Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Jesus Said About "Things" (Part 2)

I struggle with THINGS. Things are not by nature bad. But they do divert my attention. I lose sight of the true goal. Do you get distracted, too?

These next few subjects are not to cause stress, depression, or guilt. They should cause an increased awareness of what things can do.

The all-wise Jesus said You Can't Do Both.
The Greek word “choice”, of Matthew 6:24, awes. Jesus states fact, reasons it, and re-states it. The original word affirms humans are not qualified to do both. We do not have the ability, concentration level, or favorable circumstance to do both.

We are qualified to serve either riches or God alone, but not both simultaneously.

Furthermore, “riches” is personified. So, “riches” stand in opposition to God.

The discussion and decision of the rich young man illustrates Jesus' basic tenant of man's inability to do both. (The story is in Matthew 19:16-22 or Mark 10:17-22)

What was the one impediment to his ideal? Was it his things (riches)? Did Jesus know he incapable of successfully doing both and direct him to discard one? Why was the young man sorrowful, or sad?

Which will we choose? On Christmas morning, will our riches convict us of a lack of trust in God? What will our January credit card bill reflect? Will our choices leave us sad, sorrowful, disappointed, or unsatisfied?

Jesus demonstrates frugality.
After feeding 5000 men (Matthew 14:14-20, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:11-17, John6:1-13). Jesus told the disciples to collect the left-overs. Nothing was wasted. They collected 12 baskets. After feeding another 4000 people , again, they did not waste anything. They collected seven baskets of left-overs (Matthew 15:37, Mark 8:8).
Seen the commercial for Glad trash bags as two brothers anchor a news cast? They report on mom after she threw a plate full of food in the trash, and her irritation at the trash bag collapsing in the can. A plateful of food dumped in the trash? Would Jesus do this?

What is in it for us?
Peter reminded Jesus how the disciples had left everything. He asked, “What is in it for us?” (Matthew 19:27-29;Mark 10:28-30; Luke18:28-30)

Jesus gave a two-part answer. Most important, there will be eternal life. Secondly, in the here and now up to 100 times as much as they had left for Christ.

If “things” are of a lesser priority than God, will you not be able to count your blessings!

Thanks for reading Part 2. Please leave comments below. Maybe you can increase our awareness even more.

And Part 3 addresses these topics:
  • Using Things for Christ
  • Financial contributions
  • Rich going to heaven?
  • Automatic rejection for being rich?
  • Lawsuits for possessions
  • Rewards for helping
  • Spending money on haters
  • Successful business

If you have not read Part 1 of this series, please click here to read about:
  • Things and Temptation
  • Leaving your Tools
  • Daily Food Dependence
  • Treasure placement.

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