Sunday, August 1, 2010

Verse of the Day - Lifeless Greediness

"Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners." - Proverbs 1:17-19

We are often reminded in the Scripture that there is more to life than acquiring material wealth and possessions. In fact, Jesus commands us in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not bread through and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The fact is, wealth is not bad - it is neither bad nor good. It is inanimate, soulless. Wealth is something over which we are to be good stewards. However, we humans rarely are concerned with being good stewards over that which the Lord has entrusted us. We are more likely to get caught up in just collecting wealth, acquiring material possessions, and hording them. Christ commands us not to horde our possessions, but rather to use them in such a way as to further Christ's kingdom - "laying up treasures in heaven." Those of us who have any material possessions probably know that, the more we get, the more we think about how we can keep those things, and our focus is taken of the Lord and His work. We must realize, as David did in Psalm 24, that, "The earth is the Lord's and all it fullness, the world and them that dwell therein" (KJV). Nothing in this life is truly "ours", but rather is a gift from God which we are given to steward.

Pagans, non-believers, and sadly even some Christians, get caught up in the pursuit of wealth. In their pursuit of wealth, it begins to "take away the life of its owners". What we tend not to realize, is that things (that are here but for a moment, that we cannot take to heaven) become more important to us than people (who will live eternally, either in heaven or in hell; who we can 'take with us' to heaven).

We are able to be distracted by wealth, but we do not have to be. May God strengthen us to be good stewards of the many things with which He has blessed us, and may we begin to "lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven," beginning today.

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