Life is more than possessions!
Scripture reading for April 7th: Luke 12:8-34
There’s an old bumper sticker that characterizes many people’s worldview: “He who dies with the most toys wins!” I used to subscribe to this line of thinking before I had my worldview altered by the Bible and an encounter with Jesus. I was out to make a fortune and be rich. I wanted to be one of the biggest farmers in my county and to be looked up to and recognized. Although I am not proud of it now, I even went to church to help further that goal!
Jesus Christ challenged that worldview over two thousand years ago and it seems that many in the American church need to listen to Him again on this subject. “Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbiter between you? Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:13-15)
Greed takes many different forms and subtly can attach itself to people. In a materialist society, we tend to identify success in life with what belongs to us. It can start small, with wanting to wear the brand-name clothes and shoes! We may feel that others won’t notice us unless we wear Nike and Wranglers for example! Or it may be that we want to eat at the best restaurants to be seen by the rich. Jesus warned them further, “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds!” (Luke 12:23-24)
Greed can easily become an obsession. It is equated with idolatry in another place in Scripture. Jesus used the story of the rich farmer building bigger barns and making no preparations to meet God to drive His point home. (Luke 12:16-21) Death can come suddenly and all our possessions will be left behind. If we are not rich with God, our soul will be in hell! Dying with the most toys would mean the biggest loss for eternity! If necessary, repent and ask Jesus for a new vision of real living!