In our Belgian ecclesiae this fortnight we take a look at that what keeps so many busy these times. After the financial crisis it may look as if many people are not any-more so interested to get capital gain, but be not fooled, they still aim to enrich themselves, but much more with material things they can hold onto or dispose when not any more of use or not any more in fashion.
Lots of people are interested to get the most recent new gadgets. That this pursuit of pleasure can crowd out godly devotion we clearly can see in the many church denominations which all lost church members. Most people are not any more interested in God and His commands.
A typical narrow street in the Christian quarter in Tyre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We live in a world where many have fallen victim to greed and selfishness. Because of the prevailing commercial climate, much emphasis is placed on wealth. Hence, a Christian does well to examine himself to be sure that he is not falling into the same trap that ensnared the commercial city of Tyre. Does he spend so much of his time and energy in material pursuits that he is, in fact, a slave of riches? (Matthew 6:24) Is he envious of some who may have more or better possessions than he has? (Galatians 5:26) If he happens to be wealthy, does he proudly feel that he deserves more attention or privileges than others do? (Compare James 2:1-9.) If he is not rich, is he “determined to be rich,” whatever the cost? (1 Timothy 6:9) Is he so occupied with business matters that he leaves only a very small corner in his life for serving God? (2 Timothy 2:4) Does he become so consumed with the pursuit of wealth that he ignores Christian principles in his business practices?—1 Timothy 6:10.
Could it be that we need to make immediate adjustments in this regard? Granted, some benefits are derived from bodily training and recreation. Yet, such rewards are small compared with everlasting life. (1 John 2:25)
Today, many are “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power,” and we need to turn away from such individuals. (2 Timothy 3:4, 5)
3 But know this, that in the last days+ critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power;+ and from these turn away. 6 From among these arise men who slyly work their way into households and captivate weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 5-7)
Those who place emphasis on godly devotion are
“safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:19.
On From Guestwriters there are several articles placed which show how Materialism is a snare to many.
We may deceive even ourselves, “thinking that godly devotion is a means of [material] gain.” Thus, we could be emboldened to take improper advantage of the trust shown by fellow believers. (1 Timothy 6:5) We might even wrongly conclude that it is all right to press a prosperous Christian for a loan that we are unlikely to be able to repay. (Psalm 37:21) But it is godly devotion, not the acquisition of material things, that “holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) Since ‘we brought nothing into the world and cannot carry anything out,’ let us more intently pursue “godly devotion along with self-sufficiency” and allow ourselves to be ‘content with sustenance and covering.’—1 Timothy 6:6-11.
A lifetime of hard work in the pursuit of a secular career or material prosperity will not necessarily mean that one will “see good” if it is done to the exclusion of spiritual things. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority it well can be we will miss the boat. Only seeing those things others have and wanting to have them oneself, might pull us in a black hole. The envy man has, brings him into the darkness of the world and blinds him to see the real true light.
Jesus described the consequences of misdirected effort in his illustration of the sower. Regarding the seed “sown among the thorns,” Jesus explained that “this is the one hearing the word, but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) Paul also warned of the same trap and added that those who pursue a materialistic course “fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.” What is the antidote for such a spiritually ruinous way of life?
5 constant disputes about minor matters by men who are corrupted in mind+ and deprived of the truth, thinking that godly devotion is a means of gain.+ 6 To be sure, there is great gain in godly devotion+ along with contentment.* 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out.+ 8 So, having food* and clothing,* we will be content with these things.+
9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare+ and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin.+ 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.+
11 However, you, O man of God, flee from these things. But pursue righteousness, godly devotion, faith, love, endurance, and mildness.+ 12 Fight the fine fight of the faith; get a firm hold on the everlasting life for which you were called and you offered the fine public declaration in front of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:5-6-11-12)
17 Instruct* those who are rich in the present system of things* not to be arrogant,* and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches,+ but on God, who richly provides us with all the things we enjoy.+ 18 Tell them to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be generous,* ready to share,+ 19 safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future,+ so that they may get a firm hold on the real life.+ (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Remains of ancient columns at Al Mina excavation site – supposed palaestra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Please do find to read:
- Summermonths and consumerism
- The business of this life
- Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
- London an exaggerated microcosm of the UK at large
- Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #6 Transport factor of immobilising financial growth
- Democratic downfall
- The Existence of Evil
- Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
- Being ‘broke’ a state of mind
- Less for more
- Less… is still enough
- Gender connections
- Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
- Looking on what is going on and not being of it
- Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
- Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
- Learning that stuff is just stuff
- Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
- In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
- How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
- Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others
- Hoarding Relationships and Things
- Forward ever backwards never!
- 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
- Watch out
- Stop and Think
- If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
- Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
- Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
- A bird’s eye and reflecting from within
- We all have to have dreams
- Material gain to honour God
- Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
- Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
- Bearing fruit
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
- Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
- Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone