Money

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On a recent trip to Seattle I walked into a coffee shop and they had a tip jar with a clever version of a very familiar bible verse. It was slightly altered to meet their intended goals.

It said “Money is the root of all evil. Cleanse yourself here”, I’m not sure they ever read the verse in Paul’s second letter to Timothy where he instructs him to rightly divide the scripture, but that’s a topic for another day.

Money of course itself is not evil, how can it be, it’s an inanimate object. The “love” of money is the object of the verse as Paul is teaching his son, in the faith, Timothy how to pastor a church. Our relationship to money is the point of which Paul is addressing.

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What you think about “your” money reveals the condition of your heart, and is critical to your relationship with God, because it’s really not your money it’s God’s and He has entrusted you to steward it faithfully.

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack; Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Mark 10:21-22

The rich young ruler did all the religious things… He followed all the rules, but when push came to shove it was about his money. Jesus exposes his sinful, idolatrous, greedy, covetous heart and shows him that he is unworthy to follow Him.

Is your money a stumbling block to your relationship with God?

Don’t just pass over this question; your very life may hang in the balance. I can’t possibly know the condition of your heart, but Jesus does, just has He did with the rich young ruler. We all like money, and we all need money but how much is enough and for what reason do you need it?

Acts 2:44-45 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

Am I telling you to sell all your stuff and give it to the elders of your church for distribution? No, but are you willing? What is your heart in the matter, do you bristle at the thought of this verse?

Jesus spoke much about money and material possessions and if we have somehow missed the significance then it’s time to reexamine our relationship with mammon (our stuff) because it’s at the heart of the matter you desire to serve.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:25

What does your life consist of? Does it merely revolve around finances, or do you set your mind on the things of God? Do you really trust Him with your life?

…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. Matthew 6:32-33

I urge you to examine your relationship to your money and how that relates to your relationship with God. This is a topic that must be discussed and exposed.   It must be exposed not because I say so, but because the Lord said so. Are you storing up for yourself treasures on earth, or treasures in heaven?

By God’s grace we can grow in this very challenging area of life, that it may bring Him glory.

Kevin

Are you sure Jesus loves you?

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“Jesus loves you…”

“You need to have a relationship with Jesus…”

“Just trust God and everything will be fine…”

“Jesus friend of sinners…”

We’ve all heard these types of sayings and many more; maybe we’ve even said them.  They are all over Christian radio stations, especially from stations like K-Love.  It’s all about the love of Jesus and His “need” and His “desire” for them to seek a relationship with Him.  I want to plainly say I’m all about the love of Jesus, for He “IS” love (1 John 4:8), and we would not know love without Him (1 John 3:16).

I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings about my statements.  The greatest act of love ever committed was by Jesus Christ and any other is underwhelming by comparison.  He is the only place a repentant sinner can turn for grace and mercy.  But those that don’t understand that act and just how remarkable it was will never embrace what it fully means.

When evangelism techniques only discuss Jesus as standing at the door waiting for someone to decide to love Him it falls miserably short of what the Scripture teaches us.  There is methodology behind drawing a sinner to the Lord, but it begins with God’s Holiness and man’s sinfulness if the gospel is to be proclaimed accurately.

Let’s see what the Bible says about the sinner in the eyes of a “Holy God”.

Psalm 7:11-12 God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.  If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.

This is an incredibly clear understanding of the status of man in the eyes of God.  Let’s dig into God’s warning for the unsaved and see how very different this is from some of those common statements from above.

God is just – Only God is capable of judging with perfect righteousness.  He knows all that is in man’s heart and despite His patience with all of man-kind there is coming a day when we all must give account of our lives (Hebrews 4:13) and justice will be served according to our deeds (Romans 2:6).

God is angry with the wicked – If any of your thoughts, words or deeds have ever fallen short of God’s perfect standard and Christ is not your Lord and Savior you are wicked and God is angry with you.  He does not “love” you in the way He loves those that turn to Him in faith.  God is patient and provides good things even to those at enmity with Him, for He provides all that we have.

The word angry – zâ‛am – to foam at the mouth, that is, to be enraged: – abhor, abominable, (be) angry, defy, (have) indignation.

Not exactly the message of most modern day evangelists, and preachers.

When we open the Bible and we read God’s Word we see a very common theme.  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17.  This is how Jesus began His public ministry after He came out of the wilderness; He never sought to coddle the sinner in his sin, but to first draw him into seeing that he is in jeopardy because of his sin.

Repent – metanoeō – From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

Repentance means to have a change of heart, which leads to a change of mind and a change of direction.  Paul calls this a “new creation”.  Jesus says you must be “born again” and Ezekiel says your “heart of stone will be replaced by a heart of flesh”.  These are Biblical truths that cannot be left out in our efforts to reach the lost.

Understanding that there is a newness of life and rejection of the life that once was enjoyed is now detestable.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Those that first repent will see their sin as a violation of God’s Holiness leading to a radically different life, broken over their rebellion against the One True God that gave them life.

When you share this Good News it’s important to represent God in all His Glory, including and especially His hatred of the ungodly, otherwise you bring a message of cheap grace.  Without repentance there will not be life change and that is the point at which we can share what true love is really all about.

Preach the Word today brothers and sisters…

 

Kevin