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Excess Wealth

JESUS SPEAKING

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.'” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God?” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10: 17 – 25)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

A wealthy young man asked Jesus how he might receive eternal life. The Lord insisted he sell all of his possessions; only then could he embark on his Christian journey. Sadly, the idolatrous man walked away; preferring to continue worshiping his wealth rather than God. Jesus responded by issuing an additional proclamation stating that it is nearly impossible for those who are wealthy (and trust in their riches) to enter the Kingdom of God. Excessive wealth is therefore a frequent hindrance to faithfulness and a detriment to those who seek after it.

As the story goes, one day Martin Luther found himself penniless, yet he was asked to contribute to an important Christian work. He remembered that he owned a beautiful medal of Joachim, Elector of Brandengurg, which was one of his most prized possessions. He promptly approached the drawer, opened it, and said: “What are you doing there, Joachim? Do you not see how idle you are? Come out and make yourself useful.” Then he took the medal and gave it up for the work of the Lord.

Excessive wealth and abundant resources can often become a stumbling block for those who are seeking to follow Jesus Christ. Many place their trust in bank accounts, precious assets, or stock portfolios. Christians however are called to place their faith and trust in God alone. Wealth can be beneficial, but only when it is used to further the gospel message, to express God’s generosity, or to accomplish something eternally beneficial.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we use our excess possessions to serve you; to spread the gospel and to proclaim Your plan of salvation. May we be grateful, may we be generous, and may we be faithful. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and cleanse our hearts and minds. You truly are an awesome and amazing God. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray, amen.” God bless all of You!

God’s Reflection

JESUS SPEAKING

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus commands His followers to imitate God’s righteous behavior with perfection. We read in Ephesians Chapter 5, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself up, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” If we lay down our selfish ambitions, the divine attributes of God will manifest in our actions. Striving for perfect adherence to God’s will is admirable and necessary. If we remain diligent, others will look at our lives and know God’s heart; they will experience His grace, His mercy, and His love.

Modern photography as we know it, began less than 200 years ago. Prior to that, images could only be created using a mixture of paint or ink deposited on canvas, paper, or wood. Those who desired an image of themselves, or their families, had to pay an artist to paint a portrait. These depictions were often time consuming; requiring individuals to stand still for hours, days, or even weeks while the artist recreated an exact image of them on a canvas. The skill of each artist varied quite significantly. The better the artist, the more exact and detailed the painting.

Similarly, like these portraits, God desires that our lives conform to His image. We must strive to become a perfect reflection of Him in this place. If we behave as genuine Christians, others will see God working in us and through us. They will know the will of God, and discover His nature and Spirit. Those who are willing will be transformed by His love, affection, and righteousness.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desperately desire to obey Your will; to be transformed into Your image and likeness. May we become portraits of who You are in this world; a visible reflection for all those who are seeking the truth. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may always do what is pleasing to You. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Transgenders

JESUS SPEAKING

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19: 4 – 6.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Quoting an old testament scripture, Jesus reiterates and affirms an unwavering truth concerning the fundamental nature of human kind. In the beginning, God ‘made them male and female.’ Therefore every person alive today is either a male or female; their sex is determined at birth and any deviation from this certainty is an egregious sin requiring prompt repentance. Those attempting to change their gender are spiritually sick. We read in Deuteronomy 22: 5, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” The modern day transgender movement is a demonic endeavor that requires Christians to stand up in opposition.

Some time ago i received a call from a pollster gathering information about an upcoming election. After identifying as a conservative, I was asked if I would vote for Caitlyn Jenner for Governor. Without hesitation I corrected the caller, saying ‘Well first of all, Caitlyn Jenner is not a real person. His name is Bruce Jenner and he is pretending to be a woman.’ I informed the caller that I was a Christian, and that women cannot become men and men cannot become women. I rejected his language again and again; reminding him that Bruce Jenner’s attempts to transform himself were unGodly and delusional.

As of late, the world we live in has drastically changed. The huddling masses have accepted and even begun to celebrate the sinful practices of ‘transgenderism,’ homosexuality, and fornication (sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage.) As Christians we are duty bound to represent God; and to boldly proclaim the gospel without apology. When confronted by worldviews that don’t adhere to God’s will, we must oppose them. We will undoubtedly offend people and we will be persecuted for speaking the truth. However, those who have stood in opposition to evil will be rewarded beyond anything they could possibly ask or imagine.

“Lord Heavenly Father, give us the strength to oppose the demonic forces of this fallen world. May we reach out to those who are walking in darkness, that they too might see Your wonderful light. May we be joyful and never lose heart as we endure the persecution that accompanies the manifestation of Your will. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.” God bless all of you!


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