The Problem with Stuff, Part Two


Wealth can make me self-sufficient, so that I don’t have to depend upon God. It’s dangerous. Proverbs 30:7-9 says, “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

You know well, I’m sure, the parable of the sower. Some seeds fell on the wayside, where Satan came along and took away the word that was sown in their hearts. Some fell on rocky ground and sprang up, but they didn’t last long because of tribulation or persecution.

It concerns me that I might be like the ground that Jesus talked about next. The seed sown in the third soil grew up all right, but it didn’t bear any fruit. Let’s read it in Mark 4:18-19, “And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

The word has been sown in my heart, but the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things have choked the word. Not only do the cares of the world and desires for other things choke the word in our lives, Jesus says, but riches deceive us.

How are they deceitful? They are deceitful because they make us think that we don’t have any needs. However, that’s not the only reason riches are deceitful; we are never convinced we have enough.

That’s what I mean when I say if you’re not sure if you love Jesus more than things, I understand what you mean. Because materialism is so pervasive and riches so deceitful, that we often just can’t be certain.

It’s weird. Even though we have more than enough, we think we need more. If we have sufficient money and material goods, you would think that we would be satisfied, wouldn’t you? But it doesn’t work that way. We think that if we just had more, we would finally be happy. However, because money is deceitful, and so are our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9), we’re convinced that we just don’t have enough.

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