The first time I thought about luxury being something to display God’s glory/character was in Russia. It seems the entire city is built out of concrete and is not the least bit appealing. But the churches were a completely different story. They are built with such beauty because the builders wanted to show the city what God was like, that He was a beautiful God.
I have a tendency to think that luxury is a waste, and more and more I don't think I'm alone. I've heard comments from many believers frustrated about things like a church paying 100,000 for a fountain. It's hard for many students I work with to see luxury in a church and not wonder about all the poor kids in Africa and why the money isn't going there. A good heart, but also exposes a small view of God and a man-centered gospel.
So for me, when I read about David making arrangements for Solomon to build the temple it confuses me. Does God want this temple to be built? And if so why would He want it to be so extravagant when that money could be given away? These are questions I had to take before the Lord to get His perspective. And He reminded me again that it is all about Him and His glory. In Haggai, God was upset when the temple was left in ruins. God did care, even to the smallest carving what the temple looked like. But that doesn't mean He doesn't also want money to go to the rescue and redemption of the oppressed. His heart for the orphan, widow and oppressed is spilled out all over the pages of Scripture. It's not either or, it's both, all, all for His glory.
I see another example of God being delighted in/glorified through luxury. It's in how He builds the New Jerusalem. Rev. 21:19-21 “The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”
Basically, luxury and poverty are not about us. They both are for the glory of God, for the display of God's character. Like the blind man healed for the glory of God and Esther's beauty to win the kings heart and used to rescue her people from death, it's all for the glory of God. Poverty to show God as the One who steps in and saves the day, luxury shows Him as magnificent, worthy and beautiful.
So the challenge for us is to line up our thinking and motives with the Lord's, letting all we do be done for the glory of God.
Lord, “Bless us and be gracious to us SO THAT your ways may be known on the earth… SO THAT all the ends of the earth will fear You.” (Psalm 67) And may our hearts be more passionate about Your glory than the glory of men. Let all we do be to display Your heart and character.
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Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has four kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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