Material things are the details of life that are really of only
secondary importance. These include money, possessions, food, friends,
popularity, pleasure, success, health, and education. All of these things
will necessarily exist in our lives to some degree, but the Bible says
they're not really important. How can something be necessary but not
important? If something is necessary, doesn't that make it important?
Food is necessary for life, but we shouldn't make it the priority in
our lives. Of course, we all take time to eat, and we enjoy fellowship
around the table, but then we go on with the more important things.
Friends are necessary for fellowship and encouragement, but we
shouldn't make them the top priority of our lives. Of course, it's good
to have friends, but we shouldn't try to impress people to make them our friends.
What then is important? Our purpose is to glorify and please God. Our
priority should be His Word which he has given us. We should study His
Word so we know how to glorify Him. All these other things are simply necessary details of life.
Consider Matthew 6:19-33:
19 Do not store
up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and
where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
We shouldn't be concerned about temporary things on earth. We should
focus on heavenly things that will last forever.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Each of us needs to examine where our heart is. People can tell where
your heart is. They can just look at our lives. They can see what is
important to us. You say you don't have time for Bible Study, but we
see you wasting time watching TV or playing video games, or spending
too much time making money.
24 "No one can
serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.
We each have to decide. Either we will serve God, and not worry about
or we will spend our lives worrying about money and neglecting God.
25 "Therefore I
tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you
will wear. Is
not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
We should stop worrying about things. After all, God will provide the
things that we need. Life is more important than food. If God
gave us life, won't he also give us food to sustain that life? God even
gives eternal life. He even gave His one and only Son, so we could have eternal life.
26 Look at the
birds of the air; they
do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father
feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
A bird has to fly all day, every day, in search of food. But we have
intelligence--soul and spirit. We're much more valuable to God than the birds. Yet, even the birds know they shouldn't worry.
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Have you ever made anything better by worrying about it?
28 "And why do
you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the
field grow. They
do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not
even Solomon in
all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes
the grass of the field, which is here today and
tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe
you, O you of little faith?
Do you know someone who has something that you would like to have? A
television, better food, jeans, shirts, or a pair of tennis shoes? God
clothes the flowers and the grass. How much more will he make sure you have clothes? We need more faith.
do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or
'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and
your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
God knows exactly what you need. He knows you better than you know
yourself. He knows what you will need tomorrow. You can't even be sure
where you will be tomorrow.
33 But seek
first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
We must seek His kingdom, not ours. His is eternal, and ours is only
temporary. We must seek His righteousness, not ours. He offers the
righteousness of Jesus Christ, not our worthless human works.
34 Therefore do
not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each
day has enough trouble of its own.
Don't you have enough trouble without worrying about tomorrow? Isn't it
enough of a challenge to glorify God today?
Now consider Luke 10:38-42:
38 As Jesus and
his disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman
named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary,
who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
Mary wanted to learn Bible doctrine.
40 But Martha
was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to
him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do
the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
Martha was distracted by the details of life. She was angry because Mary wouldn't help her worry.
Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many
things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is
better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Only one thing is needed. We only need to serve God and learn His word.
Job 23:12 says, "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I
have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread."
Bible doctrine is the top priority in the Christian's life, or else he
is a slave to the details of life.
loves money never has money enough;
If you never have enough money, the Bible says it's because you love
money. Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. If you
are not satisfied with your income, the Bible says it's because you love wealth. This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. If you have more goods, you will consume more goods. And what benefit
are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? We should feast our eyes upon Jesus.
12 The sleep of
a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.
You will lose sleep if you worry about money.
13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, 14 or wealth lost through
some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.
Misfortune can strike any of us. Sickness, accidents, and death can
change our lives in an instant. Suddenly, everything you have
accumulated can be gone. But God and His Word will still be there to sustain you. Where is your heart?
15 Naked a man
comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes
nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.
Our material wealth cannot be taken beyond this life. We need something that is permanent. Where is your heart?
You never know when this life will be over. In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus
tells a story about a rich farmer. The farmer wanted to build bigger barns to store his wealth.
20 But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.
Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21 This is how it
will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.
In Job 1:13-19, we read about Job losing all of his cattle, camels,
sheep, servants, children--all in one day. Verses 20 and 21 say, "At
this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to
the ground in worship 21 and said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.'"
Details can be lost, but they can also be replaced. However, God will always be true.
Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Where is your heart? If we pursue the details of life, and do not
master them, we will perish. We need to seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and He will provide the details for us. We won't
have to worry about losing something of real value. The thing that is
permanent is deep within our soul. The details will leave us sooner or later, but the Word of God will last forever.