You Can’t Take It With You

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
I Timothy 6:7

“Gold and godliness do not often dwell together.” Even when they do, it is only brief because the use of gold is limited solely to this life. (Gold is the asphalt of Heaven!). On the other hand, godliness lasts forever. Paul focuses the reader, in the above verse, that any and every material thing has a useful life for a very short time on this earth. The fact he references is bluntly obvious— we brought nothing in and it is certain we carry nothing out.

Consider Job— Incredible wealth… enormous flocks—7,000 sheep, 500 donkeys, 500 yoke of oxen (the heavy tractors) and 3,000 camels (the semi-trucks of the day). Job also had a great number of servants and the blessing of 10 children. He seemed to “have it all.”

Then disaster struck. Suddenly he was stripped of all his possessions, his children killed in a tornado, his wife turned against him and his friends created emotional and mental difficulty. This man who had it all on one day had lost it all by the next. He threw himself before His God and voiced words which still resonate, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return (Job 1:21). Job was voicing the same truth which we have from the pen of Paul. Both men were communicating an elementary truth, we all know, which is that all monetary and material possessions gained in the world will be left behind at the grave. Perhaps you have heard the oft told illustration—At the funeral of a man of tremendous wealth, a mourner was pondering the fortune of real estate, business interests and personal fortune of the deceased. He inquired of a friend, “How much did he leave?” The friend’s response, “All of it.”

Jesus talks about these things in Luke 12, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” He then goes on to share the parable of a man who had great wealth… busting wealth, such that he needed more storage for his treasure. Then God spoke, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you.”

The Lord did not stop there, he went on to describe life on the higher plane, liberated from the bondage and trap of material things. He gives counsel we are wise to continually be reminded of — “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you… a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

May our lives be rich with treasure, not in this world, but in Heaven. Paul writes in Colossians 3:2-4—“Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”