“Being rich toward God begins with giving to God that which he desires most of all. And what he desires most from you is you — your heart and devotion. Just as God can give us many gifts but the best gift is himself, so we can offer God our resources and acts of service, but the gift he desires most is us.”- John Ortberg
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves, but is not rich toward God.”- Luke 12:21 (NIV)
Pastor John Ortberg opens Chapter 2 (“Be Rich Toward God”) of When the Game is Over with a quote from Dave Toycen. Mr. Toycen retired in 2014 as President and CEO of World Vision Canada. Dave astutely observes:
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
In the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21), Jesus succinctly summed up the object of life in verse 21: Be rich toward God. Therefore, John notes, it’s futile to spend your life playing Master of the Board. It’s impossible to beat the house. However, with God’s help, your life can provide a source of pleasure to the God of the universe.
So, when the game of life ends, only one thing matters – God’s assessment of our lives. Everyone stands before God on level ground. Hence, Pastor Ortberg defines the term ‘rich toward God.’ The term means:
- growing a soul that is increasingly healthy and good
- loving and enjoying the people around you
- learning about your gifts and passion; doing good work to help improve the world
- becoming generous with your stuff
- making the temporal become the servant of the eternal
- savoring every roll of the dice and every trip around the board
Today’s question: How do you define being rich toward God? Please share.
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “Appropriate smallness – dream small”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Love — a by-product of knowing God”