Sunday, July 14, 2013
Read Luke 16: 19-31
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16: 10-11
What does monetary fortitude have to do with spiritual responsibilities? If a person cannot manage his earthly finances and honor God how can He bless you with the desires of the heart? Mail-room to CEO or shack to castle the progress doesn’t happen overnight. There has to be trust and a thankful spirit before you can gain more.
I believe I can fly
Many years ago I was a pretty good basketball player. Deifying gravity allowed me to play above the rim and my unique jumping abilities impressed the coach. Opposed to working harder to prove myself worthy I believed my skills entitled me to start. For three years I complained thinking I deserved more. My senior year coach asked “How do you see yourself contributing to the team?”
I replied “as a starter.”
Looking back over my life I only relied on my abilities never once making an effort to improve. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” So, I quit the team…
There are many frustrated Christians who believe just because they professed Jesus as Lord and quoted a few scriptures they are guaranteed all things will be granted in life. In part, their belief is true. However, if there is not an attitude of gratitude for the little things why should God bless with more?
Spiritual wealth is far more valuable that earthly wealth. If a person cannot show appreciation and a willingness to honor God with the little things – job, house, or money how could God bless with more? If there is always a sense of entitlement – “I deserve more because _____ (you fill in the blank) this is displaying a lack of gratitude.
The flip side
Take for example the rich man in today’s scripture lesson. His wealth enabled him to assist the beggar but he chose not to. Yet in the afterlife he desired water. One can assume the rich man expressed a sense of entitlement because of his earthly status. The question is if God blessed you with more what would you do with it?
People desire for something greater. Be it wealth, money, or job. Any of theses things can be a blessing or curse. It is what you do with them which make the difference.
Desires of the heart
So I ask the question again – if God granted you your biggest desire would you hoard and lavish self or would you utilize a portion to bless others?
As you seek the desires of your heart consider how you will begin to think more of others than self. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Read Psalms 73:1-17
…the world passes away and the lust thereof; but he that does the will of God lives for ever. I John 2:17
Life is unfair
Why does life seem unfair? Why is it that those who hate or ignore God seem to prosper?
Society as well as Christians aspires to be like people of the world. They follow the rich and famous watching them on talk shows, reality TV, nightly news and the internet. Water cooler conversations are often heard of how life would be different – “if I had that much money I would not have a problem in the world.” Are would you?
Worldly people are blessed
It is suggested that worldly people have everything – house, car, job, even the perfect family? Admit it, the thought has crossed your mind – “why other people have it better than I do,” re-read Psalms 73:3-5.
Many Christians, just like the writer of this Psalms struggled with prosperity of the wicked. Why do arrogant and violent people boast of their fortunes and good health while believers struggle?
This is when Christians begin to question their faith. They feel cheated and even ask why should I try to live right? These thoughts harden the hearts of most believers. As long as thoughts are measured by earthly standards - health, wealth, and power then life will appear unfair.
Seek God first
It was when the writer had a paradigm shift did change take place. His thoughts became spiritual rather than worldly (v.17). A Christian and non-Christian’s perspective of life changes when they enter a relationship with God. A believer’s final destiny is far greater than the riches of this earth.
When a person truly encounters God in a personal way a new perspective of life is revealed. By Seek(ing) first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you Matt. 6:33.
Heaven on earth
God is the true source of life and joy. Submit self to God, develop a relationship and study his word, it can bring clarity to life’s issues. When thoughts shift to seeking God first from earthly possessions he will rightfully bless his children. By delighting yourself in the Lord he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). And once that bond is forged yes heaven can also be found on earth too.
Let us pray: Dear heavenly Father the wayward behavior of the world has clouded my mind. I question the success and prosperity of the ungodly. Lord, forgive me of my selfish thoughts. Father, help me to learn to put ALL my trust in you and my eyes on you and not the world. Help me develop a relationship with you, keep my thoughts on you and lean not upon my own understanding. Your word said if I delight myself in you that you will give the desires of my heart. I thank you Lord for your Grace and Mercy. I praise and worship your Holy name! These things I pray in your son Jesus the Christ name. Amen.