Over the last couple of days, my wife and I have been preparing for an upcoming garage sale. Going through old items can be a fun time to remember long lost memories. It can also be a great reminder of how much junk we collect throughout the years. I find myself saying things like, “Seriously? Why did I keep this?” While I was sorting through the piles of trash (or treasure…I guess it’s all about perspective) I was reminded of a passage in Luke 9:1-3.
Jesus gathers his disciples together and empowers them to go out and do ministry on their own, in order to continue the legacy that Jesus left. Think of this as an internship of sorts, where they’re finally sent out to do the work that they’ve been learning about for the past couple years. After giving a little pep-talk, Jesus sends them on their way, WITH NOTHING. The real question is why? Why does he tell them not to bring anything? I think there’s a couple of reasons.
Stuff doesn’t fulfill our needs. God does.
Our worldly possessions don’t really fulfill any need. No matter how new our stuff is, no matter how advanced, we’re still going to have a longing for something more. I believe we’re designed that way for a purpose. Think about it, when’s the last time you bought a new phone? How long did the initial excitement last? Probably a week at best. How long was it until you wanted something else? I’m going to guess you’ve felt this feeling at one point or another. This is how we’re built. Stuff doesn’t fulfill our needs, but God does.
Stuff gets in the way of God’s purpose for our life.
Like his disciples, Jesus has called all of his followers into ministry. We all are to take part in that internship program that the disciples went through. Every believer is do act out on the Great Commission, to share the Gospel. Unfortunately, not many do. Stuff can be a reason why we don’t. Why go talk about Jesus, when we can play video games, or watch television? Why spend time in God’s word, when we can spend time on social media? Stuff can be distracting. Jesus didn’t allow his disciples to be distracted from their true purpose in life.
Don’t get me wrong: Jesus isn’t saying to sell everything. Not everyone is called to do that. What he’s saying is that when your stuff is getting in the way of you discovering and acting out on your purpose, then ditch it! Never forget that your worldly possessions won’t fulfill your needs, but God does. Lose your stuff. Find Jesus.
(Photo by Flickr User: JD Hancock)
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