Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Who shall their greatness declare?
Jewels whose luster our lives may adorn,
Pearls that the poorest may wear!
I admit, some of my possessions are important to me. The china pieces my mother painted, the framed photographs of my grandchildren, my grandmother's silverware and other sentimental pieces. My extra-wide closet shelf is full of candle holders (mostly bought 80% off at Hobby Lobby); china, crystal and depression glass fill the china cupboard and buffet; bird cages and flower arrangements share the closet with tea pots and and white dishes. I enjoy using them, but I don't treasure them.
I love changing the decorations in my home. Tucking a brass bird in the magnolias on the mantle, adding a few hearts among the white pieces in my kitchen and exchanging the flowers on my dining room table with a red lacquer tray filled with varying sizes of pillar candles. Alexandra Stoddard calls it home-loving.
In my quest for less, I've decided to refrain from buying any new decorations for my home this year. I'll be shopping from my closets, the holiday bins in my garage -- even my china closet. Pink depression glass looks perfect in my bathroom, tea cups can hold tea lights and my favorite baskets can be changed for the seasons. As I find things that just don't make me -- or my home -- smile, I'll add them to the give-away box.
Materialism is defined as, "A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values." It's no wonder we spend so much time buying. We are bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look.
Do you know $462 billion dollars were spent on advertising in 2011 with an expected rise in 2012? It's no wonder our hearts are full of I-gotta-have-thats. I looked at a pair of shoes at 6PM.com last week, and every website I go to has an ad for those shoes staring at me. My inbox is filled with messages from sites begging me to buy their product.
This month I choose to replace materialism with God's riches. Paul tells us to, "be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5). God, with me always -- talk about riches!
- Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:8).
- Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take (Joshua 1:9).
- I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
In 1787 John Rippon wrote these words:
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes!
That soul, though all Hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
I'll be immersing myself in the riches of God this month. Digging treasures from His Word. Mining diamonds of promise. Ornamenting myself in the knowledge that God will never, no never, no never forsake!
Father, I pray that out of Your glorious riches you will strengthen me with power through your Spirit in my inner being, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith. And I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, having all power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-18)