TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, April 23, 2018:
Devotion to or preoccupation of material things, comforts and considerations rather than to spiritual values; putting emphasis on self needs or personal desires.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6: 19-21.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
The desire to have as many “things” as possible is prevalent among our society today. If asked, many people would admit that they would like to be rich and to be able to buy whatever they desire. What we see is people spending their whole life accumulating wealth only to die and leave it behind. It is important to note that there is nothing wrong with a person or a family to have material “things,” but it can become wrong when their desire for them outweighs their commitment to God and they put attaining those things ahead of what God wants from them. The material things which we can enjoy on this earth last only for a short time but mean nothing for eternity.
Having money in itself is not evil, but as Paul tells us in I Timothy 6:10, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. The love of money is “greed.” Greed makes us discontent with what we have and leads to all kinds of evil. It leads to marriage problems, cheating, lying, stealing and much worse.
In the verse above from Matthew, Jesus was speaking to the masses delivering His Sermon on the Mount. He made it very clear in this sermon that our first priority as believers, while we are living on this earth, is to spend our time building up treasures in heaven.
You might ask what are the treasures that Jesus was referring to in His Sermon on the Mount. Treasures are the things you do to glorify His name. Things like sharing the good news of the gospel with people you associate with beginning with your family and using your time and money to serve Him. Treasures are reaching out to help people who are hurting both spiritually and physically.
Over the years times have changed and many things that we would have considered luxuries 50 years ago are now considered necessities. Advances in technology have made all kinds of new devices available. New things like computers, cell phones, and TV’s are wonderful as long as they do not become what is most important to us. When a new cell phone or computer comes on the market people rush out to be among the first to have one and will even stand in line for hours and some for days to get one. This is a good example of materialism.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24 that contrary to what most people want to believe, material things do not bring satisfaction. Materialism leads us to crave more and more things causing us to spend more than we can afford and puts us on a path of ruin and destruction. The question that each one of us must ask ourselves is, “are we so consumed by our possessions that they possess us?” Possessions can easily become our master.
No man can serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. God’s command is “to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” Deuteronomy 10:12. If we want to serve God we must consider what occupies our minds. What do we devote the most time to in our life? What has a higher priority for us? Is it material possessions or is it our Lord and Savior?
For those whose priority in life is money and possessions Jesus warned, “Beware, and be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Chronicles 7:14.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.
I want to thank You for every material blessing You have allowed me to receive. Help me to evaluate carefully how I use the “things” You have given me to further Your work on this earth. Help me to always make my priority to be to store up my treasures in heaven.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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