From Consumerism to Calvary 15/09/2018

By admin at 2018-09-12 • 0 collector • 75 pageviews

 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “lf anyone desires to come after Me, _ let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me

                                               (Matthew 16:24).

 

 

 Scripture Reading: Luke 12:13-34

 

 Objective: to learn that if we become possessed by our possessions, we will miss out on discovering the joy of sacrificial giving, as our Lord taught us.

 

 Introduction: ln Luke 12, Jesus warns against coveting (v. 15). To make His point, He tells a parable about a man who had so many crops, they wouldn’t fit in his barns. Instead of investing his treasure in heaven, the man decided to store it on earth.(w. 33, 34). He tore down his old barns to build bigger ones. But that night he died and lost everything. He had laid up treasure for himself, but wasn’t “rich toward God” (v. 21).We live in a profoundly consumerist age. Advertisers spend billions of dollars convincing us that happiness is found in possessions. We believe them, so we buy. We’re happy for a moment, but it doesn’t last because, advertisers tell us, happiness is found in the next thing —- the next television, the next computer, the next phone. The rich fool teaches us that with possessions, happiness is never a destination; it’s always an end-less, fruitless pursuit. As long as we believe that happiness is found in our “stuff,” we’ll continue to chase the mirage, possessed by possessions and consumed with consuming. We’ll build bigger barns. That’s consumerism. immersed in a culture that normalizes addictive consumer habits, we can fail to see that a materialistic mindset is as sinful as hedonism. That is one reason it’s so spiritually dangerous. We can’t serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). Consumerism is also dangerous because it’s so subtle. As it saturates us with conveniences, it silently suffocates our desire to give sacrificially. We grow accustomed to being served by the newest gadget, and instead of being grateful, we come to expect it. Entering this sense of entitlement, we become like the Dead Sea, always receiving and -never giving. That’s the disease of consumerism. So how do we escape its allure? We can consider what God has given us. Can we see? Thirty-six million people can’t. Can we hear? Seventy million can’t. Helen Keller wrote, “l cried because l had no shoes until l met a man who had no feet." Gratitude gives thanks. lt’s an important way to be a gracious giver and avoid consumeristic cravings. We can give in additional ways, like service to others. Our Lord said He came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). He gave Himself for us on the cross. As we give in gratitude and service, we feel God’s presence; His love flows through us to others, and all our desires are satisfied in Him. Then we don’t need things. That’s the joy of sacrifice. Calvary is the opposite of covetousness. Unlike Calvary, consumerism pursues its own happiness, yet only

 captures it in fleeting moments. Why? Because true happiness is the result of doing what pleases God. When we live sacrificially for God and for others and not for ourselves, we don’t have to pursue happiness. lt finds us.

 

 

Questions for Study and Discussion

 

1    Define consumerism and the mindset it promotes. How prevalent is it in today’s society, and what does it make an idol of? What industry specializes in manufacturing desire, and what effect does it have on you?

 

2    What is Jesus teaching us in the parable of the rich fool? Luke 12:13-21. How many times does the rich fool say “I”? What’s the significance of this? How does this parable relate to our consumer-ist society?

 

3     In the second half of our Scripture Reading, how does Jesus ad- dress the antidote to covetousness? What is it? Luke 12:22-34. How does the word treasure connect both sections? What does it teach us? Verses 21, 33, 34.

4     How do the tenth commandment and Jesus’ teaching on mammon in the Sermon on the Mount relate? Exodus 20:17; Matthew 6:24. What is a first step in escaping the bondage of consumerism, and what is our final goal?

 

5      Explain why the coveting of consumerism is the very opposite of the cross of Calvary. Matthew 16:24; 20:28. How do these verses relate to happiness? Share with the class a favorite Bible verse on not coveting or on self-giving.

 

 

 

Conclusion:     Jesus said, “lt is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). |t’s difficult for those caught up in consumerism to believe this. But for others who have experienced the joy of God’s presence in their giving, nothing else comes close. God is asking us to become living sacrifices, not because He wants to take from us, but because He wants to bless us and others through us.

 

 Apply This Week:  Carefully observe all the ways that advertising targets you as a con-sumer and how it seeks to manufacture coveting in your heart. As an intentional response look for ways to give sacrificially.


5 Replies | Last update 25 days ago
2018-09-12   #1

Good one.

2018-09-16   #2

One of the ways we can avoid consumerism is by following the ideology of the village fisherman I.e. Take what you need and not what you want.

25 days ago   #3

Good one

25 days ago   #4

I suggest members should be enlighten on how to use this platform.

Emphase should be placed on how to sign up and to use the page.

I am impressed.

Keep the good work.

25 days ago   #5

Reply to #4 @obulor :

We will do just that. Thank you for the observation.

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