Speaking to Oklahoma Baptist University students at the Sept. 25 chapel service, Dr. Dan Maxwell, pastor of Oklahoma City's Heritage Baptist Church, said that no matter what people gain materially in life, it is never enough to truly satisfy.
"We say, 'A little more will be enough,'" Maxwell said. "But more will never be enough. It's never enough."
Maxwell paraphrased the story in Luke 12 in a contemporary setting. The scripture describes a man who is so concerned with productivity that he tears down his old grain barns and builds even bigger ones. In his paraphrased version of the story, Maxwell said the man was so concerned with the productivity and growth of the corporation he worked for that he neglected his family and spiritual life. When he died, his contemporaries praised him, but God called him a fool.
"He forgot to account for one thing - death," Maxwell said. "He forgot to prepare for the most obvious fact of life. He was so busy making a living, he forgot to make a life."
Maxwell said that no matter what state Paul was in, he learned how to be content. By recognizing that all material things will eventually have no stake in eternity, Christians can improve their relationships with the Lord.
"All your life the devil will sit on your shoulder and tell you to compare yourself to others," Maxwell said. "The devil will use you like a puppet if you do not learn contentment."
Maxwell said that all material possessions eventually end up in boxes. They either go into storage or garage sales, he said, and they hold no value in eternity. He compared life to acquiring possessions in a Monopoly game.
"It all goes back in the box," he said. "It will be someone else's stuff next time. Your degree, your bank account, even your body - it all goes back in the box."
He said that things would never settle down in life until Christians learn to ask the Lord for guidance.
"How far do you have to walk down a road before you see where it is leading you?" Maxwell asked. "One man went into an ancient box for all of you. Everybody who knows Jesus comes out of the box and goes to heaven.
"It'll all go in a box one day, but you won't and that's all that matters."
Maxwell is a 1976 graduate of OBU. He earned a master's degree from Trinity Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Carolina Christian University.
He and wife, Jeanie, have two children, Israel, a senior religion major at OBU, and Charity.