Monday, June 16, 2008

I have some very real issues with wanting! Honestly, I have tried to rationalize my desires and wants. After all its not a million dollars that I want or even someone elses stuff. I mean I'm not willing to kill or rob to get it, but the truth is.....I want a lot! Now dont get me wrong this is not about to be some tirade about materialism and greed. I firmly believe that if you work hard and can afford some nice things in life then those things you should have. But for me my obsession with the Caddy has morphed into obsession. I have also been praying a lot lately about a house. I believe the house will be here soon enough but sometimes it seems like what I want is not always or usually what God wants for me. So once again the key is to listen and not get so caught up in what I dont have but to celebrate what I do have!!

And so it is.........................Luke 12:13-21

Jesus I have a problem. I need more. Yes, I already know that I have more than many others and the very things that I take for granted are the same things that some people would die for. However, it’s not enough. Now please don’t think I am selfish. I give to the poor when I can and I honestly don’t have a problem sharing my many good fortunes with others, but think of how much more I could share if you would just give me more. One more thing Jesus, I have learned quite a bit from those life lessons you have brought me through. So, if you wouldn’t mind, no more lessons please, just solve my problem and give me more.

That sounds really bad, doesn’t it? When I read the verses for today that is how I see the man in the crowd. “Teacher”, he said “tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me”. Jesus responds by saying, “who appointed me a judge over you”? As Jesus decided to use this opportunity to discuss coveting and greed we are able to reason that perhaps he knew something of these brothers and their particular situation. Perhaps the issue wasn’t that the pleading brother didn’t get an inheritance at all but that he didn’t get all that he felt he deserved. Instead of making a judicial ruling one way or the other Jesus finds a teaching moment. During this period of time it was not uncommon for people to take their disputes to a respected Rabbi for settlement, but Jesus would not be involved in this dispute about money. All he would offer was a sincere warning to the crowd. “Watch out! Be on your guard against greed. A mans life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

The man in the crowd came to Jesus for the wrong kind of help. Had he asked Jesus how to save his eternal soul he would have gotten more help than he bargained for. But since he wanted to dispute worldly issues the only advice he could get was, be careful about what you long for and covet in this world. Work for the things which last forever, things which you will not leave behind when you leave this earth. Material possessions are nice but when we spend more time chasing things and less time chasing God our priorities become out of balance.

Jesus tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God”. We should focus our lives on obeying the will of God and find contentment and peace on that journey. The constant desire to have more, attain more, and keep more will not serve us well in Gods sight. By seeking the treasures of heaven our hearts will be fixed on heaven; but if we seek the treasures of earth our hearts will be bound to the earth- and eventually we all must say goodbye to this earthly existence. I read a grim Spanish proverb once that said, “There are no pockets in a death shroud”. All we take to the other side is our soul and we should hope that it will be in good condition.


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