To the unfamiliar, these may seem like trivial things, but these are the very things of which Christ spoke which make it impossible for the rich man to enter heaven.
How is it you say, that money could prevent a man from entering heaven?
You see, when you have a certain amount of wealth, it is very, very easy to become a god unto yourself. You begin to place faith in your money, your ability to create money, and your ability to have what ever your mind might desire.
Mercifully, our economies seem to have cycles that will force many a wealthy man to reconsider where his heart lies. Unfortunately, for some this will mean suicide, as they see their whole world collapse in front of them, some will hope to tough it out, some will find hopelessness, where the truly regenerate will recognize the discipline of God, and make adjustments to their worldviews, and make their hearts penitent.
A great many will unlikely be cognizant that this suffering, for this misplaced security of the wealthy, can be as severe a trauma as perhaps losing both of your legs. Let's not forget that in these situations, many wealthy will find death at their doors.
Let us further not forget that in America, even the poorest of us is magnificently wealthy by the standards of many in the world.
In Jeremiah Burroughs' "The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment", he continues to challenge the Christian toward contentment. Contentment in that:
- as Solomon said, "All is vanity". The rich, and the poor die. They both come to the same place. Therefore our strivings are in vain. As a vapor. Here today, gone tomorrow. So, why are we really here in the first place?
- it is necessary to have God as our portion. When you drill down deep, to the absolute bedrock of your life, you will be forced to come to terms with your beliefs, your worldviews. Many of us will never find these without an occasional stirring up of our lives.
- to the Christian, you begin to understand that this world is merely a passageway. To place your heart completely on the things of this earth will lead to utter dismay. Life is full of trials, and ends in death.
- to the Christian, any good things that we enjoy are to draw us in thankfulness to God, and further to consider the use of those comforts in the service of God's glory.
- in order to find contentment, Burroughs teaches that we must become students of our own hearts. If something brings us travail, then the student of Christ will pull out the trowel, and dig deeply into the heart to find the root of trouble, and replace it with a proper God-centered perspective.
Once again, not easily accomplished, but well worth the effort.
Many proclaim a faith in God, but bounce upon the seas of his Word as a jet ski bounces upon the ocean. The best outfit is the deep sea divers gear, and deep diving into the Scriptures. There, as Christ told the woman at the well, is the fountain of life. Refreshing waters that will never cease to fulfill.
John 4:13-14 - Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Oh my soul, never again stray from this fountain, and trust in God alone!