One Solitary Life He was an itinerant preacher He never wrote a book He never held an office He never had a family or owned a house He didn't go to college
He never visited a big city
He never traveled two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
One usually associates with greatness by Dr. James Allen Francis
People continually desire more possessions and greater wealth in order to gain status, recognition and accolades from others."
It’s mine! This is usually what we say to describe the things we possess. We forget to mention that these things are merely items borrowed from God's hand.
Unfortunately our world is designed in such a way that possessing more money or influence can create large social gaps between people. Just look at how we treat the rich and those who are well-connected. We admire them, maybe even envy them and in the end we want to be just like them. This is in our nature. People continually desire more possessions and greater wealth in order to gain status, recognition and accolades from others.
We, the youth of today, are especially enamored by the latest technological devices—our music players, smartphones, tablets and even our bikes and cars. We show these off proudly to our friends, bragging that, "I’ve just bought this latest gadget,” or exclaiming, “Dude, check what else I have." We are inclined to position ourselves based on the quantity and quality of these possessions.
Let us take a moment to remember Jesus. He had none of the possessions that we characteristically adore. No house, no transport, no support, no money. The famous poem, “One Solitary Life” describes His life on earth very well:
Amazingly, after 20 centuries we still worship One who had virtually none of the possessions we have today. He did not idolize any of the things people treasured in His time here either. He simply used them as tools for service to others, like the time His disciples collected a coin from the mouth of a fish. He also taught: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21 NIV).
I would say that there is nothing wrong with having the possessions we typically have, but the key here is how we see them and what priority we place on them in our daily lives. A wise man by the name of Lee J. Colan once said: “The most important thing in life is to decide what is the most important.”
Most importantly, we need to put first things first. We need to put spiritual things right on top in our value system. At the same time we need not worry about our possessions or our basic needs. God will provide for us if we put Him first in our lives. I can testify to this: I recently lost my job. Even after several months of unemployment, God continued to bless us by providing opportunities to earn an income from several sources, so that my wife and I did not have to lose our home. When the need became too great, He provided the right job at the right moment. This experience helped our faith grow enormously.
Jesus encourages us as follows: "For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:32-33 NIV).
David says: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalms 24:1 NIV). When God provides us with earnings, let's be sure to give honor to the Lord because it all belongs to Him. Let us return the Lord’s tithe and give our offerings first, and then only focus on our expenses and purchases. God will be pleased if we do so. Doing this will have an added effect. It will reinforce right priorities, i.e. putting Christ first in everything we do, including managing our finances.
We need to have the confidence that God will provide for His children in their time of need. Through tithes and offerings God will show His power and use them, in the right way, at the right time, to save the lost and strengthen those already found. “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty” (Haggai 2:8 NIV). When all is said and done, it is not for us, but for God, to say: “It’s mine.”