Rich or Poor

The other day I spoke to the volunteer at the local Historical Society and the subject of wealth came up. Many of our town’s philanthropists over a century ago made lots of money through banking or through medical practices and businesses.

I could be wrong, but I got the impression that the man didn’t think highly of those who accumulated significant wealth. This is the second time in my many years here that I have run into people with good retirement incomes, enough that they can go on cruises or take other vacation trips, yet they seem to disdain the acquisition of lots of money.

I pointed out to the man that these rich folks built hospitals,  the library, homes for orphans, invited government institutions to settle here, which provided jobs for the inhabitants, supported churches, and gave land and hired landscapers to fashion parks for everyone to enjoy, etc.

As I read through the book of Luke today, I came across Jesus telling the story of the rich young ruler. It can be found in Luke 18:18-27, Matthew 19: 16-26 and again in Mark 10: 17-27.

My husband told us this past Sunday that the reason there is more than one telling of the same story is because each individual has their own perspective. They’re all seeing the same thing from different angles and all is true.

When I read in Matthew about the rich young ruler asking Jesus what good deed should he do to inherit eternal life, He told the man to keep the commandments. The young man said he’d kept them since his youth. Then Jesus said if you wish to be perfect then go and sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.

The young man went away sorrowing because he owned many things. I’ve heard it preached that if he had given all his money to the poor, the Lord would have blessed him with even more earthly possessions, but I don’t see that here. What I see here is a young man being allowed to follow God the Son, to learn from Him and to experience first-hand the love of God. What a privilege he walked away from. Jesus didn’t say he wouldn’t go to heaven, He tells the disciples that it’s difficult for a rich man to get to heaven, but nothing is impossible with God.

In Matthew 6:24 of the Word of God Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Either we will hate one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. Man cannot serve God and mammon (money).

If a believer becomes rich, it would behoove that person to hold on to the money very loosely and to be willing to let God direct the wealth. Even King Solomon with all his wisdom used riches for selfish reasons and to placate his wives. He built their gods buildings to be worshiped in and began to follow those gods and incurred the wrath of God.

I think God wants us to be good stewards of whatever He gives us to use. If we consider money as a tool, then we’re not in danger of letting material goods become an idol. Money is not to be greedily sought after or abhorred. It’s necessary at times in life to have resources. God is our provider, that’s the thing to remember. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.

May God bless you and watch over you.

Does God Provide for Everyone?

One of my daughters mentions that God is a wonderful provider almost once a week. Her husband started a business so their income depends on other people buying his services. He works hard and does a good job, so that helps his business.

This week a friend hired her to watch her children for three days while her regular babysitter takes a break. Last week my husband offered her a lawnmower that belonged to his dad, who passed away over five years ago. The mower has hardly been used and he usually bought good quality items, so she said, “Yes.”

Her husband told her later when they spoke that they didn’t really need it; they have one. She didn’t tell her dad never mind. When their lawnmower died this week, she called to brag on God, again.

I see Him providing for so many people that seem financially stuck that it’s not hard for me to ask God to move on their behalf. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He started out, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name….”

Our Father – I’ve heard some say with reverence – “He’s my heavenly Daddy.

I get why He blesses her. As a human mom, it delights me to give my kids and grandchildren necessities and sometimes I even spoil them. So since God is our heavenly Father, He likes to shower us with blessings and He makes things out of things we can’t even see as it says in Romans:

Rom 1:20, (KJV): For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…:

And again in Colossians it mentions that God created all things:

Col 1:16, (KJV) 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:

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

It’s speaking here of Jesus. Praise God.

Anyway, the thing about God’s spiritual laws is that they work for believers and non-believers. In the book of Malachi, the Jews were reminded to tithe and not rob God. He also tells them that if they give, God will open the windows of heaven and have man pour into their lap:

Mal 3:8, (KJV)  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mal 3:9  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Mal 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Mal 3:11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal 3:12  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

My children have never been hungry because they are all givers. They may not all attend church regularly or even tithe, but they have a heart to help when they see people in need. My daughter gave away a kitchen set because her pastor didn’t have some furniture when they first moved here. She gave it away knowing she would need something herself before long and her husband agreed to it. As soon as her former boss heard she gave the set away she said, “I have a set from an estate from my parents tucked away. You can have that one when you’re ready.”

She hadn’t even moved out of her tiny apartment yet.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, (KJV): “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

He had been admonishing the Jewish people not to worry about clothing and food. He told them God would provide if they would seek Him first.

Many people that don’t seek God work hard and earn good money and they see their neighbor in need and buy them groceries or see starving children in Africa on the television and send money to organizations to feed the children. God pours out His blessings when those with resources give to the poor and to the widow.

My husband also reminded me that the Word of God says He gives to the just and the unjust. Why bless thieves? Maybe He likes to give out of a loving heart. Maybe He knows eternity is going to be awful for them so He wants them to enjoy a tiny particle of time here on earth. I don’t know. He knows everything.

Well, I’ve typed beyond midnight again. I get thinking of so many aspects of God’s character, I write more than I anticipate.

May God bless you. Sorry it’s so long if you stuck with it.

Wisdom for All Things

I love reading Proverbs, even when some of the pearls of wisdom hit me hard. My daughter-in-law, husband, son and I went to a Christian bookstore today and she bought a book entitled Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul, by Sarah Mae, copyrighted 2016, published by Tyndale Momentum, Carol Stream, IL. I told her I could write a book on housekeeping and organizing from all the books and articles I’ve read on the subject, but because I still struggle with the actual doing of it all, I couldn’t help but scan the WHOLE thing. I really liked it. She had so many good ideas and fresh insights, and she quotes others with their individual points of view.

 

She mentioned some of what Proverbs said, although many of her verses were not from Proverbs. The Bible often confirms itself in other books with the same insights. One thing Proverbs says is in Prov_6:9 (KJV): “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”

 

Sarah Mae suggests experimenting with your sleep schedule to see how much sleep actually refreshes you and how much makes you feel logey. I’ve recently discovered that seven hours seems better for me.

 

Proverbs tells us how to raise our children, Prov_22:6, (KJV): Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

 

Proverbs encourages married folks to be content with each other even into their old age in Proverbs 5:19. It also warns people about the dangers of adultery and alcoholism. Proverbs tells how to handle money:  Prov_22:7, (KJV) says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

 

So if you can possibly do it, don’t borrow money. If you’ve had to, try and pay it back as soon as possible. It will relieve stress in your life.

 

Well, I guess that’s all the pearls of wisdom I’m going to speak of tonight. My grandson wants me to blog about the Ten Commandments, so I’ll begin that tomorrow. I’ll ask him to remind me.

 

May God bless you!

 

A Surprise in the Mail

Last week I prayed that God would send money in the mail. Once in a while, an unexpected refund check from the insurance company will show up, for instance.

 

Then I forgot all about it. Today, my husband got a Father’s Day card in the mail and for the first time in our lives someone included cash inside.

 

I know God answers prayer, but I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes. He’s so good. Sometimes I wonder if He gives me the idea to pray certain things just so I’ll know that He cares.

 

1Pe_5:7, (KJV) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

God bless!

Seeing Those You Love

Have you ever noticed in life that we can get so busy we think we’ll see those that we love another time?

I made an appointment in a nearby city for June 1, thinking I’d be sure and see my sister. She has decided to move to TX in the beginning of May.

I told my youngest daughter that I miss her, because she and I get doing what we need to do and sometimes our paths don’t cross. Today, she called to see if I want to get together and I’m looking into it. Sometimes I need to seize the moment, spend a little money I  think I don’t want to spare and just be with her. She loves to travel. I never know if she may travel to a foreign land and then God suggest she move there. So, I’m saying “Yes, let’s pick a day and go to a show.”

In the Old Testament, God wanted his people to take time to celebrate. I choose to relax in the presence of family and friends and say, “Thank You, God for giving me the desires of my heart.”

When we were younger, our friends would say, “Let’s get together sometime.”

We wouldn’t. My husband began to say, “Let me pull out my planner right now.”

That small habit changed our lives. We found time to see people we really cared about. It enriched our lives.

I may post a newsletter that I wrote for church for the beginning of May. It talks of Philippians 4:8, about thinking on whatever is lovely and pure and of a good report, etc. I love that verse. That Scripture turns my thinking around. I find things to appreciate.

Be blessed, my friends.

Crossroads in Life

Have you ever come to a crossroad in life? Do I change jobs because I’m constantly at odds with the company’s policies? Do I continue dating this man or tell him we need to part ways? Do I continue to follow Christ when all my friends tell me I’m no fun anymore? Do I spend this money or save it toward a specific goal: education, better food, clothes, transportation, to help someone in need? Do I continue working tremendous hours or do I spend more time with my loved ones?

Life gives us so many opportunities. When a crisis hits, we can pivot and change priorities radically or in increments. Sometimes a crisis will so change us that folks that haven’t seen us in years will feel they don’t know us anymore. Tomorrow at church I am going to give a word that I’m sure God has spoken to me, in His still small voice. It is the second time I ‘ll say the same thing in a short time span. “I’m coming quickly,” that’s what I believe Jesus is saying. So many biblical prophecies are already fulfilled. His quickly may not be “my” quickly, but then again, it might be. So I consider my writing. Spend a ton of time on finishing my novel. Spend more time blogging. Continue placing ads for freelance writing for individuals or businesses.

What do you think? Part of the word is to stir up the gift within you that God has given you, now is not the time to lie dormant. Do you want to share your opinion?