But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him...
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
What defense can outsiders wage against enemy tactics? When riches seem so desirable, why wouldn't they want them? On the other hand, what's our excuse to worship their idols?
Consider young Saul: the brilliant Pharisee with a future. When he met the One more brilliant than he, Saul gave it all up. Nothing in the world tempted the disciple God renamed Paul. He was ready, willing and able to count it as rubbish.
I haven't (yet) matched Paul's rejection of materialism. Many things have lost their luster, but even more need to go. Because the climb to God's highest places requires a light load.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You were designed to rise up and shine. In you, I've seen something quite startling. Like Paul, you refuse to lust for stuff. Big homes and sweet cars don't enchant you. Your assets grow in banks beyond earth. I'm impressed by your simplicity.
Because you're showing off Jesus. You model the much needed Truth. Happiness is not found in bling, but in uniting with our King. Paul put it this way:
'Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows' (1 Timothy 6:6-10).
Jesus sums it up: 'What people value highly is detestable in God's Sight' (Luke 16:15).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the All Things series.