Friday, July 31, 2015

True Wealth - July 31, 2015

Luke 12:15-21 (New International Reader's Version)15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against wanting to have more and more things. Life is not made up of how much a person has."

16 Then Jesus told them a story. He said, "A certain rich man's land produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, 'What should I do? I don't have any place to store my crops.' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my storerooms and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and my other things in them. 19 I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things stored away for many years. Take life easy. Eat, drink and have a good time." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'You foolish man! This very night I will take your life away from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21 "That is how it will be for anyone who stores things away for himself but is not rich in God's eyes."

One of the biggest problems in today's society is the proper focus concerning money and the accumulation of wealth. We all get caught up in the pursuit of more and more money. What is your focus in regards to money and what you have been blessed with? Is it to save what you receive only for material possessions and retirement?

In the Book of Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was asked to resolve a dispute a man had with his brother, concerning the fair division of their inheritance. Questioning the man as to why he was asking Jesus to be the judge and arbitrator, he related the parable noted above. Note that we are told that the man was rich, and that his lands produced a good crop.

Obviously he had been very blessed, and since "all good things come from above", the right focus would have been to acknowledge God for His blessings, and to seek God as to how he should distribute what he had been given. Instead, the man was focused only on himself, and on top of hoarding what he had for himself, he desired to store away even more. Because of the man's foolish focus on only himself, God takes it all away, even the man's life.

Jesus's teaching is very clear here, and it gives us great food for thought as we consider what true wealth is all about. God provides us with everything we have; our money and possessions; our very lives. He expects us to have proper focus in regards to the blessings He gives us. The message to the man and audience as well is that his concern is wrongly placed in God's mind.

First, we need to always acknowledge that God is our provider, and second, we need to seek Him when it comes to how we use what we have been given. Third, we need to share the blessings that come to us, be it money or financial, or be it talent or ability. In God's economy it does not matter the amount of money and wealth you have, but the heart in which it is received and how it is ultimately utilized. As you increase your understanding about true wealth, seek the riches God offers in your investment in the eternal.

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