Matthew 19.23 records, Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The rich man wanted to enter heaven but he missed it. To show him his true love, and this determines our eternal destiny, God required him to give away what was most precious to him. This he could not do.

The rich man was a good person. He obeyed the Ten Commandments, he treated others as he himself wanted to be treated. But he didn’t love God the most. Capitalism requires us to treat our neighbor well. It is the best system because it is the only system that makes us consider others first even when we are considering ourselves first. I must serve you well if you are to buy my product that will make me rich.

But doing good, being nice, thinking of others, will not get me into heaven. I must love God first, most and always. Those who love God first and most also love their neighbor, they are indistinguishable sometimes from the good people who are not going to heaven. The test of our love is our willingness to do anything and to give everything to our love.

If I love me first and most, then, in the end, at the time of the greatest testing, I will do and keep everything for my own interest, security, pleasure or power. If I love God first and most then I will be willing to give everything I am and have to see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is why God said, no greater love can a person show than to lay down his life for his friend.

I cannot follow Jesus without taking up my cross, denying myself, and surrendering all that I am and all that I possess to His rule and will.

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