“Then (Jesus) said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’” (Luke 12:15, NIV)


As I sit in my office this morning I hear the whistle of a train. We often have trains come through Kewanee. When I was stationed in Japan we also had trains come through the town where I was living. In fact, the house I lived in had train tracks that were no more than 30 feet from our house. The difference between the trains in Japan and our trains is that the trains in Japan were electric and they took passengers instead of freight. They were basically the same as our subway cars, but they called them trains.

While we were in Japan the trains started running with their lights off at night.  The reason they were running with their lights off was because the Japanese stock market had tanked and many of the people who lost everything were taking their lives by jumping in front of the trains. The conductors of the trains would have to witness these people taking their lives, and it would cause them to have nightmares. In order to keep them from having to see the people jumping, they simply turned their lights off.


When we believe that life consists of the abundance of our possessions, when our possessions are gone we feel like we have nothing left to live for. What would you do if all your wealth was gone? What is your wealth worth to you? Is it everything? Jesus tells us that our life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions. Solomon also writes about the worth of wealth.


“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 11:4, NIV)

The Rich Fool learned this lesson. He had plenty in the here and now. He had barns that were so full that he had to upgrade to bigger and better barns. But he didn’t prepare for the hereafter. And then God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20, NIV)


Payday is coming, and even billions of dollars won’t buy one’s way into heaven. One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is to get so wrapped up in this life that they forget about their future.