riches

Bank Roll

So wbank rollithin the church there are several differing doctrines, some of the more prominent deal with money, such as the prosperity doctrine and the poverty doctrine. The prosperity, health and wealth, doctrine assumes that every Christian is supposed to be wealthy and rich and all that comes with it, while the poverty doctrine says that Christians should be poor or live the simple life. The problem is that such absolutes have discrepancies, neither of which is solely supported by scripture, meaning that there are passages for both to some degree or another. Furthermore, without understanding what God’s specific will is for your life (Proverbs 22:2; Matthew 5:45; Romans 9:14-18), it’s easy to get caught up and truly miss what God has for you and begin to lose focus, in the same way it can create tension or anger when things don’t go your way.

Now please don’t get me wrong, having wealth and riches in and of itself is not wrong in God’s eyes, because just looking at Biblical characters we see the truth in that God has no problem blessing His people, Abraham, Solomon, Job, etc. However, over and over scriptures warn us of the consequences of wealth and how hearts can easily turn from God. On the flip side, to say all of God’s people should be poor is just as wrong, because we need people to give to the kingdom to continue and further the cause of Christ around the world. But still, there will always be poor or those with little money, and yes, some of which will be Christians. Just think of those in the scriptures that Jesus ministered to, many weren’t and never became rich, or like that poor man at the gate of the rich man, but it was him who went to Heaven and not the rich man. Not all the Israelites, prophets, or even disciples (whom Jesus actually told to walk away from all they had, whatever it was) lived a life of luxury, but not all were poor, but God gave what He felt necessary for them to live their lives and accomplish the will of God. Even David found himself poor. Likewise, though they were God followers, in both Testaments, many did in fact get sick and some died, those who belonged to the God of he Bible. All in all, it’s safe to say many scriptures have been misused and taken out of context (3 John 2 (it was John speaking, not God, to the people); John 10:10, 14:14; 2 Cor 8:9; Gal 3:14; James 4:2). money

Bottom line, I think the biggest thing is that people are swayed by what culture glorifies and far too many spiritual leaders falsely teach, and fail to seek God for guidance on what He desire for them and to be content whatever He decides for that season, and often end up more miserable and unsatisfied because of a bad attitude or walking outside the will of God. God has people living poor to reach certain people, like missionaries or those living in the lower-class of their communities to be able to serve and connect with the people and are doing awesome work for the kingdom; others God has enabled to make a whole lot of money to help others who are doing great things too. I have met both kinds of people both who understand where God has placed them and operates accordingly and effectively.

God hasn’t called everyone to be poor, nor has He called everyone to be rich. Find out what God wants to do in your life to best fulfill His purpose in your life so that He can get the glory. In the mean time do what you can and make the most you can with what you have and let the Lord do what He desires (1 Samuel 2:7), and He just may surprise you. Let His desires become yours and He will meet your every need (Proverbs 30:8; Philippians 4:19) as He promised. Continually seek His face and not His hand, for being in tune with Christ, the Creator is the greatest wealth there is because He owns the universe (Matthew 6:33); He walks on streets of gold, and precious stones and gems we hold so valuable on earth is what the ground in Heaven is made of. So even if your don’t live the life of luxury here, Heaven is so worth the wait.

It’s funny because this post was supposed to go in a different direction, but sometimes that happens, so I guess the Lord had something different in mind. Nevertheless, it is very clear what Scriptures say about becoming prosperous especially in the book of Proverbs, and many times it’s all about giving, being faithful, and good stewards of what God has given you whether a little or lot (Mark 4:1-20). Can God trust you with the “blessing” or wealth you are asking for? Do you even tithe faithfully? So if you question why you haven’t received, you must then question what have you given with what you have (Mark 12:44; Luke 6:38). It’s a matter of your heart; what is your idol, your focus, your motivation? Because if it is not for the cause of Christ your bank roll is worthless and your life will be empty, rather the abundant life is one saturated in and by God and His word, being as fruitful as possible and being effective in the work of our Lord (read Ecclesiastes), trusting Him to provide for the completion of His mission, remembering that every good thing comes from and belongs to Him (James 1:17). Oh! It’s also a matter of patience, which is not for the weak, waiting on God when asking for things in His name, not your own, and believing Him to see it through when and how He deems fit.

I really hope this all made sense, if not, at least read and study the scriptures listed. The point of which is to get you in touch with the voice and will of God in your life to understand the type of bank roll needed for you to be what He called you to be, for you to be you for a purpose, whether taking a life of poverty, of wealth, or somewhere in between.

Ignorance is Bitterness, Not Bliss

The one thing about a good story, a story that is passed down from one generation to another, is that every single character has a purpose. Whether they had one line of one word or no line at all, their presence no matter how short, creates the story and adds new depths for the reader or hearer to explore. The story of the Prodigal Son is no different.

The writer Luke tells us this story in the Bible, and in most cases you are directed to the two main character, the father and the younger son, but there is someone else in the story that you don’t often hear about, or at least as much as the other two; the older son and that is who I want to focus on for the sake of this piece.

You don’t really see much of the older brother until the end of the story, though his being is so significant and gives us so much to learn. If you aren’t familiar with the story, the man’s younger son leaves the family to go and squander his inheritance, and ends up coming back home broke and broken, and his father lovingly ushers him back home and celebrates his return. Although, his older brother is far from happy. He feels that younger brother is unworthy of such a glorious welcome and complains to his father, because he had been faithful and not stupid like his brother; he was the good son.

At first glance, his argument makes plenty of sense and has good reasoning. On the other hand you can see his pride and jealousy, neither which are God’s favorite character traits of His children, actually his least favorite. Reading this, it reminded me of how often we judge and feel that someone else sin is worse than our own and God shouldn’t save them or welcome them back. How wrong is that?! How wrong are we?! As Paul said, it’s only by God’s grace we aren’t where someone else is.

Still, the main thing I want to point out how his response to his brother shows that he was so busy, so faithful, as he vigorously explains, that he completely lost the intimacy with his father and life itself passed him by. He just seems so uptight to me and was so focused on being perfect that he squandered his own life away, for his father told him “my son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” Along the way, I think the older brother became ignorant of who he was and who he belonged to and became bitter because he had been so faithful but seemingly got no return on his investment. He didn’t know who he was or what he had even after so many years and because he didn’t know, he wasted his life trying to earn what he already had by birth.

Don’t be like this son, this older brother. As God writes your story, every element is significant, every situation or event, good, bad, or just plain ugly is for a purpose. Your story is your story, and it’s God who knows how it will end so don’t criticize another person’s story just because it isn’t written like yours. Furthermore, the more you try to write your own story, rather than letting God write it, you will become bitter and upset because you will begin to search for what you already had and miss out on what God had in store for you. Get to know who it is you belong to and bask in it as much as you can; understand the riches and blessing you already have because of who your Father is. Don’t work so hard trying to earn what you don’t need to, because truth be told, we can never truly earn anything God has for us, we are so unworthy, but His grace, His grace…

Living a life of purpose, and being you for a purpose – a child of your Heavenly Father – don’t be ignorant to what is available to you and at your fingertips. It’s not about being perfect, because we fall short, but living our lives in such a way that proves we love our Daddy and are secure in our identity and look as if God dumped all His riches in glory on us. Wherever you are weak, He is strong, and wherever you are strong, He is stronger. Whatever you think you have, He has much more, and whatever you don’t have, He has promised to meet each and everyone of your needs and to give you an abundant life. Now is that to say do whatever you want or be lazy and not do anything and wait for God to drop it in your lap? Absolutely not. It is okay to work and live a good positive life free from all the craziness and drama of what the Prodigal Son experienced. If you don’t have to don’t, just don’t think you are more worthy than someone who didn’t live a polished life. Either way enjoy the life you have and make the most of it. As the father said to his son, God is saying to you to me. He is ALWAYS with us and ALL He has is ours. We don’t have to walk around bitter and jealous because of how God decides when and how to bless someone, celebrate that person, because it could’ve been you, and you may not know the story behind that glory. You know why you should celebrate? If for no other reason, he excited that a person has [finally] decided to live the abundant life of purpose in Christ and tap into God’s awesomeness, a life that you should already be living. If you aren’t, you are just as lost as the Prodigal Son, because you are living in bitterness, pride, and jealousy, that it’s blocking all that God wants to do in, by, through, and for you. This life someone else is about to embark on is so close to you, it may as well be a million miles away. Don’t live a life like that if you don’t have to.

God wants you and loves you, and wants you to enjoy Him and live a life of purpose believing and walking in His promises for you. He wants to give you all He has for you, but you have to want to receive it and know what you have. It has already been paid for. Ignorance is not bliss, but knowledge is power. Learn and Know. Know the force behind you. Know the power that goes before you. Know the purpose and plan God has for you. Know who you are. Know who you belong to. Know the riches of all kinds that are at your feet. Know what belongs to you. Know that God has tailored-made your story. Know that you are no better than anyone else. Know that God has always and will always be there. Know that Heaven will celebrate you when you get Home. Know that you are not forgotten. Know God will honor you and lift you up, in due time. Know that if you don’t know or learn these things your life will be bitter.