We should never put our trust in money, men, or any earthly thing or person. We should trust in God alone. He gives us everything we need.
3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!—2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
We should use those resources to do good works and help our neighbors and others who are in need. Using God’s blessings to help others is laying up rewards in heaven. We should guard (use wisely) every gift and resource God puts at our disposal. If we spend our time studying God’s Word and doing good as Jesus did, we will find it is much easier to avoid foolish discussions and quarrels with those around us.
3 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. –2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned. — Titus 3:9-11 NIV
Paul’s advice to Titus was given at a time when the discussion about the law was the single most divisive issue in the new church. Did Jesus fulfill the law or abolish the law? We have grace but don’t we still need to be circumcised? Even the apostles had differing opinions on some of these things. In today’s church, we get involved in foolish controversies over things not nearly as important as the law. Carpet colors, steeple or no steeple, immersion or sprinkling and the list goes on and on. Not one of these discussions will lead a soul to Christ but they may very well turn people away from the church altogether. They are definitely unprofitable and useless. Jesus instructed us to “go and make disciples”. He did not instruct us to go and make denominations, etc. When we are in front of outsiders, our conversations and teachings should be limited to instructing people in how to be saved. All true Christians agree on the plan of salvation. That is the story Jesus wants us to tell. It is simple and powerful. Wherever we are or whomever we are speaking to, our sentiment must be the same as Paul’s:
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. — 1 Cor. 2:2-5 NIV
1 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.—James 4:1-3 (NLT)
I beg to differ with the words Garth Brooks sings, there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. God always answers our prayers. He answers us in one of four different ways.
1. Do it now–and of course that is the answer we want so we recognize it right away.
2. Delay–It wasn’t what we wanted to hear so we assume God didn’t answer our prayer.
3. Don’t do it–I’m not hearing that so God must not have answered
4. Dynamically Different–He answers in such a better and highly effective way than what we anticipated that we don’t recognize it as His answer.
When our prayers are from wrong motives and for selfish reason, His answer is always no. Then, because of our pride, we get angry with God and accuse Him of all sorts of things. God understands that anger and when you get through pouting and ask Him, He will forgive you. God is not bound by our desires or our timetable. Even the “yes” answers are not always immediate. We have to wait on His timing. His ways and His thoughts are so far above ours that there is no comparison. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.—Isaiah 55:8 (NLT)
So when we don’t get the answer we want or it is not in the time frame we wanted. Relax, God is still in control.