“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” — Luk_12:15.
MEN ARE often more eager to get God’s help in temporalities than in spiritualities. The man in the crowd, who appealed to Christ, was more anxious that He should interpose on his behalf in a family dispute than to give him the life of the ages. But our Lord refused to be Judge and Arbitrator. His ministry went deeper to the springs of action, and He knew that in each brother there was the root of covetousness, which led the one to wrong the other. He struck at the sin which lay at the root of all such disputes about property.
Our Lord insisted that life does not consist in the abundance of things of which we may happen to be possessed. We say: “So and so is worth a million pounds!” Heaven estimates a man’s worth by the courage, faith, purity, self-control, and love to God and man, which have grown up in the soul by the careful discipline of the years! Acceptance and rank in the Kingdom of God depends on character, not on possessions.
How often man proposes and God disposes! We say, “We shall yet live for many years, and enjoy the fruit of our labours”; but God says: “‘To-night!'” Listen to the Apostle James, speaking to those who said, “To-day or to-morrow we will go to this city or that, and spend a year there, and carry on a successful business! All the while you do not even know what will happen to-morrow. For your life is but a mist, which appears on the hill-side, but vanishes at the touch of dawn. Surely, we ought to say: If it is the Lord’s will, we shall live, and do this or that” (Jam_4:13-17).
Many talk of seeing life who see only its most sordid and ugly side. If a man really wishes to see life, and know happy days, the secret is given in 1Pe_3:10-19. This is the message of the Gospel, “That God has given us the Life of the ages, and that this life is in Christ Jesus. He who has the Son has the Life” (Joh_3:36; 1Jo_5:12).
Lord, I know not what is before me, but Thou knowest. Choose Thou my portion for me. Lead me by Thine own hand; and keep me close to Thee, day by day, and night by night. AMEN.