ESV - 4 Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
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Haggai's prophecy condemned the Jewish people for living in nice homes, asking, "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?" (Haggai 1:4). Some...
Absolutely not. In the book of Haggai God admonished the the children of Isreal because they attached more importance to building their house as compared to the building of the temple which needed to be rebuilt urgently. God's plan for Israel that they should stay in goodly house when they came out of Egyptian captivity. Please read Deuteronomy 6:10&11. But there is a danger that they might forget The Lord God so He cautioned them in verse 13 not to forget Him who brought them out of Egypt. As long as we give God the first place in our life and not our houses,wealth,position,social status there is nothing wrong to stay in a good house, wear good clothes, drive a nice car and so on. Because it is God who gives us good things to enjoy freely(1Timothy6:17). Please note that Abraham was very rich Genesis 13:2 but he never put his trust in them. He gave God first place in his life and became the father of our faith (Genesis 15:6). Therefore in my considered opinion staying in a good house as long as it does not become an idol is not at all wrong.
Essentially, we are here to help others as best we can, and if we have wealth, it is a gift that should be shared. That doesn't mean you can't be comfortable, but it is very hard for the wealthy to get to heaven (see the metaphor about the camel fitting through the eye of a needle - Matthew 19:23-24). This may sound like a hard pill to swallow, but God wants us to be generous and care for our fellow children of God. There are people in the world suffering greatly from disease, hunger, thirst, and other things that could be helped if the whole world shared. And God wants you to go to heaven! No one said it would be easy. Ask Him for help and He shall guide you. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you'd be proud to share your actions with God. Because He knows everything we do and will judge us in the end.
It is not a sin to own nice things. However, it is a sin for nice things to own you. So if you are buying things that force you to do things you don't want to do, work 80 hours a week to pay for them, do illegal things to keep them etc. Then it is an issue with God, as it should be with us too.
Everything good comes from the Lord. Never allow the blessing of God in your life to cause you to feel guilt. Guilt does not come from God. Conviction for an act of sin is always good for us but the word clearly states confess your sins to God and he will be just and merciful to forgive that a repentant heart might be purified. We are supposed to be abundantly blessed and able to bless others out of our abundance. Compassion International is a good and reasonable way to both be blessed and to bless a child in need. It has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. The cost is equal to one inexpensive meal in a month for two people. If you are a giver and share in your community, church and neighborhood of your talent or resources, you will reap a bounty of blessing. God's word is truth. Give and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. That is a bounty of blessing that needs to be shared with anyone you choose that you feel is worthy to be blessed by you, but God's still small voice must be heard and obeyed in this process of giving. Oh what a wonderful savior. Oh how wonderful is his grace.
Your question begs another question. What are the financial principles in the bible that should guide our management of money and material things? Jesus was homeless and desperately poor but he is our supreme example for how to live the Christian life. The early Christians sold their abundant wealth and gave it to the church to be distributed among the poor. The majority of the world's population live in houses that are smaller than 500 square feet and that meets their needs. Millions of people have no home at all because of poverty, famine, war, persecution, refugee displacement, etc. How are we to determine how much money we need to live and what we should do with the surplus? In the western industrialized world, we have 90% of the world's wealth in the hands of 10% of the earth's population. As Christians we call this wealth God's blessing to us. But is it really? The bible has a lot to say on this topic. Have we ever asked God how to use it? Most Christians I have met believe they own the money and material things that belong to them, that their wealth is their personal property to be used according to their personal choice. But this is a lie from the pit of hell. God says is Haggai 2:8 "The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty" [God owns all the money, all the wealth]. Again in 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 we read "Everything in the heavens and earth are yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honour come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength (TLB)." God is the owner of everything. We are his stewards or managers. We are responsible to use the wealth God has entrusted to us in accordance with his biblical financial principles and in accordance with his specific will for our lives. Jesus had a lot to say about how we use the wealth that God has entrusted to us. In Matthew 6:19-21 we read "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." If we own a nice home that more than meets our needs [not our wants and desires] then the surplus represents a treasure on earth. So what is a treasure in heaven? It is using our money to build the kingdom of God. Bringing people to salvation, helping them grow up to maturity, taking care of the sick, lonely, poor, marginalized, widows, orphans, aliens (refugees), etc. See Jesus example in Matthew 25:31-46. When we invest our money in the local church and other Christian organisations, we are laying up treasures in heaven. When we open our eyes and help people around us who are in need, we are building treasure in heaven. Jesus gave 2 parables to show how we are accountable to God for how we invest his money in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27. In each case, God is entrusting his wealth to each of his servants. They all receive different amounts to invest. Later he holds them accountable for what they earned (ie, treasure in heaven). The person who squandered the wealth entrusted to them was punished severely. When we as Christians, follow our wants and desires, we are indulging our sinful nature. Our enemy, the devil, stirs up these desires to focus on using our wealth to please ourselves. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Jesus said we needed to seek first the kingdom of God, then all the other things we NEED in life will be provided by our Father in heaven, but not necessarily our wants and desires (Matthew 6:31-33).
In answer to your question, No! As long as you don't make it your God. Plus, he must always be first place in your life, and in doing that, he'll give you the desires of your heart.
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