July 16, 2020

Sprague sent the following email.  I hope it means as much to you and it does to me:
“I found this inspiring:  Sadio Mane, The Liverpool Star from Senegal (earning approximately 10.2 million dollars annually), has given the world a lesson in modesty after some fans spotted him carrying a cracked Iphone. His response is legendary:

“Why would I want ten Ferraris, 20 diamond watches and two jet planes? What would that do for the world? I starved, I worked in the fields, I played barefoot, and I didn’t go to school. Now I can help people. I prefer to build schools and give poor people food or clothing. I have built schools [and] a stadium; we provide clothes, shoes, and food for people in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 Euros per month to all people from a very poor Senegalese region in order to contribute to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips, and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me,” Mane said.”

Mane’s response got me thinking.

One of the saddest accounts in the Bible happens when a wealthy young man comes to Jesus asking what good deed he must do to go to heaven.  Jesus tells him to follow the commandments.  The young man explains that he already follows the commandments.  But Jesus sees that there is something holding this young man back from becoming everything that God intended him to be.

Jesus said, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Now the sad part:  “When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.”  (Matthew 19:22)

Jesus offers this man the exact same invitation he does the disciples: “Follow me.”  By walking away, the rich young man traded true happiness for things that could never give him everlasting peace and joy.   The same can happen to us, if we aren’t very careful.

We live in a culture that weighs and categorizes everyone and everything.  The more stuff you have, the higher you are in the pecking order of life.  But that’s not how it works for those who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The beautiful car that is the envy of everyone on the block will, one day, sit in a junk yard, covered in rust.  The latest fashion that makes us look cool and hip, will one day, be in the secondhand store, sold at a steep discount because it is not in style.   The house with the latest furniture, coolest carpet, and newest paint, will one day, be remodeled because it looks old and outdated. 

Stuff comes and goes.  It really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is our relationship with the One who offers eternity.

If we make sure God always ranks ahead of possessions, we will be on the right track.  I pray we get there.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to see past the lies of my culture that teach what makes me who I am is what I own.  Allow me to see what really matters and what doesn’t.  Help me to put you first in every aspect of my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Stuff comes and goes.  God is permanent.  Choose God.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins