You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37 NRSV)

In the movies and television shows we watch, all the rich people are happy. It looks like money can buy happiness. Our Bible story for today tells us that money, and nice clothes, and expensive toys are not the way to be happy. Let me tell you a true story about a very rich man. His name was Howard Hughes. Mr. Hughes owned a tool company, lots of hotels and casinos, planes--all kinds of fancy things. He had millions and millions of dollars. He could buy anything he wanted in the world. Do you think Howard Hughes was happy? As he got older, he shut himself off from the world. He almost never left his house. He didn't talk to anyone. He stopped bathing and became really dirty. He had no friends. He became extremely afraid of germs, and wouldn't let anyone touch him. He became addicted to drugs. When he died, he was a very sick and lonely man. He had been one of the richest men in the world. Why wasn't he happy?

Jesus said that money can't make us happy, and it can't get us into Heaven. Only two things can make us happy: That is to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. That is where real happiness is to be found.

Lord Jesus, give me real happiness through your love. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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