, , , ,

See the source image

Materialism is defined as “the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things.”

  • If a disciple of Jesus is preoccupied with material things, it is wrong.
  • That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with getting and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the follower of Jesus.
  • Focusing on our wealth leads to an unhealthy pride that is opposed to the focus on the Kingdom of God.

Any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God is 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 (Matthew 22:37-38). Therefore, 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 we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that we will be happy or fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing.

  • This is a lie from the father of lies, Satan.
  • Satan 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. Luke 16:13 tells us we “cannot serve both God and money.”
  • We must look to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment.
  • Materialism 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.

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).

  • 1 Timothy 6:17 (NASB95) — 17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
  • Deuteronomy 8:13–14 (NASB95) — 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Master your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  • Ezekiel 7:20 (NASB95) — 20 ‘They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.
  • Ezekiel 28:4–5 (NASB95) — 4 “By your wisdom and understanding You have acquired riches for yourself And have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries. 5 “By your great wisdom, by your trade You have increased your riches And your heart is lifted up because of your riches
  • Daniel 4:30 (NASB95) — 30 “The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?