James 4:2-4 KJV
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
It sounds as if James was writing these words just this morning. As different as we think times were two thousand years ago, people were pretty much the same as today.
- Christianity was new, despised and surrounded by hostiles in both the religious and secular world.
- Almost no Christian was wealthy (and it appears that a good number of them surrendered their wealth to the discretion of the apostles).
- Churches were few, church buildings were none existent.
- Everyone was persecuted for their faith.
- Even the greatest of their preachers were abused in the world attacked by religious zealots and questioned by so called Christian authorities.
What could they have possibly thought they could gain in this world? Still they sought to have.
The desire for comfort, possession and material wealth is such a powerful pull that the most earnest of Christians must resist it with all effort or be taken under by it.