Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 299

What Lack I? October 20

Luke 18:18-27

And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Luke 18:18.

The young man who asked Jesus what he should do that he might have eternal life was answered: “Keep the commandments.”35Testimonies for the Church 4:219, 220.

The character of God is expressed in His law; and in order for you to be in harmony with God, the principles of His law must be the spring of your every action....

To the words, “Keep the commandments,” the young man answered, “Which?” ... Christ was speaking of the law given from Sinai. He mentioned several commandments from the second table of the Decalogue....

The young man answered without hesitation, “All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?” His conception of the law was external and superficial. Judged by a human standard, he had preserved an unblemished character. To a great degree his outward life had been free from guilt; he verily thought that his obedience had been without a flaw. Yet he had a secret fear that all was not right between his soul and God. This prompted the question, “What lack I yet?”

“If thou wilt be perfect,” Christ said, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.”

The lover of self is a transgressor of the law. This Jesus desired to reveal to the young man, and He gave him a test that would make manifest the selfishness of his heart. He showed him the plague spot in his character. The young man desired no further enlightenment. He had cherished an idol in the soul; the world was his god. He professed to have kept the commandments, but he was destitute of the principle which is the very spirit and life of them all. He did not possess true love for God or man. This want was the want of everything that would qualify him to enter the kingdom of heaven. In his love of self and worldly gain he was out of harmony with the principles of heaven.36Christ's Object Lessons 391, 392.

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