Don't you just love when your friends bring insight into your life? That connection you feel to someone when they are saying the very words that you have thought. Those moments when a friend, or even an acquaintance or stranger, puts into words those feelings in your heart?
I was struggling through a conversation at lunch Sunday afternoon with my husband and a couple friend of ours. There seemed to be 2 sides forming around this particular topic. One side believes that God gives us "blessings" in the form of material things and, if I'm recalling correctly, we can work hard for those things and God will give them.
Umm-hmm. I'm trying really hard right now to be a "quiet, gentle spirit"!
Needless to say, I am on the other side of the argument. Which goes a little something like...take up the cross and follow Jesus, store up for yourself treasures in heaven, dying to self, whomever wants to be first must be very last...
Some think that I want to live like a "Quaker", and maybe I do. But only if God calls me to live that way. I find it so hard to wrap my head around the thought that God "blesses" certain people with million dollar homes. really? God wanted you to have that mansion/luxury vehicle/outrageously expensive clothes? really? I'm not buying it (no pun intended!).
Anywho...my sweet little Mary(www.soulsurfacing.blogspot.com) has been reading a book by John Piper and she summed it up for me through insight from his book Don't Waste Your Life-
"It is better to lose your life than to waste it. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full."
Yes!! Exactly! The beauty is that losing your life, dying to yourself, in the name of Christ, turns out to be not a SACRIFICE but a PRIVILEGE. It's so beautiful on this side of the fence! It's not about "living like a pauper" or being deprived. Quite the contrary! The knowing that God will supply my every need is indescribable. Christ has taken away my every dependence on sTUFF-praise the Lord. (Ok, I still struggle with the urge to buy cardigans, books, and old stuff found in the corners or on the bottom shelves at antique stores).
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."