"Recognizing True Riches"
February 8, 2013
And as He (Jesus) was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
I recently watched a TV show on how to get rich.
The program showcased a number of positions on how to get rich. The opinion which most interested me came from a young man who said, "Money doesn't make a person happy."
That comment silenced the audience ... for a moment. Then they exploded in laughter with one man observing, "You're crazy!"
The young man didn't flinch at the comment. Instead, he calmly said, "I'm not crazy. I have come to believe it doesn't make any difference how much money you have; you are always going to want to have more."
That was when the program's host asked, "What do you think would make you happy?"
The young man hesitated. Finally, he concluded, "I don't know. Maybe if I could live for 200 years and not get sick. Maybe that might make me feel rich."
It was then I thought I had heard a conversation much like that one before. I went to my Bible and found that conversation in Mark 10. There a young man came to Jesus and asked, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" After a brief exchange, Jesus gave the young man an answer, "Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Apparently, the young man thought Jesus was being unreasonable. The text says, "Disheartened, the young man went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions" (see Mark 10:17-31).
So there you have it: two young men looking for riches and happiness and not finding it.
The answer ought to be obvious. These fellows had problems finding happiness because they were looking in the wrong places. One thought he could find happiness in doing something right. The other thought he could be rich by living a long life without major problems.
Both are wrong. A person who looks to himself for riches will find himself bankrupt. The individual who thinks he can live a life without sadness is deluding himself. It is impossible for a sinner in a sinful world to create contentment for himself. It can't be done.
This is why we need Jesus. The riches Jesus bestows are not a here-today, gone-tomorrow kind of thing. They are not dependent upon which way the winds of fortune are blowing. The gifts of Jesus are blood-bought. They are effective; they are eternal, and they are for everyone.
This is why today I pray God may place His riches -- His happiness -- into your heart.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, today I give thanks You have died to win our forgiveness, risen to show the validity of Your gifts. May every sinner be brought to faith in You who are hope, happiness and heaven. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Alexander Starchenko. Starchenko has been the director of the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Kazakhstan since February of 1998. As an educator Starchenko received many awards from the secular world. A husband, father, grandfather and member of Christ Lutheran Church in Almaty, Starchenko supervises the writing, preparation and delivery of Lutheran Hour Ministries' materials. In this Central Asian country, LHM-Kazakhstan employs youth-oriented programs that address life situations, teaching individuals how to use God's Word to make wise decisions. Its Pure Line Internet-based youth community is especially effective in connecting with young people. Using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), this ministry center also works with people in prison.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries