Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rust and Decay

 Rust and Decay


So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30

This is one of those “ouch” lessons, one that stings to write it.  But it’s what is on God’s heart today, so that’s what has to be written. 
As many people most likely did, I went “black Friday” shopping a couple of days ago.  Did I find some great deals? Oh, you bet I did - at least in what they price tags showed and what I paid.  But they weren’t really great deals because they weren’t needed.  Instead of buying Christmas gifts, I bought ME gifts.  What did I buy? Yes, you guessed it – more clothes. 

If there’s one addiction I would have to claim, it would be clothes.  I love the colors, the styles, and the textures from satiny to rough.  I love having something new to wear, and being able to put together new looks from my closet.  But do I need them? No!  What I actually need is more room in my closet and more hangers! 
The verses in Matthew 6:28-30 came to me today regarding clothing.  Jesus spoke them in the Sermon on the Mount as He preached to the multitude.  He said not to worry about clothing.  He said God provides for the lilies of the field which are beautifully arrayed, and He will so much more clothe me.  And then he finishes by saying “O you of little faith”.  I found that strange! What does faith have to do with clothing, or excess?  We have to read a few verses ahead to find that.

Matthew 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The problem comes from using God’s funds that He entrusted to me in the wrong way.  It’s serving me and my desires instead of Him and His desires.  
If we go further back in the verses we see that Jesus is talking about laying up our treasures in Heaven instead of our closet.  In verse 21 He says “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  As much as I thought that’s where my treasure was being stored up, the overflow from my closet says otherwise. 

Rust and decay - that’s what my closet is filled with.  Jesus says that anything we store up for ourselves here will only rust and decay, but if I would have used those same funds and given those clothes to someone who needed them, my treasure would have been in Heaven, where it would be an eternal gift to me. 
In Luke 16, Jesus tells the parable of the Unjust Steward.  A person who holds responsibility for God’s funds or blessings is often called a steward.  The parable is about a servant who is wasting his Master’s goods.  The Master says to him “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.”  The servant begins to be fearful of how He will provide for himself when He is no longer a steward and so he reduces the debt of his master’s debtors to make friends with them so they will take him in when he is without a job.  He used the debt to buy favor.  Strangely enough, His master found him to be a shrewd businessman and kept him on as a steward.

Jesus says in verses 10-12 say, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
What Jesus is saying is that if God cannot trust me with “unrighteous mammon”, aka money, then He cannot trust me with “true riches”, which are more than money can buy.  And if He cannot find me faithful in how I choose to spend his money, they why should He bless me with more?

Wastefulness isn’t just throwing out food that wasn't eaten.  It’s also in buying in excess of what we truly need.  It’s in mismanaging God’s funds that are meant to bring good to the world we live in.

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