Verse 1 of Psalm 1 shows a progression of acts; walking, standing, sitting. Isn’t this how we usually progress in making friends with people? First, it is a casual meeting where a few words are exchanged. If we find that enjoyable, the next encounter, we spend a little more time with them. After the casual greeting, we start a conversation about something that is of interest to both of us so we stand around and chat. After a few of these sessions, we decide to have coffee (or whatever your preferred beverage is) and we sit together. By this time, the relationship has developed to the point that our words and opinions are influencing the other person. Either they are influencing us to agree with them or we are influencing them to agree with our opinions and beliefs. We may do this without any conscious knowledge of it as it happens. That is the warning in verse 1. Don’t do these things with the wrong people. As new Christians, we need to spend our time meditating on God’s Word so that we will be prepared to witness to sinners. Once God has prepared us, then we can sit and talk with sinners for a while. As we mature spiritually, there are still times that we need to withdraw from worldly conversations to pray and meditate, just as Jesus did on several occasions. We need to refuel for the next encounter that God has planned for us. On this earth, there will never be a time that we are so mature spiritually that we can abandon the reading of God’s word. It we think that we have reached that point, that is pride and we are headed for a fall.
“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
7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. – Jude 5-8 NLT
Jude continues his warnings to the early Christians and to us to stay alert for false prophets and those teaching false doctrines. When we look around us in today’s world, we see the same things happening. We often wonder why God allows it to continue. God’s judgment may not come on these people when we think it should, but we can be sure that it is coming in His timing. The people who deny God’s existence will be punished as surely as these people in the Old Testament. There is a heaven and there is a hell. There are angels and there are demons. Those who do not believe this live immoral lives and tempt others to do the same. We must continue to stand firm. The end will come and the earth will be consumed by fire. Of this, we can be sure. We don’t need to focus on how or when this will happen. We just need to keep our eyes on Jesus and know that one day we will see Him face-to-face.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
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.
1 “I have told you these things to keep you from giving up. 2 People will put you out of their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are offering service to God. 3 They will do this because they have not known the Father and they have not known me. 4 I have told you these things now so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. “I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you then. 5 Now I am going back to the One who sent me. But none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?–John 16:1-5 NCV
Jesus is warning His disciples and us that there will be times when the path will not be so smooth. There will be times when we are mistreated and offended for the Gospel’s sake, but we need to press on. Paul thought he was doing a service for God when he was persecuting and killing Christians. He was walking in darkness but he encountered a powerful Light that changed his life. As long as Jesus was here with the disciples He knew that He would be the target for all the abuse. But now that He was leaving, He knew that He had to reinforce the things He had been teaching them. We need that same encouragement every day in our lives. It is easy for us to become frustrated and want to give up, but we have a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. He is always with us. As Paul learned after his life-changing event, we must suffer with Christ. There is a cross for each of us to bear. But we must remember and hang onto the conclusion that Paul came to in his journey. 18 The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. 19 Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.—Romans 8:18,19 NCV
6 God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again–Philippians 1:6 NCV