By Karen Polich
You can’t have everything. Seriously, where would you put it? – Steven Wright
Take a good look into your life. Many of us have full closets but empty hearts. Pastor Michael Cook wrapped up his Stuff sermon series with what God says in the midst of our struggles with stuff.
Revelation 3:17-20 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Are we in a place where we have more stuff than ever before but are enjoying less? Homes are three times larger than fifty years ago and lack nothing to fill them. The abundance of stuff can distract our faith. God reminds us we are refined through His fire and clothed through His purification.
God is here, calling us. We tend to focus on the stuff more than Him. He wants to share our lives. The wealth of a Christ follower comes not with stuff, but in Christ. How do we handle our stuff? Over the last few weeks, Pastor Michael Cook has taught us the importance of shifting our focus from stuff to Christ, leading to a truly generous life.
Ready for the next step? Christ whispers into our hearts with endless places to start.
Here are just four possibilities of first steps as we move out of the struggle of stuff.
Edit your life. Start with one area and begin to edit things out. We don’t have to start big. One thing after another, week after week and our lives will be changed.
Begin a gratitude journal. Write down one thing you are grateful for each day. Gratitude trains our heart, combating comparison and the desire for something “better”.
Serve consistently. As God blesses us with stuff, our heart naturally turns inward. Serving others takes our heart back. Serving grows gratitude.
Give faithfully. Don’t wait! It will never get easier to give. Abundance doesn’t lead to giving, intentional generosity does. Whatever you have, be generous now. Developing a spending plan is a great place to start.
Our needs and wants can crossover, but God is ready to do something great in our lives regarding stuff. He stands, He calls, He knocks…
Challenge: Ending the struggle over stuff can begin today. We can choose to seek Christ first, living generously and being who God created each of us to be. Want change in life? Take a new step today.
Listen to Pastor Michael Cook via podcast here. Learn about the Hope Effort at www.afbcHope.com