21 August 2016
Reading: Jeremiah 21, 24, 27; Psalm 118; 1 John 2
15 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. 16 Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. 17 The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. (1 John 2:15-17 MSG)
Jean and I have been cleaning house this summer (Well, mostly Jean has been cleaning house!) We’ve been going through closets, sorting out the garden shed, and organizing the garage. Jean has been determined to get rid of the things we don’t use and the things we don’t need. It’s probably better if she does most of that when I’m not looking, because if I see the stuff, even if it’s been out of sight and out of mind for years, when I see it I want it. I can think of lots of reasons we should keep it and not get rid of it. I’m sure we’ll need it someday!
We’ve made lots of trips to charity shops with the back of the car full of stuff to give away and we’ve kept the rubbish bin full every week. It’s good, actually. It’s good for me to let the stuff go. Now I need to work on not wanting new stuff to fill up the spaces we’ve made by getting rid of the old stuff!
And there’s more to it than wanting new stuff. John makes it clear that part of my growth process is not only to get over wanting new stuff for myself, but also to get over wanting my own way, and wanting to appear important to other people. He says all this “wanting, wanting, wanting, just isolates me from the Father. And all this wanting is on its way out anyway.”
Jesus said, “Don’t worry about things. God knows what you need. Seek God’s Kingdom first. The rest will fall into place.” He also said, “Be content with what you have.” Paul said, “I have learned to be content!”
Father, Please forgive me for all the wanting. I hadn’t thought of it as something that isolates me from you. I want (there’s that word again) to grow closer to you and be more intimate with you. Help me to keep clearing out the closets of stuff, my schedule of busyness, and my heart of wants and desires that isolate me from you. Amen.