10/5 Material Possessions and the Love of God

The daily podcast continues with some pretty harcore preaching on I John 3:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

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8 thoughts on “10/5 Material Possessions and the Love of God”

  1. thanks for the challenge, you guys. i need it, we all do.

    for me, a lot of it comes down to pride. i get to this place in life where i say that i “deserve” this or that. the truth is, i “deserve” nothing. and just becuase i happen to be born in the united states does not make me any more worthy or deserving than anyone else. i….we…..justify having “things” because i worked hard for them, i am carfeul with what i spend, etc. thats all great, but there are people in afganistan, etc. who i am sure work ten times harder than i do and are careful with how they spend their money. however, becuase of the society they live in they will never rise above the poverty and be “blessed” with the life i/we live in north america. it sucks.

    i think that the united states culture does a lot to blind us to all of this. that along with our own pride. thanks for bringing it to our attention. is a reminder that i know i need often.

    peace.

  2. Ariah and Mindy,
    As usual, I love your insights and passion! Certainly this is a perspective of the gospel that doesn’t get enough air time. …a couple thoughts as I pondered what you said and try to incorporate this into the teaching that I give to our church kids… Kids grow up naturally with selfishness and need to be modeled and taught what it means to love. Love, particularily as you so well derived from the passages of 1Jn has to do with sacrifice. Sharing material possessions with siblings is hard enough for many but I see that exposing them to the needs or should I say the reality of those around the world might help them gain a heart for sharing. I think I need help taking the warp speed jump from my parents generation telling us to clean our plate…just think of the starving in Africa to how we kids can truly and practically make a difference in their lives. Our family has long sponsored children in Latin America for schooling, clothes, medical care and food. We do some recycling. We try to live econmically that we have more to share with others but I feel like you are onto a more clear message. We used to absolutely revel in our simplistic lifestyle, communal living…then we had kids and evolved all the way into a house full of “stuff” and being empty nesters. You will think this sounds pretty surface and trite but “life happens”. We long to be more intentional about everything and no longer ride the wave of “whatever”. Survival seems to have been the name of the game especially as our kids became teens. We have taken in many hurting kids as well as relatives…laying our lives down. Bless you and keep up the great pursuit…His Kingdom and His righteousness!

  3. Hey you guys,

    thanks for challenging us all. this is as important as the message itself. I have addressed your blog and some of Joshuas on my last blog. I love the passion and i thank God for putting it in your hearts. Lets hope we can be stirred as well and in the course that matters to us so we can all inspire each other.

    Peace

    Mark

  4. Very important message. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us and for re-presenting this “challenge” that Jesus lived out so clearly. ‘m sure you’ve given lots of people something deeply wonderful to ponder tday.

    You guys make such a great team!! 🙂

  5. I agree for the most part. However, I believe the proper “contextualized version” of the 1 John 3 verse should not be “if YOU,” but: “If I have material possessions and sees MY brother in need but have no pity on him, how can the love of God be in ME?”

    I think personal convictions on wealth are just that; personal. Of couse there are absolutes, but lets say you have a multi-billionaire with a Gigantic Home, Hummer in the driveway, Other homes in other countries, A Ranch as a 2nd Home in the US, A helicopter at that Ranch, and so on. With the previous “contextualized version” of 1 John, you maybe tempted to point at this person and say, clearly this guy has too many material posessions and the love of God can not be in him. But I want to challenge your thinking.
    Lets again say that this man only lives off of 10% of his income but his 10% is huge. Lets say that the homes in other countries are what he uses to travel to and conduct missions trips through his church so they are sure to have facilities and “house churches” in closed countries. His home here is used often times for local church gatherings & secret meeting that they have to help train pastors in closed countries who don’t have access to seminaries & who are followed in most other places in America by spies for their home government. This big home is their only retreat. Lets say the Ranch is used to rehab handicap kids so he got a helicopter to ensure that EVERY child could make it to his ranch to ride the horses and sometimes fulfill a dying childs last wish. Now who are WE to look at this man and say the love of God is not in him while most of us are living off of 90% of our income and are doing a bad job managing that much.
    This is a challenge that piggy backs on the previous. Don’t be judging the wealth of others, but be looking at your own budget. Remember that in order to give away LARGE SUMS of $$ to the poor and needy, I have to have LARGE SUMS of $$ and earn it regularlly. I can’t be poor and needy & it may not be a good “wealth building move” to look like it in the market place! So if you see me walking around and I jump into my helicopter to head back to my ranch, just know that my 10% is just a little bit bigger than other folks 90%…. oneday. : )
    Thanks for the discussion. It is ironic that you are looking at 1 John because our entire church is studying 1 John right now.

  6. These are good points. Ray, I don’t think they’re talking about judging people, as Mindy says in the podcast, they’re trying to challenge people. As in the originial Dave Ramsey post, they’re not talking about individuals and, though a specific circumstance was mentioned (the SUV talk on Ramsey’s show) the point is to encourage people to examine their lives and see if they’re living the most Christian lives they can. At least that’s how it seems to me.

    By the way, Ariah,I left a comment on the Dave Ramsey entry but it got caught in your spam filter for some reason.

    Keep up the good work.

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