Friday, March 9, 2012

Gold, Silver or Jesus?

Proverbs 8:10, 19 - Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.  

I am reminded often about something that occurred in Arizona. I was headed out to run an errand one day in Arizona. As I drove along the hilly, winding road in the Gold Canyon neighborhood I noticed a house being built on top of a prominent hill. The house seems to extend from one end of the hill to the other. It is huge. 

I felt sorrow in my heart. Is this true happiness, having the most extrusive home in the community? I didn’t feel disgust, I just felt sad. 

Later in the week as my shuttle driver was running me to the airport he said he wanted to show me a house he'd been watching over the past few months. It was the same house. He explained that it was 40,000 square feet. (This seems to be debatable.) The clubhouse at the golf course this house is being built on is 40,000 square feet! 

God provides for us, and will provide for us, as I’ve mentioned before. Sometimes provision comes in monetary ways. It's how we use that sort of provision that is important. God provides but He expects us to be stewards of what He has given us. I don't know who is building the house or how many people will live there. I just feel sadness because I know that our stuff isn't really what makes us happy. I wonder how happy these people are, or think they are? I know people buy because it gives them temporary satisfaction. But that satisfaction is never truly achieved so they spend more, seeking more. That’s where Jesus comes in...

I have to admit I grew up having everything and anything as a child. It was the only way, I believe, my parents knew how to show their love. I didn't realize it at the time because I was happy having all my stuff, but I lacked the hugs, encouragement and a happy, loving family home.

I’m guilty of buying sometimes when I don’t need something. I’m also capable of putting things in a cart and then putting things back when this nagging feeling comes over me that I just don’t need it! And I rarely buy anything for its full price. I just can’t do it often. 

What’s really important in life? I think of what John 12:25 tells us: He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If we love what we have on earth but forsake the knowledge of God, we will lose our eternal lives; if we don’t place such a high regard on our stuff in this life and grow in our knowledge of and place our utmost importance in God we will have eternal life. Knowing where we will spend our eternal life is more important than all this stuff which will be of absolutely no importance. Simplifying our stuff and lives and knowing which to choose is the best bet. 

So where do I start? My biggest vice is books. Just ask my husband! Some books I may never read but at the time I purchased them there was a real "need" to have. I don’t know what it is. I have mentioned this before, I think. I remember contemplating which books I would absolutely want to take if I had to limit myself. Which would be the most important to me? A little voice said, There’s only one Book you really need to have. It’s the one that tells us what is most important in life. It tells us about Jesus, about the freedom we have in Him, having the wisdom of God implanted in our minds, in knowing His truth, how mourning is turned into joy, how death is turned into life...without stuff.

What’s important? Is anything you have or own, including people, guaranteed to last? Don’t we all know that anything can be taken away in a heartbeat? Look at all those devastated by tornadoes. Do we know that we know Jesus? Do we know that if we have Him, we have it all? Do we find what He has to offer is more precious than silver or gold? Isn't our eternal life worth more than anything we have on this earth? Can we grasp this concept? 

Wisdom in our choices is what's important. It determines our lifestyle. Our life on earth is only temporary. We came into this world without stuff and we will die without stuff. The most important thing is knowing that Jesus bought our lives with His blood...and He wants to share that life with us through relationship with us. 

This world is changing and it’s not all for the good, unless one gets to a place where we fully put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone. Then nothing that happens in this world matters because we know our lives are secure in Him. 

If we like stuff because it makes us feel important or we want to stand out, we’ve got it a bit backwards, according to God. It’s not about how important we think we are in this world, but how important we are in His eyes when we have given ourselves to Him. He tells us the first will be last and the last first, being a servant is better than being served, humility outweighs pride. This is what Jesus was and what He teaches us to be. That, to me, is worth more than silver or gold. Jesus and what He did for me is more important than all other things.

BTW, the house in Arizona seems to be on hold. Causes one to wonder why. Thankfully, our house in Heaven already exists and there’s a place for us now if we have the Lord Jesus as our Savior.

1Peter 1:17-20 - ...conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here [on earth] in fear [reverent fear of God]; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

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