the rich young man and the widow's mite

I listened to Pastor John’s message to the graduating seniors at Bethlehem, given a couple weeks ago. 

It was the title that caught me (simply, Remember the Rich Young Man) and I am glad I went ahead and listened to it.  I think it would be a good sermon to give to young marrieds, or mid-lifers.  Call it a course correction sermon, rather than a launching pad one.

If you want a vision cast for your life that values what’s valuable: CHRIST; and is able to let go of what’s not: money, listen to this message.  

At the end of this sermon I felt great fear.  Fear that money could be holding my affection in ways I’m not aware of, or in ways that I think I’m “over.”  I should be afraid to be rich.  Not that being rich is wrong.  But I think the quickness with which I understand wealth as reward rather than as a minefield of ego-puffing danger is revealing of my heart.

I’m thankful to have some great examples around me of what it’s like to have wealth without having a grasp on it.  One example is Pastor John, who takes no royalties or money from Desiring God ministry.  Another is a good friend and elder who owns successful businesses, but only takes a certain amount in income and gives the rest away.  

He also gives away his time in serving at the church; he works four days a week at “work” and devotes his other time to ministry.  Finally, my parents are a good example as they share all they have with others and are quick to give to let possessions pass through their hands.  

But the examples to the contrary are more numerous than can be counted.

 It is our whole culture.  Wealth is status; nice things are addicting, and Christians compete on these levels more than we could possibly recognize.  So, I’m thankful for Pastor John’s message.  I might just go get some sh-lack, a dollar bill and a piece of wood.  (That will make sense if you listen to it).

Here’s sermon jam with a related message:

And, finally, I got a “widow’s mite” sent to me in the mail.  It came to me with my homeschool curriculum.  It is to be a reminder of the sacrifice that a mother gives (meaning all she has, just like the poor widow) to instruct and love her children in the ways of the Lord.

I want to love and instruct my children in a way that makes Christ appear as valuable as He is.  And I am willing to give it all to that end.  I want to live all of life that way.  

Oh that I could bring glory to God in some small but significant way, I would have more than the richest man in the world and my widow’s mite would be multiplied a million times over.