Empty Hands and Empty Hearts
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Larry Lilly's Letter Wednesday November 30, 2005
I have often heard Dr. Tom Wallace tell the story of a rather colorful character who made a lot of money. When this man died he had a backhoe dig his grave and he was buried in a gold Cadillac, wearing a new 3 piece suit and someone had placed an expensive Cuban cigar in his mouth. As a crane lowered the car into the grave, two poor boys who were watching the proceedings in wide eyed wonder, took a deep breath and in unison uttered,
"Man, that's what I call living."
On a more serious note I talked with a man over breakfast who told me of his pastor's grief over a friend who had committed suicide this past weekend. The pastor in another state had driven to a remote place and shot himself. My friend was troubled by this act, but more so by what his pastor said about it. My friend's pastor had remarked:
"He had everything, a mansion type house, brand new luxury cars, a six figure salary, plus numerous honorariums and royalties from book sales. Why would he do such a thing?"
Read the grieving pastors statement and see if you can put your finger on the 'why.' For a more interesting search see if you can grasp why a Christian, let alone a pastor, would phrase such a question.
I admit that I do not have the remotest idea as to the 'why' of the dear mans committing suicide. I do know that the material things a person has or does not have should play no role in such a final act of despair.
My friend is troubled to the depth of his soul due to his pastor's obvious hang up on material things. They obviously were not sufficient for the well off pastor to go on living. The human soul needs strength not afforded by the things which you can hold in your hand, or put roofs on. My breakfast friend went on to muse that our kinds of churches seem to have bought into a wealth and health concept of Jesus.
Accepting the biblical view of wealth can help us to use the material things God places in our trust for His honor and for the benefit of less blessed people. Our very life is held in trust as a gift from God and is to be used wisely. The more we are blessed the greater our accountability in the use of the providential goodness of the Lord to us.
In Western society one of the greatest battles we wage is the wage in our hearts about wealth and the proper use thereof. We have the human idea and the scriptural mandate. These two are at odds and tragically far too many who carry Bibles are carried along a trail of torment as they tenaciously refuse to adapt to the biblical mandate.
Alexander inherited one empire and subjugated another. He asked that when he was buried to leave his hands unwrapped and open for all to see that they were empty. Your hands will be empty at that hour too.
Larry Lilly Copyright © 2005 Use with credit
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Oh how I pray that the Lord would see fit to make me a good steward, not only with material things, but with the gifts He's blessed me with. I hope your article reaches many for Christ, for He truly loves us all, the rich man as well as the poor.