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Uncertain riches

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"Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.

"When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens."

These words are taken from the book of Proverbs and teach us that riches are uncertain.

All of us are guilty at least to some extent of being preoccupied with the money matters.

Thought is given to how much we are making, how much we are spending and how much we are saving.

Many are wondering how they are going to pay their bills from one month to the next.

It is important that we have a Biblical perspective about that which is very pervasive in our thinking.

First of all, Christ taught that when it comes to life, wealth is relatively unimportant. Luke 12:15 "And He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions’."

After giving a warning concerning the very real danger of becoming greedy, we are told that life consists of something more than accumulating material things. Apparently, that is a lesson which many have not learned. Not a few have sacrificed much if not all of the more precious things of life in order to "get ahead."

Marriages have ended in divorce and children have had to do without a father and or a mother because money became an obsession. Christ intimated that there were those who would rather gain the world than save their own soul by asking these two questions: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

Mark 8:37 "For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36, 37 So if we are thinking Biblically about material things, we will realize that there is more to life than "getting ahead."

A second lesson which the Bible teaches concerning wealth is that material things are unreliable. All can be lost in a few moments by fire, flood our theft. The moment we die, everything we own, will belong to someone else. In the book of Luke, Christ gave a parable about a very successful farmer who had a bumper crop. In order to preserve the harvest, like a good business man, he tore down his old barns and built larger ones. Then he said to himself, "….soul you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry." But God said, "Thou fool, this night your soul shall be required of you." He presumed upon a long life. His fatal mistake was that he made more than adequate preparation for this present life, none for the life to come. The Apostle Paul gave a very clear warning about the dangers of being rich. "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." We do well to fix our hope on God rather than on material things.

Les Walthers

College Street Bookstore

Waxahachie, Texas

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