometimes, I don’t know what I want, I just want Jesus to “fix it.” Jesus, thank you for always knowing what is best for us. Thank you for the fact that we do not earn your love or our salvation, it is a free gift. But also, thank you that though You don’t need us, You allow us to live and serve in your kingdom, even this day, on the earth You created. Such amazing love. Thank you God.

  52. Kate Condran says:

    I was struck by the fact that twice in this passage people want something from Jesus – James and John to sit at his right and left, and a blind beggar wants to see – and BOTH times Jesus’ response is the same “what do you want me to do for you?” He listens, he responds in grace and truth. To me, it shows his shepherding heart.

  53. Kristen says:

    I just listened to this teaching by Tim Keller called, The Last Temptation of Christ. Here are the notes from the teaching: Our passage today takes place the night before Jesus is going to die. He has just had his last supper, and he goes out into the garden of Gethsemane with three of his disciples. Jesus’ career began with a temptation in the wilderness, and now it essentially ends with a great temptation in a garden.
    Jesus goes to the garden to pray and he is described as “sorrowful and troubled” (Luke uses “agony”). This is an important clue to understand why Jesus died and how his death affects our lives today. We’re going to consider two questions that will help us dig a little deeper into this passage: Why the magnitude of Christ’s agony? Why the timing of it?
    Here is what I heard.
    It wasn’t in agony over the human death. There was so much more. He drank the full cup of God’s wrath to save us. He knew full well the depths of this , but did this anyway. Amazing. This teaching may change how you see the sacrifice of Jesus. Oh, I hope you get to listen. Here is a link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-sermons-podcast-by-gospel-in-life/id352660924?i=1000511830467

  54. Sarah H. says:

    Dorothy said prayer for you and your family as you walk through the grief. Hold onto your Rock. May you know comfort.

  55. Dorothy says:

    I’m so thankful and grateful that there are no lists to get into Heaven. All I have to do is believe and have faith, or at least so I’ve been told. I believe. My faith is great most of the time, occasionally it falters but for the most part it is strong. My faith has gotten me through a divorce, the death of my son (he was 18) and the death of my niece (who was like a daughter to me, she was 35), the uprooting of my life style three times in three years, and being able to be an LPN for over 40 years. God and Christ as well as family and friends have helped me through many a trying time plus been there through many a glorious time.
    Lord thank you for all the hard times and all the glorious times. Help to continue to worship and praise You. Amen.
    Sisters I have a prayer request, the first anniversary of my niece’s death is coming up — April 3 — my sister, Carol, and nephew, Jake, need prayers to help them through it, as well as my son, Andrew, and d-i-l, Daniale. Be blessed sisters.

  56. Churchmouse says:

    How could I ask for a heavenly “seat of honor” knowing that it was made available through Jesus taking my place on the cross? Through Jesus being flogged and tortured. Through Jesus being mocked and spit upon. I ask for no special seating. It is enough, more than enough, that Jesus has a spot reserved for me.