God has truly been challenging me to examine my heart concerning worldliness and my attachments to it. On days when I tend to complain because I feel that I'm lacking in some way, the Lord reminds me that I live in America where I have much, much more than most of the rest of the world. I own a home, two cars, and a business. I have friends, family, health, a wonderful church family, a place to meet with that church family on a regular basis without fear of persecution and where I can freely express and live my faith. I have a computer that I can use while sitting practically anywhere in my house. I have shelves and shelves of books, all written by giants in the faith who radically changed their world for Jesus Christ and I have a variety of Bibles and study aides to learn from. I have clothes in my dresser, food in my cupboards, and money in my checking account (even though in America it's not considered a lot). If I get sick, I can go to the hospital to be treated by some of the best doctors in the United States without having to give them a single penny before entering for treatment.
Having a lot of things can cause one to get attached-quickly. I have to constantly keep my mind on what's really valuable in this world or I can quickly begin to compare myself with others and begin to feel that God has "shorted" me in some way. Not only is that evil because it is a total lie, it is very counterproductive to living a victorious Christian life.
In Hebrews 10, the writer, whom I believe was Paul, or possibly Luke, was admonishing those in the church who had lost everything for the sake of the gospel. Verse 34 brought great conviction on my heart as I read of their property (that's everything folks-their homes and all that was in them) being seized simply because they were followers of Christ. The verse says that they accepted it joyfully----JOYFULLY because they knew that they had a BETTER possession and one that abides! What was it? Confidence in the blood of Jesus Christ (10:19). And in that confidence lay a great reward!
I had to ask myself, what would I do if I suddenly lost everything due to the gospel? Could I have the same witness as these precious ones? Do I live with the awareness that I have a BETTER possession and one that is constantly abiding? Do I fully acknowledge all the benefits of this possession in my daily life and do I allow it to color, influence and change my character and personality? Do I consider that what I possess is truly my BEST possession, or is my salvation just something that is added to the bookshelves of my life? Does Christ make everything else in my life pale next to His amazing brightness? Is the blood of Jesus Christ precious to me? Do I allow it to remind me that there is absolutely NO good in me? That any thoughts of holiness or any deeds of righteousness are completely and absolutely ALL supplied to me by Christ? Even those "nice" attributes of my personality were given me in the womb by the one who knit me together. It's not because my DNA was smarter than anyone elses.
I took some time and I just sat and thought on Jesus. Suddenly all I could do was just to say His name over and over again. What a wonderful, beautiful, incomparable name! What a preciousness is found in His name! What strength, what power, what majesty is in that name! It brought a song to my mind that we just learned in church whose chorus goes "we bow our hearts, we life our hands, in humble adoration to our God; we lay down our lives to lift up your name....the name above all names."
Yes, truly I possess the pearl of great price, that priceless gem, that treasure that is so incredible that it would be worth giving up everything just to have it. I am blessed. Not because of what I have but because of WHO I have and because He constantly abides, never leaving nor forsaking me, aware of even one hair that falls from my head, the good shepherd, the healer, the provider, the source of all wisdom and knowledge, the lover of my soul! Imagine!! The only good thing about me is HIM, yet He loves me! Anything lovable in me is all Him! Any gifting, any talent, any unction, is ALL HIM! He is the only perfect sacrifice for sin, the only sacrifice that God will accept, and He abides in me so that when I go to the Father, I am acceptable and as a result, heard by God. Jesus, what a Savior!
Everything else that I possess is just icing on the cake! What a blessing!!!