Tag Archives: blessed

June 6; One Wealthy Dude

Proverbs 31; I Kings 4:20-28, 10:14-29; 2 Chronicles 1:14-17, 9:13-28

I imagine Solomon’s wealth might rival that of Jeff Bezos in today’s market. You read about the king’s use of gold, his articles of silver, the robes, weapons, spices, horses, etc. and know the man was loaded.

Yet Jesus, in Matthew 6 says not even Solomon in all his splendor had anything on the wildflowers in the field.

Really?

We seem to place a lot of emphasis on the material, don’t we? People like the founder of Amazon.com, who is said to be worth 150 billion dollars, are looked up to, considered successful. On the other hand, we look at people in line at the unemployment office as losers. But are we looking at the wrong things?

So many times we lose sleep over unpaid bills, where our next meal is coming from, or with a closet full of clothes, we lie awake and wonder what we should wear to work in the morning. Jesus reminds us that non-Christians do that, too.

Then Jesus encourages us to look around at this amazing world He created. If God dots the fields with colorful flowers, if He causes a tree to burst forth with beautiful flowers before it produces luscious fruit, if birds sing, and stars twinkle, and the ocean pulls back at the shore, how much more thought and care is He going to take on the only part of His creation created in His image? How much more is He going to provide for those who accept what Jesus died to give them?

Our Lord tells us to seek Him first. Take our focus off the temporal and look toward the eternal, His kingdom, and all the things we need will be given us. That’s His promise. Even more than we ask or think.

Oh, our bills might still be overdue, and our place in the unemployment line might be way at the back. But even if we had the riches of Solomon as described in the verses we read today, it could not surpass the riches of knowing Jesus.

Are you God’s child through the blood of His Son? Do you trust Him? Then quit worrying and keep your eyes on Him. God is not unaware of your circumstances, and He has a solution that will knock your socks off.

My friend who knows Jesus as your Savior: YOU are one wealthy dude.

 

Luke 14-17; Sharks in Heaven

Well, I got tripped up on a verse today I’m sure wasn’t there the last time I read Luke’s Gospel. Ok – it probably was there But once again I’m blown away at how alive God’s Word is. It speaks to me every time!

The verse is 16:9. Jesus is speaking:

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

I read this verse, then re-read it. Did Jesus just say we are to buy friends so we can get into heaven? Surely not.

Of course not!

Matthew Henry helped me understand it better. Then, after looking more closely at God’s Word, I got to thinking about the TV show “Shark Tank.” Those rich people are wise and shrewd with their money. They spend it to gain more. Sometimes they take chances and you think they are throwing their money away. Sometimes they pass on what I think would be a great investment. But every dollar they spend is done with calculated intentionality. And they usually end up with a big payoff.

Jesus, in summing up the parable of the house-manager, is telling us to use what is ours to invest in eternity, in eternal souls. I am reminded that everything we have is God’s – entrusted to us to benefit the kingdom.

God is asking, do I use my house, my car, my bank account, my “worldly wealth” as a means of reaching out to lost and needy people for whom Christ died? Am I spending what God has given me to gain more eternal souls for Him?

So much of what I read in Luke today seems to be calling me to take inventory, then to start investing in people for Jesus’ sake. We are given to give, blessed to bless, saved to tell others.

Read these chapters and see if God doesn’t challenge you to be the faithful son, the competent manager, the obedient servant, and to use what you are given for the glory of God.

You’ve heard “you can’t take it with you,” right? You know when you stand before God you will not be wearing that diamond ring or driving that Mercedes. Jesus says “WHEN it is gone,” not IF it goes. The only thing you will take into heaven with you are the people you have lead to the Lord. That’s it. So let me ask you this…

What kind of shark are you?

 

Psalm 1; The Pursuit of Happiness

The book of Psalms is the go-to for many people when they are sad or discouraged or feel far from God. And many find comfort in these precious chapters.

Honestly, I haven’t been one of those people. The Psalms have never been my favorite book of the Bible. Usually, as I get to this portion of God’s Word while reading through it each year, I plow through as many psalms a day as I can, just to say I’ve read them. Oh, I’m blessed by a verse here and there, challenged or convicted by others. But in general, I don’t let it speak to me like I do other places in the Bible.

My pastor has been going through the psalms with us on Wednesday evenings, and that has given me a new appreciation. So today I read Psalm 1, a psalm I memorized in my youth, and I’ve been sitting here chewing on it, praying about it, then reading what some others have to say about it. And… WOW!

We all want to be happy. I mean, come on. Doesn’t the US government even give us the right to pursue happiness? So why is there so much sadness? Why so many people medicating to mask unhappiness? Psalm 1 has the answer.

First of all the happy (or blessed) person doesn’t listen to the world’s idea of what happy looks like. It’s not found within us, or in having bigger and better things. It’s not found in relationships or self-satisfaction. People who suggest that the answers to life’s problems are situational or a matter of mind control are wicked counselors, sinners, and mockers. (vs 1)

The blessed man is the one whose life is grounded in Scripture, who loves God’s Word, who has made the Bible such a part of his life, it is with him day and night. He is like a tree whose roots are deep, nourished by living water, refreshed, and fruitful.

The psalm says the wicked man, the one who denies God or ignores Him, has no roots. He’s based his life on shallow ground that won’t stand up in the end. Like chaff, or dandelion seeds that blow apart in the wind, he has no standing with God. And he doesn’t even realize what an unhappy state he’s living in.

The dandelion looks at the sturdy oak and says, “I’m just like you.”

No, you’re not.

The blessed person, we who are happy in our relationship with God, grounded in His Word, know that this life is only a blink in light of eternity. The problems of this life are temporary, but the rewards of knowing God will last forever. We can afford to be happy in that truth, regardless of situations we face here in this lifetime. We are blessed!

Dear God, thank You for slowing me down as I study Your Word today. I pray that as I spend time in the psalms You inspired men to write, I will listen to what You would say to me here in 2018. God, I want to be grounded in Your Word, rooted in Scripture, bearing fruit as a result of my relationship with You. I’m looking forward to getting to know You better, loving You more, and serving You more effectively as I let these psalms penetrate my heart and soul.

April 17 – Forgiven and Blessed

I Samuel 25-27

Abigail asked David for forgiveness. Yes, it was her husband Nabal who had refused to help David. But 25:28 tells us Abigail, after falling on her face at David’s feet said, “Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant.”

In verse 35 we see David granted her request. And later, after Nabal’s death, David brought Abigail into his home and made her his wife. She became the king’s bride.

As I read this today I saw a picture of my relationship with God. When I fell on my face before Him and asked Him to forgive me – he did! Then He lifted me up and took me for Himself. I am His. He is mine.

The Bible calls believers the Bride of Christ. That’s me. And all because I humbled myself and asked Jesus to forgive me. How blessed I am.

I pray you can say the same.