True Life Does Not Come From Possessions
May 3, 2014
I’d like to pose this question: How much would we pay to possess joy? Would we give up our pursuits, our hobbies, our dreams, our idols…?
It seems like a rat-race out there. So much striving. So much trickery, cheating one another, grabbing to please “me, me, and me again.” What for? Really? A few trinkets? A few hundred dollars extra? And then what? Do they go home and cuddle those possessions… that money…? How long does it ease their pain? A day? A week? What are they doing it for? Just so they can buy a bigger house, a fancier car, more stuff, and then work even faster and more furiously in order to make those higher payments and impress more elitists? Weird culture. More than weird –scary… pathetic…
Jesus has told us that life is not about possessions. (Luke 12:15) –That possessing things, money included, is not what brings about the abundant life that pleases God and thus brings a person true happiness. (Mt. 6:19-34) Along with this teaching, Jesus has given us the warning to be on high alert against all forms of greed. (Luke 12:15) He has cautioned us with the parable about the rich fool who hoarded more and more, sought the indulgent lifestyle, and yet met Death early and unexpectedly, unable, of course, to take one cent with him. (v. 16-20) This, Jesus tells us, will be the hollow end of all who store up things for themselves but are not generous toward God. (v. 21)
Jesus has taught us that we cannot serve both God and Money (possessions, fame, power, or anything the world offers), for we will be devoted to one and despise the other. (Mt. 6:24) Therefore we must choose God and set our mind on Him and true Life. (v. 25) He will give us what we need, and one of the top things we need is joy. No matter what is going on in our lives –trials, sufferings, uncertainties, etc.– if we have joy, we can see good in it all. We can delight in other people, in creation, in God, and in what God is bringing about for His glory and the salvation and eternal reward of many. We can please God, have our needs met, and genuinely delight in life, for we will be serving God and doing His will. It’s the only position that brings lasting and continuous joy.
But to be devoted to God takes giving up all ideas, pursuits, even people, that are not His idea / plan / will for us. And that takes dying. Dying daily to Self. (Luke 9:23,24) If we turn from this Life, this Joy, then “What good is it if we gain the whole world? For in the pursuit of the world, we will have forfeited our eternal soul.” (See v. 25)
So how much would we pay to have true and lasting joy? Hopefully we can answer that we would pay anything and everything God requires, and that we would rejoice in knowing it is infinitely worth doing so.