“Summoning his disciples, he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had – all she had to live on.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Have you ever had a perspective shift? Sometimes we get used to seeing things in one way, and never stop to think that there might be another way to look at them. Seeing things another way can bring a whole new world of understanding. Jesus and the disciples were observing a scene that everyone around them was accustomed to seeing in one way. He invited them to see things in a whole new light. Along the way, He gave us a new way to think about some things as well. Let’s talk about it.
“Then I’ll say to myself, ‘You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared — whose will they be?’ That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
What is the proper end for the things you have? Do you ever think about that? If you’re like me, that’s probably not a question that crosses your mind very much. You get stuff and you use it or don’t. That’s it. But what if there’s more to that story than you and I often think? What if the stuff isn’t really ours first? Let’s talk this morning about a new perspective on our stuff and one of Jesus’ most uncomfortable parables.
“Two things I ask of you; don’t deny them to me before I die: Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. Otherwise, I might have too much and deny you, saying, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Last fall I saw the news that one of the largest PowerBall jackpots ever had been won by a single person. The total prize was just north of $2 billion. The lump sum prize payout was a shade less than $1 billion which seems like it would be a major letdown minus the fact that it is still more money than the vast majority of the world will ever see in their entire lifetime. No one wants to be poor. That’s part of why so many people play the lottery. Nearly all of them lose, of course, because the lottery is a game for people who can’t do math. (Unless your name is Jerry Selbee – this is worth a read – in which case just the opposite is true.) What we want instead, though, as amply demonstrated by the tens of millions of people who nonetheless bought tickets in hopes of winning this particular prize, is to be rich. But what if neither of these paths were the wisest to take through life? Let’s talk this morning about the wisdom of a third way.
“The wealth of the rich is his fortified city; in his imagination it is like a high wall.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
I have done a fair bit of premarital counseling over the years. As I have, one of the things I have addressed with my couples every single time is finances and their thoughts on money. This is because financial pressures lie at the heart of a number of marital disagreements. One of the exercises I always do helps each partner reveal what for them is the meaning of money. With only one exception in 15 years, the answer has always been the same: Money is security. We live in a culture in which the vast majority of people view money as a source of security. While that is completely understandable, Solomon had something to say about it here to which we had probably give some attention. Let’s do that this morning as we continue our journey exploring how to get better at being rich.
*** If you’ve been tracking with me for very long on here, you know that I’ve written quite a lot over the years. As a matter of fact, this month will see my 1500th post. Each of those posts take up storage space on my site, and with the addition of pictures and audio recordings, they take up even more space. A couple of years ago, I upgraded the site for storage purposes, but I’m almost back to the new cap. In an effort to create some space without having to upgrade again quite yet (I don’t get enough traffic to justify that), I am going to begin going back through and deleting old audio files. I’ll start with the oldest and work forward from there. I’ll plan to keep at least a calendar year’s worth of audio files before deleting them. This means that if you go back to an old post, the audio link in it won’t work anymore. I could go through and remove all of those old links…but, honestly, that’ll take a lot more time than I have to give to it. The posts will still be there for reference, though, so still feel free to search the archives if you’re ever in need of some thoughts on a particular passage. I’ve covered quite a lot of the Scriptures over the years. Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing. You are why I keep writing every day. ***
“Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or abandon you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)
In 1984, Madonna sang what was arguably the anthem for the times when she declared herself a material girl living in a material world. That wasn’t just an anthem for the time, then, though, it was a description of the struggle we have always had to define our lives by the stuff we have. Jesus dealt with this directly. So did Paul. If we are going to live under the authority of the new covenant, we only get to have one God and Lord. And money’s not it. Let’s talk this morning about why we can trust God in that position.