Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Worship The Lord"1 (Lyrics)
As our economy slowly re-opens following the COVID-19 pandemic, after months of shopping restrictions and the availability of essential services only, there will be all sorts of promotions to attract buyers into brick-and-mortar shops. I regularly receive advertisements in the mail or online, saying, "Stock up and save sale", "Limited time only", and "Get it before it's gone!" I have done a lot of downsizing and donating during months of isolation, and I don't want to fill up my place with new purchases yet, but those advertised specials are really tempting!
I heard an expression which I like: "There are no moving vans allowed through the gates of heaven!" In other words, we can't take it with us. The apostle John speaks about the love of the world:
1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (NLT)
What is "the world" that he refers to? It isn't our lovely, blue planet, or its people who love God. It is the pleasures, interests, priorities, and materialistic lifestyles of those who rebel against God, by distrusting His Word and its promises. Loving the world is a great threat to our fellowship with the Father.
Loving the world means being attracted to its means of operation, relying on progress, technology, and regulations to do things in a secular, godless way. The rewards that the world promises are prestige, rank, reputation, and comfort. But here's the catch: they last only as long as we are breathing! The advertisers are skilled at appealing to what is attractive to our eyes, sinful desires, and ego.
Living in the world as a faithful believer doesn't mean withdrawing as a hermit, but living with our thoughts free and not dominated by things like career, physical appearance, and status. As Paul counsels us:
Romans 12:2a – Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. (NLT)
Consider investing your life in things that can't be lost, because the world is passing away, along with its desires. If we use our time on earth focusing on the Lord, the people with whom He surrounds us, and the great promises of His Word, we will abide forever.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us today to pull our attention away from the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and pride in possessions, and instead to focus on You and Your will for our lives. May we honour You always in caring for those whom You have placed in our lives. Amen.
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Thanks Shirley, good word.
Thanks, Shirley. I’m working on it!
Thanks for the good word, Shirley.
Thanks Shirley. I echo your prayer. Blessings and stay safe.
Thank you, Shirley, for sharing this thought-provoking devotional with us. Yes, may we live our faith! Blessings.
Thanks for the reminders about our heavenly home and our purpose for being in the world today, Shirley. Helps me.
You are a wise and smart lady of the Lord.
Good morning Shirley.
Thank you for another meaningful devotional.
Your great image of “Moving Vans” of “stuff” trying to get into heaven really struck home. Thanks for a reminder to seek out things the things that really matter!
May God bless your day.
Thanks for another special devotional. Very good advice to follow as stated in reference to verses in 1 John chap.2.
You are still such a precious ever-blooming “flower” of Jesus.
Thank you so much for this “food” to my broken heart (my remaining family not saved yet). A family member and “team” lied under oath against our family. May the Justice see the TRUTH, Jesus Guide and lead decisions for our family’s lives.
Thank you for your reminder to focus on God’s Word, and the reference to Romans 12 is so good. I remember when someone challenged me to read that chapter every day for five days in a row. It was then that every combination of 12 in the chapter stood out–1-2, 12, 21 and somehow, they get repeated in my mind again and again. Romans 12 is also in the Daily Lectionary Reading for today along with Psalm 62.
I recall someone once saying that when go, our prized possessions become “Stuff” that someone else has to get rid of.
Sobering thought before we make that unnecessary purchase.
Thanks for writing.