Recession proof Love – Remembering 911

In the times of abundant iniquity, the love of many – Jesus Christ said would grow cold. In the bid to survive, as fires of fears spread on media networks for fiendish gain …as increased competitiveness for scarce resources and harsh economic climate persists – many must find themselves vulnerable to a hardening that always comes surreptitiously to the unguarded.

Matthew 24[12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

I ask myself – how can I make the love of God in my life that manifests in practical acts of charity for others especially those I perceive as unlovable … recession proof? I also ask myself some questions…

  1. Would I still love God if suddenly sent to the back of a lonesome desert? Or suddenly denied of a much desired breakthrough? How warm would my love be if suddenly exposed to very different cultures and peoples?
  2. When faced with opposition and strong resistance that cause me to buckle – can I still be thankful? Am I happier when I have my way and miserable and fretful when I can not?
  3. Do I (in subtle ways) take credit for the good things God is doing – forgetting to thank Him? Do I despise His chastening not thanking Him for the things I do not understand or like?

What separates children of God in the Bible, with recession proof love for God and His creation, from the others who struggle?

I discern three principal things worth noting …

  1. They trusted completely in the work of God in their life and others and in all the events impacting them…knowing that all things must work out for their good as they obeyed Him.
  2. They relied more on spiritual weapons – principally prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, leaning always on the mercy of God.
  3. They never saw themselves in any way disadvantaged or at a loss – when events appeared contrary to their expectations – knowing God has limitless avenues to work out and fulfil destiny.

I recall a scene in a Christian film I watched of a blind man offered his eyesight but only if he accepted to serve the devil and bear his mark forever… He received sight for a few minutes and was asked to make a decision…would he rather remain blind and be saved?

If riches, enlightenment and great influence would cost me my salvation would I agree to let these go? Would I turn my back to Jesus If I risked losing all the comforts, social safety nets and wealth as a result of obeying Him completely…

Luke 18[23] And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. [24] And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Jesus – the best preacher ever – the living word … could not convince this rich man. How come we have so easily convinced Him? Perhaps we have presented to him a more practical perspective.

As we remember 911…and the painful lingering memories… let us also remember what the Bible says about love…

I John 4[16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. [17] Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [18] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. [19] 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.

I John 3 [10] In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

The real plan of September 11 to defeat a nation may have worked far more effectively than many would think if it has lured many out of dwelling in love…even love for the unlovable.

Lord, help me that in these unusual times my love may be found recession proof…never waxing cold.

Amen

(Originally published in the ChristianPost)

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The Rich Fool

If we can gather so much financially and succeed in material and visible things…surely we deserve some credit.  Jesus Christ did not always think so.

Luke 12[15]  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. [16]  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17]  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? [18]  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. [19]  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. [20]  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? [21]  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

In the text Jesus Christ warns…

  1. Be careful – even as you work hard and diligently gather …we are not to strive and work without being sensitive to what we really are doing. What are our real motives?  Who is our real employer?
  2. Be even more careful and recognise the evil of covetousness …envious yearnings and desires for what someone else has or what we would love to have for our pleasure. Beware of lack of contentment
  3. Do not come to the wrong conclusion that God’s pleasure and the value of your life is reflected remotely in your possessions or approval of men

The man described as a fool excelled as a role model in many areas…

  1. In industry and would have been acclaimed a great success
  2. Great personal resolve and determination – a great thinker and an accomplished planner and achiever…a proactive and disciplined honest business man – who could perhaps be at the peak in his career or industry
  3. A man of wisdom and exceptional foresight – purchased good seed, excellent logistics to transfer and store produce…excellent timing…made great plans for His future…laid treasures for himself…a leader in Industry. Emotionaly balanced – Financially fit.  Healthy, trim with a wonderful family.

But there were few things he was not doing so well.  This included the following…

  • He was not rich towards God – not using what God had given for His glory and cause. He did not quite understand the glory of God and had no sense for His cause and God’s agenda at the time.
  • He seemed certain about everything but did not consider what would happen at his death – to him and to his goods… nor was he aware of the timing of his death or the destination of his soul.  He was confident on the things that did not matter as much. You could say he majored in the minor and minored in the major – He was a titan in material things but in spiritual things only a novice…
  • His main preoccupation was how to rise to the top, live at ease, eat and drink and be merry…His happiness and pleasure was his goal. Indeed he had mastered how to achieve this goal and was set to achieving it.

There are many topics and issues that are not popular especially to the self confident achiever.  These are considered too negative or perhaps too unclear to be given any serious attention. “Why worry about what you cannot be sure about” seems to be the rich fool’s philosophy …why can we not instead just celebrate what we can see and touch? 

Jesus Christ calls him a fool because he knew little, talk less of being certain about the matters of the soul and the ultimate destination of his spirit.   Heaven and eternal damnation in Hell were not topics the fool wants to give much attention.  Death was a subject he would prefer to not even consider seriously…

Watch him…laughing, drinking, celebrating and so full of mirth….rushing off to teach the next success seminar or collecting another award … grinning at the applause…as he contemplates another investment or business idea – set to capture the market again.  Most envy him and spend sleepless nights searching for his secret recipe …

The Rich Fool he is called…even as Jesus patiently waits for him.

You can also enjoy a teaching from Episode Three:The Rock  on ” Jesus – The Sure Foundation ” below

God bless you as you enjoy viewing.

Bode

 

 

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