Stuff

August 17, 2015
by Lou Ciccanti

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NASB)

Our town, Ocean View, Delaware, USA, is a beach resort area on the Atlantic coast having an influx of vacationers yearlong, especially in the summertime. Throughout the year, our area is laced with yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets, hosted primarily by retired local residents.

The other day, I was struck by the amount of "stuff" that has accumulated in our house over the years. It appears that we have a tendency to hold on to things that we do not want to part with, intending that "maybe someday I will have a use for this again". So the stuff clutters our garage, attic, closets, and junk drawers. Although there are several things that are family keepsakes and memorabilia, I must admit that I am just as guilty of "pack-ratting" as the next person.

These thoughts brought to mind Jesus' words:

Luke 12:33 – Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. (NASB)

This also reminded me of King Solomon's teaching regarding his acquisition of material wealth, only to realize that all was vanity. In contrast, our heavenly treasure is imperishable, unassailable, secure, and firm.

Therefore, instead of holding on to material things that we really don't need, let us consider how we may help others by donating to charitable organizations. At the same time, may our focus always be on the things above: the riches of our inheritance through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Perhaps it is time for an inventory. Do we really need all this stuff?

Prayer: Lord, since we are only sojourners, help us to be mindful of what is truly important in our lives. Keep us constantly aware of the riches stored for us beyond our imagination in our heavenly abode. Open our hearts and compel us to rid ourselves of the material and focus on the eternal, and in doing so, to help others who are less fortunate. We pray this in Your Son's name, Jesus. Amen.

About the author:

Lou Ciccanti <breadoflife@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    True words Lou. Blessings.


    Lou, praying for you and thanking you for this much needed reminder about storing up treasure where it matters most … in heaven. Blessings.


    Lou,
    AMEN. Living frugally is very helpful to me.
    I truly recommend it.
    (CA)


    Lou, How true this devotional is. We constantly horde “Things” which we will never, ever use again. Our thoughts are exactly that some day we may or will use these items. “NOT”!! I definitely can relate to it. My guess is 9 out of 10 people do the same thing. It’s time to focus on the non material things. With God’s help we can do it. Great thoughts.


    Okay, so you’ve been peeking ’round my doors or you overheard my granddaughter say, “Grandma, I just love your house, you have so much stuff and it’s such fun to go through it and see what we can have.”
    I, too, am in the process of ‘downsizing’ however I truly regret that I ever allowed myself to gather so much stuff. Maybe if I had been more focussed on Heavenly things I wouldn’t have had time to “gather.” Thank you for your ‘prompting.’
    May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you and the work you do under his guidance.
    Shalom and blessings.


    How very true Lou and especially in this day and age of such material wealth. My grandparents were always very frugal and never had anything in their house other than what they needed. It was such a witness to me as I was growing up. When they both passed it only took 1/2 a day to sort out the house and do the cleaning. Everything was organized. I was so impressed that I have always told my daughter that I want to be the same way. We thus both clean out regularly anything we are not using and take it to the Thrift Store.
    May God bless you and Lori as you begin sorting through your accumulations and passing them on to others.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lou: What a practical and Jesus-sent topic for this morning’s Devotional. It took me back to 2010 when my wife and I moved from a large home to move to live in a 1,000 sq.ft apartment. So from clothes, to furniture, 5-bedroom and 2-kitchen equipment went all to two churches with special purposes of donating to needy families. Of course, my wife and I were saddened to relieve ourselves of so many items bearing memories going back over 60 years. However, as we remember that giveaway event, how satisfied we are now acknowledging and appreciating those ‘treasures’ that would materially pass away with time compared to the eternal life that awaits, as you pointed out Lou, that will never depreciate. We do believe that more persons are practising what you have offered in the form of a worthy suggestion. Thank you for your contribution to today’s Devotional.


    Thanks, Lou, for reminding us of Jesus’ words of wisdom re our earthly possessions…we all are guilty of holding onto such possessions.
    In my case, I would like to donate most of these earthly things to charity…but the problem is:
    Which charity?
    Sadly, in our post-modern post-Christian morally-bankrupt culture, too many well-known charities also donate the money or possessions we blindly give them to promote sin.
    Thus, in my case, I limit myself only to Christian charities, such as “Samaritan’s Purse”, because I have investigated them and am assured they do NOT hand over my hard-earned money or possessions to promote unchristian causes.
    Blessings to you and your dear wife Lori.


    Clutter, de-clutter could become a life mission couldn’t it! Thanks for reminding me to clean out some of my own.


    Thank you, Lou Cicanti, for a very much needed devotional.
    I have a house full.
    And I pray, “Lord, when I must downsize, please give me grace and guidance.”
    Right now, I can still have persons who come to town to conduct Vacation Bible Schools, for instance, stay over in my downstairs bedrooms.
    But I must not add to my STUFF.
    I have enough clothing to do me until I no longer need clothing.
    God help us.

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