Hebrews 13:5 NIV
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
When we really get that promise, when you know that promise way down deep in your knower, it will revolutionize your life. When everything else is stripped away, when all the things we are attached to are gone, we discover that in the end, only God holds life. It’s only God who matters. And his promise is certain. When all else is gone, God is still there. God’s sweet voice saying, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God is teaching us the only place for your trust is in him. Everything else will fade or let you down. He teaches us that over and over again in the Bible, because for some reason, we humans have a hard time getting it. Our tendency is to put our trust in things instead of Him.
Notice how Hebrews plainly links this promise-I will never leave you nor forsake you-to our attachment to stuff. Right there in verse 5, it says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.'” We tend to attach ourselves to things rather than attaching ourselves to God.
That’s just what the Israelites did. You remember the example of the manna (Exodus 16; Numbers 11). God instructed the Israelites that he would supply their needs each day in the wilderness. And yet the first day He supplied the manna, there they were trying to gather more, more than they needed-hoarding for the next day-just in case God didn’t deliver on his promise, just in case God didn’t deliver each day just like he said he would. So they hedged their bets. And to make his point, God allowed the unused manna to rot overnight, so that they had to learn to depend on him each and every day. “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you”. God provides. God is in control. He will never leave us or forsake us.
The Bible is full of people just like the Israelites: the fool who kept building bigger barns to store all of his stuff; Saul, who became Paul; the rich young ruler; Ananias and his wife Sapphira (Acts 5), just to name a few people who trusted stuff, trusted things, more than they trusted God. They were convinced that they had life by the horns only to discover they trusted in things rather than in God.
We are guilty of the very same thing. We accumulate stuff at an incredible rate. So fast, we can’t keep up with it all. Possessions mean so much to us. We can’t let go. We build extra garages for our cars and houses continue to expand. There are now 35,000 storage facilities in the United States, with something like 1.3 billion square feet of extra storage because our houses and apartments can’t contain it all. The more we have, the more we need, the more we want, the more we worry about it. And it’s never enough.
The lesson is clear: Don’t put your trust in what you have. Life is not about what you have. Hear it again: Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have. Trust God and him alone.
One sure thing is God promises us His presence. When we can truly comprehend that promise, it’s life changing. So I invite you to do three things with that promise today:
1.) Detach from things and attach to God (Matthew 6:19-21, 24-34; Luke 12: 22-34).
How plain does God have to make it to us humans? Two thousand three hundred and fifty verses in the Bible are devoted to money and possessions-more than any other subject-because God knows that we are far more likely to trust stuff and things than we are him. Just pick one verse. I’ll take Matthew 6:24 where Jesus says: No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
2.) Embrace simplicity
Live with less than you can afford. In a credit card saturated culture that tells us everyday to buy more, God’s wisdom flies straight into the face of that worldly wisdom. Simplicity-fewer cars, smaller houses, less spending, less debt, fewer gadgets, lower lifestyles actually lead to more joy, not less.
3.) Trust the promise (Hebrews 13:5,6; see also Psalm 118:6).
Notice how Hebrews 13:6 follows 13:5, “keep your lives free from the love of money. Be content with what you have. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (V.6) So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
We can always trust in Him to be there for us, no matter how hard and how far we fall. The word “never” in this passage is from “ou me”, in Greek what is known as an emphatic negative . In other words, “never” means just that! Never!
When we really experience that promise, when we really know that God will never leave us nor forsake us, fear disappears and worry is no more. Life is never again measured by what we have or who we know, because we know the One, the One who holds life, the One who holds the future, the One who provides. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Scripture of the day: and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
The Living Word Ministries Inc.
Copyright Reserved, 2012.
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