Our Bible verse for today: “He then told them, ‘Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.’” Luke 12:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You’re using the wrong measure”
Many years ago, when I was serving as the Pastor of a church out in the California desert, I knew a woman who was without question one of the kindest, most gracious, and happiest people I have ever known. At that time she was in her late seventies, she lived alone in a very old and very small mobile home on the outskirts of town, she drove an old car with high mileage, and she just barely made ends meet on a small fixed income.
And yet, she absolutely glowed with love and joy. She thoroughly enjoyed people, she was constantly looking for ways to bless others, and everyone looked forward to being with her. Her circumstances were meager by the measures of this world, but she was living a rich and full life, with more true joy and contentment, than were other people with much higher incomes and with many more possessions.
We live in a culture today that tends to measure a person’s significance by things like education, professional achievements, income, possessions, attractiveness, physical fitness, etc. But those things very often do not add up to a life that is blessed and meaningful in all the ways that really matter. There are plenty of wealthy good-looking professionals driving expensive cars and living in big houses whose lives are filled with pain and heartache. And there are many others, like my friend above, who have little by the measure of this world, but who absolutely glow with joy and contentment.
In Luke 12:15 Jesus made it clear that the true measure of your life isn’t found in the things you own. Instead, it’s what’s in your heart that matters. It’s a deep and rich relationship with God and with other people which produces in our lives true joy and real contentment. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Galatians 5:22-23 when he explained, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Those are the virtues and attributes that make the real difference in a life.
I submit to you this morning that spiritual maturity, not the balance in your checkbook, is what really matters. More about this tomorrow.