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Thursday, April 7, 2016
"A Consideration Of Accumulations"
Message Summary: Accumulations are a part of life and we all have some. But there's a constant need to really remember what is important.
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"He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there" (Genesis 12:5).
An interesting factoid in the April 2016 Reader's Digest states that having $77,000 in assets puts you in the world's wealthiest 10%. Actually given the abject poverty many live under it seems that the percentage is high although it's not stated whether the $77,000 is an average or median amount. Regardless, although most of us would probably not describe ourselves as rich, nearly all of us are probably in a top percentage of having the world's wealth.
Brooksyne and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary next month. When we married in 1976 I moved all the stuff I wanted from my childhood in a small trailer and pulled it behind my car from the Kansas City area to our first house (parsonage) near Springfield, Missouri. My mattress caught fire on the way and I had to pitch it off to the side of US Route 50, with the help of a Missouri highway patrol trooper who first noticed the fire. I suppose if that happened today it would have prompted a major environmental crisis but as I recall the trooper just helped me get it off the trailer and made no issue of whatever was left after it burned. He probably got a chuckle out of it and the skinny 21 year old preacher.
Brooksyne brought all her childhood stuff from Tulsa in her '73 bright orange Maverick. Then we began to accumulate. Over a year later we moved to Pennsylvania in a small U-Haul truck and in 1993 we moved to Massachusetts in an even larger truck with a trailer. When we moved back to Pennsylvania in early 2001 it took two trucks! (I think we are back down to one truck or at least I hope so!)
Abraham's calling is an instructive portion of the Bible and a great model for all of us in our journey of faith. When God called him he obeyed. They had a lot of animals and household servants. But let us consider a simple phrase in the daily text, "all the possessions they had accumulated."
I wonder what in the world they had accumulated? I suppose they had tents, cooking utensils, animal accessories, saddle blankets, bedding and other household supplies as well. I don't know what kind of furniture they had. Based upon my knowledge of the original Hebrew I am sure they didn't have any electronic equipment, computers, electric appliances or power tools!
It's just hard to imagine that they had to deal with anything like we do here in prosperous America, where a booming business is self-storage units for all the stuff people accumulate! In fact a new "disease" has been identified of uncontrollable hoarding which now has a medical sounding name, "Hoarding disorder". It has a relation to affluenza, a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy people.
Accumulations are a part of life and we all have some. But there's a constant need to really remember what is important. Jesus talked about accumulations when He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." The apostle Paul made the universally recognized observation that reminds us, "We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." Jesus said, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Amen!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I want to place significance in the things that Your Word declares are of great worth, that which holds eternal value. When I'm inundated by the persuasive advertisements that tell me I'll find greater happiness after the purchase I need the Spirit's prompting. Remind me that material accumulations last only for a season, but spiritual gifts endure forever. Help me to find contentment in You because You are of great worth. The treasure of a vibrant relationship with You brings much greater joy and fulfillment than any of the temporary treasures of this world. So I ask You to help me to find proper placement with the material goods needed for my earthly journey and the treasures I should seek that have eternal significance. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain" Video A song based upon 1 Timothy 6:6 written and sung by our friend Mike Book. We find it so helpful when Scripture is set to music and in many cases this becomes the basis for memorization.
"I'd Rather Have Jesus" Video Jason Crabb
The tree shown in our lead photo is a gift from our friend Don Eaton and is patented! See here for video.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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