He Who Dies With the Most Toys…

As Jesus was speaking to a crowd one day, someone in the crowd inexplicably asked Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Jesus reacted by telling him, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he added, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Jesus spoke against the bumper sticker philosophy, “he who dies with the most toys, wins.” We not only are more than our possessions, we are something other than our possessions.

Jesus went on to illustrate his point with a short parable. He told about a rich man who produced a good crop, realized he had no place to put it, and decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to hold it all. The man thought to himself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)

But before he could accomplish any of his plans, he died.

Jesus explained, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21). Jesus added that there was no need to worry about making sure you have enough stuff to eat and wear. God knows your needs. After all, the birds and flowers don’t sow or reap, and yet they survive well thanks to God. How much more human beings who do sow and reap. God will take care of you, too. Relax and stop worrying. Seek God’s kingdom first, instead. (Luke 12:22-34)

What really matters in life? What is it all about? Will bigger barns and more leisure time really matter when you die? Twenty years after your grave is filled with what’s left of you, what will really matter? Certainly not your toys.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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