riches

The misconception of needing to exceed in the world


This is not what the Bible teaches. This is not what Jesus Christ Himself taught when he walked amongst us two thousand years ago.
Jesus Himself was the son of a carpenter. In that time it was expeceted that the eldest son would adopt the work of the father. Yet Jesus did not become a carpenter. There is a reason for this. This was He was not the eldest son of Joseph. He was however the eldest and ONLY Son of God. So He did not become a carpenter but our Savior as was prophesied time and again in the Old Testament.
When Jesus taught His message to His disciples as well as those that came to listen to His teaches He would emphasize the importance of placing God first in everything. He would teach to follow the commandments. He would teach that things of this world are of no import.
Christ went as far as to state that we are not to seek after riches or luxuries upon this earth. Why? Because they would fall away into nothing. He said clothes would be eaten by moths. That things of metal would rust away.
Throughout this world there are strange structures made of large and heavy stone. Most of these things be they found under the water or above it puzzle even those that say they are the most wise amongst us. They have no clue as to how stone several tons in weight could be aligned so perfectly that they say it would take a laser to make the cuts in today’s world of technology and cranes to move them into place. Yet there is no cloths to be found with them. There is no metal instruments found with them. For they are gone.
Could they have been built by those that walked the earth before the great flood that caused Noah to build his ark for? This is the most likely possibility. Yet we do not know for sure for all evidence of the society that made them is gone.
Do you see the wisdom in the word of Jesus Christ now?
The answer to that is no I am afraid. For most within this world, which includes those that call themselves “Christian” do not see or even acknowledge this teaching of Christ. Why? Because they seek after riches upon this temporal plain. They seek after big houses, fancy cars, luxurious clothing, and trips and waste the gift that God has allowed them to gather unto themselves. Why? For this is what they desired the most.
But is this what the Bible teaches us to desire the most? NO.
The Bible teaches us to desire to place God at the center. To be on our minds, our souls and our actions. This is what we are to seek. Jesus says that if we do gain wealth than if we see someone that is struggling to give that money unto them. Not to keep it for themselves. He goes on to say that if they do not help their brothers and sisters in Christ that are in need than in reality they are not of God, but of the world, which is their true love.
So to truly exceed in this world. To truly exceed to the glory of God. If we have money we are to get rid of most of it and only keep that which is what we need to make it day by day, for that is all we truly need upon this temporal plain of existence. For ours is not of this world, but in the eternal world that is to come. A world where we will be given new and immortal bodies that will serve God if we follow Him and His Son’s teaches. If we do not serve Him and honor Him here in this reality we are promised that we shall never serve Him or truly know Him.
For that which is impure and unrighteous only have one destination in their immortal bodies and it is a place I wish none to partake of.

On the other hand


My wife and I had discussion yesterday about why do people push their children to be the “best” of everything. To exceed not only themselves, as was the original ideal of the American parent, but to exceed all others and to dominate. Either in sports, entertainment and business. This is actually not what we were taught less than fifty year ago. Now it seems to be the theme of everything. Form prosperity preachers to infomercials.
This is actually not what the Bible teaches. Now as an example I want to look at 1 John 3:17:
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?”
This is what it says in the new living translation, but look at it in the KJV as well:
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Now I want to look at the word “but.”
But – de – a weak adversative particle, generally placed second in its clause; but, on the other hand, and.
“On the other hand.” As you see in the NLT version they used the word “if.”
Now let’s look at the conversion between Jesus and the rich man:
Matthew 19:16 – Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
So if Jesus Himself says it is extremely hard for a rich person to get into heaven, why would you seek after it? You shouldn’t, yet millions do and only an extremely few succeed. Or do they “succeed”? According to the Bible, they don’t. They are actually failures. They have failed themselves, they have failed their children. Why? Because they have turned their backs upon God.
They say they are following the commandments, yet Jesus has asked them to sell it all and follow Him. They mouth the words that they follow Him, but are not practicing what they preach, they are hypocrites. They are the lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22).
If you wish your children to be better than you, do not seek to make them exceed in sports, knowledge or business. Teach them the Bible. Teach them God. Teach them the teaching that Jesus Christ gave to us all. Not only the love, but also the anger and the judgement that Jesus Himself spoke of. Do you know Jesus spoke more about the pit of fire than he did about love?
Yet more today say we must love all. This is not what the Bible teaches. It teaches we must love those that are our brother and sisters IN CHRIST. We are to turn away from the world and those things that are of the world, like money a.k.a. riches.
Teach your children to be average and God fearing and loving. Then you have made you children better than you and you will most likely be blessed.

Confessions of a screwed up middle aged man: snobs


Occasionally I like to go for Sunday drives with my wife. We both enjoy doing them. I try my best to go the back way whenever possible so as to enjoy the scenery of God’s creation.
Usually these little outings go well. This last Sunday however did not have the usually enjoyment. It wasn’t due to either of us or the scenery about us. This day’s enjoyment decreased as we started getting into an area filled with large houses and massive acreage being used for nonproductive matters.
As we entered into this area and stayed within it for nearly an hour we encounter other drivers that did not follow the laws of the road. Not staying in their own lanes and doing things that obstructed traffic. Once we stopped at a small convenience store and as I started to turn into the parking spot the driver side door of an expensive car suddenly flung open blocking the parking spot. Nearly a minute after this a woman decided to exist this vehicle and with a haughty look, looked upon both my wife and myself with disdain since our car was not on the same par as hers. She then slowly closed the door and walked in the middle of the parking spot I wished to pull into as she headed to the same store we wished to visit.
Shortly after this within another store we decided to go into we over hear an encounter between a customer and someone in the pharmacy. Apparently the employee was inconvenienced to walk ten feet and the customer was in turn bothered to accompany the employee the same ten feet to get what she was requesting.
So we get back onto our little adventure and still encounter poor driving habits that in one instance endangered my wife and myself.
When finally free of this area of expensive houses and ritzy stores suddenly we were able to once again relax and enjoy the country side and beauty of the sunny day.
As I was able to relax once again I started reflecting on the previous hour I had just encountered and was saddened. It is amazing how the Bible is not being taught correctly to the point that people that see themselves as a higher quality of humanity than of anyone else. Yet the Bible teaches us that we are all the same.
This also reminded me how the Bible again is not being taught correctly. Many times The Bible says to love one another, but here is what many do not realize. It is not a love for all humanity, but for those that are like us that have asked Christ into our lives and seek to be a reflection of Him.
Does this say that those that call themselves “Christian” should behave as those I encountered this last weekend? No it does not. In fact the Bible encourages humility. The act of placing all others before ourselves. Yet this is not the mentality of those we encountered this last Sunday. Their mentality is that all must bow and worship them for they are wealthy with the riches of the world.
They do not realize that in reality they are to be pitied. For they have embraced the temporal rewards of this world.
Mark 10:17 – As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. 27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
James 4:4 – You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. 6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

True Christians don’t measure success by worldly standards


But what are worldly standards? Fame, riches, fancy clothing. These things are fleeting and mean nothing to those that truly seek God. This is what proves the “prosperity ‘churches'” to be nothing but false prophets using God’s name in vain for their own riches, fame and glory. Those that teach this blasphemy are doing nothing but stealing for those in true need of God.
God made it clear that the rich have less of a chance of making into the heaven than a camel passing through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24). [BTW this is not has horrifying as it implies. The “eye of needle” gate in the Jerusalem wall was small and a camel had to almost literally crawl through the gate to get through it so some rich people might make it through, but it is not wise to count solely upon that.]
The greatest commandments are to love God above all else and to honor and worship Him first and foremost. Then we are to treat all others as we would treat ourselves. It was also made clear that we are to humble ourselves and to place all others before ourselves especially if you are in a leadership role (Mark 10:44). It is through this behavior that true Christians measure their success.
When you place God above all else this means you, yourself are unimportant only that which please God should be the most important thing to you. Now admittedly we all do not live up to this standard. I know I don’t, but I strive to do so. All humans falter and fall for we are not perfect. Does this mean to accept these flaws within us? No it does not. We are to strive every day to in some way remove these flaws from within us. Through pray and effort and acknowledging that we cannot do it by ourselves but through God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
All humanity is corrupt and will fail, some more than others. Then there will be those that think that only through humanity can all glory ever be seen, but that is a lie. Not only to themselves but to others for it clearly states within the Bible that only evil comes from the hearts of humanity (Mark7:21-23). Any good that is accomplished can only be done through God and His blessing (James 1:17).
It is the ability to realize this that men have done truly great and lasting things and whenever humans do something without God it is lost and forgotten and only mysteries remain that confound and confuse those that are left behind. It is when humans think they are greater than God is when God reminds us that He is (1 Corinthians 1:25).
This is why it is imperative that people not seek after the world and its pleasures and riches but after that which is considered true riches in the sight of God. Seek Him out, pray, read the Bible and learn what it is that God seeks for you, but remember it will not be wealth or fame, but humility and sacrifice that wins the day.

Those seeking riches that call themselves “Christian”


It is something that just astounds me. Those that listen to others that try and tell them that “Through God you can become wealthy.” This is not what the Bible teaches. In fact Christ said this about being rich:
Mark 10: 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
So if it is harder to enter into heaven, why do so many seek to run away from God? The answer is symbol, they really don’t know Him because they have not read the Bible. They listen to these false prophets that say God will grant you riches all you have to do is tell Him to give it to you.
Humans are not the boss or master of God. We are His servants. We are His tools. We are not meant to have wealth here, for our reward is promised us in our eternal life, which is not going to be spent lounging about on some cloud by the way, but exploring all of God creations doing tasks that He has set before us to fulfill.
So the next time someone says they can promise to make you rich, remember that if you do listen, you will be further away from God.