Nero exhausted all his pleasures, so he offered prizes for new methods of enjoyment to be devised.
He sat on his splendid throne, the Emperor of Rome, the conqueror of the world. The porches of his palace were a mile long. The ceiling of his banquet halls were arranged to shower perfumes on his guests.
He invited and paid for entertainers to come from all over the known world. His crown was worth half a million dollars. One thousand chariots accompanied him when he traveled, and his mules were shod in silver. He never wore the same garment twice.
But, he was peevish, melancholy, miserable, unhappy, and dissatisfied, because he was unsaved.
He died a suicide. 1
Paul told Timothy to urge people not to trust in the uncertain riches of the world, but in the riches of God’s grace (1 Timothy 6:17). The Greek says, “Set their hope on the uncertainty of riches.”
Ralph Earle wrote, “There is nothing in this life more uncertain than riches, as many men have found to their sorrow.” 2
A man and his wife left the extravagant home of their neighbors. Luxury abounded with expensive cars, works of art, etc. Driving away, the husband said to his wife,
“Some day, honey, we’ll be rich, too.”
His godly wife of many years, and mother of several devoted children, took her husband’s hand and replied,
“Darling, we are rich now. Someday, we will have money.” 3
“Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” 4
- Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Walter B. Knight, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, pp. 577 – 578
- Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA, 01961-3473, 1974, p. 400
- Morris Mandel, A Complete Treasury of Stories for Public Speakers, Jonathan David Publishers, Middle Village, NY, 11379, Copyright 1974, p. 394
- Epicurus, Greek Philosopher, BC 341 – 270, thinkexist.com/quotation/not_what_we_have_but_what_we…constitutes/205032. html
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