Christmas Is What??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 16

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No.16 Christmas Is What???

 

I love the glitter, and sparkle of the Christmas lights as much as any little tyke, and the joy and excitement in the eyes of the children (and adults!), as well as the goodies, the smiles and the opportunities to share the gospel that we have during this time of year, seemingly more than any other. Yet, we must be aware that in our world, the majority of people who celebrate the “season” know nothing of the “reason for the season”! Jesus has been relegated to some peripheral part of the ‘holiday’ without any significant importance to the “season”! We have come so far that I read some time ago of a person who was walking through a mall that had allowed a Christian nativity display to be put up and those who sponsored it were singing Christmas Carols, a couple was overheard walking by the display saying, “Would you look at that, those ‘Christians’ are even horning in on ‘Christmas’ now!” Sad but that is where our culture is!

So I’d like to spend a bit of time today rehearsing the truth of the reason that we ought to celebrate—and while the gifts, the lights, the parties, the Christmas programs and musicals, are most enjoyable, they are not the focus of what genuine believers in Jesus celebrate. We have the greatest gift that was ever given to mankind to celebrate!

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Joseph was given the significant purpose of the Messiah who Mary was carrying—she would bring forth the God-Man-Savior, who would save the world through His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary! All because God loved us then—and He loves us now–providing the One Way for us to be reconciled and redeemed to Himself (bought back from the curse of sin—which Adam chose for us all, see Genesis 3) to receive the intimate relationship, fellowship, and oneness with God Almighty that only Jesus can give to those who come to Him in repentance and faith in HIS saving, substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for sin—mine and yours! How? By the blood of Jesus, that’s how!

Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him

doth this man stand here before you

whole.

11 This is the stone which was set at nought

of you builders,

which is become the head

of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

It’s HIS name, the God-Man-Savior, Jesus that we celebrate—HIS coming that we might have real “life, and that they might have it more abundantly”! And that, my friends, is what we celebrate—His arrival on planet earth to “save his people from their sins, and while sin is the issue; Jesus is the solution/cure for sin.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away

the sin of the world.” John 1:29

John goes on in the the account of Nicodemus’ visit to Jesus in chapter 3, to give us Jesus’ own testimony!

3 Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God……..

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil

hateth the light,

neither cometh to the light,

lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth

cometh to the light,

that his deeds may be made manifest,

that they are wrought in God.”   John 3:3 & 14-2

When we belong to Jesus by faith, we do His works!

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath

before ordained

that we should walk

in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

This is why Jesus came—for you and me—to save us from our sins, and equip us for HIS good works, that others might come to HIM!

For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died

for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again

the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas,

then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

Jesus came as a precious human baby—born a King—yet not born in a palace, but in a stable, and placed in a manger, a feeding trough in a barn/stable that sheltered Mary as she delivered the Messiah, The Savior of the world! The gift that Jesus told Nicodemus of “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”, was this tiny baby whom we celebrate at Christmas time! But don’t leave the Savior in the manger—He grew into a man who willingly laid down His life that we might be saved by His sacrifice.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words;

Jesus of Nazareth,

a man approved of God

among you by miracles

and wonders

and signs,

which God did by him

in the midst of you,

as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered

by the determinate counsel

and foreknowledge of God,

ye have taken,

and by wicked hands

have crucified

and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up,

having loosed the pains of death:

because it was not possible

that he should be holden of it.”  Acts 2:22-24

God sent “His only begotten Son” not to stay a ‘babe in the manger’ but to be the Savior of the world—to all who will believe in Him! Jesus came because men have a sin problem and only His perfect sacrifice would provide the means for us to be redeemed to God—redeemed from the death and darkness of sin and brought into God’s kingdom by HIS blood—the blood that HE was born to shed for your sin and mine.

For all have sinned,

and come short

of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death;

    but the gift of God is eternal life

 through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

While Christmas is about the babe in the manger, HE didn’t stay in the manger, He grew into the perfect, sinless sacrifice that was the only solution for man’s lostness—for man’s salvation. He came to deliver us from darkness into the “kingdom of His dear son”!

Giving thanks unto the Father,

    which hath made us meet

       to be partakers

              of the inheritance

                      of the saints in light:

           13 Who hath delivered us

                      from the power of darkness,

           and hath translated us

              into the kingdom

                      of his dear Son:

                             14 In whom we have redemption

                                    through his blood,

                      even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:12-14

We who were lost are now “born…of God” (See John 1:12-14), forgiven, and “translated….into the kingdom” of Jesus! Praise God for that “tiny little baby” who came to die for you and me!

And you hath he quickened,

who were dead in trespasses

and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked

according to the course

of this world,

according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children

of disobedience:

3 Among whom also

we all had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires

of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.

4 But God,

who is rich in mercy,

for his great love

wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead

in sins,

hath quickened us together

with Christ,

(by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together,

and made us sit together

in heavenly places

in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come

he might shew the exceeding riches

of his grace

in his kindness toward us

through Christ Jesus.”     Ephesians 2:1-7

And that my friends IS Christmas—quickened (made alive) in Jesus, the soon-coming King of all, He who took on flesh and blood to be God’s sacrifice for my salvation and yours. What will you do with the babe? Will you trust to His saving sacrifice for you, or leave Him in a manger and miss His Gift to you? He left heaven so you could live with Him there—don’t miss the salvation and power for living that He gives to those who will come to Him! He has never failed me in all the years that I have walked with Him—and you too will find Him a faithful Redeemer!

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers

of flesh and blood,

he also himself likewise

took part of the same;

that through death

he might destroy him that had the power

of death,

that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through

fear of death

were all their lifetime

subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him

the nature of angels;

but he took on him

the seed of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him

to be made like unto his brethren,

that he might be a merciful

and faithful high priest

in things pertaining to God,

to make reconciliation

for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself

hath suffered being tempted,

he is able to succour

them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18

The important question of Christmas and every season is, “Do YOU know Jesus?” If you do know Him, then praise Him, and keep Him on the throne of your life every day of the year. If you don’t know Him, you can, by simply recognizing your own sin—that you have a problem you can’t fix, yet Jesus died to fix it and give you life—and then give HIM your life in repentance from your sin, and faith in His sacrifice for you.

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said,

Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said,

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,

and thou shalt be saved,

and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him

the word of the Lord,

and to all that were in his house.”   Acts 16:29-32

May you truly know the “Christ” of Christmas and celebrate HIS wonderful gift to us—JESUS, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”!

Amen and Amen!

Keep Your Armor On??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #513

Tags

, , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #513  Keep Your Armor On???

 

As we see people around us in the hustle and bustle of activity during this Christmas season, let us not forget that we will have opportunities to share the “Good News” of Jesus in places and to people who wouldn’t normally be open to it. Yet that will require us to keep our armor on! The enemy of the hearts and souls of men is busy about us, and we must not ‘go to sleep on the job’, so to speak. We must stay awake, aware, and alert for the opportunities that God may be sending our way!

Finally, my brethren,

be strong in the Lord,

and in the power

of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to stand

against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities,

against powers,

against the rulers of the

darkness of this world,

against spiritual wickedness

in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you

the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand

in the evil day,

and having done all,

to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13

We must be “strong in the Lord”, not relying on our own strength or wisdom, for our God has a purpose and a plan for our daily walk, and HE will supply “the power of his might”! We must also remember that we are not fighting against the ‘Scrooges’ that we encounter day by day, but that we are in a “spiritual warfare” for the hearts and souls of men, women, boys and girls. We must ‘suit up’ for the battle and recognize the opportunities that God may send our way! God gives us the tools to do what He calls us to do, and not to be trite, but as a modern proverb says, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called!

I can do all things through Christ

which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

Yes “I can”, and so “can you”—for it is God at work in us!

For it is God

which worketh in you

both to will

and to do

of his good pleasure.”   Philippians 2:13

So as you press on with Jesus today, remember that you are not alone, nor do you/I have to rely on the resources of our flesh, for God has provided HIS resources through Jesus!

For though we walk in the flesh,

we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare

are not carnal,

 but mighty through God

to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing

that exalteth itself against

the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity

every thought to the obedience

of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Amen and Amen!!!

Overcoming Prejudice??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 15

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No.15 Overcoming Prejudice???

 

Prejudice: “any unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand, without knowledge, thought or reason; any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable; unreasonable feelings, opinions or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.” Simply put it means to ‘judge’ something beforehand.

There’s a lot of talk about “prejudice” regarding race, ethnicity, social issues as well as religious beliefs, yet oft times it’s simply a matter coming back to God’s Word and remembering that God created “man” in His own image! Contrary to popular teaching, all things were created by God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and when remember that, it should change some attitudes!

And God said,

Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness:

and let them have dominion

over the fish of the sea,

and over the fowl of the air,

and over the cattle,

and over all the earth,

and over every creeping thing

that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God

created man

in his own image,

in the image of God

created he him;

male and female

created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27

God The Creator made “man in our image”, creating us “In the beginning” and “in his own image (Father, Son and Holy Spirit): All mankind—in—Adam! (See 1 Cor. 15:45)

In the beginning God

created the heaven and the earth….

2…….And the Spirit of God

moved upon the face of the waters……….

And God said,

Let there be…..” Portions of Genesis 1:1-3

We find the Holy Spirit of God involved in this account of creation, and we know that Jesus was/is God and He was there as well. The Apostle John fills in the details in this regard.

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning

with God.

3 All things were made by him;

and without him

was not any thing made

that was made.”   John 1:1-3

John clearly assures us that Jesus was God, is God and all things “were made by him”, who was there with the Father and Holy Spirit in the Genesis creation account! Interestingly enough God created through something so simple that we often overlook its import, “And God said, Let there be..”—God spoke and “there was”! Jesus is so aptly described by John as “the Word”—the very vehicle of God’s demonstrated creative power through His Son, The Word! Paul also proclaims this creative work of Jesus in his letter to the Colossians, Jesus who is God, was God and ever shall be God, is holding all things together! (See Heb. 1:3)

Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:

15 Who is the image

of the invisible God,

the firstborn

of every creature:

16 For by him

were all things created,

that are in heaven,

and that are in earth,

visible

and invisible,

whether they be thrones,

or dominions,

or principalities,

or powers:

all things were created by him,

and for him:

17 And he is before all things,

and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:13-17

When we recognize God as The Creator, we must also recognize that since God The Father, Jesus The Son, and The Holy Spirit are the agent of creation, and “mankind” was created as the crowning glory we must act upon it! The Word clearly reveals to us that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him”—all men, women, boys and girls were and are created “in the image of God”! That my friend is regardless of color, race, ethnic origin, social order or religious beliefs. God calls us to remember that HE is creator and we are to respect all of His creation, especially His crowning glory! How can we hold those who are created in the image of God as less worthy of regard than we are? While we may differ greatly in our backgrounds, our opinions, our beliefs and our actions (and generally our real beliefs will dictate our actions), we are to treat each other with at the very least kindness not arrogant disregard for whatever reason.

What does all this have to do with overcoming “prejudice”? I think it has a lot to do with it, because when we judge others unworthy of God’s grace and salvation because of any ‘external’ issue, we have put ourselves in God’s place!

How much does it cost to be kind and respectful? Not much! And I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about compromise with sin, biblical Christianity, salvation or the truths of God’s Word, but I am talking about acting as though we are better than others because we are followers of Jesus, or of a particular skin-color, or from a particular social group or have more “stuff”, or more “culture”, or more “knowledge” than other persons. Daniel reminds us in his prayer of praise for answered prayer, that God is totally in control, and it’s only by God’s grace that we are who we are, where we are and possessing the opportunities that we have been given.

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel

 in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said,

Blessed be the name of God

for ever and ever:

for wisdom and might

are his:

21 And he changeth

the times

and the seasons:

he removeth

kings,

and setteth up

kings:

he giveth wisdom

unto the wise,

and knowledge

to them that know understanding:

22 He revealeth

the deep

and secret things:

he knoweth

what is in the darkness,

and the light

dwelleth with him.

23 I thank thee, and praise thee,

O thou God of my fathers,

who hast given me

wisdom

and might,

and hast made known unto me now

what we desired

of thee:

for thou hast now made known

unto us

the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:19-23

Daniel was focused on God in all things, and we must do the same—Daniel was in service to a pagan king who was the enemy of his people, yet he served him with honor, respect, and faithful service by always honoring God and crediting HIM for his own abilities, and for answered prayer. We ought to be kind and helpful to those whom God brings into our lives by His sovereign work—regardless of how they look, or smell, or behave (Not compromising truth but “speaking the truth in love”, see Ephesians 4:15!), or whether or not they accept our kindness or believe our witness!

I had an experience that God used to get my attention just last week. We were traveling and happened to go to a particular restaurant and there saw an employee who was less than attentive or kind, and while she was different from us, it seemed that she didn’t feel well and I asked her about how she felt, and she shared that she didn’t feel well, and I offered to pray for her to feel better soon (And I did pray for her as we sat down). In God’s providence, the next day we ‘happened’ to return to that same restaurant (for we had planned to go elsewhere yet circumstances took us back to that same place), and this same employee was there again and seemed to be better. As we were seated she walked by and I asked about her well-being and she said she did feel better, and I told her something like, “God hears and answers prayer!” and she smiled broadly and was most attentive to our party—a totally different person than she was the day before! Now I don’t say this to brag, but to remind us that a simple act of kindness and Christian compassion may make a difference to someone that we may be tempted to “pre” judge as too different from us and not worthy of our regard, compassion, patience or kindness!

As John wrote in his 1st epistle, we are to love one another (And yes I understand the context is referring to brother and sister believers, but the principle also applies to those whom Jesus called our “neighbors”! See Luke 10:29-37) because God “first loved us”! Not because we were worthy but because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son….”!

We love him,

because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God,

and hateth his brother,

he is a liar:

for he that loveth not his brother

whom he hath seen,

how can he love God

whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him,

That he who loveth God

love his brother also.” 1 John 4:19-21

Who are we “loving”?  What are we “giving”?  Are we only kind to those who are kind to us? Do we see the world through God’s eyes, or through our own prejudices?

So, my simple question for us today is, “Are we overcoming ‘prejudice’ or are our ‘prejudices’ overcoming our faith and the Word of God?” Are we so entrenched in pride, self, arrogance, and self-righteousness that we have missed the fact that just because we are a follower of Jesus, God doesn’t excuse our sin? And snubbing, hating and disregarding others simply because they are different or because we don’t agree with them isn’t how we ought to behave—it’s not ‘love in action’! Are we hating what/who God loves? Or does God hate what we love or what we use to excuse our behavior? Sin is sin, not matter who commits it!

These six things doth the LORD hate:

yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look,

a lying tongue,

and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,

feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies,

and he that soweth discord among brethren.

20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment,

and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21 Bind them continually upon thine heart,                                         and tie them about thy neck.

22 When thou goest,

it shall lead thee;

when thou sleepest,

it shall keep thee;

and when thou awakest,

it shall talk with thee.

23 For the commandment is a lamp;

and the law is light;

and reproofs of instruction

are the way of life:” Proverbs 6:16-23

Did you notice the last two? A “false witness that speaketh lies” and “he that soweth discord among brethren” are two of the seven things that God hates because they are contrary to the nature of God; and when we “pre” judge someone without the facts, simply because we think we “know” about “their kind”—that they are “one of ‘those’ people”—we may very well be speaking lies and sowing discord. And there certainly is a lot of discord being sown with wrong motives and agendas that don’t line up with The Word of God! Often because we are practicing the first thing in God’s list—pride!

So may we remember that even those people with whom we may rightly disagree, are worthy of our kindness and compassion—maybe God sent them to us so that we could lead them to the cross—not run them off with the stick of our mean, selfish, prideful imaginings against them! And please believe me when I tell you, this message has been to me just as much as to anyone else; yet only when we yield ourselves to God’s work of love, grace and truth will we find the strength and power to take HIS message to a lost and dying world one kindness at a time, without “pre” judging those God sends our way!

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God.

3 And not only so,

but we glory in tribulations also:

knowing that tribulation

worketh patience;

4 And patience,

experience;

and experience,

hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5

Amen and Amen!

Gratitude Isn’t Seasonal!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #512

Tags

, , , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #512  Gratitude Isn’t Seasonal!!!

 

As we leave this month of November and the “Thanksgiving” season, let us remember that our “Attitude of Gratitude” isn’t a seasonal practice. We are called to be grateful and thankful in all our ways as the children of God. We have so much to be thankful for! While I know the times are busy, I would encourage each of us to take some time as we leave this month behind to ‘make’ time (for you’ll never “find” it!) to make a list that will, as the song says, “Count Your Blessings”! It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘busy’ness of life and forget The One who has blessed us in every way:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us

with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places

in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us

in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy

and without blame

before him

in love:” Ephesians 1:3-4

As God ever blesses us from His heavenly throne—may we reflect His blessings and His glory in all we do, with our “attitude of gratitude”! The choice is always ours—as a modern proverb says so aptly: “Are you humbly grateful, or grumbly hateful”! We are generally one or the other. So in closing, a “Word” of encouragement from Paul on living out what God has put “IN” us—the Spirit of Christ Jesus!

See that none render evil for evil

unto any man;

but ever follow

that which is good,

both among yourselves,

and to all men.

16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things;

hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace

sanctify you wholly;

and I pray God

your whole spirit

and soul

and body

be preserved blameless

unto the coming

of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you,

who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-24

And praise God, HE “will do it”, if we will but yield our heart and mind to Him in all our ways! We can make a difference –we can spread that gratitude around! Just because November has come to an end, let’s be sure that we don’t let our grateful spirit do the same! Gratitude is contagious—let’s not succumb to the spirit of greed all around us. ‘Thank YOU Lord’ is always appropriate!

In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus concerning you

Amen and Amen!

Contentment Or Greed??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #511

Tags

, , , ,

Bible Ballistics: BBs #511 Contentment Or Greed???

 

It’s that time of year again—time when people’s attention turns to shopping, and spending and getting and giving, yet it’s so easy to forget the very “One” that we are supposed to be celebrating—Jesus’ incarnation and birth—and be caught up in the glitter, tinsel and greed around us. God calls us to a higher plain, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, but also in our every day living. Yet in a world gone crazy with “designer” stuff—“techno” gizmos—and just more and more and more, we must truly make a conscious effort to keep our heart and mind in check to biblical living. So I’d like to simply share a few words from scripture to help us refocus on the important things; for we will find that the issues which we face today aren’t much different than those which have been around for a long time!!!

If any man teach otherwise,

and consent not to wholesome words,

even the words

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and to the doctrine

which is according to godliness;

4 He is proud,

knowing nothing,

but doting about questions

and strifes of words,

whereof cometh envy,

strife,

railings,

evil surmisings,

5 Perverse disputings

of men of corrupt minds,

and destitute of the truth,

supposing that gain is godliness:

from such withdraw thyself.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.”    1 Timothy 6:6

Paul reminded Timothy that there were those who twist God’s Word then, and he is reminding us that the same is true today! We must be aware and strive to guard our hearts from these things, and focus on “godliness with contentment”, for in God’s eyes that “is great gain”! Yet most of what we see and hear today—especially on any kind of ‘media’—pushes us to get ‘this’ new thing, buy the ‘bigger’ thing, the ‘newer’ thing, or the ‘latest’ version of whatever it is! But God is calling us to contentment! Now there is nothing wrong with ‘new’ things, there’s nothing wrong with having ‘new’ and ‘nice’ “things”—the problem comes when the ‘things’ begin to have us! Then the great green monster of greed will try to move in and take over!

For the love of money

is the root

of all evil:

which while some coveted after,

they have erred

from the faith,

and pierced themselves through

with many sorrows.

11 But thou,

O man of God,

flee these things;

and follow after

righteousness,

godliness,

faith,

love,

patience,

meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:10-11

Take note here, Paul didn’t say that “money” is the “root of all evil”, but the “love of money” IS! And that is the issue that we must guard our hearts against! It is the issue that will pull our hearts away from The Lord whom we belong to! I pray that you will take some time today and consider what is the “delight” of your heart—contentment in Jesus, or the continual longing for “more things”? May we give our hearts totally to God—and that is a full time work! But it is a work of glory and grace!

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;

fornication,

uncleanness,

inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence,

and covetousness, (Greed)

which is idolatry:”   Colossians 3:5

May we truly seek to receive the words of Jesus?

And Jesus answered him,

The first of all the commandments is,

Hear, O Israel;

The Lord our God

is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul,

and with all thy mind,

and with all thy strength:

this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this,

Thou shalt love thy neighbour

as thyself.

There is none other commandment

greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

 So one of two things—either love will crowd out the greed from our hearts, or we will foster the greed and it will crowd out the love!!! What are you fostering in your heart today?