"Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God." Luke 12:21
One of my goals when stay-at-home orders were put in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic was to organize and declutter my apartment. As I organized and decluttered, I realized how easy it is to accumulate things over the years. I even found a selfie stick that I had been gifted that was tucked away being stored. I had not used it in at least two years, yet I still felt the need to keep and store it away. It can be so easy to focus on Earth and the things that we can accumulate here on Earth, down to the very last selfie stick, but the truth is that there is something far greater than accumulating things here on Earth, and that is eternal things. As we think about curbing our bad habits, one of the ways we can fight against those bad habits is by living for eternity rather than only living for accumulating treasures on Earth.
Jesus Himself said in Luke 12:21, "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God." This teaching could not be any clearer. Accumulating earthly riches of any kind without also having a deep relationship with God and living for what is eternal is meaningless. This only makes sense, because the things of this Earth will eventually pass away. , we will retire from our dream jobs, our brand-new iPhones will get cracked, our dream homes will become lived-in and the paint will chip, we will spill our coffee in the seat of our new cars. The truth is, this world is fading away. It is futile to spend our lives living for anything in this world. The things that are worthy of giving our lives to and our time and attention to are eternal, the souls of people and God's kingdom. When we store up treasures in Heaven rather than Earth, we are living for and storing up things that are going to last forever. They will never pass away.
Our question today is, what do we want to live for? Do we want to live for this world, giving in to our bad habits and things that will ultimately pass away, or do we want to live for eternity and the things that will last forever? I think we would all say that we want to live for eternity, but to actually live that way does not come naturally. With the very best intentions, we can find ourselves living for this world and accumulating treasures on Earth without advancing the kingdom of God. We must strategically and intentionally live each day for the things that will last forever. Our lives will vanish in a moment, but eternity lasts forever. After all, "[God's] kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and [His] dominion endures throughout all generations" (Psalm 145:13).
Spend some time journaling. As you journal, think about whether you are trying to store up treasures in Heaven or on Earth. What would it look like for you to take an intentional shift from accumulating treasures on Earth to accumulating treasures in Heaven? How does that specifically challenge and encourage you as you think about the habits you are seeking to fight against?
Read Luke 12:13-21 (NLT)
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.”
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”