1.) What's one thing you no longer do, because Jesus is in your life?
2.) What is one thing you've started doing for Jesus?
3.) What are some tangible behaviors in your life that you are convicted you need God's help to change?
I live an affluent life. There are many things I have bought I wish I haven't. My lifestyle has risen with my income. And, I am starting to ask myself some hard questions about that. I am doing this because I am tired of hearing people's immediate response to any conviction on material things being, "God wants us to enjoy ourselves." Yes, someone said something similar in Scripture. Who was it? The man who tore down his barns to build bigger ones, that's who. It's a problem when Christians begin to sound like the bad guys in parables.
I don't think everyone needs to sell everything to go live in a mud hut. I do think we ought to consider what it means to live moderately. John Piper in his book for pastors entitled Brothers, We Are Not Professionals has a great little chapter, "Brothers, Tell Them Copper Will Do." His basic point was: both copper and gold are conductors. Copper conducts well, and is less expensive. Why do we need gold?
My own principle, which I have often failed to uphold, is to buy quality but not too good of quality. A Lexus is a dressed up Toyota --buy the Toyota (okay, I am a Toyota fan). Buying things that won't wear out in a week is good stewardship. But, is a suit bought off the rack at Dillard's any less servicable than a custom-made suit from the upscale retailer? Is the $1000 bottle of wine really that much better than the $20 bottle?
Our first goal is not to enjoy life, but to enjoy God. IN serving him there is great reward. And, he has called upon us to give generously. To live at a lifestyle less than we can afford, to bless the multitudes who have little. Evil Pope Leo X said, "God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it." How many Christians think, "God has all the money in the world, let me enjoy what I have." The truth is: God doesn't need our wealth, but he has set you as a steward over it, and where your treasure is, your heart will be.
Is your money in ostentatious houses, multiple homes, luxury cars, big screen televisions (mine is)? Is it okay to have those things as long as you don't "love" them --what does that even mean?
Or maybe it's Monday....