WHERE IS YOUR HEART?
(Trussville, AL USA)
"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
Have you ever stopped to calculate your possessions, to attempt to inventory your net worth? Well, if you have, you may be surprised for I submit to you that any possessions you may have are just temporary at best.
In lieu of any possessions we might consider to be ours, the only real possessions we may have are eternal ones. (2 Cor 6:10) In other words, the only possessions that we really have are those God-given. (Psalm 16:5)
In light of this brief introduction, how does the Holy Scripture relate to the subject of our possessions? For starters, according to the Hebrew Scripture it's impossible for us to "have.” The Hebrew scripture has no true verb for "to have.” Personal pronouns akin to the likes of “mine” and “me” etc., are basically all man-made translations that in part may have a degree of accurateness. But there is more to it in the context of the Hebrew language.
If one were to digress back to the original Hebrew language, of which I am no scholar, "to have" doesn't mean that we may keep certain possession. The Hebrew language has the present and past tense but no future verb tense. It may be just splitting hairs, but just a thought to hold on to; since Hebrew is God's language, maybe God is trying to get our attention, in that we should always rely on Him for the future.
Now back to my opening comments, if any possession was really ours, could we not in fact keep it forever? But no one can keep anything of this secular world forever. You see, everything we might own is only temporary. At the end of life's road one has to let it all go. As an illustration, you've probably heard of the old adage, "the armored truck never follows a funeral possession.”
The Scripture gives many accounts of God's sovereign handiwork. (Psalm 19:1-2) (Romans 1:20) Some examples are:
In the Old Testament account of King Nebuchadnezzar, we see him showing his worldly selfishness. (Daniel 4:30) Nonetheless, in Daniel 4:31-33 God removed his sovereignty from him and forced him to live as a wild beast among the animals of the field. He was lucky however, as he did repent and his kingdom was restored. (Daniel 4:33-37)
In another New Testament Scripture example (Luke 12:13-21), we see a parable of a man planning to build bigger barns to hold his goods, and included in his plans was his unrighteous, selfish life style of eating, drinking and making merry. God had another plan for his soul, however, as his soul would be required by God. (Luke 12:13-21).
And in Matthew 6:19-21 our Lord gave a good illustration concerning the laying up of earthly possessions that may be subject to annihilation or corruption. So what's the bottom line of this all-important blog? There is only one thing we all may have, and that is God. His forgiveness and His blessings are the only true eternal possessions.
A good rule of thumb for us all is "God is God and I am not.” He is sovereign, I am not. He controls the future, and I do not. This includes all my earthly possessions such as my house, my car, my job, and even my family. Just read the book of Job.
Today, will you consider the secret of living with a "no-have” mentality? How do I do that, you may ask ? Simply put, let go of the worship of your temporary earthly possessions. In doing so, you let go of all your so-called earthly problems and the spiritual burdens of these so-called problems. (1Timothy 6:11) Yes, let us learn to live with the "no haves".
Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ. - Billy Graham
So, what about this subject of our earthly possessions, and how our possessions actually interact with our everyday living, our Christian growth? As mentioned before, there is no true verb tense for the future in God's original Hebrew language. Spiritually speaking we must live for today and today only. (Philippians 1:21) And in doing so, our peace of mind rests solely on today, leaving our future in God’s hands. (2 Cor 6:2)
You see, we are not promised tomorrow. (James 4:13-17) The Apostle James is so right: Life is a vapor, like a morning mist that soon vanishes, so life is short and uncertain. There are no guarantees about tomorrow. As Christians, we must never lose sight of this fact of life. And because life is a mere vapor, we should humble ourselves before God and obey His will.
Most importantly, we are not to pass judgment on another's good fortunes. (Romans 2:1) I realize human nature causes even Christians to sometimes boast, "I have succeeded because of my own hard work and smart business sense. If others would only work as hard as I've done, they too could also succeed.” But we oftentimes forget the Apostle Paul's question to the proud, "What do we have that we did not receive? And if we did receive it why do we boast otherwise? Everything we have comes from God's grace. (1 Cor 4:6-7)
One other parting comment: Our modern social mindset of the church being one area of interest, and the secular world altogether another is not Biblical. It is certainly not covered in the “separation of church and state."
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (Excerpt from Amendment One, of the Constitution of the United States of America)
Our living God is Lord over all. The same Christ should be in charge of your business, your government, your church, and obviously your possessions, however temporary they may be. (James 4:13,15-17)
Your opinion please!