Andrew J. McMasters IV descended the winding stairway, sliding his fingers down the smooth, cherry banister. His shiny black shoes produced an echo on the polished marble floor, adding to the hollowness of the empty foyer. Today he would become the heir to a wellspring of unearned fortune.
His countenance, normally strong and confident, today betrayed him as visibly shaken. The news of his fatherís death had come so unexpectedly, bringing a myriad of emotions to the surface. As his only living progeny, all his fatherís wealth would fall to him. He had become a very rich man overnight.
After his mother passed away, his connection with his father had waned into non-existence. Not that there was ever really much of a relationship in the first place. He had grown up with everything and nothing all at the same time.
Money was Andrew McMasters IIIís closest companion. His wealth had controlled him. Driven him. It was never enough.
Already, at 24 years old, the younger McMasters had felt that same gnawing emptiness, begging to be filled with somethingÖ anything.
Like his father, opulence and wild living had numbed the agony of his emotional cavern. Eventually, though, everything he poured inÖ cars, boats, parties, fleshly relationships, only added to his misery, leaving him holed up in the cave of his wooden spirit.
Emptiness in the midst of plenty was the overwhelming condition of his life. His teenage and college years had been a blur of alcohol, drugs, and excesses of every kind, but all that changedÖ the day he met Mark and the God that so invaded his life. That was the day that Andrew was filled.
He had always believed that preachers were secured safely behind stained glass. Who would have guessed, this one would be disguised in jeans, flip-flops and an American Eagle T-shirt?
Mark had become a treasured friend since that day when he first introduced him to Jesus. This high-spirited campus minister, now a missionary in El Salvador, had spent two years pouring his life into teaching him how to live the Christian life.
Now, it was his turn. He would not walk away from Keller, Davis & Davis law firm nearly as wealthy as he was at this moment. His Lord had already told him it would be so.
He would climb down the corporate ladder and leave meetings, limousines, and luxurious living to someone else.
He would be considered a fool, but he didnít care. The money meant little to him.
Shoeless children and shabby, makeshift dwellings in the outlying areas of the earthquake stricken city of San Salvador filled his mindís eye. Now, many would go to school for the first time with stomachs full and shoes on their feet.
He felt a smile creep across his lips as he signed away a vast amount of his newly acquired fortune.
Yes, he would be wealthy indeed.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
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