“Owning . . things will not make your life safe.” Luke 12:15 Contemporary English Version
“Things are what a person uses to try in vain to fill a life that feels empty.”
My thoughts today are about “feeling empty.”
What are things? That word is a description for all kinds of stuff – some good, some bad, some neither. Things steal much of your schedule each day, fill your closets and garage with stuff you don’t use, occupy your thoughts, and distract much of your focus and energy. Things are what a person uses to try in vain to fill a life that feels empty. Empty is not a good way to feel.
That’s pretty common in many people’s lives. It was true in Jesus’ day, and it’s true in ours. “Do not be so preoccupied with getting, so that you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns (all these things) will be met.” Matthew 6:31-33 The Message.
Things deceive with a promise of being enough. They never are, nor can they be. That’s why one thing always leads to the need for another thing! The more things you have, the more afraid you are of losing them or someone taking them, so the more you watch and worry about things.
I saw a bumper sticker on a very expensive car that read, “At the end, the one with the most toys wins.” Nothing could be further from the truth; don’t be fooled by such shallow nonsense. A man came to Jesus angry over a family dispute with his brother about an inheritance of property and wealth. Jesus’ warning was clear and correct, “Owning a lot of things will not make your life safe.” Luke 12:15 CEV. Then Jesus told a story of a foolish man that had great prosperity and properties, but whose life was empty. Read Luke 12:16-21 NIV. Life is never about how much or little you have.
Things too easily replace relationships. You can love things, but things cannot love you back. When life feels empty, you are driven to fill that void with things you hope might fill that, but never will. Things are a great supplement to an already full life, but a poor substitute for the right things that you truly long for – contentment, connection, fulfillment, and security. With each substitution you make, contentment seems to slip further from your reach. See 1 Timothy 6:6-19 NIV.
Isn’t that what you really want from life – to be safe, and full, and content, and loved? What you most long for in life can only be found in Jesus. Only the heart that is held safely in His hands, and the will that trusts completely in His direction, and the life that rests content in His love can be truly secure.
“Everything of God gets expressed in Christ Jesus, so you can see and hear Him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without Him. When you come to Him, that fullness comes together for you, too.“ Colossians 2:9-10 The Message. The emptiness of the universe without Christ! Any life is ultimately empty without Jesus in one’s heart. “I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.” Ephesians 3:18-19 CEV.
My prayer for you today is that your life is satisfying and content in Christ Jesus.