Daily Devotional for Thursday September 4, 2014
The United States is a Highly Materialistic Society
(2 Corinthians 4:18)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, s Christians when we are confronted with violence do we kill to save ourselves and others OR do we go silently to slaughter?
ANSWER: A Christian has every right and responsibility to defend themselves and their family!
Nobody would even try to argue that in the year 2014, the United States is a highly materialistic society. We have taken materialism to unprecedented levels over the last 50 years. The Bible has much to say about the "temporal things of this world." The temporal things of this world are the material things of this life that not only come and go, but will be meaningless when this brief journey is over. Nothing drives home the truth of God's Word about how fleeting the temporal things of this world are better than a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or the current economic crisis that has seen so many lose large amounts of money as well as homes and other possessions.
Sadly, many have taken for granted not only the most basic material needs of life, but so many people act like they must have every material thing this world produces. We get so focused on acquiring "things," on having the most current "thing," that we lose sight of the fact that these material "things" of this world come and go. They are here today and gone tomorrow. In our drive to have the temporal things of this world, we end up paying very little attention to the eternal things of God.
Every day here at Liveprayer we deal with people who have "lost everything." Each day I deal with people who have lost ALL of the material possessions they owned overnight through natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, to tragic events like house fires, to being burglarized, to a divorce where a spouse take everything. It is at those moments in life that a person realizes what really is important, what really matters. It is at those moments in life a person realizes that the temporary things of this world can come and go, but the relationship we have with the Lord is the only thing we can always count on being there.
Let me ask you a question. Is there something in this world that you love more than the Lord? I have no doubt some people will pause as they think of the love they have for their spouse, for their parents, for their children. As much as we may love those special people God blesses us with during our brief journey through life, our love for Christ MUST always be first. This is a truth most people are able to understand and accept.
More to the point however, is there some THING in this world that you love more than the Lord? We say we love Christ, we say Christ is first in our life, but is He really? Let me be a bit more specific. Is Christ first in your life, ahead of your career? Is Christ first in your life, ahead of your hobbies and special interests? Is Christ first in your life, ahead of your "things!" Be careful now, we know what the RIGHT answers to these questions are, but are they the TRUE answers?
Even though I know you don't want to, let's go a bit deeper. Does your work or career take priority over the Lord in your normal day-to-day life? Do you invest as much time each week into the Lord as you do your hobbies and special interests? Do you invest as much time each week into the Lord as you do the temporal things of this world that will one day be meaningless? One of the profound statements Jesus made was, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Since that is a great measuring stick of where our heart is, how much of your treasure goes to the Lord as opposed to the pleasures of this world?
Listen, PLEASE do not misunderstand what my message to you today is. I am NOT saying that your career is not important. After all, it was God who gave you the gifts and talents you have to be successful in your career, it was God who opened the doors for you to be where you are at, and it is God who gives you favor and blessings each day in your career. I am also NOT saying that your hobbies and special interests are not important. Again, it was God who gave you the desires and passions for the things you enjoy in this life. Nor am I saying you should not use some of the resources God has entrusted to you to enjoy the abundance of this life.
What I AM saying is that we have to take inventory of our life from time to time and ensure that we are keeping Christ first at all times, in all things. We can fall into patterns at times and slowly ease the Lord out of our day-to-day life. Not consciously, but often without even realizing it put other things in our life ahead of Him. This is a subtle trap of the enemy since once the Lord is no longer first in your life, you are wide open to be attacked. This becomes an open door for satan to enter your life and harm you.
I love you and care about you so much. It is out of that love that I am sending you this warning today. Simply take a moment and ask yourself the tough questions in regard to where Christ fits in your life. Is He first in ALL areas of your life? Don't play games with yourself, since this is for YOUR benefit, not the Lord's. This is to protect YOU from giving the enemy any room to operate in your life. It is critical to never lose sight of what is truly important to us. The things of this world that will one day pass away, or our relationship with the Lord which will last for all eternity?
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will never forget that Christ MUST be first in your life at all times, in all things. We can never allow any person, our career, our hobbies or interests, or the "things of this world to become more important than Jesus. He has got to be our first priority and our first love at all times. The Lord gives us special people to share this life with, He gives us gifts and talents to use in our careers, He gives us passions and desires for the things we enjoy in this life, and it is the Lord who blesses us with the material goods we have during our life.
We must never fall into the trap of loving the things of this world more than we love Jesus. When this life is over, the things of this world will pass away and it is only our relationship with Jesus Christ that will last for all eternity. Don't get so focused on the "temporal things of this world" that you miss the eternal things of God!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,