In the passage, John explains the rationale behind his position. First, the things from the world are not from God. We have not been wired to find our fulfillment or our identity in pleasure or from possessions or recognition. Second, all of these things are transient. They do not last. It has been said, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” but the reality is that “He who dies with the most toys still dies.” I’ve spent a lot of time with those who are dying. Those final conversations never include the phrase, “I wish I’d have spent more time at the office.”
As part of my research for this sermon I investigated the personal storage industry in America. Television shows like Storage Wars have romanticized it to some degree. The storage industry initially began as a service to those who were between moves or for military personnel who were between assignments. But did you know that there is more than 2.3 billion square feet of rental storage space in our country? That’s 7.3 square feet for every man, woman, boy and girl. Just over 9% of American households are currently utilizing a personal storage until, primarily because they simply don’t have houses big enough to store all of their stuff.
Finally, there is an eternal reality at stake. Jesus desires that we live our lives under his eternal purposes. Time and time again he, along with others remind us that this world is not our home and that our true citizenship is in heaven. Instead of focusing on the temporal stuff that doesn’t satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts, we must live with the constant notion that in the Kingdom of God the price tags are changed. Often what we value most is worthless in eternity, and what we minimize here on earth is of utmost value in heaven.