Feb 12, 2017

Devotion for February 12th - What Do You Do for a Living? Part 3

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today as we continue a multi-sermon series on vocation.
Scripture Reading- Matthew 6:19-24 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Devotion: What do you do for a living? - Part 3.
The previous two weeks we talked about how a vocation is more about who you are than what you do. We said that God loves all vocations [if they are not illegal, immoral, or unethical] because they in some way serve our fellow man. Today’s message talks about materialism and the work required to acquire and maintain these worldly possessions. Here are three surprising statistics (from a collection of more than twenty) on the “stuff” that we Americans own that were compiled by Joshua Becker:
1. There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times).
2. The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years (NPR).
3. And still, 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage—the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. (New York Times Magazine).

Blomberg says, “…. materialism is the single biggest competitor for the hearts and souls of millions in our world today...”. According to verse 24 in our text from Matthew today, Jesus is telling us that we cannot serve both God and money [money is transliterated from the Aramaic mammon, meaning wealth, property, possessions]. God does not tell us we can’t have nice things but he is telling us do not worship or idolize these. He wants us to put God at the center of our lives and not be a slave to “stuff”. What can we do this week to simplify our “stuff” portfolio? Can you pick out a shelf or drawer or a portion of your closet that has some things you did not use in a year’s time and give those items away? As you think about doing this and if you can actually downsize a bit can you pray about centering your life upon God. Maybe letting go of a little bit of clutter can help you focus better, I hope so!

We pray: “Lord, help me recognize the opportunity to better center my life on you. Amen”