Treasures

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21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

 — Matthew 6;21 NLT
 

A lot of people spend most of their lives making money. It is true that we need to work to take care of ourselves and our families. But when making money becomes our obsession and our goal, we need to step back and take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. When we spend too much of our time making money that we don’t need for our livelihood, perhaps we are laying up treasures in the wrong place. It might be time to spend more time with our families and with God. Since God has blessed you with money and most likely a good family, shouldn’t you stop to give Him thanks every day? Remember that everything belongs to God. He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust alike. He can also stop the rain if He so desires. You could be a millionaire today and a pauper tomorrow. So, don’t spend all of your time laying up treasures that will fade away, spend some time laying up treasures in heaven and those treasures will last forever. As you practice this, you will find that the desires of your heart change from an earthly, material, temporary focus to a heavenly, eternal one.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 10-31-2016

 

Money, Money, Money!

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17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. — 1 Timothy 6:17 NLT
God revealed Himself to us using different names.  One of those names is Jehovah- Jireh, which means that He is our provider.  We usually think of that in terms of physical needs and God does provide for our physical needs here on earth.  But it is more than that. our greatest needs are spiritual and He provides for those needs in abundance.  We look around us and we see all kinds of needs going unmet and we wonder why God doesn’t fulfill every need in the world.  We know He is capable of doing so and we know that He has the resources. Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or disagree with His plan, the first step in trying to understand those unmet needs is to understand that God’s promises are to His children.  The next step is to understand that if we are deliberately living a life of disobedience, He is not obligated to do anything for us.  The next step might be that He uses humans to carry out His plans and we know that we are not always reliable.  Sometimes, perhaps, we keep more of what He has blessed with than He wanted us to, so someone doesn’t get their need fulfilled.  The first two steps are His and we can’t change them.  The third step is ours and that is where we need to focus.  Are we doing all we can do to alleviate needs in our corner of the world?  Are we using God’s abundance to fulfill our wants instead of meeting the needs of those around us?  We need money for our journey here on earth but we also need to use as much as possible of the money God gives us to do good and lay up eternal treasures in heaven.
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Time Is Money

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5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
— Phil. 2:5 NLT
 
What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form?  He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory.  He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country.  He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human.  He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth.  He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins.  He ate with sinners.  He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy.  He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers.  Instead, He chose to live a life serving others.  He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins.  He gave His lifetime and His life for us.  How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him?  We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money. 
Post 08-26-2016

Servant or Master?

even-smaller-bug-light110  You have tested us, O God;    you have purified us like silver.  — Psalm 66:10 NLT

Psalm 66:8-12 NLT

There are two things in life that we use on just about a daily basis and both of those things can be good or evil depending on our attitude toward them and our use of them.   One is fire, though we don’t actually build fires every day, we use things that are formed and molded as a result of heat and fire.  Fire is necessary in refining processes that allow us to have jewelry, coins and other valuable items.   But that fire, uncontrolled, can be very destructive.  Each year thousands of lives and homes and acres of forest are lost to fires.  The trials we go through are compared to fires that refine us.  We can use those times of refining to draw closer to God or we can use them as a reason to revel against God.   The other, of course, is money. Money can become our idol, our master, when we spend too much time focused on earining it and using it for the wrong reasons.   Or it can serve us well when we have the proper balance of work versus worship.   We can use it to spread the KIngdom of God here on earth in multiple ways or we can use to purchase useless items. Both fire and money can be great servants or destructive masters.  The choice is ours.

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. — Matt. 6:24 NLT

 

Post 05-22-2016

The Prosperity Test

even-smaller-bug-light120 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. — Luke 12:20, 21 NIV

Riches are neutral, being neither good nor evil.  It is our attitude about those riches that causes us problems.  In the parable of the “certain rich man”,  Jesus shows us the real issue with riches.  When we have the wrong attitude about money and possessions, we spend too much time and money in trying to obtain more of each. The rich man decided to build more barns which would require more of his money and time, so more possessions and money causes us to spend more time and money protecting what we have bought.  It  becomes a vicious circle that destroys relationships and eventually destroys us.  God blesses us so that we can bless others.  If we hold onto those blessings too tightly and don’t use them for His work, they can become our god.  We become dependent on them for our self-worth and happiness.  When we have the right attitude about riches, we use those things to advance God’s Kingdom here on earth and to lay up rewards for ourselves in heaven.  Jesus did not instruct the disciples to pray for riches, but rather to ask just for what they needed today.  

11  Give us today our daily bread. — Matt 6:11 NIV
Post 02-17-2016