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Scripture:  Luke 12:15  "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of things which he possesses."

These words from Jesus remind us that real life and happiness does not depend upon how much stuff we have.  We are human and we have needs in the natural, but Jesus said we are not to be "anxious and troubled about these things ... for life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing."

Jesus proceeded to tell the story of a man who had an immoderate desire for wealth.  He was greedy and desired to have more and more.  He kept gathering grain into his storehouse until he had to build other storehouses just to accommodate his wealth simply because he would not share his blessings.  He was very secure within himself and measured the wealth of his life by the abundance of his storehouses.  When he thought he had fully arrived, he decided to sit back and enjoy life.  His words to himself were, "Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry."  God had other plans, however.  He came on the scene that very night, requiring the man's life, and all that the man had stored up was passed to someone else.  In the Message Bible, Eugene Peterson summed the matter up by saying, "This is what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God."

Jesus was relating to us that a barn full of stuff or a life full of stuff is not necessarily a life that is full.  You cannot define or measure life by the things that you have or the things that you do not have.  Real life is found in Jesus.  In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am life."  And the important "stuff of life" is found in our relationship with God, our families and children, health, peace, and happiness.  Too many times we take our life and health for granted, and forget to count the true blessings that God has provided for us.  Many folks today would give everything they own to have their health, youth, marriage, and family relations restored.  Those paralyzed and diseased would trade all of their possessions to be able to live a normal life.  The fact remains that the best things in life cannot be purchased or stored up.  A quote from an unknown source encourages us with these words:

    "Measure wealth not by the things you have,
     But by the things you have for which you would not take money." +++

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