Don’t Put Faith in Wealth

Don’t Put Faith in Wealth

The Lord urges us in His Word to avoid trusting in riches just like we would avoid a plague.  True wealth is given by God to the righteous. Let’s read the Scriptures.

He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.  (Pro 11:28)

Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.  (Ps 52:7)

Why do you brag about your strength?  Your strength is exhausted,you rebellious daughter.  You trust in your treasures, never imagining who would attack you.  (Jer 49:4 CEB)

Don’t trust in violence or depend on dishonesty or rely on great wealth.  (Ps 62:10 CEV)

Jesus said clearly in Mark 10:23-25 that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for people who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of heaven!  Wow!

Jesus told a parable about a rich fool in Luke 12:16-19.  This fool had accumulated so much wealth that he had to build larger barns to hold it all, and then he decided to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  And God said to him (v. 20-21):  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

This is wisdom from God for us.  In providing for ourselves, our children, and our retirement, we mustn’t allow ourselves to start trusting in and relying upon the money that we have set aside for emergencies or for a retirement fund.  Our faith in God and our relationship with the Lord Jesus must always be the main focus and core of our lives. 

Even though the Lord gives us power to get wealth (Deu 8:18; Ecc 5:19), we must never lose sight of the fact that this is a GIFT from God.  It is a reason for thankfulness and rejoicing over the goodness of God.  We need to consider this blessing as part of our heritage from God, and by acknowledging God’s central part in it, we may then rejoice in our labor.

Let us daily concentrate upon our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our righteousness.  Here are worthy things upon which to meditate:

  • Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Isa 9:6
  • Redeemer – Isa 59:20
  • Immanuel (God with us) – Mt 1:23
  • King of the Jews – Mt 27:37
  • Lamb of God – Joh 1:29
  • Bread of Life – Joh 6:35
  • Living Stone, Cornerstone – 1 Pet 2:4-8
  • Alpha and Omega – Rev 22:13

We must intentionally make Jesus the heart and focus of our entire lives.  Our trust and our entire reliance should eternally be upon Jesus Christ, who is our life!  (Col 3:4)  May God richly bless you.

God Stands By Us

God Stands By Us

Our amazing God stands by His people at all times, and in all circumstances. He actually fights for us.  The Bible confirms this truth.

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.  (Deu 3:22)

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.  (Deu 20:4)

Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. (Ps 44:5)

One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.  (Josh 23:10)

God loves us and He defends us in order to give us the victory.  Jesus is our Overcomer.  (Joh 16:33b)  God has made each and every one of us overcomers because we are people of faith who serve a God who asks us to put our faith in Jesus Christ.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (1 Joh 5:4-5, emphasis added)

God has promised that all who put their faith in Jesus Christ (which qualifies us as born-of-God) are overcomers.  Hallelujah!

God never stops fighting for us because He is almighty and eternal.  He is not limited by time; He is not limited by human constraints; and He never lacks for anything.  He calls us His chosen and special ones.  (Deu 7:6; 14:2)

His Word is His promise to us, and He is eternally faithful to His Word; He keeps His Word.  When our faith is weak, He is by our side, imparting His strength and grace to us.  All we need to do is to open our hearts to Him and allow His strength and empowerment to flow into us.

The Lord said that He will never leave us, never forsake us. (Neh 9:31; Heb 13:5b, italics added) 

If you’re in a battle of any kind whether faith, finances, relationships or health, put your trust and hope in Jesus Christ.  He is with you always—waiting for you to turn toward Him.  God bless you.

God is Worthy to be Praised

God is Worthy to be Praised

Our God is worthy to be praised at all times!  The Bible tells us this in many and various ways.  The Word of God enumerates God’s qualities and character traits for us, so that we may understand Him and love Him.  It also helps us to praise Him regularly when we realize His greatness and love.

God has revealed Himself to mankind according to the Scriptures shown below.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  (Rom 1:19)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse . . .  (Rom 1:20)

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.  (Isa 40:26)

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  (Ps 18:3, emphasis added)

. . . saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Rev 5:12)

Why has God revealed Himself to us?  Because He wants to be in relationship with His people.

He reminds us that He is the creator of all things, and that He is Omnipotent.  The Lord tells us to call upon Him, and also to worship Him.  We are even told to worship Him at all times!

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. (Dan 2:20, underscoring added)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Ps 34:1)

From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.  (Ps 113:3)  See also Psalm 71:8, 15; 104:33; and Hebrews 13:15.

We cannot say that we didn’t know that God desires our continuous praise because it is so clearly shown to us in His Word.  Let this serve as a gentle reminder to us all to be mindful and obedient to God’s instructions.  Praising God will bless us and will strengthen our faith as well as our relationship with the Lord.  God bless you!

To Whom Should We Pray?

To Whom Should We Pray?

Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray.  (Ps 5:2)

We all know that we direct our prayers to God.  Let’s see what else the Bible says about prayer.

I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.  (Ps 3:4)

When we pray, the Lord hears our prayers. 

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  (Mt 6:9)

Jesus taught us to pray to our Father God, and to honor His name.

. . . that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  (Joh 15:16d)

Whenever we pray to the Father in heaven, Jesus tells us to pray in His name, so that we will receive the request.  (See Joh 14:13)

. . . giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .  (Eph 5:20)  The book of Ephesians shows prayer to the Father in Jesus’ name with thanksgiving.  The Lord loves a thankful heart.

As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, “Lord Jesus, please welcome me!” 60 He knelt down and shouted, “Lord, don’t blame them for what they have done.” Then he died.  (Ac 7:59-60)

This passage demonstrates that Stephen prayed directly to Jesus as Stephen was being stoned to death. 

We should pray in the Spirit, and we should pray in His power.  The Spirit helps us to pray, even when we don’t know WHAT or HOW to pray for a situation or a need.  (Rom 8:26; Jude 20)

In general, when we pray, we pray to “our Father” or even to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We always pray to the Father in the name of Jesus (through His mediation) by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul said:  For through Him [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.  (Eph 2:18 – bracketed word added)  We all have access [admission] to the presence of the Father through Jesus, our Savior.

Pray daily and continuously for the Bible tells us “men ought always to pray.”  (Lk 18:1)  Pray always, whether vocally or silently, because the Bible instructs us to do so.  Pray with confidence, knowing that the Lord hears our prayers and faithfully answers them.

A Steadfast Heart

A Steadfast Heart

Steadfast means committed, unwavering, reliable and trustworthy.

He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  (Ps 112:7, underscoring added)

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.  (Pro 1:33)  Wisdom is speaking in the passage.  When we obey wisdom, we obey God.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yahweh, the Lord, is everlasting strength.  (Isa 26:3-4)  When we are focused upon the Lord, with absolute trust, our hearts will be filled with the peace that passes all understanding.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  (Joh 14:1) Jesus is speaking in this verse, and He’s encouraging us to believe in Him.  He’s inviting us to rely upon Him and to have confidence in Him.

The point of these verses that I’ve shared is that under all circumstances, even in the midst of challenges and painful trials, a believer knows the beautiful character of Jesus, and is able to trust Him effortlessly.  Why?  Because Jesus is a good and loving Savior.

The Lord’s plans for us are good plans intended to give us a good future.  We can see the only person who can prevent those plans from coming to pass when we look into the mirror! 

If we don’t cooperate with the Lord, if we don’t trust Him and place all of our faith in Him, then we cannot blame God for whatever mess in which we eventually find ourselves.

Place all of your hope, faith and trust in the Lord.  Yield to God’s plans and His ways, and you will be blessed.  Hallelujah!

A Double Blessing

A Double Blessing

Our God is a God of comfort and restoration, a God who rewards His people with abundant blessings.

Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope.  Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.  (Zech 9:12)  This is speaking to people who are captives, yet because of their faith in the Lord, they have hope.  God is their stronghold, their fortress, and their shield—who provides for their needs.  (Nah 1:7; Ps 18:2)

“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”  (Isa 40:2)  This verse says that their warfare is ended because God fights on behalf of His people.  (Deut 3:22; Josh 23:10)  He is the same today—He still fights for His people—for you and for me.  Hallelujah!

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.  Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.  (Isa 61:7)  Our God promises that instead of shame, all who place their faith in Him shall have double honor.  He also states that instead of feeling confusion, we shall rejoice over our measure of blessings from God; and in our land, we shall possess double.  Double what? Double blessings and benefits from the God who is love. What a promise!  What a gift from God’s loving hand!

In a spiritual sense, all unsaved people are enslaved by sin and satan.  Many are not aware that they are imprisoned, yet others yearn for a way out of their state of affairs.  All that they need to do is to cry out to the Lord, and He will respond by saving them.

That is true for saint and sinner:  God responds to each one of us when we cry out to Him for help, deliverance, or wisdom.  God is the deliverer who sets people free, and pours out His blessings upon all who trust in Him.  May God bless you.

Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Use the Gifts that You’ve Been Given

Each and every believer has been given gifts from God.  The Lord gives us the grace that we need in order to use each of these gifts.  Gifts are given to us for the advantage and the salvation of other people which is why it’s so crucial that we USE the gifts that God has given to us.

. . . for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.  (1 Cor 12:8-11)    

There are various gifts, but they all come from one God (our Father), one Lord (Jesus), and one Spirit (the Holy Spirit).  God is the giver of all spiritual blessings.  If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any ability to make it known, we must give all of the glory to God.

Whatever gifts that God wanted each one of us to have were the ones that He bestowed upon us.  As we mature in the life of faith, He may give us additional gifts.

The purpose for giving the church the gift of prophecy was to edify (build up), exhort (encourage) and to comfort the church.  (1 Cor 14:3)   We’re also to use our various, individual gifts to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.  (Eph 4:12)

In unity and dependence upon one another, we are taught to speak the truth in love and thus, we will mature into the full stature of Christ.  (Eph 4:13)  Hallelujah! 

Choose Boldness & Endurance

Choose Boldness & Endurance

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.  If we deny Him, He also will deny us.  (2 Tim 2:12)  We must sustain our faith throughout our lifetimes, and when we do, the Lord promises that we will one day reign with Him.

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.  (Mt 10:33)  Let us be watchful that we never—in any way—deny the Good News of Jesus Christ.  It takes the grace of God to boldly and persistently pursue a life of faith in Jesus.

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.  (Lk 9:26)

To deny Christ means to reject Him and His claim to be the Son of God and savior of all those who believe in Him.  This denial is a life-long denial, where there is no repentance and no acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To those whose lives deny the Lord, the Lord will also say to them one day, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” as we read in Matthew 7:23.    (Source:  http://answersfromthebook.net/jesus-said-that-if-you-deny-him-before-men-that-he-will-deny-you-before-his-father-peter-denied-the-lord-does-this-mean-that-jesus-will-now-deny-peter-before-his-father)

We need to be bold and brave in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We aren’t all called to be preachers, pastors, missionaries, or evangelists, but we are ALL called to let our light shine in a dark and pain-filled world.  One way to do that is through good works that bring glory to God.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  (Mt 5:14-16)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16)

Each one of us can be courageous in living our life as a follower and servant of Jesus Christ.  We may do that quietly and without fanfare, but all who know us should perceive that we have been with Jesus.  (See Acts 4:13) 

For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.  (Rev 19:10, emphasis added)

Another way to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel is through telling others about our own, personal testimonies of God’s goodness to each of us, and of His miracles and wonders.

Power Belongs to God

Power Belongs to God

All power and all authority belongs to God.  That also means that any power or authority that anyone exercises in any position of authority comes FROM God!  That’s why the Word instructs us to obey governing authorities. 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  (Rom 13:1 NIV)  We’re instructed to obey all who are in authority.

By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.  (Pro 8:15-16 NKJV)  The Lord reminds us that He is the One who establishes kings, princes, nobles, judges, and all who are in positions of authority.

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.  (Ps 62:11 NKJV)  This verse is yet another reminder from God that it is always to Him and to HIS POWER that we submit.

For all power belongs to God, now and forever. Amen.  (1 Pet 5:11 VOICE)  God holds and owns all power FOREVER.

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  (Rom 13:2 ESV)  If we resist authority, we resist God Himself, and we invite judgment from God.  Doing such a thing is not a wise move.

Titus 3:1 implies that being submissive to rulers and authorities is the same as being ready for every good work!  If you would like the Lord to credit you with performing good work, submit to and obey those who have authority over you in the world—whether in your family, your church, your community or your work environment. 

God loves to bless the obedient because to Him, obedience is better than sacrifice!  (1 Sam 15:22b)

Glorify the Lord

Glorify the Lord

One of our assignments, as believers in Christ, is to glorify the Lord.  Let’s look at what the Scripture says.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . .  (Lk 1:46-47 NIV)

I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.  (Ps 77:11-12)

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.  (Ps 86:12)

Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands.  (Isa 42:12)

Glorifying God means to acknowledge His impressiveness and to give Him respect by praising and worshiping Him.  We do this mainly because He alone deserves to be praised, honored and worshiped.

God’s glory is the core of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing it.  In glorifying God, we exalt Him; we recognize and honor His deity; and we elevate Him above all else in our lives and in our thoughts.

Adoration [devotion, high regard, esteem] is also a component of glorifying God.  When we have this type of respect for God, our reverence is shown in ways that we can’t even perceive.  However, other people do notice it, and hopefully it will lead them to ask us for the reasons that we have for the hope that lies within us!