Yesterday, I was standing in the queue, practicing social distancing, waiting to buy my fish, chicken, peas, and chips, when a man approached, singing his own version of a Nat King Cole song: "When I fall in love, it will be for money …"
It got me thinking.
We hold on to stuff, experiences, people, and possessions. We want to acquire more. We set our hearts on them, good or bad.
I am drawn to (not addicted to — honest!) watching Aussie Gold Hunters on demand. It fascinates me how these people endure hours, days, even months of disappointment, dust, heat, and flies, as they strive to get their heartfelt "fair share" of gold.
Some are novices, and some are more adept, seasoned, hardened to the vagaries of the climate and machines breaking down. They reinvest their money, time, and energy into machinery in the hope of making even more money from the high value that the world puts on gold. They want more, but at what personal cost?
Matthew 6:21,24b – Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. You cannot serve God and money. (ESV)
To serve money is to put the acquisition of stuff above our devotion to God, and God is jealous for our devotion.
Mostly, we are naturally acquisitive, storing up now for later. There is nothing wrong with acquisition, per se, if we are mindful of its potential for distraction from God. There is nothing wrong with the desire to work hard for stuff, provided we put Jesus' kingdom first. At the same time, we should be careful not to cling to the stuff for its own sake when, if, it arrives.
Jesus' observation about the poor widow's small offering shows that He does not care about the amount that we give to God, but about the heart attitude in which we give. Letting go of my wealth is a hard thing, especially when I want to get the stuff for me. Jesus' warnings were clear:
Mark 10:23b – How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! (ESV)
However, all things are possible, including letting go of the stuff into the hands of Jesus. So today, maybe try with me to lay down some of the stuff that we have clung to in our hearts that are not God's good and perfect will for our lives.
Prayer: Lord, here we are again, a bit sheepish, but with thankful hearts that You are slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. You have not left us without hope or without a Saviour to set us free. Forgive us for our failures, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to play our part in letting go of the thraldom which we have stored in our hearts. We lay it all down today, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "At The Cross" (Lyrics)