Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Did Jesus Say About Owning Things?

We are bombarded with advertisements that tell us we need this thing and should want that thing.  It may be a new car, electronic device, appliance, home, or latest fashion. Is it wrong to have lots of nice stuff?

A man asked Jesus to act as judge and settle an inheritance. Jesus replied, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:14,15.

Christ did not tell the man to do without; or take a vow of poverty, (at least not here, but one may want to read all of Luke 12). He did not condemn owning things either.

You guard against something because it can do you harm. When it comes to possessions we must be a watchful guard and not allow an enemy to true life enter.

     * A guard protects a location to keep evil from entering.
     * A guard must watch and keep looking for the foe.
     * A guard must be vigilant and not sleep or allow himself to be compromised.
     * A guard must be ready to do battle and even give his life to secure his post.

Greed always wants more. It has an appetite that is never quenched. It possesses for the sake of possession. Its focus is on the object.

Greed is an attitude of the heart. Two people may own the same object but each may have a different heart attitude, so for the one it is greed but for the other it is noble since he is acting as God's steward of a blessing.

Life is not about getting things. There is nothing wrong with things or owing things but when we start to think the things give us meaning we have missed life. When we think things will make us happy we will not find happiness.

Jesus lived his words. He had to borrow a coin for an object lesson, (Matthew 22:19). He had to send Peter fishing to pay the tax,(Matthew 17:27). He had only the clothes on his back the day he died. (Mark 15:24). He said of himself, "Foxes have holes and birds have nest but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20).

Jesus points to a relationship with the author of life; he said in his high priestly prayer of John 17, "This is eternal life that they may know You the only true God and him whom you sent." (John 17:3).

To learn more about how to have life in Christ follow this link to my other blog.

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