When it comes to living a life that is rich, we know that it takes more than money. It has to include work that is meaningful and relationships that nourish.

That is the kind of life that God is interested in offering us. But we have choices to make; the appeal of true poverty, a life spent in self-interest and solitude, is surprisingly strong.

Choose now the richness of life God offers.

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"But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.' He said, 'Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house — for I have five brothers — that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.' He said, 'No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Luke 16:25-31

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Who do you listen to? Who influences you?

There are people in our lives who are full of wisdom, but we don’t always listen to them. Some of these people are parents, teachers, ministers, and friends who have experienced things we have not yet encountered. Most days, I know I don’t listen. I want to try things my own way first. I like to think I know something they don’t know, and don’t heed their good advice.

The “rich” man had the wisdom of Moses and the prophets to help him know about true riches – the riches of God – yet he still clung to what he knew for himself (not wanting to listen to a wiser source). He lived his life seeking his own desires, only to learn that the things he had focused on were not the things of God. Let us learn from this man’s story that we have been given many sources of wisdom. We should seek God and seek to learn from those who can help us grow in our knowledge and understanding of faith.

Susan Reed

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Holy God, thank you for people who love me, who offer good advice and words of wisdom. Help me to listen, to be willing to learn from the wise people in my life. Help me also to realize the wisdom I have that I can pass on to others. Amen.

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May God fill your soul with waters of generosity,
Taking you to the gate of thirsty neighbors,
That you might come to know them and,
Knowing them,
Share from the richness of
God's love.

Susan Reed

Susan Reed is an associate pastor (spiritual formation and discipleship) at Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though she lives in Louisville, Susan is really looking forward to the start of Kentucky basketball this fall. Go Cats!

Be Thou My Vision

Ken Medema

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