We are all familiar with the words in the title regarding department store sales: “Everything must go!” Well, the same is true when we decide to be a disciple of Jesus. Everything must go! We must cling to nothing except Jesus. We must have no fallback positions. The only hope and trust we have is in the providence of God. Okay, that sounds a bit too strong, however, it is not as far from the truth as we might expect! In fact, it is the truth, as the Scriptures do not lie!

The question is: “Is this the only way to interpret this text?” I think not. The deeper truth, deeper than the literal interpretation given above, is that we are to let absolutely nothing get in the way of our relationship with God. If money is a hindrance to our salvation, and indeed it is to a huge number of people, then we had better get rid of all our attachments to it or we will find it leading us further and further away from the Kingdom of God. There is absolutely no point dying the richest person in the world if it is at the cost of your salvation! There is every point in dying the poorest person in the world if it will ensure your salvation! Do you see what I mean?

Apart from money being an incredibly powerful potential distraction, the more we have, the greater our responsibility to use it according to the heart and mind of God. This is never an easy proposition. We all know how alluring money can be.

The same sort of thing can be said for anything we do or have. Whether it is our jobs or our families, our sporting interests or our hobbies, they must not interfere with our relationship with God. This is precisely why, for centuries, men and women have given up everything in order to seek God under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. This is also why it is better to simplify our lives than to take on too many things, none of which we end up doing properly!

Jesus challenges His disciples to live the simplest lives possible, detached from everything in this world that might distract them from their focus upon the Kingdom of God. Jesus knows how easily we are seduced by the enticements of sin, the world and the devil. We need to build strong defences against each of theses attackers. The best defence is utter reliance upon God fro everything. Jesus has won victory over all things. Let us entrust our lives to that victory ad seek to grow in holiness every day of our life.

How badly am I attached to things in this world? Am I willing to give them up to follow Jesus?

Lord Jesus, you like me were a pilgrim on this earth. Help me to keep my focus upon the gift of eternal life in order not to be swallowed by the cares and concerns of the world. Help me to keep a healthy balance in my ownership and stewardship of earthly goods. I pray that I will be able to give a good account of them all on judgment day.