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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

- Death By Materialism -

In the book of Luke there is a story of a rich man who had everything he ever needed. Food, fortune, and fame. At the rich man's gate laid a poor man who desired to feed from the rich man's table scraps. Here is the story Jesus tells as written by Luke:

Luk 16:19-31 "There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house-- for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"

If I were to put my own title to this story it could be done in just a few words.

"Death By Materialism"

It is so easy for us to be satisfied with so much. We rely on our resources and expect that when we wake up each day they are going to be there for us. Big homes, numerous cars to drive, lots of money in the bank, plenty of food and water. In another story, Jesus tells the rich ruler in Luke 18 in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven he must sell all he owned and give to the poor. Now Jesus wasn't concerned about the man's wealth, he was interested in his heart. He was telling the rich man that he wanted him to trust in the Father for his provision, not his own riches. In verses 24-25 in Chapter 18, Jesus says it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

Luk 18:24-25 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, "How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

This parable in Luke 16 has given me a new perspective as to how I spend my money and utilize my resources. God has blessed us in the United States with abundant riches and I believe we have a Biblical responsibility to use those resources for His kingdom. Jesus shows the eternal outcome of a poor saved sinner and a rich unsaved sinner. The poor man went to the glory of the Father in heaven and the rich man to eternal misery in the depths of Hades. The rich man's sin wasn't his wealth, rather his selfish use of his abundance. While he had the opportunity to give to the poor man, his heart was to hoard his riches for himself.

Pro 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will repay him for his deed.

After experiencing deep anguish and crying out for relief, the rich man is reminded that he had his good things on earth. He was given every opportunity to serve the Lord and others, but chose to serve only himself and his personal desires. I pray that those of us who have been given much will show the love of God in us to the rest of the world. This parable isn't just to those who are rich, but to all of us who have more than we need. It is a heart issue rather than a money issue...

Over 20,000 children starve to death every day. Over 1 billion people are without safe drinking water. Ask the Lord to reveal how you can impact others for the kingdom today.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

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