How Much is Enough?

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We live in a world that is all about more. It’s everywhere you look and it’s indoctrinated into this culture that the more you have, the better you are and the happier you will be. This generation like no other has incredible wealth. There are those in this country that are considerably more wealthy than others, but yet I’ve not seen anyone sitting on a street corner with bones showing because they didn’t have anything to eat and they couldn’t find food.

You’ve seen those pictures from places like Africa where people are literally starving to death, the images from the Nazi death camps, where they are walking skeletons. That’s what I’d consider poor, completely without anything. We, in the US, have a completely different concept of poverty, and although there is compassion for those that have less I also have as much compassion for those that have more, but yet are without Christ.

The riches of this world blind our eyes, and cause those to trust in those riches. I know when I have a little cash in my pocket it makes me feel good about myself. It lightens the load, so that I really don’t need to worry as much about Jesus providing my needs. I’ve got that one under control, but “Oh Lord, you are sooooo good…I’m sooooo blessed!” “Thank You Jesus!” After all, doesn’t He want that for us?

The thing about the Christian experience, that I once wrote about, is that it’s really a bizzarro world. It’s completely upside down. First is last, last is first, those that desire to save their life will lose, but if you desire to lose your life you’ll save it. It’s stuff that just doesn’t seem right to most people. It’s certainly why Jesus said, there are few that find life, and many go the way of destruction, because it just isn’t logical.

God has spoken a lot about money. Money is clearly something He cares about, and it should be something the Christian should care about, but not in the same way as the world will care.

Two things I request of You

(Deprive me not before I die):

Remove falsehood and lies far

   from me;

Give me neither poverty nor

   riches—

Feed me with the food allotted

   to me;

Lest I be full and deny You,

And say, “Who is the LORD?”

Or lest I be poor and steal,

And profane the name of my God. – Proverbs 30:7-9

God has given us balance. He’s shown us what we should desire in money and worldly possessions, just enough. The god of this age tells us we need more. The god of this age tells us we can be blessed by god if we only have faith, because god wants us happy healthy and wise. The charlatan preachers peddle this like crack cocaine. It’s easy to get you hooked because it sounds so good. Once you’ve had a taste it’s hard to go back. But that’s not what the Bible tells us…

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts wich drown men in destruction and perdition. – 1 Timothy 6:6-9

Desiring more is a snare. It will drown you.

Have you ever heard about how natives catch monkey’s in Africa? They take a coconut and hollow it out, just big enough for a monkey to get his hand inside and then put peanuts inside. When the monkey smells the peanuts he’ll grab hold and not let go. He’s trapped by his desire for the peanuts. All he has to do to get away is let go of the peanuts. Yet he will die rather than let go. This is exactly what Paul is telling us about money. We don’t know what’s good for us, so we’ll hold onto those peanuts until it kills us.

“Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:31-34

Here is our remedy. This is the answer to the problem that we face concerning our desire for wealth and prosperity. Seek first the kingdom of God. Let go of your peanuts, seek Christ and His righteousness and then stop worry about your money as if it’s yours anyway; if you can’t do this, then consider if you are truly saved or not. Money will not have a hold on the true believer and if it does he is not a believer.

 

Kevin

Please Pray For My Family

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“When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them-a-praying. – Matthew Henry

Our beautiful Anna Joy was born a week and a half ago but what most won’t know she was admitted back into the hospital less than a week after her birth due to a high fever and weight loss.  We are so thankful for Dr. Omar and his skill and compassion as he immediately recognized Anna did not look the right color and sent her in without delay.

After a number of tests, including a spinal tap, it was determined she has meningitis.  The original suspicion was bacterial and since has now been downgraded to viral.  It looks as though she will spend up to two weeks in the hospital hooked up to an IV and receiving constant doses of antibiotics.  Fortunately, for Anna this is not a major deal.  She will never remember it and it is very unlikely there will be any long term damage.  We praise God for this and delight in His provision.

The one that will suffer more than anyone in the family is my lovely wife Jen.  She has rarely left the hospital or the room in nearly a week.  She sleeps on an extraordinarily uncomfortable fold-out sofa, where nurses are constantly coming and going checking Anna’s vitals.  Of course it also includes the round the clock noises that are synonymous with a hospital stay.  Jen misses the other girls desperately and is challenged with all of the questions and doubts that float around in our minds when we have little else to consume our thoughts.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

It is hard for me to fathom the depths of this verse.  Is this not a crystal clear answer to all our questions as to who controls Anna’s outcome?  This is God’s Sovereignty on display in all its glory.  How can we doubt or have fears?

As I write this today there is little chance that Anna is in serious danger, but we didn’t know that four or five days ago and we had serious concerns about her health.  Yes, we both fully trust God in this situation, but it doesn’t mean we should not take those concerns to the Lord.  This is our opportunity to align our hearts with His as we seek Him.

This is why Believers pray.

Do we want her to be healed?  Of course, that is what “we want”, but Jesus also asked the Father “if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.”  And then we must see what our ultimate purpose of prayer is going to be, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Is it possible that we often miss the main point of prayer in our desires for what we want?

Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek, For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

As much as we desire what we desire, Believers should desire His will!  I don’t know how Jesus could make this anymore clear?

The challenge is that our will fights against the will of God consistently and passionately.  We really want what we want and somehow if we believe we are children of the King He should do what we want.  Sometimes Always His ways are higher than our ways and we just need to get out of the way and place our trust in those ways.

Acts 17:26-28 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…

God is in complete control of all things at all times and there is not a sparrow that falls to the ground outside of His Sovereign Will.  (Matthew 10:29)

I desire prayer for my family in this time but I desire it according to His will, not what I think I want, because more often than not my desire is the wrong desire.  (Jeremiah 17:9).

I desire that we be drawn closer to God and we depend on Him more and always.

I would desire that Jen and Grace would learn to trust Him more and seek Him for all their needs.

I desire that God would be merciful and grant Madeline repentance unto faith in Christ.

I desire that I would be a fearless man of God in leading my family and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations.

I desire that God would be glorified and that I would serve Him with a pure heart.

Will Anna be healed?  I hope so, but I don’t necessarily hope for her physical healing, I hope for her spiritual healing.  I hope for Madeline and Lydia’s spiritual healing above all things physical.

In the end this is the only thing that matters.  You see when we only desire His will all our needs are met no matter the outcome.

Matthew Henry – The target of our prayers is always “God’s glory, and our own true happiness.”

 

Kevin

If is a Big Word…

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Colossians 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Greek εἰ (ei), A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.: – forasmuch as, if, that, ([al-]) though, whether. Often used in connection or composition with other particles, especially as in

Everything that comes after the word “if” is conditional upon this word.  How easily we can pass over this and make assumptions about ourselves.  “If” we leave out if, we then assume we are these things.  We are going to seek the things that are above; we are going to set our minds on the things of God and not on things of the earth.  Paul is laying down the condition of your heart in one very small, very simple word.

Do you pass this test?

Were you raised with Christ?  Do you seek the things which are above where Christ is seated?    This is a test of your faith.  What do you think about most often?  Where do your desires lie?

Do you desire to read God’s word?

Do you desire fellowship with other believers, more than you desire your college drinking buddies?

Do you desire holiness?

Do you desire to preach the gospel of peace with God through faith in Christ to a lost and dying world?

This indicates whether you seek things above…  Or do you worry about the things of this life?

Matthew 6:31-33 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Don’t brush over this today, it may expose the condition of your heart and all of eternity hinges on that.

That makes if a big word

Kevin