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Friday, 8 April 2016

"A Consideration Of Accumulations"

Message Summary:  Accumulations are a part of life and we all have some. But there's a constant need to really remember what is important.

"He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there" (Genesis 12:5).

An interesting factoid in the April 2016 Reader's Digest states that having $77,000 in assets puts you in the world's wealthiest 10%. Actually given the abject poverty many live under it seems that the percentage is high although it's not stated whether the $77,000 is an average or median amount. Regardless, although most of us would probably not describe ourselves as rich, nearly all of us are probably in a top percentage of having the world's wealth.

Brooksyne and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary next month. When we married in 1976 I moved all the stuff I wanted from my childhood in a small trailer and pulled it behind my car from the Kansas City area to our first house (parsonage) near Springfield, Missouri. My mattress caught fire on the way and I had to pitch it off to the side of US Route 50, with the help of a Missouri highway patrol trooper who first noticed the fire. I suppose if that happened today it would have prompted a major environmental crisis but as I recall the trooper just helped me get it off the trailer and made no issue of whatever was left after it burned. He probably got a chuckle out of it and the skinny 21 year old preacher.

U-Haul truck
Brooksyne brought all her childhood stuff from Tulsa in her '73 bright orange Maverick. Then we began to accumulate. Over a year later we moved to Pennsylvania in a small U-Haul truck and in 1993 we moved to Massachusetts in an even larger truck with a trailer. When we moved back to Pennsylvania in early 2001 it took two trucks! (I think we are back down to one truck or at least I hope so!)

Abram leaving Haran
Abraham's calling is an instructive portion of the Bible and a great model for all of us in our journey of faith. When God called him he obeyed. They had a lot of animals and household servants. But let us consider a simple phrase in the daily text, "all the possessions they had accumulated."

I wonder what in the world they had accumulated? I suppose they had tents, cooking utensils, animal accessories, saddle blankets, bedding and other household supplies as well. I don't know what kind of furniture they had. Based upon my knowledge of the original Hebrew I am sure they didn't have any electronic equipment, computers, electric appliances or power tools!

Self-storage units
It's just hard to imagine that they had to deal with anything like we do here in prosperous America, where a booming business is self-storage units for all the stuff people accumulate! In fact a new "disease" has been identified of uncontrollable hoarding which now has a medical sounding name, "Hoarding disorder". It has a relation to affluenza, a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy people.

Accumulations are a part of life and we all have some. But there's a constant need to really remember what is important. Jesus talked about accumulations when He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." The apostle Paul made the universally recognized observation that reminds us, "We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." Jesus said, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."  Amen!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber



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