Sell everything you have and give to the poor. . . . Then come, follow me. (Luke 18:22)

IF WE TOOK A POLL asking moms what they want for Mother’s Day, no doubt many of them would prefer obedient children over expensive gifts.

We can sum up Christ’s commandment to the ruler in today’s passage in one simple word: obedience. He wanted the ruler to willingly surrender his wealth and follow Him. However, for this man to surrender his riches and give to the poor would have been futile—one more thing to check off of his useless list—if he would not also willingly follow Jesus. Likewise, it would have been impossible for this ruler to sincerely follow Jesus without distributing his wealth to the poor first. Total obedience is at the core of following Jesus.

Was Jesus looking for a philanthropist to be on His team? No. Did Jesus really need the ruler’s money to help the poor? No. He created and owns everything. He rules over heaven and earth, and could handle the poor just fine without the ruler emptying his bank account. What Jesus really wanted then, and wants now, is obedience. Our time, money, and good works are all useless if we aren’t obedient to Jesus. The best choice we can make is to give Jesus what He really wants: an obedient heart.

Demonstrate your obedience to Jesus in a practical way today.

Kathern Nemec and her husband served in Argentina for twenty-seven years as missionaries. Now residing in Ohio, both are active in their local church.