Saving Grace

The things of this world are meaningless unless God is at the center

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

“For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” – Luke 12:20-26

You cannot take your accomplishments, here on Earth, with you to the grave. It does not matter how brilliant or wealthy you are, you will die. Brilliant, rich and poor people die. We all die, eventually.

It is true that some have tried to perpetuate their life. However, wealth and wisdom cannot prolong life.

Unfortunately, when we come to the end of life, all our accomplishments end at the grave. It does not matter who we are. Status does not make a difference. Kings, the famous and ordinary people die. The result of our toil ends at the grave.

Yes, some people’s fame may live on after them. Regrettably, they cannot glory in it because the grave takes away their ability to gloat. Furthermore, they do not know anything about it.

Many of us toil taking a lifetime to accomplish great wealth, so that we can leave something for our children. But when we die, those for whom we toiled may not deserve their inheritance. Why? Because they may not have the ability or the interest to manage it.

The teacher, in this text, tells us that there is more to life than just work and accomplishments.

The things of this life are not the end. Jesus tells us in Luke 12:15 – “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

God is the author of life. He gives us all that we have and have accomplished. Therefore, whatever we accomplish should have God at the center. Without God in the picture, all of our accomplishments are worthless.

In Luke 12, Jesus tells a story about a man who was so proud about his accomplishments, he decided to tear down his small barn and build a bigger one. The man declared that after he had built his barn, he would lay back and enjoy life. However, he forgot that his future was in God’s hand. Consequently, God ended his life without him ever enjoying his new barn.

During his lifetime, King Solomon had deviated. He had abandoned the God of his father and forefathers. Consequently, even though he had achieved riches, fame and wisdom, he was not happy. He concluded that all that he accomplished was meaningless. Why was that so? He had left God out of his life.

The objective of the text is to teach us that the things of this world are meaningless unless God is at the center. Whatever we do in this life, we are to remember that God gives us gifts and He can take them away. Therefore, if we leave God out of our life and our life’s accomplishments, we really have nothing. Amen.

   
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org. 

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