Luke 12:15-21 - And He (Jesus) said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' and he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
When you are worried, what do you automatically think about for comfort? What do you rely on when you want to reassure yourself that "It'll be all right?"
Jesus deals with this question when He tells the story of the rich man who had an incredibly great harvest one year. In fact, his harvest was so great that he had an unusual problem: he didn't have enough space to keep all his crops! So he decided to build new, bigger barns. Then, he thought, he'd be set for life. "I will say to my soul," he said, "'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'"
It sounds about right, doesn't it? With so much wealth, the man could retire from farming and do whatever he wanted. He didn't need to worry about the weather, about famine, about market prices, or much of anything. At least, that's what he thought—until God pointed out something he'd overlooked. "This night your soul is required of you," God said. In the face of death, money means nothing.
Jesus urges us to go after what really matters, what will last even in the face of death. That's not money. We all know that even the rich die, and all their money doesn't save them. It's not power either. No king or president can order a heart attack to stop, or a stroke to reverse itself. Even things like family or education or achievement can all be stripped away in a moment. What, then, has a lasting value, even in the face of death? What will comfort and strengthen us, even when we are facing our last day?
Only one thing—Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the One who is able to save to the uttermost, even through death and beyond. When we lose everything—money, house, family, health—He is still there. When we lose what is closest of all to us—mind, strength, life itself—He is still there. When our hands open in death and we can hold on to nothing at all, we don't need to. Jesus is there, holding on to us. He is our riches, our safety. He is always with us, and He will never let us fall.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, when I am afraid and I feel that I'm losing everything, hold on to me. Never let me go. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. How can money get in the way of our happiness?
2. The rich man's plan to more efficiently store his possessions seems sound. What's the fundamental flaw in his perspective?
3. How do we stay alert to the treasures only God gives—and can give?
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