Aug 5, 2019
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Thanks for joining me today for “A Little Walk with God.” I’m your host Richard Agee.
A few days ago, I sat at my desk and saw one of those plastic Rubbermaid boxes sitting under it. I opened it and began to pull out the tangle of wires, connectors, chargers, plugs, and other assorted electrical contraptions associated with computers and their peripherals.
The tangle of wires stared up at me like the hair on Medusa’s head. I felt paralyzed for a few minutes, then decided the time had come to de-clutter that box. I started through the mess of stuff, trying to figure out what I still owned that needed those cables or chargers or connectors.
It finally dawned on me that the stuff in the box lived there for untouched, well, growing, never shrinking for at least two or three years. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually took something out of the box and used it. Into the trash went 85% of everything from the crate. The other 15% made up part of my travel kit, so I don’t have to switch cables and chargers when I decide to go somewhere.
Piles of stuff. Drawers of junk. Closets of clutter. Rooms of rubbish. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a house that doesn’t have at least a few of those around. I know I have more than my fair share and get a little overwhelmed at the thought of de-cluttering the physical stuff that takes up space in my life.
You probably know what I’m talking about. You are probably thinking about that closet or that drawer you need to go through but just don’t have the courage to rummage through the contents without a decent dose of pain killers or antidepressants.
Jesus gives us a parable that talks about the accumulation of stuff in our lives and how dangerous it can be. In many Bibles, the parable bears the title “The Rich Young Ruler.” Luke records the parable in these words in Chapter 12.
“A person in the crowd got Jesus’ attention.
Person in the Crowd: Teacher, intervene and tell my brother to share the family inheritance with me.
Jesus: Since when am I your judge or arbitrator?
Then He used that opportunity to speak to the crowd.
Jesus: You’d better be on your guard against any type of greed, for a person’s life is not about having a lot of possessions.
(then, beginning another parable) A wealthy man owned some land that produced a huge harvest. He often thought to himself, “I have a problem here. I don’t have anywhere to store all my crops. What should I do? I know! I’ll tear down my small barns and build even bigger ones, and then I’ll have plenty of storage space for my grain and all my other goods. Then I’ll be able to say to myself, ‘I have it made! I can relax and take it easy for years! So I’ll just sit back, eat, drink, and have a good time!’”
Then God interrupted the man’s conversation with himself. “Excuse Me, Mr. Brilliant, but your time has come. Tonight you will die. Now who will enjoy everything you’ve earned and saved?”
This is how it will be for people who accumulate huge assets for themselves but have no assets in relation to God.” 
My collection of stuff in that box under my desk cost a few hundred dollars if bought new. It was pretty worthless to me or anyone else tangled up in that box hidden away under my desk. And even though the cables, chargers, and connectors may have been costly originally, now they were very much like the possessions of that rich young ruler. They have very little value to me or anyone else.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in material things. Our culture gears our brain to attract us to the glitter and gold of this world. We like stuff. We want stuff. We desire to be like that 1% at the top. We want our yachts and second homes and “our people” to submit to our bidding. The young ruler may have had it all. But…
Suddenly, things came into perspective for him. His barns full of produce meant nothing. He would never enjoy the wealth accumulated through his expertise and labor. The goods which made him so proud either would rot in his barns, or the villagers would take them in just a few short hours. All that wealth could do nothing for him.
I’m trying to start ridding myself of stuff. It’s not easy. Carole and I enjoyed living in many parts of the country and world because of my military service. We have lots of stuff that give us a lot of amazing memories. But still, it is just stuff in the long run. The memories are great, but the material things that prompt the memories just take up space and collect dust.
Do I like those things? Sure. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t. I live in the same culture as you. I’m bombarded by the same marketing schemes you hear every day. I’m told how possessions mean success and lack of them mean failure in our culture. But don’t believe the lie.
As Jesus told the crowd that day, things mean nothing. One day, we will all hear God say, “…your time has come. Tonight you will die. Now who will enjoy everything you’ve earned and saved?” ¹
What treasures won’t corrupt and live beyond our frail vessels that consume air and water and food? What treasures will last in heaven?
Relationships. My relationship with God. I will either be joining him eternally or separated from Him eternally. My relationship with him and his son determines that outcome.
My relationships with my Christian brothers and sisters. I believe we will be bound together in heaven with a shared knowledge of each other with an understanding we do not comprehend at this time. I think we see only a tiny glimpse of what heaven is like in scripture. But when we arrive, I think we will know each other. We will have perfect love for each other and God. Our relationships will be perfected through him.
Actions done in love to my fellow man. I think the things we do in love for others will follow us in our memories. Paul talks about the crowns we receive for our actions. I believe those actions will be part of our joy in remembering doing Christlike things for those who share this place.
As part of the community of men and women of every race and nationality, when we do something for one of the least of these, we do it to Jesus. These memories bring him joy and will carry to the other side as treasures in heaven. Make sure you’re collecting the right treasures. Not the junk that hides in drawers or in boxes under the desk, but the things that will last forever in heaven with him.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn’t, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
 Luke 12: 13-21 The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.