Read: Proverbs 11
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (Proverbs 11:4)
I’ve done a lot of funeral services in my time as a pastor, and I’ve never seen a grave with an attached storage unit. The fact is, was and always will be, you can’t take your stuff with you when you die. That’s what Proverbs 11:4 is saying.
The only thing that will serve you well at the moment you breathe your last is righteousness. Your money won’t do any good, the car you drive will go to somebody else, your clothes will be taken to Good Will, your family will move on, and your friends will go back to your house after the funeral and eat chicken. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but “them’s the berries”.
Years ago I came across a great little parable that reminds us of this sobering reality. There was a very rich man who, knowing he would die soon, had all his assets converted into gold bars. He then put them in a big bag on his bed, draped his body over the bag of gold, and breathed his last. When he woke up, he was at the gate of heaven. Saint Peter met him at the gate and with a concerned look on his face said, “Well, I see you actually managed to get here with something from earth! But unfortunately, you can’t bring that in.”
“Oh please, sir,” said the man. “I must have it. It means everything to me.”
“Sorry, my friend,” said Saint Peter. “If you want to keep that bag, then I’m afraid you’ll have to go to, you know, the other place. You don’t want to go there, believe me.”
“Well, I won’t part with this bag.”
“Have it your way,” returned Peter. “But before you go, would you mind if I looked in the bag to see what it is that you’re willing to trade eternal life for?”
“Sure,” said the man. “You’ll see. I could never part with this.”
Saint Peter looked in the bag and with a puzzled look on his face said to the man, “You’re willing to go to hell for…pavement?”
It’s all just stuff, friends, worthless in heaven. Only the righteousness you have by grace through Christ will help you on the day of your death. (Luke 12:13-23) Try focusing on what righteousness calls you to do—and prepare to die! Death won’t be so bad when it finally shows up.
“When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.” ~Jim Elliot
Winning At Life:
Write out the eulogy you would want someone to deliver at your funeral. Now, go live that way!