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by Bill Cavender

A wealthy man was moving into a new house. His next-door neighbor was a Quaker. Quakers believe in simplicity and plainness of life. The Quaker neighbor watched the movers cart in many pieces of expensive furniture, boxes, bundles of gaudy clothing, expensive pictures and portraits, and decorative pieces. He walked over to his wealthy new neighbor and said in his quaint Quaker way, "Neighbor, if thee hath need of something, please come to see me - I will show thee how to get along without it."

Jesus agreed with that advice. In fact, the Quaker learned that from Jesus, the Master Teacher: "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of things that he possesses" (Luke 12:15).

A MAN MUST BE MEASURED BY HIS WEALTH!! Everyone knows that! "Mr. SO and SO was worth Ten Millions of Dollars when he died!" How else would you determine what he was worth? But you should read what Jesus said about a man's worth in Matthew 16:24-26!

Well, if wealth and material possessions are the measure and worth of a person, Jesus Christ Himself is out of the running. He finished last, if measured by the world's standards . He was born in a stable to a young mother who was married to a poor carpenter. He owned nothing in His lifetime, not even a place to sleep (Luke 9:58). Yet He created the world and everything in it (Psalms 50:10-12; John 1:1-3, 14; Hebrews 1:1-3, etc.). He had no safe-deposit box when He died. If happiness and success depend upon THINGS, then He was miserable and defeated. But He was not!

Jesus said, "Your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of these THINGS," i.e., food, clothing, shelter (Matthew 6:19-34). These are NEEDS, not THINGS. God supplies them. Too many think that life can be built on THINGS that money can buy. They forget the essential THINGS that money cannot buy - faith, hope, love, kindness, goodness, forgiveness, patience, peace, a pure heart, a godly life.

A husband and wife were separated and were divorcing. Their expensive house was being sold. They were casting aside years of involvement and investment with each other. They had a house but not a home. They had THINGS but ignored the NEEDS. Underneath expensive furnishings, elegant garments and showy automobiles, were broken hearts and dashed dreams. Diamonds and gems displayed on the bodies did not have the true love attached to them, which love these THINGS were supposed to signify. Their lives had been built on THINGS that money can buy, prices but not values, and now all they ever knew and worked for was being taken away from them. Poor, indeed, are the people who only have THINGS.

Henry David Thoreau said, "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone." Many people know the price of every item at Wal-Mart's - and the value of nothing. Like eating cotton candy at a carnival, people are enjoying the taste of life but have nothing to truly and really live on. Then when the stormy winds of life begin to blow on them, they topple over and die like trees without roots to anchor them.

The person who lives for THINGS and ignores God's will (Micah 6:8) will lose both! The person who puts God FIRST in his/her life and walks in His ways, will have God and the good THINGS that he/she NEEDS! (Matthew 6:33) –

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