Things of This World

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“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions —is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”  I John 2:15-17

It’s such a fine line: to enjoy our earthly possessions as gifts of God’s grace or to obsess about the things of this world and covet our neighbor’s stuff.  How are you doing?

The devil works in two different ways here.  Sometimes, he tries to make us feel guilty for enjoying life.  Instead, we ought to give thanks to God for whatever blessings He gives us in life.  But other times, he dangles possessions and the things of world in front of our eyes to tempt us to look for meaning and purpose in the things of life, instead of in the Author of Life.

It’s a fine line:  to enjoy our earthly possessions as gifts of God’s grace or to obsess about the things of this world and covet our neighbor’s stuff!  Let’s be honest, most Americans have enough disposable income to veer off into “possession obsession.”  (Or, for those Americans who don’t have enough disposable income, there’s always credit cards.) 

Why do we struggle so much with this?

It’s a simple answer, I think.  We’re looking for fulfillment in things that can’t bring it.  Whatever your “shopping therapy” or entertainment preferences are, the short-term high that they bring cannot provide the soul contentment that we need.  Only Jesus fills that hole.

So, what can we do?  First, thank God for all His gifts.  Second, search your heart for unhealthy attachments to worldly things.  Third, confess your sins.  Fourth, know that you are forgiven in Christ!

Heavenly Father, sometimes I’m too attached to the things of this world.  Forgive me.  Help me to be grateful for all that You give me, but help me also to not hold on tightly to the things of this world.  Rather, by Your Spirit, give me strength to hold on tightly to Jesus, who alone fills the needs of my soul.  In His name, Amen. 


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