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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Personal Responsibility August 10


Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou bast, and give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven. Mark 10:21.

The rich young ruler desired eternal life. Jesus did nor object to his having money, but He put the test to him on this basis. The young man did not want his money included in the conditions for eternal life. He preferred not to mix business with his religion. When it came to his relationship to God, he wanted his wealth left out. That is the sum total of the problem.

Of course, such a position can be taken with almost anything—sports, fashions, sex; all of them quite legitimate in their proper sphere. However, when we consider our lives untouchable at any of these points we are putting that thing before God. Nothing we do can conceal this fact. Christ insists that when He is Lord of our lives. His rule must include everything we possess. This is where the rub comes.

Christ invites us to become candidates for His eternal kingdom, the most magnificent offer ever made to sinful men. The temptation is to want it on our own terms. To be a dedicated disciple of Christ, including all we possess, must have priority.

This is not to say that all wealthy people, all sports-minded people, have turned their backs on Christ. There are many genuine Christians engaged in secular pursuits who love Christ and bear witness to Him. To them it is not the sport or the money that really matters. It is the Jew from Nazareth, born in a stable, reared in a carpenter's home, who died on a cross to save us. He is the One who gives meaning to life

We cannot afford to sacrifice Him to any of the things offered by the world. Wealth, pleasures, sports, are not worth risking our chances for eternal life.

Many of the fascinations of the world, quite legitimate in themselves, tend to crowd us to the sidelines of the great controversy. Then our lives have little or no reference to God's final movements in the world. We cannot make up for that kind of loss by shouting ourselves hoarse at a ball game or by collecting a few more gold and silver coins.

Let us keep it straight. Christ's presence and program for our lives and for the church is central.

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