The deceit of stuff
Gracious God, You have not called me away from treasure, only from that which is worthless to that which is eternal.
Read LUKE 12:13–21
 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 an arbiter between you?”  Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”  And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is Jesus’ perspective on the man in the story?
Our present culture heavily promotes the “gospel of stuff.” If you just had a bigger house, you would be happy. If you just had a new car, everything would be easier. If you just looked ten years younger, your relationships would flourish. If… if… if… Jesus tells of the man who had more than he needed, and kept it all for himself (18,19), only to die before he could enjoy it (20). He says, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (21). What does that mean: being “rich toward God”? To answer that question, perhaps it would help to think about what God desires from us. Jesus stated that we are to love God with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27; Deut. 6:5). God loves it when we love him and others abundantly. He loves it when we keep our resources in motion for the good of our neighbors, both near and far. This is the greatest treasure.
Ask, “How can I be richer toward God?” Wait in God’s presence and try to sense the Spirit’s nudging answer to this question.
Spirit of God, open my heart to what is of true worth, that it may seem like nothing to me to lose all to find it.
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