Today, we live in a transient society where the norm is never staying in one place too long. However, it hasn’t always been this way. My Mother, who is in her early 60’s, lived in the same home for 50 years. Her world was made up of the same neighbors, surroundings and 4 walls, almost her entire life. A lifetime of worldly “treasures” and memories were stored up on Wellesley Road.
The Big Move
Recently, my parents made a difficult, but necessary decision to move from the comfort and familiarity of their home to a downsized cottage that has been in our family for decades. Even though this new home is just a few miles away from the original homestead, in many ways, it seems worlds apart. The transition has been uncomfortable and heart wrenching at best. The process has closely paralleled grieving the death of a loved one. Even though it’s just a house, filled with stuff, it was the security and comfort of 50 years of life, love, mementos and memories.
We are consumed by a competitive society of consumerism and materialism where bigger is better and more is best. We value our possessions over people and we identify with stuff over our Savior. There is an unspoken pressure that hovers heavily over our world to keep up with our neighbors. We feel like we have to do more, be more, have more…no matter what the cost. At the expense of time with our family, in worship, or in conversation with our Lord, we invest our precious resources in the mundane over “Kingdom” things and relationships.
“Be on guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15 NIV).
Worldly Investment vs. Eternal Investment
In the parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus warns us against being razor focused on the things of this world and life before death. The rich man in the story had stored up all his value and treasure in materialistic goods and spent his days on earth making deposits into his “bank accounts” over eternal investments in discipleship and his own eternal salvation. Remember, we are born into this world with nothing and we will leave this world the same way. If we spend our moments pouring into finite accounts, we will miss the rich opportunities to pour into the people and things that will carry eternal wealth and value.
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule” (Matthew 5:3 MSG ).
Wealth in and of itself is not sinful. But, when possessions and position begin to dominate our thoughts, words and actions, they take over places in our heart and soul, reserved only for our Lord’s occupation. When we allow things to usurp God’s place on the throne of our lives, we not only commit idolatry, we bankrupt our lives of true and eternal treasure and fulfillment.
We tend to find comfort and security with the familiarity of our earthly possessions and surroundings. In our limited humanness, we tend to run to the tangible. Like my Mom, many of us become very uncomfortable when we are pushed outside of our comfort zone and stripped of our familiarity. We feel safe when we feel in control. Our level of comfort and circumstances tend to dictate our reactions and feelings. I believe the Lord intentionally pushes us into unfamiliar territory and takes back the reigns of our life to show us that the only true treasure worth living and working for is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Eternal life is priceless. Our ultimate peace and security will not be found on the shelves of our homes or in our bank accounts; it is only found through the reality and sacrifice of the Cross.
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:25-26 MSG).
Are You Spiritually Bankrupt or Spiritually Vested?
To become truly “blessed” and live as authentic, Kingdom people, we must align our thoughts with the Lord’s, be intentional to make His priorities our priorities and set the rhythms of our lives to the heart beat of Christ. When we view our life on Earth through the lens of the Lord, our perspective shifts. The white knuckled desire for worldly things and control fades away. Our personal agendas cease and our priority is no longer to live for ourselves but to live for Him. We may find ourselves bankrupt of fame, fortune and earthly treasures but we will live in abundance with overwhelming blessings with Christ, for all eternity.
Are you depositing your time, talents and treasures into the temporary or into Eternity?
“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity” (John 12:25 NLT).
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