In Luke 12:15-21, Jesus makes the striking connection between defining life in direct proportion to the abundance of our possessions:
15 And he 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.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 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. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Lk 12:15-21 (ESV).
Have you ever considered how this teaching from Jesus relates to the enormous strides that have taken place in modern history? Consider the advancement within 200 countries over the span of 200 years in the following presentation:
We must be mindful to remember that while people may be better off now than they were 200 hundred years ago the “progress” we are experiencing may be at the cost of the very souls of the people making these strides. What Jesus taught the disciples applies to the aspirations of the developing nations as well. Let’s remember that we don’t define progress and health in the same way these researches do. While we celebrate the developments of the past 200 years, we recognize that Jesus cares for more than our quality of life and quantity of our years. Jesus stands ready to make our souls new, to renew our spirit through satisfying the wrath of God with His atonement accomplished on the cross and proven through His resurrection. Thank you Jesus!
Where do you start to make a difference on such a huge issue as the focus of the developing nations?
1. Remember to not see your satisfaction in living tied with the things you could be/should be buying at Christmas. Fight the call of the world to equate your happiness with your possessions. It is so easy to do and we must fight this impulse that is being fed to us every day.
2. Actively extend the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others in your life during this Holiday season. While the crowds clamor for stuff, take time to express your hope in Jesus. While you may not be able to reform a country like France you can help the people in your life distinguish between true life from the stuff in life. Who knows, maybe someone you speak with now will be used of God to reform France?
3. Parents: Talk to your kids about the distinction between living well and owning much. In other words, disciple your children in the teachings of Jesus. Teach yourself and your family the truth that Paul urged Timothy to remember: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim. 3:6).