Yesterday, someone discovered the post on my personal website, from 2011, which shared a link of a podcast by the name “Water in the plan.” I was a guest on Kyle Massengale’s “iQuest” program, and that was the title for the subject of the day. We spent about an hour talking mostly about baptism in all its rich and varied teaching.
Since yesterday the post has received over 50 hits. On my site that’s a significant number for such an old post. So somewhere on the internet, the link was undoubtedly shared, with lemmings falling over the podcast cliff. I thank whoever it was. Continue reading
Anthony J. D’Angelo stated “Treasure your relationships – not your possessions.” Worldly happiness is so tied to materialism that happiness is almost always a synonym for money. Recall the immortal words of Jesus:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
As a child, it was my great grandmother who reminded us of the practical truth of the words of the Savior: “There is plenty of cheese in a mousetrap, but you will never find a happy mouse there.” Continue reading
Of late I have not had much opportunity to engage with a good friend of mine (from the past) in our discussion on God, materialism, natural law, morality, etc. Though I have not had any opportunity to look at his latest post to me, I will. He deserves a response from me, and a civil and kind, but firm response (that has been the nature of our discussion since March). That said, it is important that those of us who have identified ourselves as servants of the Lord engage these philosophies that have no foundation in reality, but in subjective hedonism. These subjective philosophies based on materialism are fraught with bondage; there is no “free-thinking” to them, but a rejection of that which actually makes free. Let us do what we can, and support those who do the same and more.
People place a great deal of value on material things. Owning things drives a lot of people to work long hours. It is simply not enough that we have food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8), we must also have houses, cars, cell phones, televisions, and such like. Some work more than the standard forty hours per week simply to be able to afford more possessions. Now having an abundance of material things is clearly not sinful except if it keeps you from putting God first in your life (Luke 18:18-25). If you are striving to obtain treasures, strive for those things that will last for eternity.
Strive therefore to obtain salvation. Paul in writing to Timothy tells us that he endured “all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10). Since salvation is in Christ then it is imperative that we know how to get into Christ. Galatians 3:27 tells us that we are “baptized into Christ.” John summed up these thoughts by writing “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). Salvation is eternal as long as we remain in Christ.
Strive also to remain a part of the church. Our saviour Jesus Christ died that the church might come into existence. Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Scripture also tells us that Christ is the saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23) and that the body is the church (Col. 1:18). Time spent with the church is of far more value than time spent in the workplace.
Also of more value than material things is the hope of heaven. Everyone will die one day. A person may work their entire life in pursuit of material wealth yet at their death they will lose it all. If therefore there is nothing for us after this life does it not seem a waste to worry about earthly gain? Yet scripture tells us there is something awaiting us after this life is over. There is a place being prepared right now for those who are faithful to God (John 14:1-3). Heaven is a place of great comfort and joy. It is a place with no “death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4). How great it must be to live forever with God in that heavenly home.
Having material possessions is not sinful. Jesus didn’t say wealth would prevent a person from entering heaven, only that wealth would make it harder to get there (Luke 18:24). The man Job was a rich man by standards of his time yet God called him “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). Are you working to obtain material wealth? If so, make sure to acknowledge that God is the one who gives you the ability to do so (Eccl. 5:19) and be ready to help those in need (1 John 3:17).
In Christ, Steve Preston
I watched a news story yesterday that said Rupert Murdoch was selling his yacht for a sum total in the neighborhood of 30 million dollars. That’s 30,000,000 big time bucks! It’s actually on the market for 29,700,000 big time bucks, but who’s counting other than Mr. Murdoch and whoever is going to buy it?
As the anchorwoman continued the story she mentioned that the yacht came with jet skis, a boat, contains a formal dining area, a Jacuzzi, and other luxurious amenities that justified the hefty price tag.
Well, besides the fact that I could only affect the last three zeros in the price tag, I would have still been interested if it wasn’t for one thing – the anchorwoman said the yacht was filled with plasma screen TV’s and, as I told my wife, plasma screen TV’s are so yesterday! I mean who wants to pay almost 30 million dollars for such an out-of-date boat!?
To me the story was another example of how futile it is to always try to be up-to-date according to the world’s standards for such a standard never sits still, and whatever is hailed as the fashion, as the investment, as the star or as the technology of tomorrow will one day be described with the word yesterday!
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 – NKJV)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 – NKJV)
By Carla Carlson, used by permission
As most of you know, over the past five years I have lost my Mom, my husband, and diagnosed with cancer. It’s been really hard. But oh the lessons I have learned from these heartaches. Things that I would get upset about in the past, no longer bother me. Some things are so insignificant in the whole scheme of things.
While I’ve never really thought of myself as being a materialistic minded person for the most part, I am even less so now. Does it really matter if we wear clothes from Wal-Mart or Dillards? (or any department store).
When I hear women complain about a bad hair day, etc. I often tell them, just be thankful you have hair. I”ve been through that hair loss thing twice and it has just crushed me.
Friends, material things do not matter. Materialism is another of American’s sins which is leading to our downfall.
Christmas is a time of peace on earth and good will toward men. Or so we are told.
Rather, in our modern day, it is a time of insane commercialism and insatiable greed. We spend all of our money for gifts and fight on, tossing future earnings, plus interest, into the melee. All of this to buy gifts for our loved ones, no matter the cost or physical harm that may come to our bodies.
I wonder why we never pause, reflect and ask why. Why do we damage our health and finances to find the perfect toys or electronics? What lies behind our behavior?
Jesus’ parents were poor, from all indications. One such cue comes from Luke 2:22-24, part of our NT reading schedule for today:
2:22 Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 2:23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
People who couldn’t afford a sheep were to bring the birds (Lev. 12:8). So the text seems to indicate that Joseph and Mary would have been strapped to present the more expensive offering.
At the very least, we may conclude that being poor was not an impediment to Jesus’ spiritual formation as a child. Primary in the divine plan, obviously, was the righteousness of Joseph and Mary. The financial state of the family was not a consideration in God’s mind.
Would that people today would care more for righteousness than for riches!