Marked NSF (Non-Sufficient Faith)

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Luke 18:18-23 (NKJV)

Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”

‭‭Impatience, pride, attitude, ignorance, idealism, and apathy are some of the things that can render our faith account “non-sufficient.” The young man in the text exhibited each one of these flaws in his faith. Although he received clear and distinct instructions, he decided not to listen.

Impatience is often known by its microwave-like sense of expectation. This young man wanted everything quick, fast and in a hurry. He had no tolerance and no time to wait. He forgot the scripture that reads, “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NKJV)‬‬

Pride has been described as a “pharisaical sin characterized by superiority of attitude” (New Spirit Filled Life Bible; 2002). God is never impressed by the oversized opinion a man may have of himself; “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” ‭(Romans‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

There is evidence that an attitude of gratitude is one that the Lord hears and answers. It is characterized by humility: “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” (Daniel‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NKJV)‬‬

In the secular world, it is a known fact that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Spiritually being ignorant of God’s presence in your life is likewise no excuse. “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Colossians‬ ‭1:21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Anyone who has a disposition of an idealist lives by their ideals That is to say, they do whatever seems right in their sight. This is the one characteristic of the rich young ruler when he thought about his possessions. His actions were sad. “But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.” It is the principles and the ordinances of the Lord that convert the idealist into a realist; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬) He didn’t realize that all of those things are added once when you seek the kingdom of God.
Finally, the rich young ruler was apathetic. He had no conviction towards his riches or towards the Lord. Jesus condemned the church of the Laodiceans for their apathy. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”(Rev.‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NKJV)‬‬

The rich young ruler’s faith account was marked, “NFS” for non-sufficient faith. He knew everything that he should have done, but he refused to do it. His temporary possessions were more important to him than his eternal life.

A sufficient faith account is one that exhibits a willingness to give up everything to follow Christ. “Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and catch the Facebook Live broadcast. Email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at Book Blues.

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