Read: Luke 12:13-21
Reflect: The largest single ticket winner for the U.S. lottery was a whopping $1.537 billion Mega Millions ticket on Oct. 23, 2018 purchased in South Carolina. Now, that’s a lot of money! Can you imagine if you came into that kind of money? All of your troubles would be gone. All of your problems would be solved. It’s easy street from here on out. Or, is it? Would all of your troubles be gone?
Well, not really. It’s true that money does help and that we need money to live. If you don’t believe that, just ask someone without any money. However, money doesn’t solve all of your problems. It may solve some but new ones will pop up. For example, if you won that kind of money, loved ones and friends might feel slighted because you didn’t give them a share or you might actually lose them as friends because they didn’t think you gave them a big enough cut. Furthermore, there are lots of things money cannot solve. Money still can’t cure an incurable disease and stop the process of our bodies breaking down due to age. Yes, money is nice but it is not a magic bullet. Money, love, prestige and other such pursuits are all things that we try to attain in life but what does God want us to focus on?
In Luke 12 Jesus tells us where our hearts should be in the parable of the rich fool. Here we read, “And Jesus told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years to come; relax, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is demanded of you; and as for all that you have prepared, who will own it now?’ Such is the one who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich in relation to God.””
What truth is Jesus trying to convey here? The answer lies in verse 15 where Jesus tells us that our lives do not consist of our possessions. He is not saying that having wealth is bad but that it shouldn’t take the place of God in our hearts. Being rich in relation to God means making Him the great purpose of our lives and using the money He gives us as a tool to further His kingdom. It’s foolish to store up wealth for ourselves when we don’t even know if we will be here tomorrow. James 4:14 says that “we do not know what our life will be like tomorrow. For we are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away.” We are here only for a short time and the focus of our life is what matters. Think about it. Every material possession that we gain in this life will eventually be passed on to someone else or fade away. Only things of eternal value will last and those things are the by-product of a life lived focused on God and His purpose.
Apply: God should be at the center of our lives. If He blesses you with money, thank Him and use it to serve Him. Don’t be consumed with material possessions because they will never be enough. Human nature always wants more but true contentment can only be found when one is rich in relation to God. Winning the Mega Millions can never satisfy. Don’t be the one who “stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich in relation to God.”