Past, Present, Future

February 21, 2014
by Parise Arakelian

Hebrews 13:5 – Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. … God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you." (MSG)

Materialism, or fixation on earthly possessions, is one of mankind's strongest temptations.

During the past several months, with the help of friends, I have been going through a process of scaling down my personal belongings. My part in this process was making decisions regarding what to do with clothing, books, games, paintings, crystal, and dishes, to name a few.

As witnessed by my friends, the process of scaling down affected me to the point of shedding tears during or after each session. Memories began to flood my soul regarding the people, activities, and places of the past. However, the positive outcomes of this experience were threefold:

  • The memories of the past were full of love and caring: "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT)
  • The present is less encumbered with material possessions: "My God will supply all that you need from his glorious resources in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 – J.B. Phillips)
  • The future is alive with the knowledge that others will enjoy the blessings that I enjoyed from the varied aspects of my life. Many of my treasures have been given to a Christian organization that will provide funds for disadvantaged children to go to camp next summer.

Consider this: Are we preoccupied with or placing emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, as opposed to spiritual or intellectual values? Do we have a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters? After all, when the Scriptures tell us that "God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19 NIV), what more could we ever ask for?

James 1:17 – Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (NASB)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come into Your presence with thanksgiving, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us into avenues of spiritual renewal and contentment instead of selfishly wanting more. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Parise Arakelian <parisesings@roadrunner.com>
Arcadia, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So appropriate.


    Thank you Parise.


    Thank you for a good word Parise.


    I like this challenge Parise. Now if only the inspiration would come.


    Wonderful message, Parise. I have a glass cabinet filled with expressions of love.


    Parise
    Your devotional today is beautiful!


    What a great devotion today and so timely for me too. Thank you so much for your wise words and may God continue to bless you with your writings.


    I know exactly what you mean as I am downsizing and will give to our children what the want now unless I am still using it. Memory lane can be like sweet or sad both allowing us healing tears which enables us to let go and let God. I had a wonderful friend who would say to let go and Let God to all of life.


    Wow what a surprise to wake up to. This subject hit home with me today, what you were referring to, delighting in the fact that are heavily father will really be the one who will take care of or needs.
    Our focus must remain on Him everything else does not matter.


    Hi, I am also in the same position of downsizing. Thanks for your encouragement to give up a lot more of my possessions that I feel I cannot be separate from… I know but it is so hard. Thanks again.
    (Canada)


    Parise: This well describes what we undertook several years ago as we planned to leave our home of 50 years. But tears did eventually show after we eventually settled into an apartment and had the time to reminisce.
    It is a devotional like yours, Parise, that makes so many of us to really THINK.


    Dear Parise,
    What a beautiful and meaningful testimony of the past, present and future. Thank you for sharing this valuable life experience reminding us of the things that matter most – a great lesson for everyone regardless of age or background. God bless you for your contributions to this ministry. Your devotionals always speak to my heart as they never fail to bring glory and honor to our precious Lord.


    Thank You Parise.


    Parise
    Please keep writing as you give us food for thought.


    Hi Parise,
    Enjoyed the devotional! I needed it.
    (Alabama)


    Parise
    Hi, and thanks for another devotion. It is good, and all quite true. You do nice work for the PresbyCan.
    Thanks for sending.


    Dear Parise,
    I read your writing and it is so personal and thought provoking and a delight to read.


    Thank you, Parise, for the scaling it down to riches from God in Christ Jesus!
    Accepting the perfect peace Jesus gives.
    There is a huge difference with earthly possessions and heavenly riches in Christ Jesus!
    Have a happy day with the riches from above!

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