Ever since childhood, at least in the modern world, children are raised to succeed by accumulating worldly "stuff". You know the old adage..."keeping up with the Jone's." We struggle to appear modernized and pampered thinking that people will view us in a higher degree.
Sadly, nobody even cares.
You disagree? Let me ask you something. When was the last time you pulled up to a traffic light and a fancy sports car or exotic pulled up besides you? Did you notice the person inside, or the 'object' itself? Did your heart salivate with envy or did you just "stick your nose in the air" in deviance? Did you really care about that individual driving that fancy machine? The moment that person sped away your mind went back to your own thoughts and was forgotten, never to be remembered again; not even the fancy exotic was ever recalled.
It is Sunday morning and you dress to the hilt in the finest clothes you own, perhaps if you are female you put on make-up and jewelery, hoping that you will impress those at church. You put on your best social behavior wanting to attract instead of detract those around you. Then you return home and are forgotten...yes forgotten. Do you remember, or even bring to mind those who are just acquaintances...not really friends or social buddies...those you just left behind? Some of you return to an empty home, or a burden of debt or family strife. Do you really care about all those "others" who are trying to "keep up with the Jone's"...just like you? Your world is passionately driven by the coveting of worldly "stuff"...got to get this and got to have that, if only I could do this or if only they would do that, I can't do this because, etc..
Passion...an emotional charge of "electrical stimulated" ambition that, at least in the worldly sense...only brings death.
You just bought a brand new car. Who cares about the price (mercy, it cost as much as a house a few years ago)...you say to yourself, "I've finally "made it!" You polish it with the finest wax, keep it so clean it sparkles, take long drives in passionate fellowship (remember, this is an inanimate object)...and then the first payment comes around; oh, did I forget about the insurance? Who cares the combined amount runs into the hundreds of dollars...I mean, a few years ago that amount was more than your monthly paycheck! What is really sad is that inanimate object doesn't even know it exists! It feels nothing, knows nothing, sees nothing...it doesn't even appreciate all the loving care you give it. But you do it anyway. Then when your neighbor is hungry you have no way to help them; all of your money is tied up in that fancy car or other worldly "stuff". "But it's important, it's my image", you say. "I got to be cool."
"Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands." [Psalm_115:4]
Church's often thinks themselves to be 'special', a unique and blessed work of God. They cognitively strut about as the true path to God and Salvation above all others; the members have forgotten what it means to be stewards of God's love and humility. Instead, the try to out do each other with their fancy buildings and furnishings, proclaiming the false message of prosperity and the obtaining of wealth and "stuff" is God's will...believe it...they forget what it means to serve the Lord 'outside' of their cliquish religious fellowship and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world; remember "keeping up with the Jone's" is the new norm. There is no such thing as sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an "outsider". They're too good for 'that'.
Then an expert in Moses' Teachings stood up to test Jesus. He asked, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "What is written in Moses' Teachings? What do you read there?" He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.' And 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'" Jesus told him, "You're right! Do this, and life will be yours." But the man wanted to justify his question. So he asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way robbers stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead. "By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went around him and continued on his way. Then a Levite came to that place. When he saw the man, he, too, went around him and continued on his way. "But a Samaritan, as he was traveling along, came across the man. When the Samaritan saw him, he felt sorry for the man, went to him, and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day the Samaritan took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than that, I'll pay you on my return trip.' "Of these three men, who do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by robbers?" The expert said, "The one who was kind enough to help him." Jesus told him, "Go and imitate his example!"
It is time for passion to be re-directed, for the Body of Christ to return to their first love. It is time for Christians worldwide, especially here in America, to direct their passion to Christ...and to Christ alone. Inanimate objects of this world will not save you from the Throne of God. You will stand before the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the King of the Universe and will be required to give an account of your stewardship of...your gifts from God, not your worldly "stuff".
Each and every individual that ever lived was predetermined and loved by God long before the universe was even created. Each and every individual has been created for a purpose; the purpose of serving the Lord of Heaven and Earth so as to bring glory to His Name, not the "stuff" of this world. That purpose has been intrusted to YOU with the gifts of God so as to bring those gifts to fruit. That purpose is not to be used for the world, but for the glory of God.
Re-direct you passion. Return to your first love. That is true success.