Summary: Gizmos, gadgets, trappings, add-ons, etc. are really optional, but so many of us have come to think that we cannot live without them. The problem is that it becomes like the proverbial "straw that broke the camels' back".
Paraphernalia--furnishings and apparatuses, (add-ons) to enhance or give more options to a thing.
Synonyms-embellishments, accessories, trappings, adornments, gizmos, do-dads
We are in the middle of a Personal Pampering Pandemic
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Weights are those add-ons that we feel are so delightful and in vogue. But the truth be known, they hinder us in the race that is before us. It is not just a 100 yard dash, but a spiritual marathon.
IL.: Eugene of Adventures in Odyssey and all of his technical gizmos to go camping and fishing.
IL.; A mountain climber must carry just the right amount in his backpack to have the vital necessities for his hike, but not too much to weigh him down and keep him from being able to reach the goal.
Mt. 13:22----the care (distracting entanglements) of this world
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2 Tim. 3:1,2---"lovers of their own selves" (narcissists)
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Simplicity is the complete opposite of this mindset. Plain vanilla is just too drab. We live in a generation that desires and lusts after all the gizmos and gadgets that one can add to the basics of life.
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Col 3:12 ¶ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Don't let your fruit be replaced by paraphernalia. Let us work on having the Fruit of the Spirit.
I. The Church
We used to be plenty content to gather together and sing a few hymns, hear an anointed message, and pray together around the altars.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
But NOT today. We gotta have:
-Some drama fun
Strobe lights, fog machines, and a dance team are not neccesary to have a Holy Ghost empowered church service. It is not more talented musicians or guest superstars. We need to get back to longing for God and forget about all the add-ons.
De 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
II. The Christian
If you have to wear a t-shirt that says "I love Jesus" for everyone to know that you do, then there is a problem.
There is a problem because so many are allowing "things" that are emblematic to christianity to be the identifier of who they are. They are surrounded by items that shout of religousity, but do not make one any more spiritual.
We can easily get caught up in fads, styles, and modes of our church world; but at the end of the day we are not walking any closer to God.
You probably do not need that latest Apple product. You just want to show everyone that you have the latest thing to hit the market. Does this item make you a better, more productive person for the kingdom of God?
1 Co. 6:12 ¶ All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Luke 18:18-24 The rich young ruler is an example of a church member with paraphernalia problems. He was quite devout and religious, but "things" were highly important to him. He was willing to abide by a few rules, but did not want to sacrifice his personal, carnal pleasures.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the (distracting) cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
I am concerned about "the lusts of other things" that has entered into the heart of our churches. They are not always evil things, but just "extra" things that crowd out and choke the Word until it becometh unfruitful. Pampering the flesh with costly pedicures and body massages is not what I would call "decreasing that He (Jesus) would increase".