Saturday, September 14, 2013


My friend and I were out walking at lunch on one of the few warm, summer days we have left here in Wisconsin, when we saw an SUV stopped at a traffic light. "That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen!" my friend said. I was just about to say the very same thing. The SUV itself looked normal enough, but the rims . . . oh, my goodness . . . the rims!

What would possess someone to put such incredibly gaudy rims on their daily driver? Isn't it enough that someone drives a gas-guzzling SUV and spends hundreds of dollars on fuel each month? Why would somebody want to to blow MORE money on rims like these? Only a fool would spend thousands of dollars to make their car look like a Warner Brothers cartoon?!? Right? Right?? Hmm.

"19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21

The rims we saw the other day are only one example of people storing up earthly treasures, the ones that Jesus talked about in Matthew 6. There are other examples.

Have you seen the latest iPhone? This is the iPhone 5s. It's gold. It's expensive. And in my opinion, it serves the same purpose as the rims do, it's like "rims" for the human ear. No wait, that's what earrings are. Argh! They are both simply a means of storing up earthly treasure for ourselves.

I would be willing to bet that they guy in the SUV with the austentatious rim had an earring or two as well. Does it sound like I an stereotyping people? Yes it does. That's because I am. I would also be willing to bet that the guy with the fancy rims and the diamond stud in his ear doesn't know Jesus. Why?

We in this country love to spend money on ourselves. Unfortunately, we tend to spend it on "wants" rather than "needs." Custom rims, iPhones and earrings are "wants." Food is a need. Water is a need. GOD is a need.

I met a kid about a year ago after the death of one of his friends. He a nice enough guy but he was really affected by that loss and ever since that day this kid has been angry at the world. Actually, that kind of normal in a secular society. We go out and get drunk, we might dabble in drugs, our relationships fail more often than not. We as a people can make some really bad choices in life. Can anyone among us say they haven't? Did I ever tell you about the Corvette I once had? 100 MPH on the freeway? Really? Mhmm. Bad choice. Been there, done that.

One recent Facebook post by my young friend brings us back to the title of this story. He has a hot little car that he loves. He is planning to get some new rims for his little toy. My friend "wants" a lot of things.

He WANTS the pain caused by the death of his friend to go away. He WANTS to deal with it himself. He WANTS someone to love him but he wants that love to be on HIS terms. What he really NEEDS is Jesus. Hey, that's all ANY of us really need! Plus the food and the water thing. But I would submit to you that we don't really "need" that either.

If we self-centered humans can only replace our earthly, selfish "wants" with a healthy NEED for Jesus, our whole life will begin to change. When our insatiable NEED for Jesus finally becomes fulfilled we soon find out that our WANTS begin to change. We no longer want rims for our cars or expensive phones. We WANT to do God's will. We WANT to serve Him. We WANT to follow Him for the rest of our lives. Pretty soon, all we want . . . is Jesus!

Rims? Who needs them? We've got Jesus! Or do we? Let's take a closer look at ourselves. Let's get REALLY close to the mirror and see what we can find out. Yikes!!

"I really want to sleep in tomorrow. I've worked hard all week, getting up at 4:30 every stinking day. I want to sleep in!" Well, I might "want" to sleep in but I "need" to get up and get going because I "need" to give the cat a shot (he's diabetic) and I "need" to exercise (I'm diabetic too). And, quite honestly, I "need" to spend some time in prayer and reading my Bible. We all need that, but often we don't want to.

If all of us were to focus our wants and needs on Jesus and on others, do you think the world would be a different place to live in? Hmm. Maybe we should begin thinking and acting that way today. God WILL provide our every need.

"18 . . . I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen." - Philippians 4:18-20

I Need - a short video clip of Bill Murray from the movie What About Bob?

Lord, I Need You by Chris Tomlin

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