God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized, that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it. Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
11 of 39 parables talk about money. 1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com
Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” . This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)
Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it. Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.
God has a plan for each of us and following that plan, we will intersect with the plans He has for others. Every minute detail of every plan is laid out and weaved into the patterns of our lives. The lame man was laid by the Temple gate every day. No doubt, Peter, John and even Jesus had passed him before on their way to worship in the Temple. Why did God choose this particular day to demonstrate His power? We could say that we don’t know the specific reason and that would be true. But we can assume without doing any injury to the Scriptures here that there was at least one person present in the crowd that day that needed to see this miracle occur. Probably more, but at least one, needed to see a lame man made whole. God doesn’t waste miracles. He has His reasons for when, where, and why. We have no idea of how big the impact of this particular miracle became as time passed. When reading the Bible, it is important to remember that the acts we read about are only a small sampling of what was going on at the time. One of the people in the crowd may very well have become a church founder or maybe just a missionary to his own family. Either way, it was necessary for this miracle to happen at this exact moment on this day in front of this crowd. God excels in doing the extraordinary in ordinary places and times. Listen for the small, still voice. He is asking some of us to allow Him to take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary with them today. At least one of us, maybe more.And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1 NLT
“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. — Acts 17:29, 30 NIV
When we read scriptures about idol worship, we tend to think of those that worship statues or symbols of dead men or useless religions. While we may not have an image of the dollar setting on the mantle of the fireplace, we can still be worshiping all the things that money can buy. While we may not have statues of anyone in our homes or churches, we can still hold others in higher esteem than we hold Jesus. If someone asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violates your beliefs and you go ahead and do it, you have placed that person above Jesus. Our work here is to do the will of the Father, not the will of those around us.
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.– John 6:38 NIV
We are not in a popularity contest. Our goal should be to please our Father. If we do that, He will take care of us. If we are obedient and seek Jesus and His righteousness, He will handle all of the issues that satan puts in our way.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matt. 6:33 NIV
“All these things” is everything that we need to live a Godly lifestyle. Everything means every thing. Don’t stress out. Repent, Relax, Remember, Repeat.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
To make the most of our opportunities from a Biblical viewpoint means more than working hard or trying to make a profit on everything we do. It means, at least in part, to take the time to pray for and show love for those God puts in our paths. It means being a good steward over all the resources God has allowed us to use. Understanding what the Lord wants us to do means focusing our every thought and action bringing the lost to Christ. We should avoid excesses of every kind except the fruits of the Spirit against which there is no law. Our rewards for good works here on earth are laid up for us in heaven and will last for an eternity making them much more valuable than gold or sliver. We should always have joy in our hearts and a thankful attitude in our minds and words of praise on our lips.
21 All of King Solomon’s drinking cups were solid gold, as were all the utensils in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. They were not made of silver, for silver was considered worthless in Solomon’s day! — 1Kings 10:21 NLT
Can you imagine being blessed so abundantly that you would consider silver as being worthless? I don’t think my “imaginer” works that well. And we must remember that Solomon did not ask for wealth, he asked for wisdom. Since he recieved all the worldly goods he did not ask for, the wisdom that Solomon did ask for and receive would have been out of this world. Since it was divine wisdom from heaven, it certainly would have been from somewhere out of this world. The point is this; God wants to bless us with super-abundance, but God is not a wasteful God. He blesses each of us with what we need and as much more as we can handle. Each of us is blessed with a gift that is to be used for the growth of His Kingdom. There is one job that God has designed each of us to do and we can do that job better than anyon else can do it. Why? Because God provides us with the wisdom and the resources to do that job. Not all of us can be great leaders worthy of worldly fame, but each of us has a tremendous job to do in the work of the Kingdom. Not all of us can handle great wealth, we can see the proof of that when we read the sad stories of the people who win millions in the lotteries and a few years later they are broke. We see proof of it when great sports figures who received millions of dollars while playing have to file bankruptcy a few years after retirement. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. When we discover that plan and we are content to fulfill His purpose, then we can truly see that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to HIS PURPOSE”.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.—1 Cor. 3:10-15 NIV
In our witnessing, there is only one message and that message is the foundation of Christianity. The message is this; Jesus died on the cross at Calvary to redeem us from our sinful nature. He was buried and three days later, He arose. That is the foundation upon which the church of Jesus Christ is built. We can build on that foundation by teaching others that the Bible is completely true. If we do this with understanding and wisdom from heaven, then we will be building with gold, silver and costly stones. This builder will receive his crowns and rewards in heaven. If we do it with only human understanding without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we will be building with wood, hay or straw. This builder will narrowly make it to heaven, but suffer the loss of any rewards he thought he had earned. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh–Jude 22, 23 NIV
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.—1 Peter 1:17-21 (NLT)
We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable.
So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!
28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.–Acts 17:28,29 (NKJV)
One of Webster’s definitions for “being” is: the most important or basic part of a person’s mind or self. “Be” is defined as: to have identity with (someone). Example: She is my sister. God is concerned about our “being”. He even identifies Himself as “I AM” which could be defined to mean “I used to ‘be’, I ‘be’ now, and I ‘be’ in the future”. But with God, it is always “now”, so “I AM” encompasses it all. Verse 29 gives us a clue as to what we ought not to think or believe. If we put that into practical application, it could mean “we are not our work and our work (our “doing”) will not shape us into what God wants us to “be”. We can not achieve Divine Nature by “doing”. We can only achieve Divine Nature by “being”. We can only be identified with Jesus if we allow Him (His Spirit) to abide (“be”) in us and if we abide (“be”) in Him. It is definitely true then, that we have no life or being outside of Jesus Christ.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.–1 Cor. 3:12-15
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.–1 Cor. 15:58
How did you answer yesterday’s question? “Am I fruitful?” Maybe you thought, “Why does it even matter?” The answer is in the passages above. Jesus is the foundation and the head of the Church. There is no other foundation that will stand in eternity. If we are being fruitful, then our work will stand the test of fire. It will show that we have been a valuable part of God’s Kingdom work here on earth. If we are faithful, there are rewards laid up for us in heaven. There is nothing that we do for the Lord that is useless. Does our work earn us salvation? Emphatically, NO,IT DOES NOT! If what we do here on earth proves to be of little or no value, Christians will still make it to heaven, but they will have few or no rewards and their hair may be singed from living too close to the flame.–