Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 2 (March 8): Patrol Your Heart!

Jesus warns us: “Watch Out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). The verse provides warning on two different levels.

First, we are to be on the lookout for greed. The basic meaning of greed is “excessive, extreme desire for something, and often more than one’s proper share.” The greed Jesus is speaking about is not something external or outside of our person. It’s internal. It’s a change in our heart, our desires, and our appetite. When greed is lurking in our souls, we start mulling over and over in our minds a justification for an excessive amount of something in particular. That something varies from person to person. Jesus’ warning must be further heeded because He notes that there are many kinds of greed.

Some people get into debt over greed for clothes while others sink into money problems over greed for status. So, the excessive amount of money they pour into a status automobile becomes a symptom of the problem of greed.

Second, we are told that life is more than the amount of stuff we own. I have never buried someone whose family wrote an obituary that listed all of the possessions of the deceased. When we face the end of life, we get sober as to the real meaning of life. It’s not about the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. It’s about the relationships we’ve built and the people we’ve impacted.

As you look over your life to really establish a satisfying life, what stuff can you get rid of? I mean, if you were to put some things on eBay or hold a garage sale before the end of this 40-day journey, could the proceeds help you inch further away from debt?

Look around your house or in your closet and make a quick post of things you bought because you thought they were going to make you happy, more content? But now, it’s sitting in the closet or collecting dust. What have you learned about yourself and the abundance of possessions? If truth be told: We all have stuff around the house that we had no business buying. Now, it’s collecting dust.


  1. We have been in a financial trial for quite some time now fighting to stay in faith, peace, and contentment. At times it has been hard but God has been faithful to keep us standing. We just recently took an inventory of things we could sell and just this past Friday made a sale for $500.00 which we used to pay bills. Then Sunday in the message the question was asked "What's in the house?" reflecting on the widow's oil. Much love and thanks to Christ Church for your support and encouragement during the financial trials many have been facing.

  2. About 3.5 yrs ago, I kept hearing the word "downsize". I eventually realized it was the Holy Spirit. But equally impacting during this same timeframe was the Christ Church seminar I attended entitled "Financial Peace University". So...I had an apt sale. I sold my large TV, queen-size sofa bed, kitchen table and chairs, two console computers and gave clothes, books and CD's to the Salvation Army. I ended my apt lease and moved to a small studio efficiency apt. I had no land-line, no cable and no internet at home for 3 yrs. I used the internet at work and the library. My objective: to save a 20% downpayment for a home in the middle of the real estate crisis.

  3. I continued to tithe. The money I got from a part time job was used for offerings beyond my tithing.

  4. Jill & Yvonne: It's amazing how much money one can amass from the thought of unloading unnecessary stuff. What would happen if everyone at Christ Church did that? Imagine the savings...the opportunity to bless others? I better stop thinking about this before I get carried away.

  5. I have been living as a minimalist for two years. Downsizing to a smaller apartment these past 2 years and giving away a lot of things that I didn't use anymore and didnt need to Goodwill has given me a lot of peace. I didnt think about selling anything but maybe I should've sold some of it. I have to look around the house again for more stuff! HA!

  6. I have always lived modestly, but my financial challenges are a result of helping a friend, and not looking out for my own needs. God is faithful, and I know he will provide all of my needs, yet I do a lot of second guessing of those decisions I made to over extend myself for the benefit of another.

  7. I now realize that God has been bringing me through a process for quite some time of "releasing things" and this fast is just on the continuum. I grew up somewhat poor and sometimes lacked even the necessities of life. Everything I was able to get I held on to and later on in life when I could afford things I rationalized that now I can and should have whatever I want. I realize at almost 50 years old, God is continuing to teach me (and I am understanding) that I can trust him to provide. He is my source and I don't have to get "all that I can" (because I never want to feel "hunger or lack" again). This has also caused me to accumulate an excess of stuff because of me not getting rid of stuff out of fear of "needing" it and not having. It's funny because before reading the postings today I made a to-do list which included cleaning out all the excess clothes, etc from my closet and either selling or donating them. An earlier decision caused my husband and I to "release most of our furniture and appliances to be obedient to a call. We have been working on our debt for a while and we are now checking to see "what is in the house". I could go on but I will stop here. All I can say is God is definitely speaking and moving :) Thanks Pastor!


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