Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise Him Praise Him"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 13:5 – Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. … God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you." (MSG)
Materialism, or fixation on earthly possessions, is one of mankind's strongest temptations.
During the past several months, with the help of friends, I have been going through a process of scaling down my personal belongings. My part in this process was making decisions regarding what to do with clothing, books, games, paintings, crystal, and dishes, to name a few.
As witnessed by my friends, the process of scaling down affected me to the point of shedding tears during or after each session. Memories began to flood my soul regarding the people, activities, and places of the past. However, the positive outcomes of this experience were threefold:
- The memories of the past were full of love and caring: "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT)
- The present is less encumbered with material possessions: "My God will supply all that you need from his glorious resources in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 – J.B. Phillips)
- The future is alive with the knowledge that others will enjoy the blessings that I enjoyed from the varied aspects of my life. Many of my treasures have been given to a Christian organization that will provide funds for disadvantaged children to go to camp next summer.
Consider this: Are we preoccupied with or placing emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, as opposed to spiritual or intellectual values? Do we have a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters? After all, when the Scriptures tell us that "God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19 NIV), what more could we ever ask for?
James 1:17 – Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (NASB)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence with thanksgiving, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us into avenues of spiritual renewal and contentment instead of selfishly wanting more. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.