Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Having It All
Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus in the Gospel of Luke chapter 16 is a great illustration of the truths in Psalm 73.
From an earthly standpoint, the rich man had it all. According to estimates, the cost of an average wedding in America today is over $30,000. Brides, grooms, and their families often spend lavishly to have a “once in a lifetime” celebration. But that kind of lavish spending is not something they could keep up day after day. The rich man could. Jesus explained that this man lived in luxury every day (Luke 16:19).
Lazarus, however, did not. From an earthly standpoint, he didn’t have much. He was a beggar covered in sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table (Luke 16:20-21). But from an eternity standpoint, Lazarus had everything. Jesus explained that when Lazarus died, he was carried to Abraham’s side in heaven. Lazarus shared the same faith in his Savior as Abraham and so he shared the same eternal destination as Abraham. In heaven, he no longer hungered, thirsted, or lived with sores, but lived with his Savior forevermore!
How about the rich man? This man who “had it all” on earth, lacked what he needed for eternity. He had no faith in his Savior and so when he died, his soul experienced the torment and agony of hell.
Which of the two men truly had it all? Which life would you desire?
If we are honest, we must admit that we can be short-sighted and earthly-minded at times and pine for the life of that rich man. But take a look at Lazarus in eternity! We often waste time and energy pursuing earthly desires and being worried about temporary things that the second we die mean absolutely nothing. So read the climax of Psalm 73: God is the strength and portion of our hearts!
To “have it all” in life is to have God in your life. One day the clothes will fade. One day our lives on this earth and even the earth itself will pass away. But the life which our Savior died and rose to give us for eternity will not. He is our strength each day. He is our portion for all eternity.
(Christian Worship – A Lutheran Hymnal: 434)
Lord, you I love with all my heart; I pray you ne’er from me depart; with tender mercies cheer me. Earth has no pleasure I would share; heaven itself were void and bare if you, Lord, were not near me. And should my heart for sorrow break, my trust in you no one could shake. You are the treasure I have sought; your precious blood my soul has bought. Lord Jesus Christ, my God and Lord, my God and Lord, forsake me not! I trust your Word.
The devotions on Thursdays and Fridays in March reflect on Truths for Today.
Source: WELS Devotions