"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." - Matthew 13:44
I'm thoroughly convinced that Jesus is more satisfying than anything else. His undeserved grace bewilders my mind and makes a song of joy resound in my heart. This conviction is my fuel for rising every morning and it is the strength upon which I feed throughout everyday of my journey. Oh how I love Him! That being said, I would like to expound on how materialism is running rampant in the lives of Christians and how vigorously we need to fight it. The American dream is the most useless philosophical idea resonating in the minds of the citizens of this country today. There has been a most grand delusion weaved deeply within our souls, and it poses a diabolical risk of consuming us. Most want nothing more than to spend the twilight years withdrawn to a secluded beach, scouring for seashells, trolling on a yacht with a special someone, and to die a peaceful, painless death. What a waste. What great abandon we are called to by the Savior! We are beckoned to become slaves to grace, but yet to experience the chiefest amount of freedom one could ever fathom. "Stuff" has a vice grip on our culture. The ever-prevalent ideology of "Keeping up with the Joneses" is what we crave. In man's ongoing effort to preserve the illusionary reign of his self, he will not deny himself the slightest pleasure. While most things in the world are not bad in and of themselves, worshiping creation and not Creator is a grave mistake and a sin. God bestows unto all people various amounts of material blessing. Whether He gives to His children much or little, we are called to glorify Him with all that we have. John makes it clear in his first epistle that we are not to love the world1, but if you delve deeply enough, you'll see that worldliness is primarily found in the heart. Just as "the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart"2 (author's translation), what our hearts treasure is a defining factor of who we belong to and who or what we worship. We must be firm in our effort to serve others. We must learn to give cheerfully3 and not to become slaves to our monetary endowments, for certainly we cannot serve God and money.4 Let's join together in a lifelong journey to dispel worldliness from our hearts. Let's strive for the freedom that is found by abandoning worldly gain for the purpose of serving ourselves. If it comes to it, may God give us the grace to joyfully accept the plundering of our property!5 May we resolve alongside Paul to determine to make nothing known with our lives, "except Jesus Christ and Him crucified!"6 We will either use our resources for the advancement of the kingdom or we will become enslaved. God forbid the latter.
11 John 2:15, 2 Luke 6:45, 32 Corinthians 9:7, 4Matthew 6:24, 5Hebrews 10:34, 61 Corinthians 2:2