Let temporal things serve thy use, but the eternal be the object of thy desire.
I still find my corrupt heart longing for tomorrow’s bread. I can make a good argument to the Lord about how effective I can be if He would supply me with enough advance funds. It’s a little frightening to pray for TODAY’s bread. That means I must pray again for tomorrow and believe again for tomorrow. My greedy heart is willing to be corrupted by a little bit of riches so that I see my warehouse full of loaves. I can make a good argument about how God won’t have to be bothered with me every day if He would only advance me about ten years worth of bread.
God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.
We sometimes come to God, not because we love Him best, but because we love our possessions best; we ask Christ to save Western civilization, without asking ourselves whether it is entirely a civilization that Christ could want to save. We pray, too often, not to do God’s will, but to enlist God’s assistance in maintaining our continually increasing consumption. And yet, though Christ promised that God would feed us, he never promised that God would stuff us to bursting.
There can be no doubt that this possessive clinging to things is one of the most harmful habits in the [christian] life. Because it is so natural, it is rarely recognized for the evil that it is. But its outworkings are tragic.
The greatest evil is not done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint…it is conceived and…moved, seconded, carried, and minuted…in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.
Many Christians and Christian leaders have been neutralized by the love of money and materialism. The homage paid to affluence becomes a burden that saps our energy as well as our love for God and other people. Though repentance and the cleansing of forgiveness, we can rid ourselves of this burden and begin to let God transform our value system. Like Jesus and Paul, we can learn to be content with what we have, living modestly in order that we may give liberally to the work of the kingdom and to meet the needs of others.
Chesterton wrote, “There are two ways to get enough; one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” How does this translate into our worship life as Christians? If thoughts of material things command the greater part of our attention and energy, can we really be serving and worshipping the Master as we should? I find that as I ascribe worth and honour to our loving and sovereign God, he allows me to desire less of the distractions, less of the other gods. But the struggle for the throne continues.
Christian love is the only kind of love in which there is no rivalry, no jealousy. There is jealousy among the lovers of art; there is jealousy among the lovers of song; there is jealousy among the lovers of beauty. The glory of natural love is its monopoly, its power to say, ‘It is mine.’ But the glory of Christian love is its refusal of monopoly.
Commercialization has obscured the meaning of Christmas. The commercial has become more important than the carol. What man has to sell more important than what God has given.