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Money doesn’t satisfy us, and it never will. It just doesn’t work that way. No, it won’t be different for you, even if you win the lottery. We can look down through history and find a long, tragic list of people who thought money would do the trick. They were convinced that they could handle it, and ended up sacrificing eternity for a trunk full of gold.

Eternity. It’s a long time.

Money and material goods aren’t satisfying or fulfilling, because obtaining them doesn’t meet our spiritual needs. God didn’t create us to find fulfillment in that way. The things of this world will never take us deeper with Him. We can fake it and buy into all the lies we see and hear, but I hope that we’re realizing that we’ve been deceived and bought the lie for too long.

Because it’s possible that we’ve been deceived and that the cares and affairs of the world have choked the word in our lives, we should admit that we need help. We should pray that we won’t trust in our money more than we trust in Him. For instance, when we say, “I can’t afford to give to help fellow Christians in need,” what we really mean is, “I don’t trust God—I trust money more.” If we trusted God more than money, we would give to Him. But we don’t. We don’t think He’ll take care of us. All we can see is our paycheck. That’s it. We can’t see Him, and we don’t really trust Him. We see our paycheck as being our provider instead of Him.

Sorry, but it’s true.

While I’m making direct and possibly offensive statements, here’s another: We Westerners should be seriously challenged by the way we’ve been so grasping with our money. The work of God suffers. The poor, widows, orphans, and the persecuted are neglected.

The force of our culture presses us to behave as if this life, this world, is all there is, although we may not necessarily believe that in our Christian heads. Therefore, even though it isn’t part of our belief system, we still heap to ourselves the things of this world. We forget about what Jesus said to the foolish, rich man. This parable bothers me because what this rich man did makes perfect sense to me.

Let’s read it. “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21).

It wasn’t the goods that Jesus had a problem with; it was the man’s attitude. He laid up treasure for himself but wasn’t rich toward God. He could kick back, now that his barns were full, and he could coast. Even so—doesn’t even that make sense? Isn’t this what retirement at an early age is all about? Isn’t this what we wish we could do—have enough money so we could “take our ease?”

Jesus says that fools think this way.

Had enough?

I think I have, but Jesus won’t leave it alone, it seems.

I was startled when I read one day what Jesus says in Luke 12:13-15, just before He tells the parable we just read about the rich fool. This account bothers me for the same reason that the parable about the foolish rich man does—this man’s actions make sense to me.

Let’s read it. “Then someone called from the crowd, ‘Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.’ Jesus replied, ‘Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?’ Then he said, ‘Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.’”

When I read this, I thought to myself, “What would happen in any prayer meeting anywhere in the world, if someone came and said to the group, ‘My father left my brother and me an inheritance, but my brother won’t share it with me. He’s not being fair. And to be honest, I could use the money to buy a house. Would you please pray that he’ll do that?’”

These verses struck me because the man’s request was, in a sense, a prayer request—he was asking Jesus to do something for him.

What was Jesus’ response? Well, it wasn’t, “Sure, I’d be happy to. That sounds fair to me.”

No. First, He says, in effect, “Nope, I’m not going to do that. It’s not My job.”

Not Your job? I thought everything was Your job, if I asked in faith, believing.

Guess not.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Jesus rebukes the guy.

“Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

The man may have protested, “But, but, Lord…my brother, my inheritance…it’s not fair.”

Then, just to make sure that He has nailed the coffin lid shut, He tells the story about the foolish rich man.

Enough already.

However, maybe it’s not enough already, especially for us. Maybe we need to hear this more than enough times, so that it finally sinks in.

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