Friday, May 11, 2012

Storing Up Riches

And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. (Luke 12:16 NAS)

Storing Treasures
In his article 'Three Ways to Become Rich — One-Way to Live the Good Life' at Forbes.com, Panos Mourdoukoutas mentioned three approaches to getting rich which are revealed in Forbes World’s Billionaires’ list.

The first is the Company-builder way. This is seen in how Carlos Slim Helu amassed his wealth by setting up large-well managed corporations in heavy industry, mining and retailing. Mr. Slim holds the title of world’s richest man for the third consecutive year on Forbes’ list. According to Biography.com, he became a billionaire after the economic crash of 1982 when he purchased investments at low prices which later turned extremely valuable.

The second is the Business-builder way. This is exemplified by how Microsoft founder Bill Gates made his fortune in helping engineers and marketers become entrepreneurs, who in turn helped other engineers and marketers become their own entrepreneurs. Mr. Gates holds second place on Forbes’ list.

The third is the Financier way. This can be seen in how Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman Warren Buffett accumulated his fortune through buying up shares of well-managed corporations and entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Buffett holds third place on Forbes’ list.

In concluding his article, Mourdoukoutas wrote that irrespective of which path one follows to riches, history has shown that staying rich is often more difficult than getting there, and being rich does not warrant a good life. According to another article at Forbes.com, although Mr. Slim retains the title as world's richest man, his fortune estimated recently is down by $5 billion as compared to a year before. The primary reason for this is the lower share price of his America Movil stock, which accounts for more than half his net worth. The company moreover has been ordered by Mexican regulators to cut charges it levies on mobile phone competitors in exchange for dropping a record fine of $1 billion in April 2011 for monopolistic practices after a year-long appeal and dispute.

Like Mr. Slim and the others who top Forbes’ list as the richest, our Lord Jesus Christ also mentioned in a parable about a rich man whose land was very productive. This rich man reasoned to himself what he should do, since there was no place to store his crops. Eventually, he decided on tearing down his barns to build larger ones, and there store all his grain and goods (Luke 12:16-20).

“Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry,” said the rich man to himself. But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.” Who will now own what the rich man had prepared? For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:35-36)?

Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven … for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Let us therefore be content with what we have, for many who want to become rich have fallen into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and harmful desires have plunge men into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:8-9). Some have become unfruitful, choked by the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things (Mark 4:19). Since we know no amount of riches can warrant a good life, why then should we seek to become rich or desire the trophies wealth offers?

If therefore we are rich in this present world, let us not to be conceited or fix our hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Do good and be rich in good works, always ready to share, that we may store up for ourselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future to take hold of that which is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes putting our trust in the riches of this world. Help us Lord not desire or seek to become rich, but be content with what we already have. In our riches Lord, grant us a heart to help those in need of care, instead of storing up to accumulate more. All that we have O Lord belongs to You and comes from You. In You Lord we put our trust, for You are our provider and the sustainer of our soul.

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