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You Can't Take It With You

And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

You Can't Take It with You

A few years ago, advice columnist Ann Landers printed a supposedly true story of a tightfisted husband who was married to a gracious woman. The wife put up with his tightwad behavior for more than 40 years. At age 60, "Ollie" was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made his wife promise, in front of witnesses, that she would place in his coffin all the money he had stashed away so he could buy his way into heaven. She agreed and assured him, as a woman of her word, she would do as he asked. The morning after his death she took the money (about $26,000) and deposited it in the bank. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later. She knew he couldn't take it with him.

Job, however, never entertained the foolish ideas of the tightfisted husband. He realized that he would leave this world as naked as he entered. He was wise enough to know that he would take nothing away from this world but himself.

What we make of ourselves in terms of character rather than possessions should be our concern as Christians. A godly nature steeped in an understanding of God's Word and God's ways is far more valuable than earthly wealth or honors. When we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, what we are will be of greater importance than what we had (2 Cor. 5:10).

Begin now to cultivate those things that will not be left behind when your body is placed in the ground. Set aside some time each day to spend in the Bible and prayer. Develop an attitude of compassion and generosity. Allow God's Spirit to create in you a clean heart and a steadfast spirit. These are riches you can take with you.

You have to leave the world naked, but not destitute.

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