In God’s original, perfect creation, the Lord had sole access to the heart of mankind. External to man were countless gifts and “things” for his enjoyment and use. But they were always external. Only the Lord God deserved man’s love, adoration and pursuit. Sin threw all that out of balance.
The very “things” that God gave us as gifts,
now threaten to become more important to us than the Giver.
And to this day, man fights the daily, bloody war over who sits on the throne in his life: God… or something God created. “Things” are dangerous without God, and a blessing when viewed in the proper Godly perspective.
The pursuit of money never brings satisfaction and can consume your life
Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also is vanity and a grave misfortune. (NKJV)
The unbridled pursuit of material possessions, success or achievement in this world will lead to loss of relationships. Loneliness is the reward for the covetous and the workaholic. And yet, this person will never have enough, earn enough or find any sort of lasting satisfaction.
In fact, a person can become so consumed with “things” that they never even stop to ask “why?”. He deprives himself for money. He works endlessly for newer things, nicer things and more things. And yet he doesn’t even know why. He just does it.
The writer of Ecclesiastes declares this to be a waste of time and a very sad tragedy.
Prosperity causes us to believe that what we have we deserve.
Deuteronomy 8:18 – “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (NKJV)
Job 41:11 – Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. (NKJV)
One of the most common advertising slogans now is “you deserve”. Get the “loan you deserve”, the new car “you deserve”, the lawyer “you deserve” who will sue someone for the “money you deserve”; and the employer who will give you the “job you deserve” and the “benefits you deserve”.
This idea of “you deserve” appeals to the lowest
common denominator of man: pride and greed;
which explains why it is such a successful marketing tool.
We don’t deserve anything. Everything we have is God’s, and not only that, the very ability to earn wealth in the first place is a gift from God. We don’t “deserve” anything good on own merit. We only get “good” because God is merciful, loving and kind. We should spend our time humbly thanking God that He sees fit to give us anything at all instead of whining about what we don’t have that “we deserve”.
Who is man that we deserve anything from God? Which of us were here before God? Which of us created anything? Which of us has merited the slightest bit of deserving anything from God by our own righteousness? God blesses out of his love and tender mercy. As Christians we are most blessed because God sees us as righteous through the blood of Jesus. And yet Christians are just as guilty of “I deserve” as the world. We just mask it in the form of “why me God? What did I do to deserve this?”.
“Why me?” is “I deserve” phrased as a question.
Everything good you have, you didn’t deserve. And if you never receive another good thing, you have already gotten more than you truly deserved to begin with. It’s time to be thankful, not complaining and discontented.
Material blessings are a gift from God to be enjoyed as long as God remains on the Throne of our lives
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 – I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. (NKJV)
There is nothing wrong with having money or having “things”. It’s when “things” have you that the problems begin. God gives us success and prosperity because He loves us and wants us to enjoy His creation.
When “things” threaten to banish Him from our hearts, the most loving reaction from God is the swift and sure removal of whatever is threatening His Kingship in our life. So enjoy what you have. Rejoice in the material possessions that God has given you as the fruit of honest labor and hard work.
But never forget the Giver, and never allow the gifts to recieve the adoration, desire and love that belongs only to God.
Giver of Good Gifts, help us to always see the Giver instead of the gifts. Help us to always remember that “things” never satisfy, nor do we deserve them. Only You truly deserve anything good. In Jesus Name, amen.
Contemplation: Has any of your material possession or money ever brought anything more than short-term satisfaction? How long did it last before you moved on to the next thing you wanted? What do you have that you deserved? What don’t you have that you feel you deserve? Do you have a right to comfort, money, security and a comfortable lifestyle? Do you enjoy what God has given you because it’s “yours” or because God gave it to you?
Application: A proper perspective on money and possessions brings true satisfaction and enjoyment. The only real enjoyment is guilt-free enjoyment. Guilt is only removed when we do things God’s way.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?