November 7, 2019

No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.

Matthew 19

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Teaching About Divorce

Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”1

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Let the Children Come to Me

13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

The Rich Young Man

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, 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.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,2 when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold3 and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.


[1] 19:9 Some manuscripts add and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery; other manuscripts except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery
[2] 19:28 Greek in the regeneration
[3] 19:29 Some manuscripts manifold

No Reserves. No Retreats. No Regrets.

Key Verse | Matthew 19:22

When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Bio | Luke Werhan

Good morning fellow followers of Jesus! My name is Luke Werhan and I have been attending WM for about 3 years. I am married to an amazing woman, Val, who just gave birth to our first child three weeks ago. She is a baby girl, and we named her Noah Jo. 

I grew up in God's country, the great state of Kansas, and attended THE Kansas State University. I'm addicted to fantasy football and enjoy hunting/fishing when I can get away from the city. Today's passage is one that deals with priorities and tells us of a man whose priorities were off track. I hope you enjoy today's passage, and the reminder that comes with it, as much as I did! Happy reading!

Central Truth

If you are motivated by money, status, or gain, then have the self-awareness to reevaluate your life. If those are the things you want, every time you think about following Christ the way He asks you to follow Him, "you will go away sad because you have many possessions."  

Devotional | Matthew 19

Have you ever wondered what the cost of following Jesus actually is? Do you think about how much "fun" you will have missed, or how much time and money you will have given to the things...

Have you ever wondered what the cost of following Jesus actually is? Do you think about how much "fun" you will have missed, or how much time and money you will have given to the things of God? In Matthew 19, a young man of great wealth is asking that exact question. Read Matthew 19:16-30.

Compare and contrast the story from Matthew with this story:

In 1904, William Borden graduated from high school. As heir to the Borden family fortune, he was already exceedingly wealthy. At a young age, he felt a growing burden for the world's hurting people and wanted to be a missionary. One friend expressed disbelief that Borden was "throwing himself away as a missionary." In response, Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: "No reserves."

Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down high-paying job offers. Borden wrote two more words: "No retreats."

At 25, Borden set sail for Egypt. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, Borden was dead.

Before his death, he had written two more words in the back of his Bible. Underneath "No reserves" and "No retreats," he wrote "No regrets."

It is no secret that we live in one of the most materialistic cities in the world. A growing temptation in the midst of that environment is to accumulate worldly gain.

Today, we see two men of similar socioeconomic status asking the same question: "What am I willing to sacrifice for Jesus?" I challenge you to ask yourself this same question today.   

I Am Not Saying: Having money is a bad thing, or you should quit your job and pursue vocational ministry.

I Am Saying: If your decisions are motivated by money, status, or gain, then have the self-awareness to reevaluate your life. If those are the things you want, every time you think about following Christ the way He asks you to follow Him, "you will go away sad because you have many possessions." Don't make that deal!  "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?"

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Discussion Questions

1. To which story do you relate? If you relate more with the Rich Young Ruler, what steps do you need to take to adopt the mindset Jesus calls us to in Matthew 19:29-30?

2. Read 2 Corinthians 4:18. Do you regularly wrestle with materialism? Do you struggle to see this world as temporary? If so, take some time today to confess to other believers in your life, and ask them to hold you accountable to pursue things of eternal value over temporary value.

3. Look up and read 1 Timothy 6:10. Is having a lot of money a bad thing? If God has blessed you with a substantial amount of wealth, status, or gain, how do you think He expects you to steward that?

4. Look up and read Matthew 6:24. Have you ever tried to serve two masters? How did that go for you?

5. In light of today's devotional, what is one specific, personal, achievable, and measurable goal that you can implement in your life this week?

11 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 7 months ago

Until coming to faith in 2013/2014 I fought a losing battle with comparison. A friend says, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.

Post-conversion, I had regrets over a life poorly lived. Why would I deserve a full day’s wage? In recovery/discipleship ministries I learned the key was an accurate understanding of who God is, why Jesus came and who I am.

Another friend says, “What God allows He can also redeem.”

Once I saw the bridge diagram it all made sense,

I understood that although some chasms are wider than others there is always a chasm.

Yet another friend says, “The ground is level at the foot of the cross.”

God is redeeming a lifetime of sin by showing me each day that the chasm is wider than I thought the prior day. He gets bigger, I get smaller and the bridge of Jesus’s atonement gets longer & longer.

Sue Bohlin 7 months ago

Super devo, Luke. Thank you.

Reading again of the rich young ruler’s heart, I am reminded of a testimony I recently heard of a person who heard the gospel and asked, “If I trust in Jesus, what will I have to give up?”

The wise friend answered, “Nothing that He will not replace with something much, much better.”

May we all allow the Lord to open our eyes to the “something better” He has for us if we would just be willing to receive it.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

In Matthew 19:3-6, Jesus quotes a narration portion of Genesis about marriage and says ‘God said’ about even the narration part, a high view of scripture.

A chief purpose of marriage is oneness and unity. Divorce breaks the oneness in God’s design.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

It appears God is sovereign over what people will accept.

“Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given."

And ‘with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.’

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

Matthew 19:16-29 boil down to finding a better treasure in Christ.

‘The desires of the wicked will perish’ in Psalm 112

Greg Jones 7 months ago

Reading Matthew19:1-12 I answer, why are those Pharisees so stupid?

Reading Matthew19:13-15 side by side with Matthew18:1-7 emphasis on v7. Ouch.

Continuing to read…v16-Now a man came up to Jesus and asked…v17 Jesus replied…v18…the man inquired… Jesus replied…v20…the young man said…v21 Jesus answered…v23 Then Jesus said to his disciples…v25 the disciples asked…v26 Jesus (looked), at them, and said…

v27 Peter (answered) him…

v28 Jesus said to them…

Rereading Matthew18:15-20.

Verse21 Then Peter…

Q1-Please let it be the rich young ruler and not Peter.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

Jesus doesn’t promote some just ‘be a boy scout theology’ where you 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps (a.k.a Pelagianism). Salvation is of the Lord (as Jonah also said).

“Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Scott Jones 7 months ago

Materialism affects rich and poor in different ways. The poor seek after more thinking money will solve their problems. The rich live in anxiety that what they have will be taken away. Proverbs 30:8-9 speaks to this. In poverty or wealth we are to live with an attitude of daily dependence on God. This is a struggle.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

The story of William Borden was really good.

The Psalm 37:4 say ‘delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ and in contrast Psalm 112:10 ‘the desires of the wicked will perish.’ (and Psalm 140:8)

It’s all about a better treasure.

Hope Harris 7 months ago

Love the "No Retreats, No Reserves, No Regrets!

The story of the rich young ruler is one that has deeply impacted me in my own journey to resolve my faith and sexuality.

As I read the interaction between Jesus and the young ruler Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter; He is calling the young ruler to surrender that which is most important to him.

Verse 22 is one of the most challenging verses in the Bible for me here it is in the Message: “That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.”

Even eight years later each time I read this interaction I am challenged to examine what I holding onto and valuing more than my relationship with God.

Hugh Stephenson 7 months ago

GM Luke! Awesome devo on a passage full of wisdom and truth. I LOVE “no reserves, no retreats, no regrets”.

My parents grew up in the Great Depression under extreme difficulty. Both lost their father at 11, one to suicide and the other to divorce. Therefore, I was taught that material provision was to be sought above all else.

My drive for material success was insatiable. Marriage, parenting, faith and everything else was down the list; not unimportant, just less important.

It was all about lists. Having started at the bottom, I wanted my name at the top. Three decades later I looked back from that pinnacle and saw a marriage in crisis, struggling children and broken relationships all topped off with a life of addictions used to cope with stress and a box-checking faith.

God gave me all I “wanted” then showed me that without Him it was nothing.

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