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