So many people, today, seem to take life so lightly, as if it were simply a happy-go-lucky experience where they can, and should, do anything that makes them happy and satisfied.
It’s very much like a parable Jesus gave in Like 12:16-20. He warned us first in verse 15, saying, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Then, He gave us a story, a parable, to tell us in very familiar terms that we should be careful of how we live and the attitudes we have toward life. In the story, He told of a certain rich man who had a great year in producing good and abundant crops and what he decided to do with them.
Being greedy and thinking only of himself, he decided to keep all of his good fortune, his wealth, and said to himself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years, take it easy, eat, drink and be merry.”
Personally, I think it’s good for a person to be successful in life and to accumulate wealth. It’s good for a person to enjoy life and to have fun, to be merry and to have some “good times.” Wealth, and money, in it’s self, is not evil, not necessarily wrong but it is the attitude, the thinking and the character of the owner which can make all the difference in the world with how wealth and power will be used.
When one is fortunate enough to have wealth, or even to have enough income to live well, he will be fortunate indeed if he has the wisdom to use his wealth to benefit mankind and the poor. In this case, the man in Jesus’ story was selfish and only thought of himself. “God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’”
The Bible, God’s Holy Word, teaches us to love Him with all our heart, body and soul and to love our neighbors –– others –– as ourselves. This means that, as we love God completely, we must live as He directs; we are not to be greedy, nor selfish and we must share with others. We are taught that the tithe is the Lord’s, ten percent of all we make belongs to the Lord. It’s His money, and to obey Him, we are to pay our tithe to His Church.
Any amount above the tithe is our gift, a love offering to God or to those in need. We are free of sin because of Jesus’ sacrifice and our acceptance of Him, but we are not free to live as we please, to ignore His Word and His great advice of how to please Him! We must have Faith: Forsaking All, I Trust Him! Leaving the sinful life behind and the worldly pleasures that some think they cannot do without, we must conform to the Will and way of the Lord!
I have witnessed to men who said they really wanted to be a Christian, but they enjoyed life with their drinking buddies so much they didn’t want to give it up! The devil has such a hold on some that they think life as a Christian would be unbearable, but what they don’t know are the real joys of living as a Christian and having a great relationship with Jesus Christ!
I shared Christ with a teenaged girl once, and asked her if she would choose Jesus as her savior and become a Christian? To my surprise, she said, “No! Because if I do that, I won’t be able to do anything I want to do!” I told her that, actually, she would be free from the lures and traps of the sinful life and be able to withstand the temptations of the devil.
Being a Christian doesn’t restrict one’s life, but opens new doors of opportunity and the real joys of life where we find true happiness in a sincere life of faith and trust. Man was made by God and has a longing, a real desire to be at peace with Him. He will not find this peace by living by the world’s standards, but only by coming home to God!