"The world seeks after wealth, And all that mammon offers. Yet never is content, Though gold should fill its coffers. I have a higher good, Content with it I'll be: My Jesus is my wealth, What is the world to me!
"What is the world to me! My Jesus is my treasure, My life, my health, my wealth, My friend, my love, my pleasure, My joy, my crown, my all, My bliss eternally. Once more, then, I declare: What is the world to me!"
"The world seeks after wealth." We readily recognize the truth of that statement. In a consumer-driven culture, many people seek more of just about everything and are never fully satisfied with what they have. In repentant humility, we must admit that we too would like to have greater wealth and more material possessions. God's Word confronts us concerning such desires: "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" (Isaiah 55:2a) God calls us back to Himself and to the delightful hearing of His Word: "Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live" (Isaiah 55:2b-3a). We have a greater wealth in our Lord, finding in Him contentment that the ceaselessly striving world does not know.
Content with a higher good, we ask, "What is the world to me?" Jesus said of His followers, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17:16). God has called us to be caretakers of His creation, to use its resources for our good and the good of our neighbor. It is true that the world's pleasures tempt us, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we reject the false joys of such temptations. We live in the world that God has given to us, but we do not love it above all else. By faith we have a higher good and a greater joy.
Jesus is our treasure. With breathless delight, our hymn describes Him as our life, health, wealth, friend, love, pleasure, joy, crown, all—and eternal bliss. The world offers many of these same gifts, but the world's treasures do not last because, as the apostle Paul writes, "the present form of this world is passing away" (1 Corinthians 7:31b). The world's powers, for a time, silenced the Savior as He suffered death for the sake of our salvation. Rising in triumph over sin, death, and the devil, our Lord has overcome the world. It may be, from an earthly perspective, that we will not always have health or wealth or treasure, but we have Jesus. His love for us will never pass away, and He is our wealth, our treasure, our joy, and our crown of life. What is the world to me? We answer with the psalmist's prayer of praise to our Lord "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You" (Psalm 73:25).
THE PRAYER: Jesus, You are my treasure. You are everything to me! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "What Is the World to Me," which is found on page 730 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. How big a factor was making a lot of money when you first entered the workforce?
2. How can great wealth or deep poverty be a stumbling block in one's relationship with God?
3. How do you keep God front and center in good and bad financial times?
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