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By Mary Southerland
Colossians 3:5 (NIV) “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
We live in a “stuff” driven world where it does not seem to matter how much we have - it is never enough.
Greed and contentment cannot reside in the same heart.
As the holidays approach, we need to guard our hearts against greed … and choose an attitude of gratitude.
Cantaloupe may very well be my favourite food. When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. On one particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious ... and it was.
Afterwards, I was gone for several hours, running errands. When I walked back in the front door that afternoon, a foul stench nearly knocked me down. It was such a strong odour!
A dead animal was my first thought.
A plumbing problem was my next idea.
I instantly remembered that I had thrown the cantaloupe peels in the garbage before running errands and forgotten to take them to the outside garbage can as I usually did. The house reeked and the delicious cantaloupe was forgotten as I threw the peels away, lit every candle I could find, and opened every window in an effort to eliminate the odour of rotting fruit.
Greed is the gangrene of the soul. If we don't quickly deal with it, greed will contaminate every emotion, creating a foul stench in every part of our lives.
I am certain Dan would not turn down an offer from someone who wanted to buy him a brand new Ford F-150 truck as a Christmas gift. In fact, from time to time, I have seen him gaze at some bright, shiny new truck with longing in his eyes.
Dan is the lead teaching pastor of a church that runs over 5,500 people in attendance each week and could easily rationalize driving a nice car or truck as part of his pastoral image. But Dan is not the least bit concerned with his pastoral image when it comes to material possessions. He is, however, deeply concerned with the image of God being seen in his life.
Is it wrong to want and desire nice things?
Not if we view and use those nice things as tools and refuse to worship them as idols. I sometimes think God has to strip us of everything we have so we can learn that He is our Source.
Just as sheep totally depend on the care of their shepherd, we would be wise to totally depend on God.
He is our Provider.
He is our Source.
And He is all we need.
Application point: Think back to times when God has met your needs. Record each experience in your Victory Journal. And if you don’t have a Victory Journal, today would be a great time to start keeping one. Make a habit of searching for and keeping a record of God’s provision in your life.
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