If I look at the world around me there is a constant temption to want more, and want what isn’t good for me. We live in a material world and we have material needs but we also have material wants. John, one of Jesus’ first followers, recognises this but he also says something about our priorities.

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. 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. 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 (The Message)

Now lets not go on a guilt trip about what we have and what we would like to have. I don’t think that the Bible is looking for everyone to give up enjoying the material things in life. Although some may wish to give up material things in order to focus fully on the spiritual, and I do think there is value in this, we are not all required to live like monks! What we do need to embrace is a priority for spiritual good which will challenge our desire for the next boy’s toy or girl’s retail therapy. If we ‘love the world’s ways’ and life for the next material high then we will ‘squeeze out’  love for the Father. If the comfort of material well being is higher on our agenda than desiring spiritual good then we will miss out on what is most important, an intimacy of relationship with God. Putting the love of God first in our lives was always the priority of Jesus and the first thing in his message to us. It isn’t that we need not have the things we need, or even the things we want, materially. What it means is that the material things in life are temporary, passing away, disposable, but the love of God lasts into eternity.

God help me today to be happy with what I need materially and to be grateful for those things I want that I can afford. Let my priority be to be as generous in love to you as I know you are to me. Amen.

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