What do you want for Christmas?

Santa came!Are you focused on the gift or the reason for the gift?

When I grew up I always had a mountain of gifts.  I would get everything I asked for and so much more.  When I got older and met my wife, I had a chance to experience Christmas in a different way.  I noticed that my wife’s family was not really about the gifts.  Everyone pretty much received one gift.  The key seemed to be about family.  The relationships were the most important.  I’m not saying that my family ignored the relationships but when there were fewer gifts I seemed to notice the family event more.

This illustration really enhances the verse below so much more.

Warning to Rich Oppressors

5 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.  James 5:1-6 (NIV)

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  Matthew 6:19-24 (NIV)

This past year I had a friend come and stay with me that pretty much lives in a 3rd world culture.  Talking with her and hearing her thoughts about the Bible, the things we have and take for granted, opened my eyes even more.  In my country, it seems that the poorest of poor are still richer than the majority of the people on this planet.  You can hear about this but until you have seen it and felt it,  you really do not have a clue.

Has your wealth rotted? Are you helping the less fortunate?  Are you storing up stuff that the moths and vermin will destroy?  Are your eyes unhealthy?  Do you serve two masters?  Do you serve both God and money?

Do You Believe? 
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image: Kevin Dooley

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