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Clearing Out

Nigel Gillson, 28th February 2016

High value possessions

I felt privileged to go and visit my uncle in the last few days of his life on Earth. He was 78 years old when he died and to be present at the time he gave his last breath will always stay with me. It was sad, yes, but a privilege and I thank God for the experience.

In the days following, I helped my sister put my uncle's affairs in order and was astonished at how much he had acquired in the 78 years he walked the Earth. His house was full of memories stretching back to beyond his childhood. He had amounted a small fortune in various life policies and bank accounts. He had various trophies from his time with the local bowling club. He was a member of the local football supporter's club and had numerous outfits for one thing or another. He had photographic accessories and photographs spanning hundreds of years (he collected them). He had acquired thousands of pounds worth of DIY tools from his joiner days.

'his last breath will always stay with me'

Despite all that he had acquired and amounted, when he died, it all remained in his house collecting dust. It did not suddenly disappear from our existence for him to take with him. He didn't even jump from his bed frantically worried about gathering his prized possessions together and certainly didn't leave instructions for us to send them on to his next abode.

I am reminded of the conversation that Jesus had with a rich young man in Matthew 19:16-22, where a wealthy man came up to Jesus and asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus replied simply with an instruction, "sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me."

Now, Jesus is not saying to us, in order to follow him, we must sell everything we have, although in the right context there is merit in that. No, he is saying, "Are your priorities right?"

'He didn't even jump from his bed frantically worried'

Do you think life is all about acquiring possessions?

Do you collect items for one reason or another?

Do you work hard to earn income for that bigger car, bigger house, bigger status?

Jesus says, "Are your priorities right?"

It's alright to amount riches, but do they govern your life?

Is the acquiring of possessions your driving force?

Jesus says, "Are your priorities right?" "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." (Matthew 6:33a) Our first priority must be to seek God. Developing our relationship with Christ must be our primary aim, our first priority. Once we have secured that priority ... "...all these things will be given to you as well." (Mt 6:33b), God will see to it that we are satisfied.

Are your priorities right?