Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God.
–1 Timothy 6:17
Are you spending your life accumulating more and more and more? It may not just be more money. Maybe it is more success at your work, more recognition, or more pleasure. You are accumulating more and more at the expense of gaining the only thing that will matter one second after you die, and that is your relationship with Christ. Instead of investing in His kingdom, you are investing in this world’s kingdom, and one day you are going to leave it all behind.
How do you loosen the grip of greed on your life? One way is by giving. If greed has you in its grip, the most defiant act you can take is to open your hands and say, “I am not going to be a prisoner to greed. I am going to have the last word. I am going to give more, not less.” Giving reminds us that our lives consist of more than our possessions.
On board the Titanic, there was a very wealthy Canadian man named Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen. He had more than $300,000 worth of money, securities, and jewelry stored in a box in his cabin. When everybody was preparing to get into the lifeboats, Major Peuchen went back to his cabin to get the box–but when he got to the room, he noticed some oranges. He decided to leave the box with all that money in it and take the oranges instead, knowing they would be more valuable on the journey ahead. Later, he said, “The money seemed to be a mere mockery at that time.” He had come face to face with the prospect of his death, and that changed his value system. Suddenly those things that were deemed priceless were now worthless, and those things that were thought to be worthless suddenly became priceless.
A wise person does not wait until it is too late to understand what is really valuable in life. A wise person is willing to let go of that which is temporal so that he might grab hold of that which is eternal. That is why Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Loosening Your Grip On Greed” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Marshall Everett, ed., “Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic” (L. H. Walter, 1912), 107.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org