Latest Article in Evansville Indiana’s Courier & Press

It’s not all about money, God said

By Todd Linn

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weeks of debate about the appropriateness of raising our country’s debt ceiling has had Washington abuzz with endless chatter about who is responsible for what and who will fix what when.

Whether it’s the president or Congress, all seem interested in weighing-in on what is important to nearly every single American: our money. Whatever one believes about the debt ceiling, it is difficult to deny that we highly value our money (pun intended).

Americans are pretty wealthy by global standards. Every person reading this article is in the upper 5 percent of the world economy.

Our incessant interest in money, however, is not unique to our country; it is a shared concern. Nearly every human being on earth spends some time thinking about money or possessions almost every day.

For this reason, the Bible says a lot about money. In fact, roughly 15 percent of everything Jesus says in the New Testament relates to money — more than his words on heaven and hell combined.

One such lesson occurs in the chapter 12 of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus had been teaching about standing firm when facing religious persecution when a man interrupts Jesus suddenly: “Teacher,” he says, “Tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me (v. 13).”

Seizing the opportunity afforded by the man’s self-centered request, Jesus says to the crowd, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (v. 15).”

Jesus’ statement is a striking declaration that may cause us to question the validity of his claim. After all, it seems everywhere we turn that “life” is defined by the things one possesses.

Certainly, the ads we see on television, in our magazine, or on the Internet reinforce the contemporary notion that life is found in what we have in our homes, wear on our bodies or keep in our bank accounts. But, of course, this is just the point Jesus makes. True life is not found in these places, but rather in a life bound up with God.

To illustrate the point, Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who lives for this world only and dies a sudden death.

Because the man had focused only on himself and his things, God calls the man a “fool.” Then Jesus says to the crowd, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (v. 20-21).”

In other words, if we focus on this life only and define life by the value of our possessions, then we are no wiser than the fool of the parable.

Life is not found in our possessions, but in a person. His name is Jesus. The Apostle Paul writes, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).” Receive Christ as Lord and Savior and know true wealth and true life.

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