Empty-Handed

handIn his lifetime, John D. Rockefeller was one of the wealthiest men alive. When he died, his accountant was asked: “Just how much did John D. leave?” The accountant wisely answered: “All of it.”

The words of Solomon confirm this truth: “As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand (Ecclesiastes 5:15).”

This life’s goods will never make you good enough to get into heaven. This is a truth that Jesus shared with His disciples: “Be on your guard against covetousness in any shape or form. For a man’s real life in no way depends upon the number of his possessions (Luke 12:15).”

In light of this verse, ask yourself a couple of questions:
• Do my possessions possess me?
• Am I more focused on the here and now or on the there and then (heaven)?

You can stuff all the stuffing in the world into your Thanksgiving turkey, but he is still dead. Likewise, none of the stuff you’ve owned will be of any value to you once you are dead.

Now take a moment and read Ecclesiastes 5:15 again, and then compare it to what John says in the Revelation: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord . . . they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” It’s not the stuff of the world or your possessions that follow you—it is your deeds!

When you read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, you can see that he has the “deeds” of life in mind: “The foundation is laid already, and no one can lay another, for it is Jesus Christ himself. But any man who builds on the foundation using as his material gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble, must know that each man’s work will one day be shown for what it is. The day will show it plainly enough, for the day will arise in a blaze of fire, and that fire will prove the nature of each man’s work. If the work that the man has built upon the foundation will stand this test, he will be rewarded. But if a man’s work be destroyed under the test, he loses it all. He personally will be safe, though rather like a man rescued from a fire (I Corinthians 3).”

If your heart is full of the world, you will stand before Jesus empty handed. If, however, your heart is full of Jesus, you will stand the test and be rewarded (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

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