God our Hearts and Worldliness

Last night I watched a 1937 movie on TV about a duchess who had ample goods laid up for many years.  In it Greta Garbo who played the role made a last – ditch effort to harpoon her obsessions – good stuff.  She told herself, “relax, eat, drink, and be merry.”

In today’s language her self-advice might be translated, “shop, splurge, and consume – and let it bring you happiness.”

For this woman stuff comes first.  The obtaining and maintenance of her stuff determines her leisure, her friends, her house-size, her clothes, her jewelry, her fancy cars and her bank account.

Sadly, she discovered that the stuff she owned now owned her.  This picture gives us some sense of futility of a life lived in materialism.  It describes the rich man in the parable.  It describes the man who interrupted Jesus.  And maybe it describes us.

Consider who inspire your life.  Who are you identifying with through your appearance?  Who are you trying to imitate or be like?  Are you preoccupied with looking like the men or the women in the movies, or on TV commercials, or on magazine covers, or on the billboards?  Are you the role models, the godly men and women of Scripture or the worldly men and women of our culture?

Let’s look at the issue on clothing that associates with worldly values:  clothes that say “look at me” and “I’m with the world.”

When it comes to fashion, I’m deliberately out of step.  I don’t care if what I’m wearing is trendy or not – in fact, it’s my goal to resist the influence of others over my wardrobe.  I want to feel comfortable in what I’m wearing and forget about it.  If you ever see me sharply dressed in public, it’s only because my daughter and two sons, out of great concern for my appearance, buy me clothes on my birthday and for Christmas and from their travels abroad.

We live in a materialistic world, but our hearts can be free from it.  Nobody is prohibiting us from enhancing our appearance.  And obviously God isn’t opposed to persons making themselves look good.  In fact as we have observed:  God is a creator of beauty.  God delights in beauty.  As we need to verify this fact is to consider the beauty He created around us:  whether it is a pretty flower, or towering trees, or a flowing river, or billowing clouds or the majestic night sky.

Every time we stop to take in one of these breathtaking scenes on display in God’s creation, we can’t help but be convinced that He delights in beauty!

Because we are created in the image of our Creator, each of us has this ability to make things beautiful, that means, when we decorate our homes, or plant a lovely flower garden, or seek to add some form of beauty to our surroundings, even when we attempt to enhance our personal appearance – we are actually imitating and delighting in the works of our Creator.

A person’s taste for beauty can be an imitation of God’s character, but it can also become corrupted.  This truth has timeless relevance.

When Jesus reminds us that life doesn’t consist only of worldly possessions, this isn’t just a matter of truth.  It is a teaching moment, because materialism and selfishness is a problem in the human heart.  The Savior love us so much that He comes to rescue us from the seduction of a fallen world.

Material craving takes our hearts away from God and affix them to things of this world.

What Jesus means was recorded for us in Luke: “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other.  You cannot serve God and money.”  (Luke 16:13)

The things of this world – when compares to pleasing God and eternal life will be worthless.  What will we choose?

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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