“Woe to him who dishonestly makes wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape the grasp of disaster! You have planned shame for your house by wiping out many peoples and sinning against your own self. For the stones will cry out from the wall, and the rafters will answer them from the woodwork.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
How have you come by what you have? Hard work? Probably. Inheritance? Perhaps. Gift from others? Certainly some of it. Did you come by any of it by…less savory…means? Let me change lines of questioning on you. How do you think about money? What does it mean to you? What kind of a role does it serve in your life? These two themes may not seem to have anything to do with one another, but they have a great deal more in common than you might think.
“‘Quit your preaching,’ they preach. ‘They should not preach these things; shame will not overtake us.’ House of Jacob, should it be asked, ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient? Are these the things he does?’ Don’t my words bring good to the one who walks uprightly?” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Nobody likes to hear bad news. Well, we like to hear bad news about somebody else—after all, that’s all they deliver on television and millions of viewers still watch regularly—but we don’t like bad news personally. We don’t like someone telling us what we’re doing is wrong. The most popular preachers are the ones who are best at telling us what we want to hear. This is the case now and it has been the case for a very long time.
“Your wealth has rotted and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
I still remember moving from seminary to my first church job in Church Road, VA. We had some good friends help us load a 26-foot Penske to capacity, along with both cars, and we headed east from Denver, CO. Nearly nine years later we did it again, this time to where we are still. Maybe you’ve experienced this. We knew we had accumulated more stuff in that nearly decade span, but we weren’t prepared for how much more.
“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Do you remember the original House Hunters on HGTV? I do. It caught on because it’s format was unique. I’m certain there were shows about people buying houses before, but something about the visit-three-pick-one approach caught on. Big time. Like, 183 seasons and almost 1,800 episodes caught on. Not to mention more spin-offs than you can probably imagine. And while there’s nothing quite like the original, the most popular spin-offs are the ones that focus on rich people buying big houses. A recent version is even called “My Lottery Dream Home.” What is it about seeing wealthy people buy stuff the rest of us can’t afford that is so addictive to watch?
Having a life of meaning available to us is one thing. Living a life of meaning is something else. One can lead to the other, but the connection is not automatic. In this final installment in our series, Finding Meaning, we talk about the secret of not just having, but living a life filled with meaning and purpose. Keep reading to find out as we wrap up this thought-provoking journey.
One of the
things I have actively encouraged you guys to be doing is spending daily time
in the Scriptures. This is something
I’ll keep encouraging and keep encouraging and keep encouraging because of how
utterly transformational this practice is to the life of faith. You simply cannot be a consistent, faithful
follower of Jesus without regularly engaging with the Word of God. It’s just not how it was designed to work. And so you know that I’m not just saying you
should be doing this without actually doing it myself, this past week I was
working my way through Genesis 2-3 and I read something there that when I sat
down to start working on this message came rushing to the front of my
brain. It was one of those cool times
when God makes a connection between two different ideas in the Scriptures
written by different authors living in different cultures separated by
centuries of time that you just wouldn’t have made without Him. The original thought struck me enough that
you may have seen it on my blog this past week if you follow me there. All of those entries, by the way, come out of
my own quiet time. If you ever want to
know what I’m reading at the moment, it’s all right there for you. I just want you to know that I’m in this with