Monday, March 2, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 51)

Jesus said, “Don’t hoard up for yourselves valuables on earth, where moths and eating by insects ruin them, and where thieves force an entry and steal.”
— Matthew 6:19 (USC)
Eternity isn’t on our horizon nearly enough, yet we all sense our earth – our personal existence – is passing away. When we are even a few seconds gone we will be long gone into the next realm. Even a few seconds post-passing all our worldly possessions will have vanished from both view and interest.
Indeed, if we die any kind of lingering death we will have soon detected the folly of degrees in walnut frames, expensive cars in the garage, those cosmetic arrangements that have enhanced our prettiness, and all these plans that wither into the ether.
None of it counts. And whatever of the earth that we have hoarded – and not just material possessions, but how we spent our time, for just one instance – will have already depreciated.
Ever noticed the thrill of long sought after things evaporates even over weeks?
Nothing of the earth can satisfy us for long. Yet we will still be drawn by it.
There are two ways to handle this problem. The first is very conventional: we remind ourselves each and every day of the pointlessness of gathering up things for the sake of it. The second is not so conventional: we become stewards of everything we have.
This second idea has merit because the only things we need to have are the things we need to fulfil our Kingdom purpose.
God will provide every tool for ministry we will ever need if we don’t insist on having surplus. There is far too much surplus in this world, and, when that surplus isn’t re-distributed, we are at risk of wasting what needy people need.
There is plenty to go around. It’s only humankind’s selfishness and sloth that propagates poverty.
It’s our Christian obligation to ensure we steward all our resources as God does. Nothing we are given ought to be wasted. And we can only more fully utilise the things we have the time and inclination and purpose to use. Everything else might as well be given away. At least that way we might be a blessing and experience blessing.
Good stewards use what they’re given and give back what they can’t use.
1.     What is one thing you’ve been given by God that you have little or no use of that you could re-gift to someone else who might need it more?
2.     Love can be thought of as the ability to hold things lightly. How do you hold things lightly?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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