A Lamp Full: Riches

If we insist on spending all our time and resources
building up for ourselves a
worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit.
Spencer W. Kimball
We had a lesson in church yesterday about the rich man who asked what more he needed to get into  heaven. The Savior told him to sell all he had and give to the poor. (Mark 10) The rich man went away sorrowing because he had much. Perhaps his whole identity was tied up in his stuff. Who would he be if he no longer had it? The problem with the rich man is that he had no idea who he really was. He was defined by his possessions.
“For a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).
A few years ago, a tornado ripped through our neighborhood. We were huddled down in the storm cellar while the storm raged above us. We were completely convinced as we heard tearing and pounding and the darkness became light in an instant that all we had in the world had just been flung into Kansas. But all that mattered to us was folded into that tiny cellar below ground. Two thankful parents, four brave children, one cowering puppy, a gaggle of recently hatched chicks and my Ipad.
It didn't matter if the house above us and all its contents flew into next week. The only things that could never be replaced were safe and sound and together. I gotta tell ya folks, I have never seen "stuff" the same since. We were blessed to still have a home in tact when we timidly opened the cellar. Some of our neighbors were not so lucky. But you know what? They had learned the same lesson we did. A safe family was enough. Stuff means nothing. What good was the dumb Ipad when there were no longer any power lines in the immediate vicinity anyhow?
The moral of this story is that we spend too much time in this life amassing things. Some love money and things so much that they stoop to dishonesty to get it. Some neglect home and family to work harder to get more things. They may justify that they are doing it for the very people whom they hurt in their quest for slippery riches. But it can all be gone in an instant. Then who are they?
Riches of eternity lie in the scriptures. In our relationships. In the walls of our homes and even in tiny crowded storm shelters. These riches come in the form of knowledge, of testimony, of faith. This wealth can never be taken from us. When we spend our lives in the service of others as well as in study and prayer, we will never be poor. 
Funny isn't it, that I look back on my grandparents and great grandparents and think how very poor they were. But only by today's standards. They could sew, cook, garden, cut up a pig, make soap, and build their own homes. What riches they possessed in their abilities! I am inspired by those riches and that is they type of wealth I am working to amass.
I often stop think of the type of inheritance I will pass on to my children. Hopefully there will be some monetary value to it, because it does take money to buy the land, the cow, and the seeds. But most importantly, I hope that I pass on to them what can't be found at the ball field or at dance class, or even at school. Knowledge of how to be unyielding in faith, frugal in finances, unselfish in service, courageous in trial, and self-sufficient in homemaking. 
How can we fill our lamps with riches?
  • Put family first. They are our greatest resource.
  • Learn a new skill that grandma knew. Bake bread, sew, make soap, or plant a tomato.
  • Distinguish wants from needs. Help others before you purchase those wants.
  • Spend time each day in the scriptures and on your knees in prayer.
We can not borrow riches from another. We must have our own lamps filled with the skills and the faith to lay up for ourselves the riches of eternity.
If you enjoyed this post, please read the others in my series here.


  1. As a Tornado Survivor myself, You are right family is much more important than stuff. I told customers when working in the public "I lost my house but didn't lose my home." Thanks for writing about your experience!

    1. Wow, so sorry for that loss. I love that you are a tornado SURVIVOR, and not just physically, but obviously emotionally as well.

  2. What a good reminder! I've been thinking on the "what really matters" topic recently. I've been hit with the reminder that our conversations need to revolve around more than just the weather or topics that really don't matter.
    Btw, sometimes I wish I could've lived in the "good ol' days." Like Little House on the Prairie days. If I could've had electricity and running water though. ;)

    1. Don't those days sound so romantic? But no A/C? I would have melted!

  3. Becca hit the nail on the head with living like Little House on the Prairie days. They knew what mattered in life and never let a day go by where loved ones didn't know it. Too much "stuff" getting in the way now. Kim from Pouring Down Like Rain

    Oh, yes..have to have air. LOL

  4. Truly wise words!! God provides all our needs. He knows what we need and when we need it. Everything He gives, we should be giving back to Him through our time and talents.

    Pinned this! Thanks for sharing your heart with us at One Sharendipity Place this weekend!

    Krys @thet2women.com and www.worshipingwhilewaiting.blogspot.com

  5. So true, so easy to forget in our every day busy lives...

  6. I actually have a post coming out tomorrow using the exact Scriptures you've used here. Luke 12:15 has always been one of my "reminder" verses. I love your story about the tornado and your "poor" grandparents. Everyday we should try to put "things" in perspective. Thanks for sharing on TGIF @ Bible Love Notes.

  7. That verse from Luke packs a powerful punch. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. My family is definitely the most important thing.

  9. It's hard because we spend so much of our time trying to better our lives... I've never heard and I have never said myself... "Phew... I have enough.... now I can quit trying so hard..." But I wonder if that is exactly the attitude I ought to adopt.
    Also our lives have been made easier by our modern toys... but are we taking the extra time to better ourselves and our families? What are we doing with that extra time. If it isn't building, then (by definition) its destructive, or at least not needed. Good post!