Monthly Archives: August 2014
The world glorifies achievers. Nothing wrong with being an achiever of good things in life. But where the world is in error is where it proclaims the pursuit of money as the end all be all of life. A person who climbs up the Seven Summits is usually given a great deal of respect. However, what’s odd is there’s still even greater respect for those who are billionaires as if they climbed a thousand summits. People will try to verify if a mountaineer used drugs or other illegal methods to cope up with the tough climb but avoid checking if a billionaire is ethical in his pursuit of profits.
I always like doing great things for my country. There are those who shine well in athletics and sports for their fatherland. Some show respect for their nation by doing business and earning lots of revenue and then donating to charity. Others who are a despicable lot, end up being traitors to their own nation for blood diamonds and money. So money itself is neutral, it’s your attitude towards it and your actions to get it which prove whether you are for good or for evil. That is why you must curb your passion towards gaining wealth and instead concentrate on God who gives you the good things of his Kingdom.
God gives you the ability to get money
Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26:12-14)
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)
Understand why the love of money is evil
But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. (Proverbs 15:27)
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. (Psalm 62:10)
So avoid the love of money
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
If you have lots of money don’t put your hope in it
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (Proverbs 11:28)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.( 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, I pray that I be set free from the love of money. Let me have the right attitude towards money. Give me the wisdom to only use righteous ways to obtain wealth. Give me sufficient money to provide for my family and community. Direct me to the poor and needy and church ministries that reach out to preach to unbelievers, so that I may bless them with both my finances and prayers for them. Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit. Amen.
Further reading: Matthew 6:1-6, Matthew 6:16-21.
My friends be warned that legalism functions like a counterfeit of discipline. It mimics the roots but the fruits of legalism show its true character. Fruits do take a season or two to show up but God knows the heart.
Jesus our Lord gave respect to the poor widows offerings but didn’t have regard for those who were hypocritically giving offerings in the temple. Also from the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican we learn that though both went into the temple to pray to God only the humble Publican was justified as he acknowledged his sins unlike the self righteous Pharisee.
Attending church and attending to God must go hand in hand. The problem comes when someone proclaims his church attendance to his neighbours but secretly in church is only interested in being noticed as a pious individual by all. So as a result he has not been attending to God. There’s no way God is going to honour this.
The only thing worse than a hypocrite is a legalistic hypocrite. Jesus tackled legalistic hypocrites during his ministry on earth. He observed how the will of God was being tampered with legalism and was critical of it. Among one of his rebukes to them is the following:
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Mark 7:10-13)
Don’t get tricked by anyone who tells you to follow rules and traditions that are not consistent with the teachings of the Bible. If someone says that you need to donate money to prove that you love God remind that person that God loved us even when we were sinners. Nothing should stop you from giving financially for the preaching of the gospel in unreached areas. But its deception to get conned into paying money to prove your love of God.
Be vary of instructions by religious teachers who say to only speak well to church members of your own race or clan. Remember that the Lord doesn’t like racism in church even if you are not harming the other person.
Never get egged on by the notion that the more you fast the more grace you can earn. The grace of God cannot be earned. If grace could be earned it would not be grace. Fast because you want to spend time in prayer with God instead. Fast because you want to focus on things of the Spirit.
Remember that pilgrimages to holy places in Israel (or elsewhere) are not mandatory for your salvation. It’s good to have a ‘boots on the ground’ feel of places where Jesus walked but then again are you obligated to do that to be saved? You can be saved even if you have lived all your life in Idaho or wherever. You need to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. Obviously that means that you repent and believe in the Gospel.
Discipline is much different than legalism. You still drink sufficient water whether others are offended by it or not. You have a bath even if others don’t. You still uphold the Gospel even if all others are sinning. We still provide food for our families regardless of the winter or rain, we don’t need to have a thousand laws to tell us that. It’s instinct, spiritual instinct that comes from God. For instance, you may hear just one sermon against witchcraft and you effectively resist all the lies of temptation to witchcraft years after the sermon. Instinct of the spirit is something that you need to have like your natural instincts and even more.
You can develop your spiritual instinct by praying to God and reading his Word which is the Bible. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Seek the presence of Christ when you pray. Read the testimonies of how various people left their wicked ways and led a holy life for Jesus. Learn how brave the early Christian martyrs were that they chose to die by execution rather than forsake Christ. Take delight in hearing of healings by God through his people on earth even for the worst of sinners. That’s when you realize that godly discipline is pristine and is to be cherished unlike legalism which is to be avoided totally.
I pray that you walk more in discipline and remain out of legalism. In the name of Jesus, for the glory God and by the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Don’t lose hope for the Lord God is with you. He won’t sleep nor slumber for he always watches over those whom he loves. Like a mother he will caress you. Like a father he will embrace you. His mercy has no beginning and has no end. Hold on to his Word in times of troubles and pain. He keeps track of your tears. Jesus the Son of God has suffered like a human and even worse for you. So he is well acquainted with your sorrows and grief. Don’t bear your sadness alone. Cast your burden unto Jesus for he cares for you. Give away your pain to Jesus and he will turn your sorrow into joy. God did not send his Son to condemn the world but to save it. Happy are those who forsake their sins and turn to the Son of God. God will abundantly pardon and restore you. For in Christ there’s true forgiveness and true hope. Fear not your evil works when you come back to the heart of Christ. Because by the shedding of his blood on the cross the demands of the law against you have been met. May the Holy Spirit remind you of the words of Christ just like he did for the Apostles. Remember that in Christ your hope is from this life to the next forever. God gives you hope that is pure and will prevail against everything. Set your face towards the Savior of the world and seek his favor. Praise be to God forever. Amen.
The Lord is near to those who call on his name. He is never too busy for you. He doesn’t need to make time for you simply because time works for him. Sit at his feet. Leave all curiosity alone. Be happy to be with Christ the savior of the world. In him we live and move and have our being. By his cross he has made us worthy. Happy are those who believe that Christ loves them. Cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you. Greater is the Holy Spirit that is within you than he that is in the world. Fear not for the Lord is with you. God works out good for all those who are called according to his purpose. Give thanks therefore to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I spent the majority of my Christian life believing I was a sinner. I would venture to guess that 90% or more of you believe that as well. I’m here to let you know that you’re not.
The Gospel isn’t just trying to live right. It isn’t biting your tongue and fighting back words that seek to come out. The Gospel isn’t a battle. Friends, that victory was achieved over 2,000 years ago. I see too many people exhausted, worn out, frustrated, and beat down because they haven’t been taught the true meaning of the Cross. They are still trying to achieve what Christ already accomplished.
Jesus didn’t die on the Cross to expose our sin. He had to become sin and die, I get that. It was necessary in order to render sin powerless over our lives. However, He didn’t die because we were sinners. Christ died on that…
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“The world is the general name for all the passions. When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. But when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them the passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure from which comes sexual passion, love of honour which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancour and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead; for though living in the flesh, they did not live for the flesh. See for which of these passions you are alive. Then you will know how far you are alive to the world, and how far you are dead to it”
‑ St. Isaac the Syrian
The Bible clearly tells us to put death all worldly passions. And it does give robust reasons for this. Let’s read Colossians 3:5-11 which says:
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked regards not such knowledge. (Proverbs 29:7)
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. (Psalm 41:1-3)
Write down your dreams and visions which come to you before you forget them or lose track of them. Sometimes the Lord God gives us dreams to warn us of dangers, exhort us to follow the Gospel, show us the future and reveal his plans. Some dreams are for your personal growth, while some are for others too. You need to be really decisive on which is for you and which one is for others.
Thought not every dream or vision is from God, we must not adopt a general ‘dismiss all’ attitude towards all dreams. Be a discerner and not a skeptic. You need to judge as to which one comes from God and which doesn’t. Any dream that provokes you to sin and unworthy acts or thoughts are to be not given heed to.
If a dream come that shows you a person in trouble or need then do pray for them and take decisive action too. Speak to your pastor or some mature Christian about the dream. Don’t make the dream public unless the dream is surely from God. This vision or dream must be able to stand the test of the word of God. Genuine dreams from God will NEVER contradict the word of God.
So whether you want to discern if a dream is from Jesus our Lord or whether you want to pass it to others who need to hear about it, make it a point to write it down. Do it as soon as possible. This way the details of the dream will remain sharp to you instead of fuzzy. The sharper the memory of the dream, the simpler is it to discern it.