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Thursday: The Ultimate Futility of Materialism — 36 Comments

  1. The greatest test for a christian is how to handle material possession. The devil knows that Materialism is pleasing to the eye. This requires daily surrender to the will of God , the source of all things.

  2. Striving for material things are good but we shouldn't do that at the expense of our Christian moral values. Remember we shall leave them behind one day. What matters is what we did with the things God entrusted to us!

  3. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. This bible verse tell us that we do not own anything in this world. They idea that we posses material things and that they belong to us is a shallow stay of mind, we can have riches, but we know deep inside that they can be taken away at anytime and that it is the reason why we become sickly obsess and attach to them. May the Lord help us not to become deceive by Satan and his devices.

    Esther Moran

    • If no one owns anything, why do the ten commandment say we may not steal or even covet what belongs to someone else? If we didn't own what God gives us, how could it be possible for someone to steal anything if no one owns it?

      • God has made us 'stewards' or caretakers of some goods. Coveting is thus probably the result of the false idea of ownership, rather than stewardship. The commandment not to "covet" thus wouldn't be necessary for people who have a correct understanding of stewardship. Of course, the same could be said of all the other commandments: They are not necessary for those who genuinely love God and their neighbors as Christ loved us. Maybe that's why Paul said that the law is only for those who are "under the law" (i.e. not for those who live by faith.) Rom 3:19. also Gal 3:19

        • Very good thought, Inge. Thank you very much.

          I think it may be that God's Character is such that we respect the responsibility of ownership of others while we just see what we have as something we take care of for God with His Love as our motivation. Our work is to share all that God gives us to represent God's Love rightly to all we can.

  4. This is a very sensitive and interesting topic. Many Christians are struggling this because of what the world tells us about life and by placing us in different classes (High, Middle & Lower ) and Christians believe we are the Head and not the Tail; therefore, we should not be in the middle or lower classes. Some Ministers preach this and confuses the church. If anyone understands what I am trying to say please expound.

    • Morning Andrew, yes it is an uphill battle with these statements. However, the question is not what society or this world has defined as class or hierarchy. Being always ahead means that once you have GOD, you are always going to be in the best spot in the house. We cannot think of it of this world but in the light of eternity. This does not mean that we cannot own or have anything, but we cannot put ourselves in the light of this world's definition. Ministers that preach this thing to me are into prosperity Gospel. If the minister's goal is to have a wealthy church which in turns puts more money into his church ( his pocket), then he has all the right to speak like that. However, for us and what I believe is that our wealth is stored in heaven because our ultimate goal is to be Eternal Wealthy not earthly rich. This is not to say we have to think of ourselves in the lowest form, nope, because Daniel was not Job wasn't.

    • Andrew,

      It seems as if you are saying that as Christians we are to live our lives through the eyes of the world. Upper, middle, lower, means nothing to a Christian. We are all on equal ground at the cross. We are to not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds, we don't adjust to the world's way of doing things or seeing things, but as Christ and He is no respecter of persons.

      Christ is the Head and we are His body. If ministers are preaching classism in the Church it is not right. We should be preaching "Gospel-ism".

    • The short answer to your inquiry is that the idea you are addressing is known as the Prosperity Gospel (sometimes also referred to as the Health and Wealth Gospel). Such an idea is clearly appealing to many people: who does not want to be healthy and wealthy? However, like many unbalanced "Gospels", this one ignores a whole lot of scripture that speaks of self-sacrifice and service. The Prosperity Gospel has become big business for many churches and we need to be aware of its beguiling nature.

      In the context of this lesson series on stewardship, you have made a very important comment and I shall try to provide a fuller answer sometime in the future.

      • But one may ask a question: isn't the fact that we will be heads and not tails, high class and not middle or lower class in the modern tongues, in the bible and part of God's promises to his people, which has to claimed just like any other promises? What is wrong with a message encouraging people to claim God's promises?

        • I am not sure just what you are referring to here Pascal, but let me spend a bit of time researching the issue of the Prosperity Gospel and I will try and address what your comment. I have given myself a couple of weeks to research and write an article about it. Prosperity churches have becoming more noticeable here in Australia in recent times and I would like to have a bit of a think about how we should address the issue.

        • My dear Pascal, when it comes to money and material possessions Christians cannot compete with the world. For example look at the houses and cars that the celebrities and other non- famous rich people own. Christians are not to buy the most expensive cars and live in the biggest houses. Therefore, when the bible talks about being the head and not the tail, it means that we are suppose to set the right examples for the world to follow, like how Jesus lived. God is good and there is none higher or greater than him. Satan is bad and there is non lower than him. This is the scale whereby we should judge whether something or someone is high or low- Godly standard places us on the high ground and evil standard places us on low ground. The world has it twisted because they are deceived by the devil. They even call good bad and bad good. You see how much darkness they are in? Pray for them brother. So we as true seventh day Adventist Christians ought to see ourselves as God sees us. God said you are the head? no matter what just believe that and do not be conformed to this world. You be the leader in righteousness and God will hold you up in his ways and the devil will not be able to take you down

    • Yes, Andrew, we get confused by the "world" when we pay attention to the world. God is not a "respector of persons" like the people of the world are because He is totally motivated by true Love. When we are motivated by His Love we will see everyone through the eyes of this Love instead of through the eyes of selfishness. We, then, see differently. Sometimes even preachers get caught up in the vision of the world. Let us not follow anyone except God and His Love.

    • Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. For a boxer this message comes handy, until he is asked to give money. Taking words out of context in a self serving manner is human nature’s specialty. Apostle James (4:3) advises against this approach to life: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”.

      Being head should be taken with all its weight to include being first in caring, helping, suffering, etc. Most riches (if not all) come from an unfair distribution of wealth created either by circumstance or by deliberation. Christ followers use everything they have to include as many as possible with the goal of having a positive impact for kingdom. Anyone not born again in the Spirit, probably will use everything received to exclude as many as possible and use the benefit for his/her own pleasure. Christ was “head” and unless we are ready to live as he lived, we will be tail regardless of the name used.

      If someone in "upper class" needs Jesus, there we go the same as if someone was in "middle or lower class". As followers of Christ we move between classes because we are beyond these classifications.

  5. Good Morning Everybody and Happy New Year,
    I agree with everyone's comments so far. It is very hard to keep the 10th Commandment, " Thou shalt not covet..."Exdous 20:17 when everybody around us has "stuff". What the world says we need to be happy is everywhere. We are bombarded with TV commercials, Internet advertisement, it's on billboards as you drive down the street. And if we take our mind of Christ we will lose focus of what is true happiness and we will do whatever we can to obtain these material things because we think these things will make us happy. And we want to look like everybody else and we want are children to have these things as well. It's nothing wrong with having stuff. And having good stuff. We just have to keep thiese scriptures in mind as we obtain stuff.
    (1) Psalm 24:1 and Hebrews 2:10-18 "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, and they that dwell there in."
    (2) Matthew 6:33 " But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of its righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you."
    If we trust God, He will give just what we need, and what we can handle, so we can keep our focus on things above. And remember in "God we trust", not the $dollar bill.
    Have a blessed day everybody,

  6. We are to understand that we are from the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ,we're set apart so let us not be blinded by the things of this world.

  7. Yes Andrew, I completely understand clearly what you are say and most of the churches around the world are allowing themselves to be spoon fed by their clergy, when they should be searching the scriptures for themselves so they do not get confused.

  8. I do support what you are saying Andrew because this week's lesson has been really difficult for me to understand in the sense of where do the line stops . I feel hopeless because i feel that I am already so wrapped up in the world's allurements. I have a good job and i have a nice car , clothes and other possessions. How do I become released from the attachments of all these ? Once you have a good salary , it is obvious that you will buy things you think you need . I have been always thought by my mother to strive for greatness . What do I do ?
    I was only comforted by Tuesday's lesson which encouraged us to walk in the Spirit so I plan to ask to Spirit to guide in every aspect of my life . Any more thoughts?

    • Hi Kedeisha, I understand where you are coming from as I too have been blessed with many things. One thing I find helpful to remind me that what I have is not really mine but given by God is to go into the city, or other places where there are homeless people, and buy them a sandwich and a drink, ask what they need and have a few things on hand that you can pass on to them, like a clean cup and bottle of water, or a scarf or wrap that might help on a cold night. Little things mean a lot to those in need.
      Also, giving a double tithe reminds me that there is a lot of people and projects that can be reached with what God has given. There are many ways to fulfil God's instruction to care for those who are less fortunate. I am sure you will think of other things that can be done.

    • Hey Kedeisha,

      I hear you and I can honestly say God is not telling you not to strive for greatness. No one well at least I am not suggesting that you should not be the best that you can be. Take the story of the man on a journey that left him servants talents/Gifts Matthew 25:14-30.

      The point is not to not have nice things, but not to let the nice things define you as a person/Christian. If you put more value on your quest to greatness than you do your spiritual life, God then this is where you have to reevaluate your life to make sure you are not taking on idols.

  9. I have of recent been really practicing consolidating the possessions of this world I have fallen steward to. Felt Like I was making some headway, God willing! Then three days after my 55th birthday (middle of last October) my 32 yr old son suddenly died ... his mother ,myself , and his younger brother helped clean out his apt. Now I have many of his things and am at a loss and feel stalled in his memory and (Stuff). I trust Jesus and am begging God to help me.I confess, when I imagine discarding the remaining things it pains my heart, a heart that is in so many pieces already it feels like I am losing my mind in this present grief. Help me Jesus! Is my cry and my only hope.

    • Hi Chris, I am so sorry for your loss and I pray that you will find comfort in your family and God's word.
      Something I found helpful when my sister died was to choose a couple of meaningful things and let the rest go. I kept her first Bible, some photos and her house key. In time God will help you to deal with your sadness.

    • Chris H: Powerful all the more since I know you. I feel your struggle and wish it had never happened, but God is able to raise both us and our situation from our present despair to a level of satisfaction and peace while still in this world. It won't be happy until the other side, except in our realization that God is in control and resolving the sin problem.
      I now work as a nurse in the ER. Every day I see these situations as people experience great loss. It is easy to get discouraged and fall to Satan's other ploy, that nothing matters, and this world is worthless. His attempt to make us "shiny and popular" as the materialism mantra would elicit is an impossible goal. But we do need material things -Prov. 30:8, so we can do things for God. The value in this present world is not things (which are tools) but people. We need each other. When we lose someone our heart hurts because we lost the most precious thing in the world: LOVE.

      • Mike,thank you for your kind words and encouragement.Please keep Leslie and Luke in your prayers too. As I only really know this present grief from were I stand ... and can only imagine theirs. God bless us all.

  10. If the prosperity gospel is true, then, man is the measure of all things???? That is, God is not needed in our lives, and grace is no longer in use.

  11. Some of us as Christians have been for so long owned by our own possessions.They have become the god we worship. Pray that we forsake wealth, the God of this world, and materialism, its religion, and be converted into Christianity where Jesus stands tall as Savior and King.

  12. The Apostle Paul indicates that we are to be "Content," if we have food and raiment and also assures us that God shall supply all our needs. There is a huge difference between our wants and our needs. This world is not our home we are just passing through. Food and clothes and shelter is about all that we have any assurances from God's Word as far as material things here in this valley of tears.

  13. Materialism have been and Will still be a weapon that Satan uses .while tempting Jesus,you can see him offering Jesus wealth and power(materialism)(Matthew 4:8-10). Getting things or having riches is not so bad,but when ones love for worldly things(riches) surpasses love for GOD and love for man,that is then the root of all evil. We can only over come materialism as JESUS did,let abide in God grounded in HIS word and by HIS grace we will not be slaves to materialism.

  14. Stewardship is not about how much you own, for the things we have also own us. Its not about what we want, for our minds will run to the needs that make life easier and more comfortable. Our things are tools in the hand of a loving God to provide for ourselves and others. The side benefit of helping others is that I get to enjoy them too. I have a lawnmower to make a nice patch for children to play and my wife to enjoy. It also collects green material for mulch, compost, which feeds worms and grows an abundance which I can give to those in need. The mower is worn, sometimes needs repair, and my neighbor borrows it every week. I rejoice that God saw fit for me to have a lawnmower.
    We too are tools in the hand of God. sometimes scratched and worn, but He says "I love you with an unending love, therefore go and make disciples with your talents."

  15. Maurice, when God says that a good parent leaves a legacy for their children. What is the meaning of that in relation to materialism.

    • Andrew, I have some ideas in my mind for writing a thought article about some of these issues. Hopefully I can get on to writing in the next couple of days. I want to focus on the practical aspects of stewardship and legacy and inheritance is one of them. All too often in discussions like this we repeat platitudes, like; "We must look to Jesus", "We must pray and be led by the Holy Spirit", and then we stop short of practical suggestions.

      Legacy and inheritance is an area where we need to be particularly careful, and often it is not about the material value.

      Keep your eyes open for an article shortly.


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