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THE RICHEST MAN ON THE ISLAND


In his autobiography Just As I Am, Billy Graham recalls a story demonstrating that apart from God, we will not gain anything from living wisely. He said:


Some years ago Ruth and I had a vivid illustration of this on an island in the Caribbean. One of the wealthiest men in the world had asked us to come to his lavish home for lunch. He was 75 years old, and throughout the entire meal he seemed close to tears. "I am the most miserable man in the world," he said. "Out there is my yacht. I can go anywhere I want to. I have my private plane, my helicopters. I have everything I want to make my life happy, yet I am as miserable as hell." We talked to him and prayed with him, trying to point him to Christ, who alone gives lasting meaning to life.


Then we went down the hill to a small cottage where we were staying. That afternoon the pastor of the local Baptist church came to call. He was an Englishman, and he too was 75--a widower who spent most of his time taking care of his two invalid sisters. He was full of enthusiasm and love for Christ and others. "I don't have two pounds to my name," he said with a smile, "but I am the happiest man on this island."


Billy Graham relates how he asked his wife Ruth after they left, "Who do you think is the richer man?"


She did not have to reply because they both already knew the answer.


When you examine your life, what do you find?


(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, The Vanity of Living Wisely, 8/27/2011)

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