Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011 … Living Unselfishly

Passage of the Day: Matthew 6: 19a [see Scripture - bold/underlined ] … 19a Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

My Journal for Today: You know, Jesus really does want His disciples to have contentment, peace, … and yes, even happiness. All of the Sermon on the Mount, from which today’s passage was taken, was Jesus teaching His followers about “kingdom living.” He wanted for us what His Apostle John wrote about in John 10: 10 … the Spiritually full or “abundant life.”

And Jesus came at this from many angles in the Sermon on the Mount; but as we see from these teachings, the kingdom life of spiritual prosperity comes with a price; and in the context of the stewardship of God’s providence (i.e., money or material things), our price is avoiding the one attitude that can allow our common enemy to steal/kill our kingdom existence; and that is covetousness (again, see John 10: 10).

Really what Jesus is warning His followers in today’s verse is how to avoid one of the most common forms of idolatry; and that is the love of money, which is certainly just as true today, or maybe more so, as it was in the 1st century. Stories abound of miserable millionaires. Some time ago I saw one such story on the TV about Aaron Spelling, the media mogul and mega-millionaire, who died living in a 123 room “castle” in Southern California. Only three people lived in that edifice, Spelling, his wife, and one “friend.” This so-called “friend” reported that in his later years Aaron Spelling was a miserable man, paranoid and isolated from even his own family. And we all know the weird, sad story of how Howard Hughes, one of the richest men in the world in his day, died a naked, paranoid recluse in a Los Vegas penthouse.

So, what is God’s prescription for the disease of greed? Well, today’s verse, Matt. 6: 19, is one of them; and the Apostle Paul clearly wrote another in 1st Cor. 10: 31, writing, "…whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." And for the past few days in my journal entries, I’ve referred to Jesus’ admonition from this same section of the Sermon on the Mount as He pointedly said, “ … seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (His providence – your needs) will be added to you.”

That’s our price for the abundant life – the kingdom life; and it’s not too much to pay when we consider what we get in this sweet deal. By living in obedience to Christ and His word and seeking to use HIS providence for HIS glory, we get all that the abundant life produces, which includes peace and contentment, … and the best of all, … a closer walk with our Savior … with a whole lot more of His love than we could ever experience from seeking it through the avenue of selfishness.

What do you think? Good deal, huh?

My Prayer Today: It is a great deal, Lord! Amen

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