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Simple Living study #2 Are you sitting comfortably? March 7, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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Take a quick look around you at the things you own. These are just some of the things you have worked for. Thank God for them. You could now spend a few more minutes thinking of other things you’d like to own. Don’t.

This is a reprint of some Bible study notes I wrote for Scripture Union in 2001. I’m re-reading them as well as re-posting them. I’ve changed a little over the last 14 years, the challenge of scripture hasn’t.

Matt 6:19-34

19“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Explore

This passage could be explored for weeks. There are truths and riches here that should transform our lives. Spend the time to read it again. Jesus said, “Do not store up treasure on earth.” American writer, John Piper comments “God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we ought to be using to alleviate the misery of the unevangelised, uneducated, and unfed millions.” We are constantly bombarded by adverts telling us about all the wonderful things we can buy to enrich our lives. There is also a brand of success and prosperity teaching in some of our churches built on the half truth that we bring glory to God by thankfully enjoying all the things he enables us to buy. We should thank God for every good thing we have (1 Tim 4:3; 6:17). It is not true that thankful enjoyment is a license to live in luxury. Instead we are encouraged again and again to store up treasure in heaven, by using our time, talents, and money to God’s glory in helping others. (Matt19:21, Mk 10:21, Luke 12:33).

Respond

Thank God for the money and possessions he has entrusted to you. Ask him to show you ways to truly use those for his glory. One practical response might be to clean out your wardrobe. How much treasure would be added in heaven by letting Oxfam* convert some of your possessions into cash for aid and development?

*Oxfam is a charity originating in the UK. Other countries have other charity shops / thrift stores which not only make your ‘stuff’ available for others but also raise money for a variety of causes.

All scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. via bibles.org which also has rather a lot of other translations in many languages.

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