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How Our Possessions Can Possess Us

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How Our Possessions Can Possess Us

Post by Harry on Wed May 16, 2018 12:21 pm

How Our Possessions Can Possess Us

May 16, 2018 by Jack Wellman

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People change, but money can change people in ways we might not even imagine.
The Source of Wealth
We are nothing more than stewards of what God’s given to us here on earth (Luke 16), and we can certainly take none of it with us after death, so what good is our money after we leave this earth? What good can our possessions do us then? What good is wealth if it does not help others? God may give you possessions but those possessions are not yours and they are not mine. The Bible teaches, “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deut 8:18), and “The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts” (1 Sam 2:7). That doesn’t mean that by our hard work we don’t get what we have labored for, but ultimately, nothing that we have as resources came from us. All that exists does so by the sovereign decree of the Creator God. He intended these things for our enjoyment. Solomon wrote, “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God” (Eccl 5:19). It is a gift. You don’t do anything to earn a gift. It’s the same thing with eternal life (Eph 2:8-9). Did you earn your birthday gifts? Were you responsible for being born? I don’t think so.
Owning Possessions
You can own a lot of possession, but possessions can come to own you, and I am no exception. We have all seen someone “whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil” (Eccl 6:2). One of the most evil things Solomon has ever seen is “riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt” (Eccl 5:13), and the rich spending on such frivolous things as gold-platted toilets. Isaiah the Prophet asks, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:2), and what is good and delightful? It’s not food or drink but rather God says, “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 55:3). Possessions are temporary…your soul is eternal. One has a finite value…one is priceless. What price could you ever put in a soul?
Effects, Affects, and Defects
The Apostle Paul writes as if money can take over our hearts. In 1 Timothy 6:10, he writes that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Tim 6:10). Money is not evil in itself. It is loving money that’s at the root of all kinds of evil. It’s not at the root of all evil, but it can be at the root of all kinds of evil. Money can have an effect on our heart, and then our heart can affect others, and these money-driven decisions can lead to defects in our character. If you had all the money you needed, there would be a temptation to have just a little more, but Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13). What was the reaction of the rich people in the crowd? “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him” (Luke 16:14). The Pharisees didn’t even realize that they were already a slave, not even a servant, of their own possessions. One they worshiped (money); the other they should have worshiped (Jesus is God) but rejected. They loved the praise of men and loved their money more. Sounds very similar to the many false prophets today who promise people’s “seed of faith” will pay future dividends, making God out to be a “quid pro quo” God. Yes, your seeds are buried, but deep within the bank accounts of these “prophets for profit.” Money has even captured their hearts, and now they preach a wealth-gospel, which is really no gospel at all (Gal 1:6-9), one even saying, “Speak to your wallet.”
Repossession
A friend of mine who began his own prison ministry retired from the aircraft industry with a decent amount of money, but he was constantly worrying about his 401K dipping or losing value in the market, or worried about his house that needed repairs, or…just fill in the blank. He later admitted that it sometimes kept him awake at night just as our financial woes can keep us up at night, but when my friend came to understand that all he had was not his own, he began to bless others with it. His heart was repossessed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit had convicted him of his tight-fisted lifestyle. He wouldn’t say it openly, but later he admitted he had done everything except bow down to the dollar. Instead of him owning money, the money owned him. It became his taskmaster. It became his chairman of the board which drove most of his decisions. After hearing a message about the Parable of the Good Stewards (Luke 16:1-13), he repented and began his own wealth-redistribution program, helping those who genuinely needed it, and funding ministries that reach out to prisoners, nursing home residents, and the homeless. Today he is an ordained minister, but only because his heart was repossessed by the Spirit of God which caused him to resign as chair of his own board.
Conclusion
Most of us are not in a position to worry about our wealth taking over our hearts, however any of us can covet. Of course we can’t stereotype rich people because many are very generous, but we are all at risk for coveting. That’s the one thing that got Paul. He wrote, “sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead” (Rom 7:Cool, but the law is not the problem. We should strive to obey the law while recognizing we’re not saved by the law (Gal 3), but Paul emphasizes that “if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet” (Rom 7:7), so we should begin with prayer when we are in need, and make sure we know the difference between needs and wants. James wrote, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
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