Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011 … Materialistic Christians

Passage of the Day: Matthew 6: 19 … “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: Today we return to where we started this month, in Matthew 6: 19, with Jesus’ command to avoid materialism. And I firmly believe, as confirmed by MacArthur in his devotional entry for this date, materialism has become one of the biggest cultural stumbling blocks to the spiritual well-being and growth of Christians in our culture today. And apparently from the directness of Jesus’ teaching, it was that way in His day (on earth) as well. What is it that some say, “The more we change, … the more we stay the same?”

It is certainly truth, as we’ve seen/discussed, … that having things or being blessed with wealth is NOT a sin. God gives from His providence so that we, His children, can enjoy His blessings (1st Tim. 6: 17) [from the Apostle Paul’s point of view, inspired by God’s Spirit].

SCRIPTURE: 1st Tim. 6: 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

But in Paul’s admonition above, he warns God’s wealthy people not to put their hope in the uncertainty of temporal things. And James (in James 4: 4 – below) tells believers that friendship with worldliness is enmity toward God.

SCRIPTURE: James 4: 4 … don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

And finally, the Apostle John joins in this chorus of challenge, warns Christians not to fall in love with the world, which will lead to lusting, pride, and covetousness (see 1st John 2: 15 – 16, which I hope you have memorized). And anytime you read the same thing being said often, especially by several different Spirit-led authors of Scripture, it’s time to pay attention.

I strongly believe that material “blessings” are one of God’s greatest testing mechanisms for our faith. When we are materially blessed by our Lord, it becomes God’s test of how we will be able to manage God’s providence in the next life (see Luke 16: 10 – 12). So, we must praise God if He has blessed some of us from His bounty; and then we must immediately ask ourselves how we can best be God’s steward and use His blessings for HIS glory (in this, read and meditate on Matt. 25: 14 – 30).

My Prayer Today: O, Lord, may I use Your blessings for Your glory! Amen

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