The Day Christ Was Revealed to The Gentiles

Three Kings Day

The Christian celebration of Three Kings Day has taken a back seat in some modern societies as just another day but is it? No it isn’t. Yes in real time it did not happen this close to the birth, but since we only have a year to celebrate 33 years in the human life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, everything is condensed to fit.

So why is this day so important to the Christian year? The day that the Magi saw Christ is the because it signifies the revelation (revealing) of God to mankind in human form. It is the first time the “Gentiles” celebrated Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Magi had an Epiphany, “a sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something” recognizing that this is no ordinary child as they experienced a joy and hope that was truly beyond their understanding. Remember, they went to a palace first, thinking that the star was leading them to a prince born in a palace but the star kept moving for them and they began to wonder if the child was of more significance than just another prince.

Now Epiphany means “manifestation”, often of divine power but this time is actually given a more distinct term because Jesus is the manifestation of God, the term is “Theophany”. Now I know a lot of people do not want to get all philosophical and theological it terms and meanings and I kind of get scared of those myself sometimes (especially when I have an epiphany on what those words are defined as), so let’s talk in ways that all understand.

The Magi saw the child. The Holy Spirit awoke in them revealed who He was and who He would become. This was first of many true revealing of God in the flesh to a non-Hebrew. I would have loved to have been there to see the look on their faces when they came to understand that this humble child sleeping in a hay filled food trough would be the one who would rule over all the earth. Think about it. Can you even fathom the thinking of these men and their entourage when the Holy Spirit was awoken inside them and they worshiped Him.

Christ revealed, that is what this day is all about. Everybody in Jesus presence except the Pharisees, the Sadducees, those in power, and the people that were blinded by the Adversary would have a type of revealing about whom He is. Christ is revealed to us through those who speak of Him and when the Holy Spirit awakens in side of us. Do you remember when you woke up to His presence? Do you remember feeling the comfort and joy in understanding the truth about who He is? When is the last time you shared it to awaken the Spirit within someone else? Don’t you think it’s time to do that?

Today we celebrate the enunciation to the world of Christ’s birth through the revealing to the Three Wise Men, Three Kings, Magi, whatever you call them. In Germany, watch out for children who go door to door looking for Him (it is a tradition over there). The community gets together and feasts on this day as He is found and revealed as Emmanuel, “God With Us”.

Is He with you? Would you like to have Him walk with you, talk with you? All you have to do is believe, have faith, and trust that He is the way to eternal life. Repent of your sins and recognize you cannot save yourself. Let Him into your heart and awaken the Spirit to guide you and help you through life.

God Loves you, we love you, there is a big family, the church, the Body of Christ that welcomes you.

God Bless

The Apostles ‘ Creed (12th Day of Christmas)

Apostles CreedThe Apostles’ Creed does not mean the Apostles wrote it, rather it states the fundamental truths of Scripture as given to us through the apostles. It is said to have been formalized by the Second Century but began to take shape with the Apostles as a Baptismal Confession of Faith. This is reverently spoken in many denominations which hold traditional values. It is however becoming a rarely spoken Confession in most Baptist churches today which is odd considering it was a Confession of Faith spoken by those about to be baptized.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (some use Christian) church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Twelve Tenants of Faith

  1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

We have a God that has a personal relationship with us. We are His Creation, His Children by heavenly adoption through His Mercy and Grace. It is He who created us, judges us, and saves us.

  1. and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

We believe in Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God. He is God Incarnate, Immanuel Savior, Redeemer. Jesus is fully God and fully man and the Way into heaven. He is our lawyer and our substitute who receives our punishment for our sins.

  1. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;

The seed by which Jesus was conceived was not of this world but of the Holy Spirit, God’s Breath. Born of a sexually pure young woman (translated to Virgin), Jesus was born without sin.

  1. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

Christians teach that the death of Christ was for the purpose of making propitiation for our sin, reconciling us to God, and paying the price for our sins in our place. This is essential to the understanding of how Jesus is able to do what He does in our lives. He had to be sacrificed to make amends for our sin.

  1. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

So is the final mission of Christ while on earth. To defeat death’s hold over us due to our sinful nature. It is crucial to the understanding of the nature of Christ, the importance of His death for our atonement, and what will happen to us after death. It is because He rose from the dead in His physical but elevated form, the Spirit in the flesh.

  1. He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

Just as the Death and Resurrection are essential, the Ascension is vital to the faith because He returned to the Father to take His place at the witness stand next to God’s judgement throne. This is where He will witness us to the Father and erase our sins by speaking in our place. 

  1. from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

AS Jesus continues to watch over the flock we are judged. Jesus judges the living in matters of the heart (repentant heart) and of our faith activity after we die. The final judgement spoken here is upon Jesus return to earth He will reward the faithful and destroy the wicked.

  1. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit, Breath of God, Third Person of the Trinity is the Helper, Comforter, Savior, that dwells within us. He is revealed by our faith through the regeneration of our soul. The Holy Spirit grants us the Gifts/Fruit by which we are known as Believers. There is no peace within us without the Holy Spirit.

  1. the holy catholic church, the communion of Saints,

The One Church Body of Jesus Christ. In other words, all Believers are part of the same Body IN Christ. The catholic spoken here is non-specific to the Roman Catholic Church but the people, the Believers, the One Church with One Mission, and Many Gifts to accomplish it. The word catholic means “universal. The church is not the “New Israel” and we did not take the place of Israel as the nation is still God’s chosen. We are, however, an extension of Israel through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ who took over the mission that the Jews could not do.

The communion of Saints has nothing to do with the sacrament. It is the coming together in one accord as Believers in Jesus to worship, fellowship, and conduct the work of the Kingdom here on earth. When God created Adam and Eve, He had communion with them. Meaning He had a close personal relationship with them and worked with them to learn more about Him. When we commune with each other, we develop relationships, learn from one another about God’s relationship in our lives.

  1. the forgiveness of sins,

Christ pardons the sins of His people by His free grace. We are forgiven by the Blood of Jesus but we must Repent of our sins. That is, we must recognize that we are filled with sinful nature, admit to our sins and the lack of being able to rid ourselves of them eternally without the sacrifice of Jesus. Without Repentance there is no forgiveness. Another piece of this is:  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

(Mark 11:26 NAS) Meaning, if you cannot forgive, you will not be forgiven.

  1. the resurrection of the body,

Not the Physical body as we see each other right now but a Spiritual body that leaves the flesh yet in the form of the flesh and either goes to heaven or damnation. Resurrection of the “Spiritual” body is at the instance of death. We are not held in waiting as the ancient Hebrews believed but taken up upon the earthly shells death. Yes, Sheol is real as those before Christ could not truly save themselves and they awaited the Messiah to bring them to the Father for their reward. Yes Hell is real as the place of eternal torment. The Spirit goes the direction of the Judgement.

  1. and life everlasting. Amen.

The Spirit body, once again, is eternal and lives forever either in peace or in torment dependent on how the life was lived in the body. If repentance was made truthfully then the Spirit lives with God, If there was no repentance then the Spirit suffers in the darkness away from God.

The Apostles’ Creed is an important extra biblical document that should not be overlooked or forgotten as it has been part of the faith since the beginnings of the church. Saying it is one thing, believing the basis behind it is another. This Statement of Faith should be on all Believers hearts upon Baptism and spoken as a reminder of the tenants of faith.

So ends the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany begins tomorrow. This celebration begins with the Wise Men visiting the Christ Child and not reporting back to Herod thereby saving Jesus life.

This coming week we will begin looking into the Didache, the teachings of the Apostles and an early guide to presenting the Gospel to the masses. God Bless you all.

Fruit of the Spirit (9th Day of Christmas)

Fruit of the Spirit

 I heard someone ask, “Why are they called fruits, they are not something we eat because there is no physical nourishment that comes from these?”. Well actually we do have physical reactions to the Spiritual Fruit but first let’s examine what is the fruit of the Spirit:   

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.. Galatians 5:22-23

The Spirit within is a healthy Spirit when these emotions and actions are produced by the Believer and shared with others. Love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness all produce a physical response of happiness and gratitude. When we are happy, the body responds in kind and the health improves. It is a scientific fact that the human bodily functions are connected with emotion.

Why does it take a scientist or a doctor to tell us something is healthy when it is written in Scripture. The Old Testament, written by scribes who dictated what the Holy Spirit spoke to them, has numerous indicators of healthy living and how emotional responses heal or destroy the human body. The biggest destroyer of our health is sin. God’s defense mechanism came from the physical reaction of sacrifice which made individuals feel better after they had the feeling of regret, then prayed for healing to make themselves feel better. The joy of knowing that God would forgive produced happiness.

 The ritual bathing which transformed into Baptism was also a means of good health. The ritual bath water was constantly flowing so there was no stagnation which would breed harmful bacteria. This washing was done for many reasons to include disease, viruses, and after the menstrual cycle. It kept the body healthy. Not one Levitical priest was allowed to enter the Tabernacle without the ritual washing. In fact, no one who was of ill health could bring a sacrifice without first outwardly cleansing the body.

David understood the need to be cleansed before entering the presence of God when he worshipped in prayerful song:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Psalm 51

 The fruits of the Spirit are evident within David’s plea for God’s Mercy on his Soul. He understood it was not the physical sacrifices of burnt offerings but the internal peace from pouring out to God. So the Spiritual Fruit does nourish our souls and our bodies.

This year as we begin anew, let us be nourished with the fruit of the Spirit as we find our Spiritual Gifts in order to receive the blessings from our attitudes by which God is pleased in us and sends blessings. Have a safe and joyous New Year.

Seventh Day Of Christmas: Seven Swans of the Spirit

Seven Swans

According to the Catholic Church for whose youth the song was written these are the seven gifts: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

Every person has a unique ability about them. Some have a mish mosh of trades they can do but have one special thing that they use extremely well. You know the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, well the Holy Spirit has given each of us a gift that we use in everything we do. It is that one unique part of us that most people hardly ever recognize that is within us. Peter exclaims this in his first letter:  

10 As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace — 11 if someone speaks, let him speak God’s words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah — to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Some folks find their gifts and abuse them by using them for their own gain. In the long run they find that they lack a certain joy and happiness because they misused what was divinely given and their soul actually suffers. Somehow God still uses them but makes them realize their faults when others are given joy as they suffer. I know it sounds mean but it is God’s way of talking karma.

But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, use it to the extent of your trust; if it is serving, use it to serve; if you are a teacher, use your gift in teaching; if you are a counselor, use your gift to comfort and exhort; if you are someone who gives, do it simply and generously; if you are in a position of leadership, lead with diligence and zeal; if you are one who does acts of mercy, do them cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8

Paul tells us of the Spiritual Gifts and using them for God’s Glory. Do not prophesy falsely for you will lose others trust; Serve others without need for recognition; Teach right and proper, morally, ethically, and spiritually correct; Counsel others comforting their soul and leading them on a right path; Givers give without recognition and not because they have to or coerced into giving, but because they want to; Lead not with an iron fist or falsehoods but so that others will follow for the right reasons and not your own gain; Those who are compassionate be so without a contrite heart showing and sharing God’s Grace to all mankind.  

To the Corinthians, Paul spoke of these gifts: Wisdom; knowledge; faith; healing; working of miracles; prophecy; judge between spirits; speak in different kinds of tongues; and interpret tongues. Each one is given by the spirit to share God’s Word in unique ways.

To one, through the Spirit, is given a word of wisdom; to another, a word of knowledge, in accordance with the same Spirit; to another, faith, by the same Spirit; and to another, gifts of healing, by the one Spirit; 10 to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the ability to judge between spirits; to another, the ability to speak in different kinds of tongues; and to yet another, the ability to interpret tongues. 11 One and the same Spirit is at work in all these things, distributing to each person as he chooses. I Corinthians 12:8-11

The Holy Spirit chooses each individual gift by deciding when and who they go to. Some gifts are permanently sealed on us while others are temporary. Now as a note, the ability to speak in different kinds of tongues (languages) and interpret (translate) them is the ability to speak, understand and share in other earthly languages to spread the Gospel throughout the world preparing Christians for missional work.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are ingrained in us so that we can do God’s work and complete the Great Commission to the world while keeping separate from being of the world. These gifts help us clear our minds to do what God desires of us and helps rid us of earthly desires and prepares us for His Kingdom. We still need to live in the world but that is only temporary. We must Live in the Spirit, Recognize, and Share our gifts of the Spirit with others to accomplish our task on this earth. Be gracious to others as God has shown His Grace to you. Love as God Loves and give of yourself. Strive to be better Christians this coming year so that we can show the Kingdom of God on this earth.

God Bless

Living For Christ in the Devil’s World

One of the hardest things to this day and age is to be a Christian. People in the past 80 years have perverted the Word so much. They created ungodly doctrines, changing Jesus and Scripture to fit their needs and desires so that their sins are ok to continue living in. Some pastors have fallen victim to the idol of money and are in the constant state of asking for it to the point that their assets are worth more than the church building they preach in. One pastor took the Commandments and said that they are suggestions on how to live and no longer relevant, he even changed them.

There are Bibles that take gender out of the equation and theologies to fit the needs of the people. What God abhors has become a common way of life making right wrong and wrong right. What was once morally correct has been questioned and immoral behavior has become a norm.  

We were warned about this in Scripture but no one really paid attention. We have become numb and have let the Prince of Darkness completely rule the land. Christians and Jews are being persecuted on a daily basis by suffering financial/personal ruin and even killed for their beliefs. Even families are fighting against each other resulting in death. 

What can we do as Christians in this hateful world? The only thing we can do is to keep strong in the faith and continue the Kingdom Commission Work that we were instructed to do. Follow the Commandments, moral codes, and laws that were given to our Hebrew anscestors as they are the right and proper way of living. We cannot give in to the love of materialism nor fall into the trappings of the transgrssions and sins of our fellow man. 

We also need to correct those who reinterpret Scripture to meet their needs. God warns us through John not to change Scripture period. We need to help people understand that the Old Testament is just as important as the New because without the Old Testament histories and teachings we would not know the reason Jesus came to us.

This is our time to fix the immoral misguidance that has occured. No bandages this time we need to fight the infection at the heart. Keep fighting the good fight and do what is right in God’s eyes not our own. The more of us there are the stronger our voice so that the wilderness is set fire because the heat from our light shines and burns through the hearts of man. Be safe let go and LET GOD.   

 

CHRIST THE KING Sunday

Today in many churches and church calendars it is CHRIST the King Sunday.  Isn’t every day His? It is the last Sunday of the church calendar year. This is celebrated as a pre Advent event. We are in Nashville at Trevecca today after visiting my mom for thanksgiving returning our daughter to school and while here we will experience the service. Should be interesting. This week we be in preparations for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and we look forward to sharing how much Scripture foretold of His coming. 

Are You of the Spirit or of the World?

MATERIAL SPIRITUALHow often do we hear of people getting rich, living mostly happy lives then dying or becoming destitute all of sudden? This seems to happen to some lottery winners especially in the last 10 years. How about those folks who amassed great wealth and lived long lives, sometimes too long, and thought they could control people by conditionally sharing their wealth to meet their personal desire for mass control? When they go they are either heralded as good or evil men. How many of the wealthy follow God’s Word? How many manipulate it for their own conscious to be satisfied? Throughout Scripture we are constantly reminded how material wealth is deadly while spiritual wealth leads to life eternal.

That being said, why have so many popular pastors fallen into a false material prosperity gospel that does not lead to Spiritual happiness? I mean think about it. Books titled, Your Best Life Now, God’s Formula for Success and Prosperity, God’s Master Key to Prosperity and others have convinced many that God wants you to have materialistic (mostly monetary) wealth. Money won’t buy your place at the banquet table of Christ. This prosperity gospel is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture. Most of the progenitors of this heresy are televangelists who live lavish non humble lives. This ideology goes back to the mid-1960s and needs to stop.

Jesus tells us,  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6: 19-21

If God based a person’s faithfulness on their amassing of material goods then the poor would never even see the inside of a church. If this was true then Jesus would have welcomed the money traders and sellers of all goods (even sinful ones) in the temple instead of going on a rampage. He would have been more friendly to the members of the Sanhedrin than the poor and destitute. Get the picture yet????

How did the Catholic Church raise extra funds? Before we answer part of that let us look at Psalm 49:5-12.

Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice,that he should live on forever and never see the pit. 10 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. 12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.  

 

The Catholic Church charged people money for saving a soul while in purgatory. They called it an “Indulgence” which was above and beyond the tithe paid weekly if they had a recently deceased relative. It was not covering burial costs but went into the Bishop’s and Pope’s pockets. Look at verses 7 through 10 again. We cannot ransom a soul.

 

Jesus spoke to us in parables that were clearly understood back in the time of His Ministry. Take for instance the story of the Rich man and Lazarus:

“Once there was a rich man who used to dress in the most expensive clothing and spent his days in magnificent luxury. 20 At his gate had been laid a beggar named El‘azar who was covered with sores. 21 He would have been glad to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table; but instead, even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 In time the beggar died and was carried away by the angels to Avraham’s side; the rich man also died and was buried.

23 “In Sh’ol, where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Avraham far away with El‘azar at his side. 24 He called out, ‘Father Avraham, take pity on me, and send El‘azar just to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, because I’m in agony in this fire!’ 25 However, Avraham said, ‘Son, remember that when you were alive, you got the good things while he got the bad; but now he gets his consolation here, while you are the one in agony. 26 Yet that isn’t all: between you and us a deep rift has been established, so that those who would like to pass from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house, 28 where I have five brothers, to warn them; so that they may be spared having to come to this place of torment too.’ 29 But Avraham said, ‘They have Moshe and the Prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 However, he said, ‘No, father Avraham, they need more. If someone from the dead goes to them, they’ll repent!’ 31 But he replied, ‘If they won’t listen to Moshe and the Prophets, they won’t be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!’”  Matthew 16:19-31 CJV

What does this tell us? Has the point been driven home yet? It does not matter what you have physically, God wants you to be humble. In the Beatitudes Jesus says that the poor in spirit are blessed. He is speaking of those who are humble in their ways, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

When we come to God in prayer, we need to understand our own sin, our spiritual emptiness and poverty. We cannot be self-satisfied or have proud hearts, thinking we don’t really need God for successful living. Staying humble and being dependent on the Spirit for our success is more pleasing to God than how much money or stuff we have.

How Do We Measure Success

How Do You Measure Up

It is said of the measure of a man, If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.” Robert South

Even more true is what Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Thing is, are these ways that God measures us? Does God even measure us at all? Is measuring more important than remembering? Success is not truly measured by what we did, it is by how it was accomplished. Accomplishing success through fame and fortune gets us nowhere but being successful as a parent, friend, and a person who lives in his/her faith, that is the measurement of success in God’s eyes.

Today I want to speak about how we want our kids to remember us and be remembered ourselves. When we are remembered do we want to be remembered for our fame and fortune, our accomplishments, or our person as a whole. In a list of 20 Bible Verses about success this one was missing:

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9

Sure the other verses (some of which will come up in this and later discussions) are great but why was this one not on the list? Of the twenty verses mentioned only two were even close to mentioning staying in the Word and obedience to the Laws and statutes given by God to His people. To me, staying in the Word, meditating on it daily and teaching the children to stay in the Word and finding comfort there are only part of being a success. Joshua that section above to, ”be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” God is telling Joshua not only to read/meditate and stay in His Word but also to “be” in His Word by acting upon it. That, Brothers and Sisters, is how God measures success.

Teaching children in the way they should go (paraphrased Proverbs 22:6) is our way of showing our youth how God desires of us to live. Scripture tells us these basics, study hard and use what you have learned to become better servants. In this day and age; wealth, power, and fame are a measure of success. Show me that in Scripture and you can have my job. Nowhere in Scripture does it say to make tons of money so you can live a life of luxury and be comfortable in the world.

Having a source of income is necessary for living but too much of it leads to greed and a distortion of the reason for being here. Jesus tells us:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27.

And:

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:28-34

So we are not to worry because God will provide us as long as we stay in His Word. For:

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

And observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” 1Kings 2:3

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18

If we so desire to stay in the world and forget what God has placed in our hearts, Scripture gives us these warnings from Jesus:

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” Matthew 16:26-27

“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. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

Luke 16:10-11

Paul reiterates Jesus Teachings by saying:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Look at all the wealthy people in the world and see how few actually claim to know God. Some had a relationship with God and lost it when popularity and fame took over their lives (Katy Perry for instance). Some misinterpreted Scripture and have made money from others desire for God (certain televangelists and mega church pastors). We cannot be judgmental, we must carefully consider them as lost Christians who desire money instead of pleasing God.

Worldly wealth truly leads you nowhere especially if that is what you depend on. So many people have gone back to the basics of life while holding on to certain technologies out of necessity for staying in the world. They are building houses on their own using the land and some man made materials to avoid mortgages and staying in debt. Planting their own gardens so that they only have to buy certain meats. Some even make their own clothing. God desires great things for us but in His way not ours of the world.

So where does this all lead. Get back into the Scripture and really see how God is telling us we will be successful. If we open our hearts and mind to His Word (OT Scripture and most of all, Jesus) we can be the people God desires in His creation. Remember the difference between believing in and being in then you will have Spiritual and mortal success which will lead to a better, happier life as will your descendants. Be the caretakers (or better put care givers) of this current home and we will have a seat at the table in the Kingdom. Be blessed this week and bless others with God’s Word as you go about your day living for God.

God Bless you and may your light shine brightly on the earth.

PRAYER:

Father God, Creator Parent, bringer of joy, we thank You for giving us the guidance needed to live on this place and not in it. Thank you Father for giving us guidance so we have the opportunity to shine for You as we do our best to live for You. Teach us, oh Lord, and chide us as needed to stay on the right path that leads to Your loving and compassionate arms. We lift up our arms in Your praise as You have taught us to give to others what You have given us. Continue to guide us, oh Lord, that we may light the world through the darkness and direct those onto Your path. Thank You God for the things You have done, are doing, and will do in our lives and continue to bless us with Your ways. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, AMEN.