Perchik: "Money is the world's curse!"
Tevye: "May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover!" —from "Fiddler on the Roof"
I think we can all agree that whenever there is a conflict, it's over something seen as valuable. Sure, sometimes we fight for bragging rights or for mastery of a specific skill, like chess or boxing. Far more often, though, we compete over things or ideas that are more valuable than that. Animals in nature fight for mates, contests are held so a winner can be given a valuable prize, wars are fought for control of land, resources, and people.
Jesus and Satan know what is most valuable in the human being; they fight for our hearts. They also know that the best way to win our hearts is to get us to value what would glorify each of them the most:
Jesus is the best thing for us; in Him we are complete, so He wants us to glorify Him.
Satan needs to pull us away from that, so he uses materialism to distract us.
As we take Satan's materialistic bait, our hearts begin to covet things that don't last, which pulls us into the trap. Satan's victory over our souls becomes more and more powerful the more we place our value in the value of our stuff.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. —1 Timothy 6:17-19
We already have life because we have Christ. But we can't waste our wealth completely on ourselves. When spending your fortunes, avoid arrogance, transfer hope, give generously. You'll experience blessing here, and you'll store up treasure there.
The conflict and competition for your heart continues today. Who will win?
Spirit, I know that whatever wealth I have doesn't make me better or worse than those with less or more. Show me where You want me to pour myself and my resources into, so that spiritual wealth abounds in many people! Amen.
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture
driven by values and views that run counter to our faith
and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World.
By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
A Countercultural Life
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