Saturday, August 20th, 2011
You shall not make other gods besides me; gods of silver or gods of gold.
Exodus 20:23 (NAS)
So then, none of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Luke 14:33 (NAS)
Many heroes in the Bible owned abundant possessions: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, David, Solomon, and Esther, to name a few. But the greatest hero of all time, Jesus, owned nothing. Where does God stand in regard to possessions today? Christ lovers are divided in their opinions about wealth. Some quote scripture to promote riches as our birthright. Others preach against it with equal passion.
Luke 14:25-35 begins with Jesus' growing fame. 'Now large crowds were going along with Him,' so Jesus, the Divider, tests the enthralled people with harsh words and hard lessons. When He says we must hate our family, take up a cross, and give up all of our possessions, He draws a line: we cannot be Christ followers if we love anyone or anything more than Him. Who will continue to follow Him?
But Jesus also says, 'I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly' (John 10:10). So what's a 21st century Christian to do with homes, cars, computers, smart phones, and gadgets? Where do fashion designers and clothes fit in His picture? Is it vanity, necessity, convenience, entrapment--or just show and tell? Here are two questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I spend more time on my beloved possessions than I do with my beloved Savior?
2. Am I willing to give up my possessions without hesitation to anyone in need?
We seek a "no" to number 1 and a "yes" to number 2. 'Then He said to them, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions ' ' (Luke 12:15).
If your possessions own you, you're in trouble. If you own them, you may be misinformed and susceptible to greed. If you are simply the steward of gifts our abundant Father has given for His use and your pleasure, then you must do with them as He directs--even unto total surrender. Possessions should never be beloved.