Matt Colvin was the guy from Tennessee who cleaned stores out of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes so he could make a quick profit off the public’s panic over the coronavirus pandemic. He sold 300 bottles of hand sanitizer at a huge markup on Amazon before his listings were removed for price gouging. Instead of sharing in a time when people were desperate and legitimately in need of sanitizer, this guy was hoarding it all up for himself so he could make a buck. Now, in all fairness, I did see that he ended up donating all of that sanitizer to a local church so they could give it away to people in need. So it all ended well.
Jesus told a story about this. In Luke 12:16, Jesus said, “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops?” [In other words, God blessed him so much that he didn’t know what to do with all of his blessings.] Then he said, ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’
21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
There are different ways to be rich! One way is to have a lot of money and possessions, things, stuff. This guy only thought about himself. It never crossed his mind that God was blessing him so that he could be a blessing to other people. Maybe God gave him things to share with other people around him. All he thought was “I need to go out and get more storage space to hoard all that I have. I’ve already filled up my garage and my attic and my closets, so I need more room for more stuff. I won’t give any of it away. I won’t bless anybody else. I’ll just keep hoarding and say, ‘Look at all this stuff I’ve got.’” And God says, “You’re missing out on the most important thing. You think you’re rich, but you’re really poor.”
Money can buy a lot of things, but as the Beatles said, “Money can’t buy you love.”
Once we receive Jesus into our lives, He calls us to live lives filled with His love. In fact, of all the ways you can be rich, the only richness that really matters is to be rich in love!
I want to be rich in what matters most. Rich in Love!
God is rich in love! Look at Psalm 145:8
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8 NIV
You can have all the money in the world, but without love, you are still poor. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but without love, you are still broke. You can have all the power there is, but without love you are destitute.
In fact, 1 Corinthians 16:14 simply says “Do everything with love.”
This is the second Rule of Love: say it with me: “Do everything with love.”
Does that mean posting on Facebook? Yes. Maybe you need to get out a sharpie right now and right it on your phone screen so you’ll see it before you post your next status update.
What about those people who voted for the other candidate? “Do everything with love.”
What about those who believe something different than you do, and they might even attack you for your faith? Am I supposed to love those people? Yes. “Do everything with love.”
If you don’t, you’re missing what life is all about.
“Do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NLT)
In order to be rich with money, I need to have stacks of Cash, right? Cash is King. But what we’re saying is love is more valuable than money. So let’s talk about love, but let’s use the word C-A-S-H to understand what love really means.
First, to understand love, I need to make a Choice.
Love is a Choice
Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey Him and to cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days. Deuteronomy 30:20
Most people think love is outside of our control. That you can’t help it. But God says love is a choice. Look at this next verse: 2 John 1:6. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
When Makenzie was a little girl, she came into our room one night in the middle of the night and said, “Mommy, I don’t feel good,” and then she immediately started throwing up. Now at that moment, Pam wasn’t having a loving feeling. But she acted loving. She got up, cleaned her up, gave her medicine, and tucked her back in bed. I just pretended to be asleep. I wasn’t acting very loving. When you get up with a sick kid in the middle of the night, you have powerful feelings, but they’re not especially loving feelings. But that’s real love.
Love isn’t really love until it’s tested. Sometimes our love’s tested with success. Like the woman who won the lottery, She called home and said, “I won the lottery, start packing.” He said, “Great, warm weather or cold weather.” She said, “it doesn’t matter as long as you’re out by the time I get home.”
Most of us have our love tested when times get hard. When things are smooth, it’s easy. But when problems come and the feelings go, love is tested. And you never know if it’s love until it’s tested. And then you know if it’s real.
Love is an Action
Love is something you do. Couples say, “we don’t feel like we used to, how do we get the feelings back?” Well, “attraction follows action.” If you sit around and wait for the feelings to come back, they won’t. But, when you start acting in loving ways, the attraction comes back. If you want the feelings to back again, you have to act like you did when you first fell in love.
What it takes to fall in love, it takes to stay in love.
Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Love doesn’t count until you act it out.
You might ask, “Isn’t that being a hypocrite if I don’t really feel loving?” No, it’s doing what you should be doing, obeying God. It’s real love. And the feelings will follow the action.
Love is a Skill
Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. 1 John 4:7 (TLB)
Ephesians 5:2 (MSG) –Keep company with God and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
If you want to become a more loving person, spend time with God. Spend time with him every day, learn from him, and you’ll be a much more loving person.
That’s why it’s important to open up your Bible, read it, and hear from God. Talk with God through prayer. As you walk with God, you will grow in love.
Love is a Habit
It’s not something you do once, and then you move on.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1 (NIV)
You are the sum total of your habits. You may think you are a loving person but love happens when you love when it’s hard to love. Luke 6:32 “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?”
Love needs to be a habit. Love has to become a way of life.
The reason we love is that we are loved!
“We love because God loved us first.” 1 John 4:19 (GW)
God always makes the first move. He showed that love in the biggest way possible by sending Jesus to give His life for you. He showed His love with everything you have in life; it’s a gift of God’s love.
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” Philippians 1:9
That’s my prayer for you, that you will not be poor in love, but rich in love. I pray that you are so full of God’s love that it changes your relationships, and it changes your life.