Sep 10, 2012, 10:09 AM
(Wednesday 23rd October 2019 Issue)
In our generation, a person’s value is measured by what he or she possesses .... “in the abundance of his or her possessions,” to quote our Lord Jesus. Material things have replaced the intrinsic values that make up our personalities and characterise us. How much we own, tilts things in our favour and gives us influence in the community or in certain circles, giving us undue privileges and positions.
In biblical terms, that does not obtain. It is the meek and the humble who qualify for heaven; the do-gooders, not those who wield authority and influence. Those who would stand and be counted in God’s kingdom must be humble and meek. Our Lord Jesus states: “Whosoever shall humble himself as a little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
A rich young ruler came to our Lord Jesus to enquire of Him what He should do to gain eternal life. Little did he realise that eternal life was not for sale. He knew all the laws of Moses and practised them. But our Lord Jesus sensed something was not right with this young man. He was tied to his wealth to the point of enslavement. So our Lord told him: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21) His face fell simply because he could not part with this wealth.
This rich young leader could not make the difference between what was a means to an end, a tool to getting things done. He mistook money as a life-source, forgetting that money can buy you a house but not a home. Riches can get you access to the most celebrated doctors and treatment but cannot assure you of health.
It is obvious that our world is driven by the scramble for riches or the get-rich-quick syndrome -- and by any means. There is an insatiable and devilish desire to identify with the Jones at all costs. This has led many to their doom because they fail to curb an appetite which later will control them. Never satisfied with little, we always crave for more and more until our greed escalates to enormous and unmanageable proportions.
Materialism will never be the gateway to heaven. We travel to heaven hands-free, with no luggage. In this way, we cannot be encumbered or sidetracked. Therefore we must seek to store things in eternity where the lifespan of every object that enters heaven is everlasting in nature. Our Lord Jesus spells it out in; “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Treasures in heaven
A certain King Alexander admonished against three things that we should be cautious of, but which we uphold: they are wealth, power and our property. “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. King Solomon calls it vanity. “Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labour that he can carry with him.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)
We all must live this life without losing sight of its transitory and temporary nature; nothing permanent. Except we do, we shall always be chasing after the wind, engaged in an effortless venture. Building or buying houses but able to only live in one any single time; amassing futile material things that are not durable, acquiring the latest electronic gadgets and running on the fast lane does not guarantee any one a place in heaven.
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.....” (1 Timothy 6:17)
The life we live on earth is nothing but a training ground: one in which we have to prepare for the next phase. We should spend time with the infallible Word of God. “I rejoice in your word like one who finds great spoil.” (Psalm 119:162)
Everlasting joy is found only in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ His Son. When we put Him first, our future is certain. All other things will come after. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
Trust in God and live right; according to His precepts. “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) God acknowledges those who love their neighbours, those who our humble and meek. “Blessed [happy] are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:5-6)
Read King David’s advice to his son Solomon: “And you, my son, Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you;.....” (1 Chronicles 28:9)