This article is based on the Gospel of Luke chapter 12, 15 in which Jesus asks the believers to be on guard against all kinds of greed.
In the above verses Jesus, very categorically, instructs the disciples to be careful about their desire for worldly wealth and pleasures, because, life does not consist in abundance of possessions.
I think, Jesus is absolutely right in this regard. If wealth and material possessions could give meaning and satisfaction to life, then the richest people would have been the happiest people on earth.
See what king Solomon, the richest man ever lived in the history of mankind, says about wealth and possessions.
10I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labour, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2, 10-11)
King Solomon denied himself nothing that his heart or eyes desired. He owned everything a man could ever own in his entire life, but still at the end of the day, he looks back and says:
King Solomon, fully realized that, everything done under the sun is meaningless and it is nothing but “a chasing after the wind.” It does not bring any happiness to the inner Spirit in a person.
The Spirit inside a person gets happiness not from the material wealth he owns, but from its interaction with the Holy Spirit. When his whole focus shifts from the material possessions to the things of the Kingdom of God, the Spirit in him rejoices.
Jesus knew very well the brevity of happiness that wealth could bring into a person’s life; he knew well the temporary nature of joy derived from Possessions. That is why, he advised His disciples to stay away from material possessions, an advice that Jesus himself practiced while HE walked up on the face of the earth.
Moreover, He also knew how easily all kinds of greed could carry a man away from the Narrow Path he is treading on. This was also one of the main reasons why Jesus warned his disciples to be careful about all kinds of greed. Let us look at this verse once more.
Well, I think this is an amazing advice by the Great Shepherd for the sheep.
In a world that has an unquenchable appetite for wealth and pleasures, how a true Christian should live? It is a big challenge; it is a big question.
The contemporary church and the world have embraced each other so closely that the difference between the two has almost melted away like snow in the heat of the rising sun.
The church has adopted all the characteristics of the world without any hesitation, but still it claims to be the true bride of Christ waiting for the bridegroom.
The world has succeeded in conquering the church by enticing it with its pleasures and wealth. As our Master had advised us; If we had killed our desire to enjoy the pleasures of this world, the church would not have become prey to the tricks of this world. Moreover, the world wouldn’t have taken control of the church as it has done today.
Saints, please remember, once our passion for amassing wealth dries up, then this perishing world has nothing to entice us. we will be free from the temptations of this world. Instead of the church becoming like the world, the world will become like the church.
Saints, Lord Jesus called and separated us in order to transform this world, but just the opposite is happening. Instead of we transforming the world, we have let the world transform us.
What a sad situation is this? Have you ever thought about it?
Nowadays, the contemporary Christians are behaving exactly like the world. They are also, like the world, thirsty for more and more material wealth and pleasures.
Another sad thing is: Those who have plenty are not willing to share what they have, instead they want more and more.
If we examine dispassionately, we could find that, most of the fights and disquiet in the church today, originates from the desire to have more power and wealth and nothing else – it is all about money and power.
Nowadays, if we look around, we could find that many churches are going through tough times because of the infighting among the leaders. And the root cause of all these quarrels lies in their desire to have more power and money.
Furthermore, the biggest reason behind the compromise going on with the word God is the result of greed on the part of those who are holding positions in the church.
We are called and separated in order to live like the citizens of heaven on earth and not to live like the citizens of this world. In the heavenly kingdom nobody owns anything, that is the truth and that is how the early church lived.
But today the prosperity preachers have taken the focus of the church from heaven to earth. Nowadays, the believers are taught that:
- the more they have, the more they are blessed,
- the more they receive the more they are blessed.
Our Master commanded us to sell our possessions and give it to the poor but today’s preachers are asking the poor in their churches to sell their possessions and give it to the church, so that these preachers can buy bigger homes and more expensive cars.
Our master told us not to store up treasures on earth for ourselves, instead, store up treasures in heaven but who cares about what HE commanded, absolutely nobody, including me.
That is the depth of Influence this perishing world has on us. If we are not willing to listen to our Master, the result will be strife, tension and disappointment.
Men from East and west will Come and take part in the supper of the Lamb, but the subjects of the kingdom thrown out and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Amen.