“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23).TEXT — Matthew 19:23-30
The American investor, Howard Robard Hughes Jr. was one of the richest men in the world at the time he died at 70 in 1976. With investments in the film industry, real estate, aviation, medicine, and engineering among other fields, this US magnate outclassed many billionaires of the age. But he became a recluse who made his stupendous wealth a kingdom that pushed him, ironically, into mental and physical decline. He was said to have a “phobia about germs” while “his passion for secrecy became a mania”.
Howard Hughes tied his all to his riches: his expectations of career success, family, future, healing, joy, and desire for the good life. His wealth was turned into a bunker that kept the kingdom of heaven away. He overruled the Lord’s injunction: “if riches increase set not your heart upon them”. The Lord is not against prosperity for His children. But we must relegate riches in respect of seeking the greater joy and hope for heaven.
The ageless warning is that it is impossible for those who make riches their idol without repenting to make heaven. As they swim in the rivers of riches here on earth without a larger preoccupation with the things of God, they declare that they have already created their own heaven.
The decision to follow Christ and renounce the world and its misleading spirit is taken at the point of one’s surrender to the Lord. Approved by God, it becomes a consuming lifetime passion that shuns the false glitz, glamour, and grandeur promised by mammon. It is a resolution cast in iron that will not bend or budge.
Thought for the day
He who makes mammon his God cannot have heaven as eternal home.
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