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.
This may well be one of the best known and most repeated verses in the Bible. What exactly does God want each of us to take away from this verse? Does it mean that we should realize that God is much more intelligent than we are? He is, of course, but is there more here in this verse? Could it be a rebuke to all of those self-help programs that people spend so much time, effort and money on only to find that when they have finished those programs nothing has really changed? Is this verse a directive that says, you can’t help yourself, you need Jesus? Could it be the first step in our coming to salvation? After all, if we could help ourselves, if we could clean ourselves up, then it would have been totally unnecessary for Jesus to die. Jesus died on the cross to accomplish for us what we can never do for ourselves. The natural, carnal mind will never understand this. We must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to have faith in God and to trust Him with all of our hearts. Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance we will never understand the depth nor the width of what God wants to do for us and through us. Our understanding is a broken reed that will support little or no weight. God’s wisdom is a staff of strength that will bear up under any burden. Learn to lean on Him, His wisdom and His understanding in the good times as well as the rough patches.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
23 The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. — Galatians 4:23 NLT
God had made a covenant promise to Abraham that he would become the Father of many nations. Abraham and Sarah were past child-bearing age and still Sarah had not conceived. It was at this point that they decided to take things into their own hands. Since the promise was to Abraham, he could Father a child by another woman. In this case, Sarah’s servant Hagar was chosen as the Mother. That decision has caused a lot of grief for a lot of people throughout the ages. Years later, Sarah conceived and bore a son. This son, Isaac, was the son God had promised. But because of the impatience of Abraham and Sarah, the war was on between the sons and it continues today. He will bring them about in His good timing. If we wait, we will reap the rich benefits of the fulfillment of His promise. If we try to fulfill His promise to us in our own way and in our own timing, the results will be nowhere near what God has planned for us. When God gives us a vision or a promise, we must be patient and allow Him to fulfill it in His way and His timing. Joseph spent years waiting for God to fulfill His promise, He suffered loss of family, false accusations and imprisonment before he was made second in command of Egypt, the most powerful nation in the world at that time. God doesn’t need our help to make His promises come true. He just needs us to be patient and obedient.
We are saved by grace through faith. Faith requires that we believe that Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God. If we truly believe this, then we know that our sins are forgiven and that we are children of God. This knowledge will be reflected in our lifestyle and how we treat others. When we fail, and we all do, satan will try to condemn us using false accusations and condemnation. The Holy Spirit does not condemn, it convicts. When we are convicted, we must confess and Jesus is always sure to forgive us of our failures. Remember that salvation is based on knowledge and believing that Jesus died for our sins. Although, some do get emotional when they are saved, it is the knowledge and believing (faith) that saves us. As long as we live in these tents of flesh, our emotions are going to run the gamut of highs and lows. If we allow our emotions to control us, life will be just one long roller coaster ride and, no, it will not be fun and thrilling. It will be scary and depressive. No matter what satan accuses us of doing, we have to STAND on the Rock of Ages. Submit to God, resist the devil and he has to flee. Then we can have the joy of the Lord because God will never leave us or forsake us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
One day and possibly in the not too distant future, this earth will once again be destroyed. Only this time, it will be with fire, the heavens, the earth and everything in it will be burned with fire and melt away. There is only one Person to turn to, if we want to escape this terrible destruction. We must turn to Jesus. We should be practicing that every day of our lives. In the smallest of trials and frustrations, we should be turning to Jesus now. That is how we build our faith and know that we can trust Him to deliver us from the wrath to come. If we can’t trust Him with a hangnail, how do you suppose we can trust Him with the future of our souls? When the doctor says, “you only have a few days”, where do you turn? We should practice turning to the Great Physician in the small things. Regardless of who applies the bandage, He is the one who does the healing. He, and He alone, can direct the medical team if the end result is going to be healing. Above all, praise Him that the day is coming when we won’t need doctors of any kind. We will live an eternity where there is no sickness and no more dying.
When Hezekiah became king of Judah, he tore down false idol and restored the Temple. He brought back the priests and the Levites and re-established the worship services according to the words that Moses had recorded. The people had joined in and given their tithes and gift offerings with joy and celebration. It was a time of restoration in the land of Judah. Hezekiah had faithfully carried out his work. As we know, satan does not like to see the work of God carried out successfully. The only plan satan has is to see what God is doing and react to it. So, God allows him to bring Sennacherib and the Assyrian army to attack Judah and Jerusalem. Sennacherib had been successful in taking some of the walled cities of Judah and now his army had arrived at Jerusalem. Hezekiah continued his work of restoration by completing the walls of Jerusalem and building an outer wall as well. He encouraged all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to continue in their work and worship of the true God of Israel. Hezekiah had faith that God would deliver the city from danger. He understood that it was God that had made his efforts successful and not the power of man. So, when he saw a great army of “mere men” arrayed against him, he trusted his God to deliver him and he was right in doing so. Hezekiah and the priests cried out to God and God delivered them by sending an angel to destroy the Assyrian army. When we are obedient to God we do not have to fear regardless of what the situation looks like from a human standpoint. “Trust and obey, there’s no other way”.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Job and all of the trials and troubles that he endured. God allowed satan to test Job, taking everything from him, except his wife. At first, God only allowed satan to take his possesions and his children, but satan was not allowed to touch Job, After satan’s whining, God allowed him to injure Job’s physical body.
Job complained about the injustice of it all and made some unwise comments about God. But, through it all, He refused to deny God, even though his wife entreated him to do so. God uses this time in Job’s life to give Job and us a glimpse into the future. Job not only understood that he needed a Redeemer but that God would send one. That Redeemer would not only stand upon the earth in the end times, but Job would be there with him just as you and I will be. After our bodies have decayed in the grave, we will be resurrected and we will see Him with our own eyes. God gave Job this glimpse into the future to sustain him through his time of testing. Those of us living on this side of the cross, after the Resurrection of Jesus, have so much more reason to be encouraged than Job did. Job could only see the Redeemer in the future, we have the advantage of knowing that the Redeemer has come and is coming again. We, like Job, must not focus on the things that we can see now, but on those things that are coming that we cannot see now. Our God is able to bring us through it all.