I need to share a story, totally stolen from my Pastor’s sermon yesterday, which I’m sure he stole from someone else’s sermon which they stole, and so on and so forth; just a vicious cycle of thievery but a great illustration none the less…
There was a wealthy, farmer in Texas who owned a large and productive ranch but he didn’t know Jesus. He invited the local pastor over one day, and desiring to impress the minister he walked him across his well-manicured lawn. He pointed to the east and told the man of God, “Look out there Pastor, as far as you can see to the east, I own it!” Then he pointed to west, and proclaimed again, “And Pastor, as far as you can see to the west, that is mine too,” he boasted proudly! He did likewise to the north and to the south.
The old Pastor without hesitation said, “That’s great!” But pointing skyward he asked “But how much property do you own there?”
There is wonderful humor and great truth in that tale. It will no doubt be one of my favorites for a long time. I get in a whiny way and wish that I had better, and more and greater and in reality I have all that I need and so much more than most that I’m ashamed that I ever complained. The Pastor’s message was right on time for me… they usually are. I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets their eyes so focused on the earth they lose sight of Heaven.
I turned 52 this year, it seems but yesterday that I was 16 and now I minister to 16 year old who refer to me as “Miss Shari” like a saintly old grandmother. Actually that’s a slight exaggeration, they are kind, but it’s quite apparent that the generation gap is looking more like a canyon. My heart breaks for them… because the world is so competitive for their soul. If it competes for mine the way it does at my age, I know, with as young as they are the competition is much steeper.
The world tells them they need the best car, the biggest house, the greatest technology and it’s wrapped up with a bow waiting for them to launch towards it, all with the intention of taking them further and further away from the will and way of God. It is my job as well as every other Sunday School Teacher and Youth Minister to draw their minds to Christ, which we know to be the greater wealth… but Satan is a sly dog.
So the farmer story hit too close home for me because I had turned into a whiny, sniveling brat who had desires that were obviously not of God or He would have already given them to me. And I’m pretty sure He doesn’t give them to me because I have the attention span of a puppy in a room full of squeaky toys. True story. The more bells there are ringing in my life the less time I spend with the giver of all. The difference between the farmer and I is that I own as far skyward as you can see, but I forget to brag about it.
So today I’m looking up… to where my riches lie.
In the book of Luke 24 verses 51-52, Jesus is traveling the last few steps on earth during this era of time:
And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
He’s coming back folks! The disciples knew it and they not only returned to Jerusalem with great joy, they spread that great joy. Tell someone today about the real estate deal of a life time that they’ll miss out on if they don’t know Jesus!