In my current season of life, God has been renewing my mind and strengthening my heart. He has shown me through His Word, and through others, how much I waste and how UNIMPORTANT material items are. Actually, to take it all a step farther, He has shown me how material items can leave me in bondage; having to spend money to purchase and maintain them, having to spend time locating, cleaning and organizing them, having so much attention on our things that all could and should be spent and invested in His Kingdom and eternal priorities. All of the things in my house are temporary. Some of them may outlast my physical body here on earth but they won’t go on to eternity as my soul and your soul will.
Last Sunday, many people’s lives were changed dramatically by wind. Tornados ravaged many areas in Illinois. Seeing their lives in literal pieces strewn about their neighborhood makes one take pause. What if that were me – my house – our things?
I’ve been asked theoretical questions before similar to, “If you had 15 minutes to evacuate your home and you could only take what you could carry, what would you take with you?” Typical answers (beyond our loved ones and pets) were things like my Bible, my wedding rings, our photo albums, my family history records, my computer, and my phone. Jesus, while speaking to his disciples about the end times says,
….flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. Matthew 24:16-18
Let us keep things in their right perspective – they are to be used and to be enjoyed but not treasured. Our God in heaven, His Son, His Holy Spirit, His Holy Word are to be treasured. Things are to be used to build His kingdom and to show His glory. We are to be a generous people – helping our brothers and sisters when we see they have need; sharing the blessings that God has given us with others.
As we approach the holidays with all of the Christmas sales and advertisements for things – gifts, they call them – let us remember the most important gift we have to give – let us give of ourselves, be generous to others, and share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who need to hear it. Strip away all that is unnecessary and live a simple life – free to be used by God.
Join me as I allow God to continue pruning away the unnecessary things in my life that are keeping me from becoming more like Christ. Join me as I physically scale down the items in my house (garage sale for missions round 2 coming soon!). Join Jesus each day as you have more space, time and energy for the things of God. What is it in your life that needs to be stripped away?
Be encouraged. Press on.