Real Riches

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: April 15, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Real Riches

READ: PHILIPPIANS 3:7-21; 4:10-13

Do you ever feel like there’s something you need to have in order to be happy? In our world of uncertainty, it can be tempting to think that something— some piece of technology or clothing or jewelry, some rental property or car or brand name—can bring us the satisfaction we crave or solve all our problems. Sometimes, we can get so focused on getting that thing, that we lose sight of our neighbors and our Creator. We end up choosing greed and violence instead of following the way of Jesus. We get lost in chasing after created things rather than walking in the love and service of our Savior.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because the reality is, in Christ, we already have true riches. We have the promise that God loves us, that He is with us every moment of every day, and that He is making all things new through Jesus’s death and resurrection—He is freeing all of creation from sin and its effects. Yet, as we wait in eager anticipation for Jesus’s return, we live in the already-not-yet tension of God’s kingdom. We see glimpses of His restoration, but we also long for the day all things will be made fully right and whole (Revelation 21:1-5).

So, as we live in this tension, we can count our blessings. And that’s not as cliché as it sounds. Because as we spend time pondering all the good things God has done for us, we find ourselves becoming more joyful, more peaceful, and more able to say “no” to the greed and violence and other temptations of our broken world.

And counting our blessings can be as simple as making a list. We can list the promises we find in the Bible. We can list things in nature that remind us of our Creator’s love and goodness. We can list all the ways He has been providing for our physical needs through things like food, clothes, and shelter. We can list things that delight us, like our favorite flavors and colors. And we can list the relationships in our lives that remind us of Jesus’s love—whether we see that in friends, family, teachers, pastors, church family, or other loved ones. All these good gifts come from God! And as we rest in God’s abundant love for us, we start to crave possessions less and less. Things we own don’t last that long, but knowing Jesus lasts forever. In Him, we find true riches—love that satisfies our deepest longings and purpose beyond ourselves. • A. W. Smith

• Consider making a list of blessings—where do you see God’s love in your life? Then, put your list in a safe spot so that, when you need encouragement, it’s readily available to you.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)