Mark 12:38-40 – Beware!

Read Mark 12:38-40

Jesus felt it necessary to warn us about false teachers of religious law. He had certainly encountered plenty of religious leaders who were not focused on the right thing. Verses like these made my pastor husband uncomfortable with (and eventually led him to abandon) the robes that pastors of our denomination traditionally wear.

We need to remember that pastors, priests, and other religious leaders are people. People can be misguided and go astray. People can be power hungry. People sin. Too often we put our religious leaders on pedestals, thinking they have more of an “in” with God. How do I know this? Because I’ve had plenty of people over the years ask me to have my husband pray for something because he was “closer to God.” Yes, they said that!

Continue reading “Mark 12:38-40 – Beware!”

Revelation 18:1-24 – You Can’t Take It With You

Read Revelation 18:1-24

“Babylon is fallen,” the angel proclaims. For John’s contemporaries, they would see this referring to Rome. This vision would surely give them hope. At the time John writes this, Rome is alive and well, carrying out atrocities on God’s people. What was the motivation? Power. The sensuality of wealth. Dominion over all.

Rome did fall. Does this mean the message of Revelation is not for us? On the contrary. The book of Revelation concerns the character and timeliness of God’s judgment not only of persons who are “of the world,” but also nations and authority figures, companies, groups, etc., all who have chosen evil over grace.

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Proverbs 28:15-28 – Greed Gets You Nowhere Fast

Read Proverbs 28:15-28

When we think of sin, greed is one of those that comes to mind for me. What keeps people separated from God? Their desire and preoccupation with money and wealth. How we view money and the acquisition of the same speaks volumes. Some people are so focused on that that they lose sight of God and what God wants for us. Our infatuation with money can be sinful when it keeps us from a relationship with God.

Money can also be a great asset used to do great things. It can be used for ministry, for feeding the poor, for leaving a legacy. When we use our wealth to further the kingdom, our priorities are in the right place. We are no longer greedy wanting the money only for our own selfish desires. God will bless that. It again comes down to the heart. What is our motivation? How will God be honored?

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Luke 12:13-34 – Rich Fools

Read Luke 12:13-34

Don’t you love being taught by Jesus every day? The wisdom he shares isn’t just for those people who lived two thousand years ago. It’s timeless. The issues that plagued the world then still exist today. Why? Because evil remains in the world. The final battle has yet to be fought.

We are in the trenches every day. We are surrounded by the enemy. We are lured into wanting this new gadget or that new and improved product. We look for top of the line, latest and greatest, out of this world kind of things. Jesus warns us about our greed. Trying not to judge, I see so many with affluence. Jesus clearly said, “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Continue reading “Luke 12:13-34 – Rich Fools”

James 5:1-6 – Are You Rich?

Read James 5:1-6

Are you rich? Depending on the definition of rich, I could answer that both yes and no. Compared to the majority of the world, living in poverty in developing nations, I am rich. Compared to those living in penthouses, gated communities, owning their own yachts and jets, I am poor.

The “things” of earth will pass away in the end. My treasure is in the hope of heaven.

I get the impression from this passage that the writer was not rich. This is a warning to those who have plenty that they be careful not to allow their possessions to take control. These same possessions will not last forever and will rot away. We should not be relying on these “things” for our happiness.

The warning seems to also speak to actions. Not every rich person is selfish or malicious. Many wealthy people are very wise with their money and giving to the poor and needy. This warning is not for them. There is an assumption here that with wealth comes abusiveness. As people make money, they become ruthless, wanting more and more, and at what expense of others. Do others get trampled or used in the process?

It is not sinful to be wealthy. What is sinful is how we use our wealth and our attitudes about money. One of the most talked about topics in the Bible is…money. I’ve heard differing opinions, 800 times, 2000 verses. I’ve found an interesting article about it. You can read it here.

Suffice it to say, money is not evil, it is how we think about it. We should NEVER worship it or put it before God. We should always trust God for provision. God’s economy works differently than ours, but it is the one we can trust. We’re not all destined to live in luxury. That’s okay. Whatever our station in life, we need to be grateful and work on multiplying the love in our hearts.

When money is plentiful, we need to be wise stewards in how we save and spend. This behavior honors God. A selfish heart will not be rewarded in heaven. A grateful heart reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.

Let’s pray. Father forgive me for my selfish desires that only benefit me. I trust you in everything, especially the provision of my daily needs. With the wealth you have blessed me with, may I in turn bless others. I long to be more giving to those in need. May I never have an entitlement attitude or one that looks down on others. People do struggle with their finances, and pray for opportunities to help those people find the right solution. Bless our business, Lord, so that we can provide a source of hope, founded on you, to those in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



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