What are the most important things? A house, car and job? Clothing on your back? Food and water? What if all those things were not the most important things. What if God valued something more? Things that are not tangible but eternal in value?
Fasting helps us put this and our hearts in perspective. The symbolism of absolute fasting shows us this exact thing. God’s Glory and his character and attributes far exceed the value of food and water.
“”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint,
dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of
the law–justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done
without neglecting the others.”
Trying to keep the Law (which is impossible) and trying hard to ‘be a good person’ is not the most important thing. Justice, Mercy and Faith are. Why is that?
- Justice reveals to us that we need a savior.
- Mercy reveals to us that we receive mercy through the savior
- Faith reveals to us that we are saved by the savior.
The Gospel message is greater than trying hard to be a moral person. Moralism and “trying to be a good person” never saved a single soul.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you
have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Can we be content? Of course. The Gospel message and Jesus Christ is so valuable, that when we have HIM we do not need anything else. We can live at peace with God and be content with what he has given us and what he has not. The ‘things’ in this world are of less value to those who seek Christ.
What is your treasure?
““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.”
Treasure on earth is less valuable than the treasure in heaven. The treasure in heaven is the Justice, Mercy and faithfulness of God. The greatest valuable ‘thing’ in all reality is God’s Glory. So valuable we do not get any of it. We dare not claim any for ourselves.
Also read about Fasting
Quality of Life
“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all
covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his
Possessions do not equal value. Life is worth more than stuff. A lot of stuff does not make life more valuable. Jesus is THE LIFE which is worth more than all stuff. That’s why we need to “guard against all covetousness” because all we need is Christ. The quality and value of your life is not based on how much you have or what kind of stuff you have.
Value is Based On your Focus
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall
we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all
these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
God’s glory is priority. When we seek God; our desires line up with his. We become peaceful and content. We value heavenly treasures and we live a God pleasing, God glorifying, Christ focused, Gospel centered, life that we then learn that we have everything we will ever need and we have all things. That we only need what God provides and do not covet anything more than that.
Poverty in Christ
Being poor materialistically in this world does not mean God has cursed you or anyone ‘poor’.
“Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.”
“But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I have, I give
you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Integrity is better than having stuff. Things of God that reflect his character is worth more than any sort of material gain. The person and work of Jesus is the most valuable thing to give someone because he is the perfect reflection of God.
Sacrifice is wealth
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not
neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are
pleasing to God”
Share what we have. You can be share what you have if you are hoarding it or storing it up for yourself.
“41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little.[u] 43 Summoning His disciples, He said to them, “I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on.”
Why is her few coins worth more than all the “large sums”? Because she sacrificed, they did not. Thus she was more wealthy to God; they were poor. Rich in this world but poor before the eyes of God. This shows that the value of something is not found in materialism, money, or possessions.
“Bless are you who are poor… woe to you who are rich”
You are NOT more blessed because you have more money and stuff. Satan even promises material wealth. Sacrifice for God’s Glory is ultimate in value for all eternity.
Giving someone the Gospel Message is worth more than buying yourself a new car. Donating your car for ministry use is worth more than buying a third car for your self. We can go on and on about examples of greater value. Self Sacrifice of materialism so that God is magnified is storing treasure in heaven. Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serving people is worth more than every dollar in your bank account and pay check.
THE WORDILY EYES
The worldly minded people will see a nice brand new car, job, and fancy clothing as proof of God’s favor. This is a lie. Satan also provides these things so that minds and hearts are continually focused on stuff and not The Gospel. Their value of God’s favor is based on the amount of created material stuff. They tend to ask God for more stuff instead of sacrifice themselves for his glory.
They want and take, instead of serve and give.
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