The Allure of Materialism
Sabbath School Lesson 2018 Quarter 1 Lesson 1 Tuesday
The lesson asks us to read Matthew 6:22-24:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! NIV
What does this mean?
Is it talking about the physical eyes? No, it is talking about the spiritual eye, the conscience, the honest heart seeking to be enlightened by the truth, even if the truth is unpleasant at first.
What would it mean if the eyes are bad? It would mean a seared conscience and a heart that doesn’t want to see the truth, so will warp the evidence to avoid what it truly means.
When we do wrong our consciences convict of guilt, guilt is unpleasant so people want it to go away. There are only two ways to resolve guilt—God’s way, which is repentances (real heart motive change) and restoration when possible.
But one can also avoid guilt by denial and distortion, self-deception.
Have you heard “he’s bending or twisting the truth?” Truth cannot be bent or twisted, people can only bend their minds around the truth, but when they do they damage their ability to understand and perceive truth, thus their minds become darkened.
So, this passage from The Remedy:
22 “Your eyes are windows into your mind. If your eyes are open wide and you are honest with the evidence, your mind will be filled with light and truth.23 But if you view things through jaded eyes, tainted with selfishness, then you will distort the evidence and your mind will be darkened; then, even the light that enters will be warped into greater self-deception, and the darkness will be great!
The lesson also talks about the methods of modern marketing to use sensualism, sexuality to promote materialism. Any thoughts about this practice?
Advertising is a way of appealing to a world of pure fantasy. People are–perhaps even subconsciously–led to believe that their wildest imaginations could be gratified by the use of the product which is being sold. Can you imagine the amount of wealth and time that has been spent and will continue to be spent on truly unnecessary things which advertisers have convinced people they need?
The following two passages represent very different worlds or very different states of being.
How do we transition from Galatians 5:16-21 to Desire of Ages page 668?
16 So I tell you plainly: Live by the principles and power of the Spirit, and you will not practice the selfish methods of survival-of-the-fittest. 17 For the selfish nature desires to promote self at the expense of everyone and everything else, and this is exactly the opposite of the Spirit of love, as the Spirit of love desires to promote the good of everyone else at any expense to self. The selfish nature and the Spirit of love are diametrically opposed to each other, so if you follow the Spirit of love, you will no longer do what your selfish nature wants. 18 Therefore if you practice the methods of the Spirit, you no longer need to be quarantined and supervised by the written law. 19 When the selfish nature is in charge, it is obvious, because the life reflects the destructive behaviors of the selfish nature, which include lewdness, sexual perversion, immorality, all kinds self-promoting, 20 self-worship, Wicca, voodoo, mysticism, all forms of idolatry, gossip, envy, jealousy, loss of control, all types of acting-out, rage, hatred, grudge holding, self-exaltation, racial and caste discrimination, 21 drunkenness, getting high on drugs, orgies, and the like. The Remedy, Galatians 5:16~21.
Do we have to struggle with this battle every day of our lives? Does it have to be that way? All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages page 668
This is healing, restoration, regeneration, recreation, actually putting right what was not right, which is the condition of the human heart and mind. This is true salvation, justification, and the purpose of substitution—to heal and procure the remedy—perfect sinless human character—which no one born of sinful mother and father could ever do.
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