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Affluenza

First, watch this video. Its hilarious.

This past Sunday at Journey, Will finished up the first three week set of our 9 week series on how to ruin your life. The first three weeks was on “How to ruin your financial life”. He talked about what the Bible says about spending and giving.

He used a term to describe how American’s (especially us in the Lake Norman area) have been lost in their blessings. We suffer from “affleunza”. We have been blessed beyond comprehension. We struggle with the battle that materialism and over-consumption wages against God.

You cannot serve two masters…

Money is not evil, but just like all other possessions it competes with God for your heart. Who will win your heart?

“… Again I tell you, it is easier for a rope/camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 19:24

Who do you serve?

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Death, Taxes, and an Abacus

You know its coming. You can’t avoid it. You can count on it…

DEATH!

Sooner or later, we all will die. Do we really live like it? Look around you. Does anything you see go with you? Will it mean anything when that day comes?

I don’t care what religion you are. I don’t care what you believe or who you believe in. It is obvious, when you are gone, nothing goes with you. Some old religions (Egyptian and some indigenous religions) believe you can come back to your wealth and riches, but your modern day religions realize that once you pass, all your stuff stays here.

Matthew 6 19-21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

We will die. We will loose everything we have here on Earth. Why do we hold so tight to those things that don’t matter? They seem so important, don’t they.

I want to share an illustration with you that will put a little perspective on things (I stole this from Jim White, the Pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church).

I want you to imagine a string pulled tight that runs through the room where you are sitting. It doesn’t stop there, it goes right through the walls and goes out as far as you can see. It keeps going, pulled tight, even as the earth curves it keeps going out into space. Right through the universe and never stops. Now pull out a fine tipped pen and make a mark on that string. You can barely see it, especially if you step back and look at the string from a distance. That mark is your life in the scope of eternity.

Why do we care so much about things that don’t matter. We are conditioned to. When we sinned the first time,what did we do? We were ashamed. We covered up with a fig leaf.

Genesis 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they
realized they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and they
made coverings for themselves.”

Jerel mentioned this verse in church last weekend and I noticed something I had never noticed. The Bible states that shame and fear were introduced when this happened, but I think something else is underneath.

What apple?

A common misconception is that Adam ate an apple. Actually, most scholars think it was a fig. That was the common fruit of the area and time. There are also other reason’s, but I’m not going to get into that.

What did they cover up with? Where did they look to cover up their shame and insecurities…not God. They turned back to the fruit that got them there in the first place and covered with a fig leaf. If shame and fear entered the world first, materialism followed almost immediately.

Why do we spend money on name brand clothing? Why do we need the best car or the coolest gadget? It covers our insecurities. It masks our shame. In stead of looking to God for humility and security, we look to the leaf, the dress, the shoes, the ipod, the car.

What is your leaf? What do you cover up with?

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t go with you. Look away from the tree. Look to God…

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