[July 21]--Materialism and Trust

Matt. 6:19-34

I think that this passage is so important to read, especially for Americans. Unless you’ve traveled abroad, you probably have no idea just how wealthy this nation is compared to others. Other nations have millions of people starving to death or just hanging above sustenance level. The main problem our poor have is obesity.

We’ve discussed this before, but I think it bears repeating: There's nothing intrinsically wrong with wealth. Several godly men in Scripture were very wealthy. The important question is not whether you have possessions but whether your possessions have you. If the Lord himself appeared to you and said (like he did to a certain young man) “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me,” then what would be your reaction? I know what it should be, but what would it be?

Now, is our Lord against saving money? Not unless Scripture contradicts Scripture, since the book of Proverbs advocates it. He’s just promoting wiser investments. So how do we store up “treasures in heaven”? There’s a simple formula, taught to me years ago from Bill Bright. According to Scripture, there are three things we can invest in which will last for eternity: God, the word of God, and the souls of men. In as much as I invest in these, I’m investing in eternity. In as much as I invest in things which are not on this list, I’m investing in something that'll be dust and ashes some day.

The other thing which Jesus was promoting was simple trust in our Father. He’s not against saving money, but he is against putting our trust in money or possessions to protect us or provide for us on a rainy day. Isn’t that the heart of a lot of pursuit of wealth? We’re scared to death of being poor, of losing our home, of losing our car, of losing our lifestyle, and we’re willing to do almost anything to keep them. But our Lord pointed us to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. The birds don’t worry about food, and the flowers don’t worry about clothing. Our Father provides for them, so how much more will he take care of his blood-bought children!

Instead of wealth, our first and foremost goal--actually our only goal--should be the pursuit of his kingdom and his righteousness. His kingdom is not a physical place, but wherever his children eagerly do his will and strive to see his righteousness brought about on this sin-cursed world. I’m certainly not there yet, but I want to be. How about you?

Lord Jesus, so often I don’t trust you, and I invest my time and money in things that won’t last forever. Please change my priorities, change my attitude, change me.

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