Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Back in the 80’s and 90’s, there used to be a show called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This show presented a behind the scenes look at the extravagant lifestyles of the wealthiest people around the world. It featured their huge mansions, their beautiful gardens and pools, their massive collection of vehicles, their yachts, planes, diamonds, pearls, decadent dinners and over the top vacation destinations.
This reminds me of the rich, young man in Mark 10.
The rich man asked Jesus in verse 17:
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”
The rich man responded:
“All these I have kept from my youth.”
And then Jesus looked at him lovingly and said:
“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
When Jesus told the disciples to “come, follow me” – they immediately dropped their nets and followed Jesus (Mark 4:20).
This was NOT the response of the rich man. Instead Mark 10:22 says:
22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Jesus promised the rich man, He’d give him treasures in heaven. The rich man wanted his treasures now. He did not have the faith to wait.
Instead of the rich man owning his possessions – his possessions owned him.
Do your possessions own you?
In Matthew 6:24 Jesus tells us:
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
It’s one or the other.
We are either devoted to God…
or we are devoted to money.
Let’s imagine this rich man on the last day of his life, living it up in his mansion made of marble, with servants and pools surrounded by lush gardens. As he breathes his last breath, he enters into eternity and there he stands – without his mansion, without his servants, without his gardens and…
There he stands, stripped bare before the throne of…
The One True God.
Jesus tells his disciples:
23 “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”
29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
OH how I love this promise from Jesus – he promises, there is no one who has left their house or family or land for the sake of the gospel, who will not receive a HUNDREDFOLD in the age to come!
What a glorious promise and hope we have in Jesus! Oh how I love Jesus.
How deep is your love for Jesus?
Consider this quote from John Piper:
“If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters…
could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?”
I hope your love for Jesus runs deeper than any temporary thing on earth.
Having money is not a sin. That is not what this passage is about. It’s about a lifestyle. A lifestyle that exalts money above Jesus. A lifestyle that embraces the temporary over the eternal. A lifestyle that runs hard after all this world offers. A lifestyle that turns its back on all that Jesus offers. A lifestyle that lacks faith.
Jesus is calling to you today, “come, follow me.”
Will your answer be – “I’m all yours Lord, use me” or like the rich man, will you walk away sorrowful because you have things in your life you can not let go of for Jesus?
The choice is yours.
Or rewards for eternity.
Choose Jesus today.
Trust that you’ll receive a hundredfold more in eternity.
Walk with the King,
For Further Reading
The GMG Leadership Team is Blogging Through the Bible Too! Visit their blogs here:
Becoming a Godly Wife – Bridget
Misty Leask – Misty
Rosilind Jukic – Rosilind
Worshipful Living – Mandy
Thanks for this great reminder. It’s very easy to get carried away with chasing after the material things to the point that God becomes secondary in our lives. I pray we will always be reminded to chase after God first and the rest we desire will be granted unto us and that we will master the material things and not them master us. Amen 🙂
Ps is it okay if I share the post on my blog page?
Think also of Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
“Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labours. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”
If it’s the same show, I remember watching Life Styles of the Rich &Famous……. and it never showed the people living in their houses, so to me they were just houses, not homes…… I always thought “how sad!”?
This passage reminds me of when my family were going to move out of state. I had tons of good craft supplies, children’s musical things, etc.. I had been working with children for over 20 yrs.. I didn’t want to throw them away. I had no problem with other things but these things seemed too good to just dispose. I realized these items had become too important to me. Finally, I came up with a solution I donated them to various places that I knew could use them. It felt good to know that they could be used still .
Decluttering and getting rid of the unnecessary things around my home, Has really helped me focus more on the important things in life. The last few months I’ve also donated items I don’t need or use anymore. Today’s lesson was really helpful. Thanks Courtney!
When my home burned to the ground and we lost EVERYTHING we found out Jesus really is more than enough and you really don’t miss your stuff! It is just clutter to dust.
I’m confused here…
What about what Psalm 37:4-5? “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”. How do I know if a desire is sinful?
I love this verse in Psalms. When we are delighting in the Lord – our desires change. What our flesh desired that was sinful is slowly transformed into pure desires. He removes desires that are worldly or contrary to His Word and gives us a heart that desires what He desires. So, when we delight in the Lord, He literally gives us the desires of our heart – pure desires that only want what He wants.
Hope that helps,
I think that we are also blessed with material things when we put Him first. Remember: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added into you.” If our possessions possess us, we worship the created, not the Creator. This was my experience. (BTW, Jesus loves to clean! Lol)
I love that Jesus promises that the one who would believe and follow Him here and now will receive the “hundredfold now…in this time”! I experienced this when my mother passed away, our church family stepped in as family and supported us with so many blessings!! When we are adopted into God’s family as His child, He multiplies our “family ” truly a hundredfold! Then, just because He is Love, He offers us eternity in His presence also!!! No greater love has anyone!! He did say that that the earthly blessings would also be with persecution….that is the hard part, the faith in the heart, not by sight part….keep trusting in the hard times, and look for Jesus in those moments where most think He has abandoned and find He is never farther away than the whisper of His name <3
Thanking the Lord for this study and hiw He us revealing more of His heart to me! God bless you for your obedient response to His call for you to lead these studies!!