June 06, 2012

The Real Issue

Luke 12:13-21

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
—Colossians 3:5


Sue and Bob’s mother died. She was a widow and left a modest estate. Her will named Sue, the elder sibling, as the executor. A small fee for this service was awarded to her. Bob didn’t think this was fair and disputed another special gift his mother had set aside for her daughter. Bob broke off his relationship with his sister, and remained distant even to his death a few years later.

Family inheritances have often been a source of sad and bitter wrangling. A man in a crowd requested that Jesus settle an inheritance dispute. He refused and instead used the opportunity to address the real issue in this man’s complaint. It was clearly greed. The god of money and possessions occupied top place in the man’s heart.

Riches may bring some feeling of security for this life, but it won’t help us get eternal life and peace with God. For most of us, the desire for wealth is never satisfied. When you value dollars more than people, you will inevitably be in conflict with others. Fighting over finances is also a leading cause of marriage breakup.

Only dying with Christ can release us from this powerful desire for possessions. Only living in him can bring us satisfaction with his supply of our needs and a heart at peace.

Lord Jesus, remind me that my life does not consist in the abundance of my possessions. Help me trust that I have enough with your presence in my heart and what you are pleased to give me. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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