Time to Buy
It is Christmas time, which can mean only one thing…time for Christmas lists. They say it is the season for giving but it can often just seem like the season of buying. This year for the first time I went out thursday night for Black Friday shopping. Black Friday which is now a weekly event is a little sickening to observe.
Like thousands of ants in a line people stood cast under a spell by the materialistic queen. The line went around the building and down the corner. The line to the check out curled all around the inside of the store. I laughed at some who were waiting for over an hour to save a few dollars on a dvd but ultimately the joke was on all of us.
What do you own?
Like a Christmas list that folds down all the way to the floor most can not count the things that we already own. Try it, try to count everything you own, every piece of clothing, every shoe, every item in a box in the attic or basement and see what percentage of things you forget that you even have.
YOU OWN NOTHING
At the local Promise Keepers meeting a pastor asked the question, “What do you own?” He started with the house, “If you own a house, stop paying property tax and see if you can keep it.” For your car you need to pay insurance and registration. Even your body you now have to buy health insurance for. I wonder if they will ever move to repo your body like they do houses. Ok that may be just a fantastical movie plot but we certainly can not hold on to our ownership of very many materials.
You really own nothing. Everything you have can be taken away from you, without your say, so you don’t own it. You obsess over things that you are really just renting from God. Job in the scripture is one of the weirder stories in the bible because Job doesn’t do anything wrong and he loses everything he owns.
In the Fools for Christ, the comedy skit group my brothers and I are in, we did a Job skit. A man runs in to tell Job that his sheep had all died. The narrator continues, “while he was still speaking…oh while he was still talking, oops.” He grabs a remote control and rewinds them. The same man runs in and shares about the sheep but this time another man comes in as well, and shares about his goats being killed. Job’s starting to sweat. The narrator begins again, “and while HE was still talking…oh man…alright all people who have news of calamity or destruction for Job come one stage and share it now.” Five messengers walk on stage, and all at once share about everything Job is losing.
Do we ever own nothing?
I have had calamity strike in my life, thank God I didn’t lose my sheep but my world did fall apart. I could say that I had nothing but that would be a lie. In fact for everything taken from me something was given me in its place. Where I had joy I now had sadness. Where I had my heart and mind I was tangibly changed. The event was so horrid it changed me, and I owned the wounds. No one could take them from me but …me.
What do all your things add up to?
Being a literal guy when the pastor asked what do you own, I started counting. I do own things that no one can take from me. My list was not what he expected, but free will, friends, my personality, my fears, my hopes, and dreams.
What can’t be taken from us?
There are some things that can’t be taken from us, and that only we can give. One example is unforgiveness. Like a cancer in your heart, and you the only one with the knife, only you can cut out the hurt of unforgiveness. Of course if you don’t cut it out eventually the unforgiveness will own you.
What does it all add up to?
For many Americans if they sold all they had and used it to pay off their debt they would still be… in debt. They own that debt. Financially they don’t have value in their assets. Likewise if any of us add up all of the intangible things we own, we would find ourselves in debt, we don’t have spiritual assets to cover our spiritual debt.
My dad used to share with us that if you add up all the good things you do in life and all the bad things you do, what you earned is …death. For the wages of sin is death. No matter what you buy, or how you measure your worth it will never be enough.
Deal of your lifetime
Here is the good news. Someone will take all that you are and all that you have, and love you just as you are. He will take your faults, he will even take your unforgiveness. If you are willing to give it he will take your debt and give you in exchange life, his life. It of course is Jesus.
What will his life buy?
What do you get in return for your junk, your riches that are fleeting, and your faults that are constant? You get the grace of God, and when you do, you own that grace it can not be taken from you. Like unforgiveness before you alone can give it away. It is yours.
This Christmas you can add to your pile of junk, materials that will be crammed into landfills in 10 years, or you can celebrate with me the greatest gift anyone has ever been given. It’s a once in a life time deal. You trade in your junk and God gives you His son.