LED TO THE SLAUGHTER
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; (Rom 8:)
This causes me to wonder: where do the youth of today get all the money they spend so freely? Jobs are a rarity even for the highly educated and the skilled professional, all jobs having been given to our foreign rivals. I see kids with fancy cars, cell phones, fancy 007 gadgets that I couldn't figure out how to use even if I wanted to, and this above all the junk food they desire, their cigarettes and their pharmaceutical items I won't bother to mention.
One time I was at a comic book store (no, not buying) and the owner told me that some of his customers are teenagers who spend all their SSI (intended for the disabled, that many legitimately disabled are not approved to receive) on comic books. I've heard, and seen other incidents of this nature as well. So I assume part of the teen wealth comes from the pockets of us, the tax paying citizens, through the generousity of the politicians our taxes pay to protect our interest. That would account for some of the teen wealth, but surely there must be other sources besides these.
I see the aged who own very large homes on both sides of the country they travel to and from by way of RV's larger than the "house" I live in. Perhaps it's these wealthy grandparents who are providing (and exemplifying I might add) this spendthrift youth culture the resources that keeps our economy afloat.
Not all of us can afford a Mona Lisa to hang on our shanty walls. For the poorer of us we might consider a vase of sunflowers painted by Van Gogh (does an ear come with the painting I wonder?) for a mere $76,000,000. Or maybe your pocket book is a little on the lean side for this painting and you're looking for something like a portrait of a Halberdier by Pontormo for $35,000,000.
These are paintings, and usually paintings are bought by museums and kept there for safe keeping. Where do the museums get their money to buy all these expensive wall hangings? If the museums refused to pay the high prices asked, do you suppose the price of the paintings might be lower? How about admission to see these paintings, do you think that might be lowered as well?
Van Gogh and other of his contemporaries that now hang in these illustrious storage bens of the prestigious had to burn their non-selling paintings in order to keep warm. That's what they were worth when they were pained. Has anyone ever wondered what caused the paintings to now be worth millions and desired by the elite? How much money would that boy's hair be worth if no one wanted to buy it? I suspect it would be worth the same amount as the few hairs I have left on my head, which I have to pay for the trimming of.
A box of chocolate for $1,500,000 dollars (the purchase also included some jewelry that the previous owner apparently threw into the deal out of the goodness of his heart).
$1,300,000 for a cell phone. Come on now, we wouldn't begrudge our youth a cell phone would we? What else are they going to do with their ears besides hang the jewelry on them their nose and their lips are unable to bear.
$163,000 for a Hello Kitty (Whatever that is).
$1,000 for a pizza cut eight ways. That's only $125 a slice. I think the way our economy is going it won't be long and that sum will be a bargain for something edible.
$225,000 for a bottle of Tequila. Keep in mind these items are for the nicknack shelf, not for consumption. Who would want to drink the contents of a bottle of liquor and be left with a worthless bottle? Wine, I understand, is notorious for being expensive, as long as it is never drank.
$69,000 for a cricket ball. I wonder what the mallet sold for?
$14,000 for a tea bag. "And would you like sugar with your tea?"
$41,000 for a miniature toy model of Gundum, a Japanese superhero I suspect. Of course this toy is made of pure platinum, so the youngster who receives it shouldn't be able to damage it too badly.
$225,000 for a parking spot in Manhattan. And there's a waiting list for the spot. Even people who don't own cars are buying up this prime real estate for investment purposes.
Besides the above there are hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on photographs of people no different from the ones in your family album.
We see people who own so much junk they're unable to navigate their living room for the piles of news papers or whatever it is they collect. The poor collect plastic cups and items others throw away. The rich collect those things that have no value but that of the pride of possession. We are a collector society with the attitude that possession gives us value. The man in the Ferrari is making a statement about himself. He's telling the world he is important because he owns something of value. He is valuable because of what he owns, not because of what he can do for others, nor for who he is. We look at what we have to determine our value. If we can't own something valuable, we own a lot of valueless items, and take pride in the volume of stuff we own rather than the value of the item itself. Maybe you collect tea bags, whereas your neighbor collects "Man Toys" such a motorcycles, a boat, and an RV that takes up his entire yard intended for a lawn.
In times past it was expected that people would value their family, and what they owned was for mere sustenance, something to be utilized for the aid and comfort of the family. In the corner of the room there might be found an item or two tucked away of no particular value that brought the family some comfort or pleasure. That item might be a photo album, or a dish handed down to them from a grandparent, or it might have been a piano that the family sang around on occasion.
Then came the wind-up Victrola, then the radio the family gathered around, then the TV that families now have in each room that keeps families apart rather than brings them together.
Behind me lives a man who owns very little value-wise, and what he owns is something that his heirs will have to pay to haul away. He is unable to move about his property or his house because of all the worthless, decaying, junk that he collects. In addition to this he pays for a 10x20 storage ben that is filled with junk, and he has junk stored in the homes of everyone who will allow him to use their valuable space. Is this extreme? Yes, it's extreme. Is it unusual? Not at all. Some people collect dolls as did my aunt. Others collect cars, others books, and still others toys or comic books. It is not unusual to visit a family that has walls of videos that cost them many thousands of dollars to collect, that do nothing but take up space. They're viewed once or twice (if ever), and then they're relegated to the stockpile of the obsolete.
We humans are collectors by nature. And I am no exception. I collect everything. I have to fight my collector nature, which is particularly difficult because I have many interests and skills, and therefore I have many areas of needs, such as tools and implements of the trades I indulge in.
Some sheep are slaughtered out of ignorance, out of innocence, for nothing they themselves have done wrong. Other sheep seek to be led to the slaughter, following the trend of the day, willing to give their all for nothing in return but a moment of feeling they are in the mainstream of worldly acceptance. They will beg, steal, sell themselves, or even peirce their own flesh in order to be counted acceptable by those who own and operate the slaughterhouse.
Are we, as individuals, spending our money and our time wisely? Are we considering the needs of others above our own wants, addictions and desires? Are we, the Christian, and the Church, living up to our promise to sacrifice all for the good of the body of Christ? Or are we, individually as well as the churches themselves, merely adding to our numbers and our appearance rather than to our quality and our value?
Examine yourself, and your church: Is your life one that you would expect Jesus to be living? Those things you collect, and that you value, are they what you would expect to find in a home owned by Jesus? Is your life one that reflects the life and the attitudes of Jesus? Is your church striving for a level of moral purity that it would if Jesus was the pastor of it?
We expect the world, the unsaved, to serve itself and derive all out of this life they can, because this life is all they have. But the Christian is supposed to be separated from this world, to be pilgrims and sojourners, aliens from another nation, another world in fact, and not to be taken up with the things of this world. We are to feed the Spiritual part of us and do away with the flesh, that Adamic nature that seeks to satisfy our carnal lusts and desires.
Whatever we spend on ourselves, is money and time we might have spent to better the lives of those in need. If we have two coats, and our neighbor has none, we are depriving our neighbor of what God has intended for them. I know the churches support, and in fact exemplify, the attitude that what God gives you is yours and is ok, as long as you are thankful for it. Is that you're attitude as well? Here's the test that will help you determine if you are in fact in the will of God, or if you are in the world. If Jesus was to come to your door right now, unexpected, what is there in your life, in your home, that you would want to hide or get rid of quickly. And keep in mind, that while momma's out of the room, her instructions can be manipulated to sound as if they are different than what they were. Read the Bible and see what God is really telling you, and then examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith.
This accomplished, what is there you found in your life that should be done away with? And more to the point, what are you going to do about what you found?
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:)
6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 10And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. (Mat 27:)
12And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Zech 11:)
28Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. (Gen 37:)
29Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. (Acts 8: see also Isaiah chapter 53)
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:)
20If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; 21Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. 22Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. (Psalm 44:)
11O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Cor 6:)
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:)