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Are any of you old enough to remember the TV series, “The Millionaire”? It was a show during the 50’s or 60’s where each week a man delivered a million dollars to some unsuspecting person. I dreamed, like many people, that if only I could be that lucky person, everything would be wonderful.  But, just how much is enough? How do we maintain balance in a culture where our outward trappings seem to become our identity?

Most of us wouldn’t see ourselves as greedy nor do we even aspire to be millionaires. Still, there are those gnawing little thoughts – if only I had a newer car (when many would be grateful for transportation at all), a home in a better neighborhood (when many simply wish they could afford a home of their own); a better job (when many are out of work). If only I could afford a vacation, a faster computer, a remodeled kitchen — the list goes on and on.  And, as if our avaricious thoughts are not enough, there are our children – perhaps desiring a new CD player, name-brand clothing, new toys or even a new car.

How does this continual wish for more fit in with biblical admonitions to be content with what we have? The extent of our greed may have to do with the size of our bank accounts (or our credit rating), but the Bible warns against an inner discontent that says we just don’t have enough.  In Luke 12:15, Jesus warns us to, “Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.  Paul defines “rich” by contrasting it with life’s primitive needs. He does not say that wealth is sinful, nor does he define how much is enough. But he does imply that if our basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing are met, it is wrong to live in a state of discontentment.

Continually longing for more leads us into Satan’s courtyard where it becomes easy to immerse ourselves into a worldly state of materialism that is hard to resist.  In a single evening on TV, we’re bombarded with numerous ads hammering into our consciousness that we’re missing something.  But, the more things we own, the more our things own us. We worry about losing everything in a tornado or fire, we worry about loss through theft, we worry about holding onto a job we hate in order to pay off “things” and so that we can buy more “things.”

One thought that’s becoming more apparent to me the older I get is that I will, in the not so distant future, be leaving behind every single possession that I have worked so hard for all my life. I’m becoming more aware that God placed us here on earth not to be successful in worldly goods but for the sole purpose of glorifying Him — in the Christ-centered heritage we leave behind for our families, in our relationships with friends as well as strangers, in our service to others, but most of all to ensure that not one single person spends eternity in separation from God because we have failed to be His light in this world.

When I was saved I knew that I was promised an eternal life; however, it just lately dawned on me that all of us who have received salvation in Jesus have already begun living an eternal life. Therefore, everything that I do should be of an eternal nature rather than a temporal one.

As we continually thirst and hunger for more, there is only one protection, one guarantee of contentment, and that is our all satisfying God who fills us with the knowledge of Himself. Because He is our shepherd, we shall not want. Each day, He spreads before us the cup of His kindness, the grapes of His goodness, the bread of His justice, and the meat of His mercy, bidding us to come and dine. He promises we’ll never hunger or thirst again.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21Are any of you old enough to remember the TV series, “The Millionaire”? This was a show during the 50’s or 60’s where each week a man delivered a million dollars to some unsuspecting person. I dreamed, like many people, that if only I could be that lucky person, everything would be wonderful.  But, just how much is enough? How do we maintain balance in a culture where our outward trappings seem to become our identity?

Most of us wouldn’t see ourselves as greedy nor do we even aspire to be millionaires. Still, there are those gnawing little thoughts – if only I had a newer car (when many would be grateful for transportation at all), a home in a better neighborhood (when many simply wish they could afford a home of their own); a better job (when many are out of work). If only I could afford a vacation, a faster computer, a remodeled kitchen — the list goes on and on.  And, as if our own avaricious thoughts are not enough, there are our children – perhaps desiring a new CD player, name-brand clothing, new toys or even a new car.

How does this continual wish for more fit in with biblical admonitions to be content with what we have? The extent of our greed may have to do with the size of our bank accounts (or our credit rating), but the Bible warns against an inner discontent that says we just don’t have enough.  In Luke 12:15, Jesus warns us to, “Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.  Paul defines “rich” by contrasting it with life’s primitive needs. H e does not say that wealth is sinful, nor does he define how much is enough. But he does imply that if our basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing are met, it is wrong to live in a state of discontentment.

Continually longing for more leads us into Satan’s courtyard where it becomes easy to immerse ourselves into a worldly state of materialism that is hard to resist.  In a single evening on TV, we’re bombarded with numerous ads hammering into our consciousness that we’re missing something.  But, the more things we own, the more our things own us. We worry about losing everything in a tornado or fire, we worry about loss through theft, we worry about holding onto a job we hate in order to pay off “things” and so that we can buy more “things”.

One thought that’s becoming more apparent to me the older I get is that I will, in the not so distant future, be leaving behind every single possession that I have worked so hard for all my life. I’m becoming more aware that God placed us here on earth not to be successful in worldly goods but for the sole purpose of glorifying Him — in the Christ-centered heritage we leave behind for our families, in our relationships with friends as well as strangers, in our service to others, but most of all to ensure that not one single person spends eternity in separation from God because we have failed to be His light in this world.

I knew when I was saved that I was promised an eternal life; however, it just lately dawned on me that all of us who have received salvation in Jesus have already begun living an eternal life. Therefore, everything that I do should be of an eternal nature rather than a temporal one.

As we continually thirst and hunger for more, there is only one protection, one guarantee of contentment, and that is our all‑satisfying God who fills us with the knowledge of Himself. Because He is our shepherd, we shall not want. Each day, He spreads before us the cup of His kindness, the grapes of His goodness, the bread of His justice, and the meat of His mercy, bidding us to come and dine. He promises we’ll never hunger or thirst again.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21