August 2, 2009
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10
Years ago, a retired member of the ministry told me about how things were during the Great Depression.
In spite of terribly tough times, he shared a special and precious memory. The pastor spoke of how he had met a fellow who had, through no fault of his own, become a hobo. This hobo had come to him offering to trade a day's work for a hot meal.
It was a good arrangement and the man perfectly performed everything he was asked to do. He even did his work with a smile and some happy humming.
As they sat down to dinner, the pastor asked him, "Don't you think you would be happier if you were rich?" The man said, "No, sir, the rich men I've worked for never seem to do any laughing."
Now, the point of this story is not to encourage people to yearn for poverty. Having too little money can be just as bad as having too much.
No, I would rather have you consider the idea that money doesn't always bring happiness. The truth is money is simply a commodity -- a commodity that can either be used or abused.
True happiness, the happiness that remains no matter what our outward situation, only comes from the Savior. I'm pleased to share that a great many, a great majority, of Christians are firmly convinced the presence of the loving Lord Jesus has totally changed their outlook and their perspective on life.
How could it be otherwise? Before Jesus they were lost, doomed, and damned. With Jesus as their Savior, they are forgiven, they have been blessed with ongoing peace, and are promised an eternity free of pain or problems.
Indeed, some of those Christians would go so far as to say this: Jesus has given their lives true riches. Those true riches that come from the Savior, lead to true joy and, yes, true smiles.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the reminder that Your love and presence in my life are far more valuable than money or things material. Draw me closer to You, dear Lord, and let me rejoice in that closeness. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries