Let’s open our Bibles to the book of Luke, chapter 12, starting at verse 15.

“And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

“The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully … And he said, This will I do; I will pull down my barns, and build greater … But God said unto him Thou fool; this night thy soul shall be required of thee … So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

The world today is so focused on materialism. Covetousness is one of the outstanding sins of the day. You would be hard-pressed to hear anyone confess that sin.

Notice as Jesus speaks the parable of “The rich fool” the man’s emphasis on “I.” What shall I do because I have no room to bestow my fruits.

We see advertisements for the newest and most expensive cars or trucks. Homes get more expensive, and people go headlong into debt just to keep up with the Joneses.

We wear top-of-the-line clothing, name brands that are supposed to be better but seem to fall apart more quickly.

Why? We as a nation have let pride and self-centeredness fill our hearts. When one’s heart is filled with these, we have no room for anything else. It controls us, drives us and in the long run, destroys us.

Jesus said a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions. The lesson is plain: True fulfillment and riches are not in the “stuff” we have.

Material things, in the greater perspective of life and eternity, mean little. Yet, the world fights over “things.” Notice that this man gathered all his treasure on earth but had stored none in heaven.

Our Lord Jesus called this man a “fool,” but notice what kind of a man he was. Outward appearances indicate he was a good man by the world’s standards. He was a law-abiding citizen, a good neighbor … He was living the good life in the best residential area in the city.

He was not a wicked man; he wasn’t in crooked politics or shady business … no mention of him being an alcoholic or drug abuser. He didn’t keep a woman on the side, and yet Jesus called him a fool.

Why? Because this man gave all his thought to himself; he was covetous! This is the way many live today. The world’s philosophy is “Eat, Drink and be Merry,” for tomorrow we die. Christ said this is what makes a man or woman a fool.

Friends, if we live just for ourselves as though there is nothing beyond death, we are just as foolish as this man. Christ commands us not to seek material things — sounds a lot different from the health, wealth and prosperity preachers of today, doesn’t it?

He tells us “neither be ye of a doubtful mind,” which has the sense of not being anxious over such matters. He notes the world constantly pursues of such things. Our focus should be to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Neither you nor I are promised we will be here tomorrow. This man said eat, drink and be merry, yet that night God took his life.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Have you let the things of this life have priority over the Lord Jesus? Maybe you have never seen yourself a sinner in need of a Savior. Please listen as I tell you from the bottom of my heart that you “MUST be born again,” as Jesus said in John 3:3.

We have only one hope, one way to be forgiven, one way to eternal life — through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Has the Holy Spirit spoken to your heart that this is true? Then bow before the cross and confess your sins to Jesus Christ, asking Him to forgive you and to save you.

Then commit your life to serving Him. It is then that we have a true hope for living.

Lance Stevens pastors at Huntsville Evangelical Community Church in Pendleton. He and his wife, Judy, are formerly of Greenfield.