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I Own Therefore I Am?

In our materialistic culture, it’s easy to get caught up in a game of “Keeping Up With the Joneses.” Constantly desiring to have the latest and greatest can be all-consuming. It seems harmless on the surface, but if we dig deeper, greed and misplaced identity are the root of the game. We think we must have a bigger house or three cars to be happy, when in all these items are affording us is more debt. We leave the lights on or keep the air-conditioning extremely low because we value momentary comfort. The electricity bill that follows is anything but comfortable. Suddenly we’re forced to choose which bill to pay this month. We are living beyond our means, even paycheck to paycheck, using our resources faster than they can be replenished.

Jesus said the most important thing we can do in life is love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. When we love God above everything, all else takes a back seat. No material possession can define us because we get our identity in Him rather than in the things we own. Greed has no power over us because in Christ we died to all the acts of the sinful nature. It doesn’t matter if we have much or little, because obedience to God brings contentment in all circumstances.

James tells us that faith without works is useless. If we we believe in Jesus and His resurrection power, but do not demonstrate that belief in our daily lives, we are liars. Even Abraham, the great hero of faith, showed his belief by his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. Likewise, we must be people of integrity. Our words and actions must communicate the same thing. Radical faith requires radical obedience, and it must extend to every area of our lives, even the way we handle material possessions.

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