We live in the days of things. Things are so important to people and we have them all around us. Many people live just for things. Let's talk about things for a little bit. By the way, the word things is found in the Bible 1,024 times, so it must be an important word.
What things did Adam and Eve have in their first home? Trees, animals, a river, possibly. Yet it seems they lived quite comfortably and happy in their home. How would you like to have lived like that? Nothing ever needed repair, although Adam did prune the trees of the garden.
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 1:15
After Adam sinned, and he and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden, their possession of things was still quite small. They probably lived in a cave, as some ancient writings suggest. They still got their water at a river or stream, and their food they picked from the trees or bushes that bore fruit and berries. There is no telling how long they wore the clothes the Lord made and gave them, so their wardrobe was rather small, I suppose.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
In that day they did not eat animals as we do today. That did not start until after the flood of Noah's day. So they didn't need pots and pans to cook with. In fact, whether or not they even cooked food before the flood, is a good question to ask. I'm sure no one can truthfully answer that.
As mentioned earlier, Adam did have a job assigned to him by God to tend the garden in which he lived. That responsibility was placed upon him by the Creator. There were no stores to buy things during this time in their lives, so their only concern was eating and sleeping. What a way to live. Sounds like the dream of many today! The cave they lived in did not have what nots, trinkets, souvenirs and things of that nature to clutter up their living quarters. Their bed was probably some straw or leaves on the ground to lie on, and Lord knows what they may have had to cover themselves with at night. They really lived in primitive times. At first, they had no neighbors, so they didn't have to fear theft, or wicked men.
In Genesis chapter four we see that Cain, Adam's first son went to the land of Nod and built the first city. He named it after his son Enoch. Then in verse twenty of the same chapter, Lamech the grandson of Cain, had a wife named Adah who had a son named Jabal. Jabal's great, great, great, great, great grandfather was Cain and Jabal was the father of those who lived in tents. So for many years, it seems that people lived in caves before they began to live in tents. Now Jabal had a brother whose name was Jubal and he was the father of those who handled the harp and organ. Lamech's second wife Zillah had a son named Tubalcain and he was an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.
My point in these ancient men is how little interest they had in "things." Not like that today is it? Today we have many, many things. But at the end of the day, if we look at what "things" we all have we would find that, even though some are good, some are just junk!
This past winter I gave away several coats and jackets that I did not need. I still have a coat I have never gotten around to wearing this winter. The same is true with shoes. When I was growing up we had only one pair of shoes a year to wear to school and church. In the Spring, Summer, and early Fall most of the time we went barefooted. Some of the clothes and shoes I have now, I did not purchase, but were given to me and they were like new. So in my closet there is an excess of clothes, and under the bed, unworn shoes. Just more things! I bet it's that way at your house also. Just look around in an objective manner and see all the things you have that are not really too important or useful. Some may have some sentimental value, but they are just taking up space.
I have seen times on television where people had to leave their homes because of the danger of fire, terrorists, or storms, and all too often they leave with just the clothes on their backs. Their things are all left behind and sometimes destroyed, yet they themselves survived.
Think about how hard people work just to have things. Things beyond the necessities of life. Cell phones, televisions, radios, video games, just to name a few things. I was raised when their was no electricity in the county. We had oil lamps, and no appliances of any nature. We heated and cooked with wood. We got our water from a hand pump and watered the animals from a deep well out back. We drove a mule and wagon to town several times a year to get coffee and a few other needed items.
I wonder, have things become our gods? We feel we must have them. The more we have the more successful we think we are. With our things we impress others, who in turn are attempting to get bigger and better things, probably, just to impress someone. We are entertained and surrounded with things, and it seems quite often, just to have them. Could it be that our things are robbing us of the time we need to be with God? Let me share several times that the word things is used in the Bible.
Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Psalms 87:3
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalms 103:5
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1 Peter 1:18
Do the things of the Lord Jesus Christ bless you? His Word, His Spirit, His way of faith in living each day? It is the things of the Lord that are eternal. It is the things we perform serving the Lord that have everlasting rewards and value. I am afraid too many people are trying to acquire the things of the world and this life, rather than those things that are eternal which will never fade away. Oh, I understand that some things make our life better and the Lord is pleased with that. But when we allow things to take us away from him, we are deceiving our own selves. Too many use their hard earned money to buy things to such a point that they cannot pay their bills, or give to the work of the Lord. Having their things is more important to them.
After one has spent their life in this world and they sadly depart from their loved ones and friends, I wonder if you have ever seen anyone take their things with them? No, all things are left behind. Only what we have done for Christ will follow and for this we should all labor earnestly. Do you remember when Jesus sent his disciples out to witness he told them to take very few things with them;
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. Matthew 10:5-10
How would you like to go on a journey and take only these few things with you? Today, we would pack several suit cases and the trunk of the car with things we felt we would need. Not those disciples, they were told to take only the clothes on their backs and depend upon the Lord to supply their needs as they served him. Wow! Jesus said for men to;
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:18-21
Today we live in a world where we have to keep our things under lock and key. More than at any other time in my lifetime, I have seen those who make their living going around stealing from others to supply their addicted needs. In some places there are gangs of these servants of the Devil breaking into homes, businesses, and churches. They respect no one, not even a place of worship! How these need to read the words of Christ when he said;
And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. John 5:40
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
One day the mundane things of this world are going to pass away. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said about those who are born again and saved by the grace of God;
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Apostle Paul also stated that;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Consider this future promise of God to those of us who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
The Bible tells us of the wonderful things prepared for those who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know the Lord? Have you accepted Jesus as your savior? Or are you just living for the things of this life which will one day pass away? The Apostle John ends the book of Revelation saying;
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we allow things to come between you and us. Help us to use the things you have given unto us in a wise manner for the glory of our Savior. Save that soul that needs salvation, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen, Preacher