• Topic > Christianity & Culture > Materialism >

    A Flourishing Tree

    I’ve always had a collector’s heart. As a kid, I collected stamps. Baseball cards. Comics. Now, as a parent, I see the same impulse in my kids. Sometimes I wonder, Do you really need another teddy bear? 

    Of course, it’s not about need. It’s about the allure of something new. Or sometimes the tantalizing draw of something old, something rare. Whatever captivates our imagination, we’re tempted to believe that if we only had “X,” our lives would be better. We’d be happy. Content. 

    Except, those things never deliver the goods. Why? Because God created us to be filled by Him, not by…

    The Favorite

    My husband’s brother lives about 1,200 miles away in the mountains of Colorado. Despite the distance, Gerrits has always been a beloved family member because of his great sense of humor and kind heart. However, as long as I can remember, his siblings have good-naturedly joked about his favored status in their mother’s eyes. Several years ago, they even presented him with a T-shirt sporting the words “I’m Mom’s Favorite.”

    While we all enjoyed the silliness of our siblings, true favoritism is no joking matter. In Genesis 37, we read about Jacob who gave his son Joseph an ornate coat—an indication…

    For Love or Money

    Irish poet Oscar Wilde said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is.” His comment was made tongue-in-cheek; he lived only to age 46, so he never truly was “old.” Wilde fully understood that life is not about money.

    Money is temporary; it comes and it goes. So life must be about more than money and what it can buy. Jesus challenged the people of His generation—rich and poor alike—to a recalibrated value system. In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your…

    Out of the Trap

    The Venus flytrap was first discovered in a small area of sandy wetlands not far from our home in North Carolina. These plants are fascinating to watch because they are carnivorous.

    Venus flytraps release a sweet-smelling nectar into colorful traps that resemble open flowers. When an insect crawls inside, triggering sensors along the outer rim, the trap clamps shut in less than a second—capturing its victim. The trap then closes further and emits enzymes that consume its prey over time, giving the plant nutrients not provided by the sandy soil.

    God’s Word tells of another trap that can capture unexpectedly. The apostle…

    Not Like Yesterday

    When our grandson Jay was a child his parents gave him a new T-shirt for his birthday. He put it on right away and proudly wore it all day.

    When he appeared the next morning in the shirt, his dad asked him, “Jay, does that shirt make you happy?”

    “Not as much as yesterday,” Jay replied.

    That’s the problem with material acquisition: Even the good things of life cannot give us the deep, lasting happiness we so ardently desire. Though we may have many possessions, we may still be unhappy.

     

    The world offers happiness through material accumulation: new clothes, a new automobile, an update…

    The Point of Being Alive

    Lately, as I’ve been skimming financial advice books, I’ve noticed an interesting trend. While almost all such books have good advice, many imply that the primary reason to cut costs is to live like millionaires later. But one book offered a refreshingly different perspective, arguing that living simply is essential for a rich life. If you need more or fancier stuff to feel joy, the book suggested, “You’re missing the point of being alive.”

    Those insightful words brought to mind Jesus’s response when a man asked Him to urge his brother to divide an inheritance with him. Instead of sympathizing, Jesus dismissed…

    The Day We Were Robbed

    “I’ve to run. My flat . . . someone’s entered my flat. I must go,” I told my boss in a barely audible whisper. I could hardly believe my ears when I received a phone call from my sister to say we had been robbed.

    Is fear holding you back from being generous?

    When it comes to generosity, fear often holds us back. Can we still provide for ourselves if we give some of what we have away? Today on Discover the Word, special guest Jeff Manion and the team conclude a series on “Satisfaction” by looking at the freedom of living generously. It’s a radical change in […]

    Living generously toward others

    You don’t have to be a millionaire to be rich in good deeds! In fact, God has a special assignment for those He has blessed. Today on Discover the Word, we explain how regardless of what we do or don’t have, we can be generous toward others! Listen today to Discover the Word!

    Enjoying God’s good gifts

    We can take pleasure in the homes we live in, the food we eat, or the stuff we have. But if we do, does that mean we’re overly materialistic? Join us today on Discover the Word when our special guest Jeff Manion helps the team explore the difference between loving and enjoying God’s good gifts. […]

    Making do with less

    The boxes of stuff that fill our attic, consume our garage, or clutter our basement can fill the empty spaces in our home. But they can’t fill the empty spaces in our life. Today on Discover the Word, the team, and special guest Jeff Manion explain the biblical way to gain more, by making do […]

    A biblical look at contentment

    All the billboards, commercials, and advertisements that surround us are very good at telling us what we need to have. But how much is truly enough? Today on Discover the Word, special guest Jeff Manion along with the team, talk about the pull of materialism and whether it’s right to want more. A biblical look […]

    Leave the legacy of contentment

    You’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-haul! That’s because when we die, we leave all that we have behind! Today on Discover the Word, special guest, Jeff Manion, leads the talk about finding contentment in the legacy we leave behind. What will you leave your loved ones when you pass on? Listen today to […]

    The secret of contentment

    It’s easy to feel satisfied when life is good. But when circumstances take a difficult turn, contentment can fly out the window! Today on Discover the Word, we explore the apostle Paul’s secret to contentment in every circumstance. A biblical look at satisfaction regardless of our situation today on Discover the Word!

    Learning to be content in who we are

    Are you feeling a bit restless? Do you feel a lack of personal satisfaction and purpose in your life? Well, today on Discover the Word, the team, along with special guest, Jeff Manion, will share the personal satisfaction we can have when we realize our true identity. We’re learning to be content in who we […]

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