I asked a simple, but compelling question on Sunday… “If you inherited one million dollars, what would you do with it?” How you answer that question says a lot about what you value, what matters to you, what you consider priority in life.
One day, Jesus encountered a man who asked Him to help settle a dispute the man was having with his brother about their inheritance. The man asked Jesus in front of a lot of people, so Jesus took the opportunity to teach about greed and to let us know what He expects us to value or make priority. As He taught, He shared a parable about a man for whom possessions became priority. (Read Luke 12:13-21).
I want to be clear that there is nothing wrong with being wealthy. Jesus isn't trying to beat up people who are “well to do.” But He wants us to understand that greed - the relentless pursuit of more - can lead to a lot of headaches and problems in life. In fact, he said, You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24). The Bible warns about the dangers associated with greed. Greed and a desire for riches are traps that bring ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10
So what is the antidote to greed? Contentment! Our confidence can’t be in wealth or money or possessions… it must be in Jesus Christ! Jesus concludes a lesson about the problem with worry by saying: 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34)
What is a practical plan for contentment? As I concluded Sunday, I shared this plan that I read from Christian author Larry Burkett:
Establish a reasonable standard of living.
Develop the habit of giving.
Live with a thankful attitude.
Reject a fearful spirit.
Seek God first!
Let’s not get so bogged down in the day to day activities of making a living, pursuing wealth, and maintaining a lifestyle, that we forget what matters most… Seeking first His Kingdom. Growing rich in our relationship with Christ. Leading others to Him and investing in them as fellow disciples. For much more - listen to The Parables Part 9 - When Possessions Become Priorities.