Luke 16: 19-26
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a begger named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
At death, just because a man is rich does not send him into a place of agony, torment nor just because a man is a poor, sickly begger mean that he will be comforted at his death. If the love of money, power, possessions, fame or anything else is more important than a man’s love for God and love for his neighbor, he will try to build his kingdom here on earth and miss out on the true riches of a kingdom in heaven. God so loved the world (all mankind) that he gave his Son (Jesus the Christ) so that we could have The Way to a new eternal home in heaven. When we receive God’s love by faith (even though we do not see, we believe and trust) in Jesus Christ, our lives will be changed, filled with love for God and for others. Before Christ Jesus came to earth, people had faith in the promises given to Abraham that their redeemer would come. Now we have faith that Christ Jesus has come and made The Way of salvation (forgiveness of sin, our disobedience to God) available to all who believe.
Father we are so blessed by you. Help us to use our blessings whether wealth, wisdom, gifts or possessions to honor you and to lay up our treasure in heaven rather than here on earth. All that we are and all that we have belongs to you. Humble us in you. Lead us wisely by your Holy Spirit. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.