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Jesus tells us we “cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13). Jesus is clear. Jesus is serious about this. It is for real and not to be ignored. PERIOD!

We must seek to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes us to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams.

Again, Jesus tells us that a person’s “life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15) and that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

1 John 3:17

If we are preoccupied with material things, it is wrong. That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with buying and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for us as a slave of Jesus.

Any preoccupation, obsession, or fascination with anything other than God is missing God’s goal (aka sinful) and is displeasing to God. We are to “Love the Master, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment. God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

When I concern myself with the material world, I am easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that I will be happy or fulfilled or content if only I had more of whatever it is I am chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan.

And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

English Standard Version. (2016). (Mk 4:18–19). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

He wants us to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy — God Himself.