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You’ve Got It! Did You Know It?

 I am so excited about this month’s article, as it is fresh out of the oven!Over the last few weeks, God has been speaking to me about the word “receive.”  It has been so rich with revelation that I encourage you to read this article with anticipation of what God is saying to you, and then do your own study on this subject, as we will only scratch the surface of all God is showing us.  Let’s start with a familiar passage from the book of Mark, chapter 10:

 

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is2 to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, 3 “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” [1]

 

Notice that when the man we call “the rich young ruler,” came to Jesus the Bible says that Jesus loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing…”  Jesus then proceeded to give him three things to do:  Go, Sell all that you have, and Give to the poor.  Now, I am not sure about you, but in the past, every time I read that verse, it bothered me that Jesus didn’t seem to know how to count.  I mean, did he lack one thing or did he need to do a few things?  In actuality, the answer is, both!  Stay with me, some of the following information may turn your thinking upside down. 

 

Now, remember that Jesus said to the man, “You lack one thing.”  If Jesus said, you lack one thing, and then gave the man three things to go DO, then what He told him to do must not have been the one thing he lacked.  Do you see that?  The list of things to do, were in relation to the one thing he lacked, but they were not WHAT he lacked.  You see, the rich young ruler had done many things in keeping the commandments.  It is clear that Jesus was moved by his commitment, because it says He loved him.  Because of this, I have often looked at this passage and thought Jesus was giving him another thing to DO.  In reality, Jesus saw that he was doing all kinds of good things, and yet he “lacked” one thing.  So, what did he lack?  Notice what Jesus said he would have if he did the three things Jesus told him to do.  “Go, sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will HAVE treasure in heaven…”  When you “lack” a thing, it means you do not “have” it.  The man had not learned the secret of, “treasure in heaven,” and therefore he did not have, “treasure in heaven.”  If you can let this sink in, it will revolutionize your relationship with God.  The rich young ruler lacked one thing:  He lacked treasure in heaven, and it held him back from the eternal life (the God Quality of Life) that he was seeking.

 

As you hold on to that last tidbit of information, let us skip down to the end of this passage, and notice what Jesus said to Peter (who, along with the other disciples, was amazed and astonished) when he said, “See we have left everything and followed you.”  Jesus responded by saying, “Truly…”  This one word is worth stopping on simply because Jesus felt it necessary to make sure that what he was about to say was understood to be Truth.  This was no lie!  He continues by saying that there is no one who has left houses or brothers or… (And I think it is safe to include anything in this non-exhaustive list) … for My sake and the Gospel, who will not RECEIVE a hundredfold now in this time!”  Of course He goes on to include in that list two other things, persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. Remember, this “eternal life,” is what the rich young ruler was originally asking about.  Jesus stated emphatically by using the word, “Truly,” that there is NO ONE who has left anything for Jesus sake and the Gospel who will not RECEIVE a hundredfold NOW in this time.  How is this possible?  The answer is found in the word receive. 

 

In the Greek, the word “receive” is transliterated as the word ‘lambano’ (Strong’s #2983).  This word develops in two ways.  The first is active, “to take,” “to bring under one’s control on one’s own initiative.” [2]  The second direction (more passive) gives us the sense “to receive,” “to acquire”[3]  To give us a full picture, two other ideas of this word are, “to get hold of,” and, “to have offered to one.” 

    

Are you ready for this?  When we take those definitions and place them in this scripture, a whole new understanding comes to light.  Jesus said, “Truly there is no one who has left… (anything)… for my sake and the Gospel, who will not ‘take, or bring under one’s control,’ ‘acquire, get hold of, or have offered to one,’ a hundredfold now in this time.”  Do you see what Jesus was saying?  He said that if you have left or given anything for the Gospel, then at the same time you gave it, what you also did was bring under your control a hundredfold of that very thing!!  Meditate on this!  This is amazing!

 

But, Dane, I don’t have a hundredfold of anything I have given to the Lord, or for the Gospel.  Oh yes you do!  You just do not realize it!  You see, Jesus said to the rich young ruler, there is ONE thing you lack, and that one thing was treasure in heaven.  Now, Jesus goes on to say that if you give anything for the Gospel, a transaction took place, and you acquired and took a hundredfold.  Where is that hundredfold?  That hundredfold is your “treasure in heaven.”  You see, what you let go of in this natural realm, you took control of by a hundredfold measure in the spirit.  Can you see what this does for your walk with God, and the possibilities it brings to your life?  When you gave a thing, you actually took control of much more of the same thing, to be used for Kingdom purposes. 

 

Let this sink in!!  You’ve already got it!  Got what?  Whatever you have given for the Gospel, you have received manifold of the same thing.  If you have ever given anything for the Lord or the Gospel, you may not have realized it, but a real live transaction took place, and you actually took control of and acquired a hundredfold of what you gave.  Think about this one example: When you got saved, in essence, you ‘left’ your old life, or you ‘gave’ your life to Christ.  What did you get in return?  According to Galatians 2:20, you received the life of Christ.  The new life you received from that transaction is a hundredfold (if not more) than the life you gave up.  Do you see this?  What you give is minor in comparison to what you receive from God.  This should so stir us to give as much as we can for the kingdom of God.  The possibilities become endless!  

 

Now the question is how to make “use” of what you have “received.”  If I have a hundredfold of what I have given as my “treasure in heaven,” is that reserved for heaven, or can I make use of it now in this life?  That, my friends, is another article.  Be on the lookout for it. 

 

Oh!! I can’t keep it in; let me give you a nugget to meditate on…  Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “Whatever things you desire, WHEN you PRAY, BELIEVE that you RECEIVE them, and you will HAVE them.” The first step towards making use of what you have received, as your treasure in heaven, is believing that you received it!   Meditate on that for a few days, and next time we will dig a little deeper into “receiving.” 

 


 

[1]

The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

 

[2]

Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

 

[3]

Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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