Abundance Is Not Our Point of Trust, Day 6

God’s Abundance

Today’s reading is drawn from Philippians 4:12-13 and Philippians 2:1-5.

Let this scripture be a guiding light to understanding God’s will on the subject of prosperity. It tells us yes (we can have riches), and no (do not trust in them).

With the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:1–5), we will never become high-minded if blessed with wealth. Here is assurance that if our lives are geared to the Word of God, then, through Christ, we can experience either financial wealth or temporary setback, but we will still be steadfast in our living, all because our trust will be only in Him. If the economy should dissolve tomorrow, God’s people would not be rendered inoperative, because God is our source. He can keep us through times of scarcity as well as in times of plenty. He fed Elijah by sending ravens to bring him food in the morning and evening (1 Kings 17:2–6). God can do that now. He is the same today as He was then.

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Doctrine: Twisted Human Motives and God’s Grace, Day 1

Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 11:1-9 and Ephesians 2:8-9.

The problem with the people of Babel was not that they wanted to be near to God — don’t we all? No, the problem was that they wanted to make a name for themselves. They were hungry for power and glory, and they were willing to go to great lengths to acquire it. A Chinese proverb says, “Those who think they are building a mound may only in reality be digging a pit.” We often secretly hope that our deeds and aspirations for promotions and acts of service will attract recognition or even earn God’s approval. But we soon discover they may only drive us further from God and wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of others. When God saw the tower that the people of Babel were building, he said, “Nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6), so he confused their language and disrupted their work. It’s as if God had said, “If I let their sin go unchecked, there is no telling how much worse it will get.” So there is grace even in this judgment: God graciously restrains us from digging our own graves, so to speak.

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Jacob: Beauty – Day 4

Read Genesis 29:1 – 30

Jacob types draw out life’s full flavors in faces, places, experiences, and objects that others may overlook, helping us pay better attention and notice life in all its beauty and mystery. We see this in Jacob’s life when he experienced a dramatic, life-changing encounter with God, inspiring him to memorialize that moment by pouring oil on a rock, a rock that every time he saw it, or walked by it with another person, would tell a story about God’s activity.

Jacob types discern beauty all around them. They don’t have to look for it—their souls’ lenses filter beauty and draw it to the surface of their awareness. Jacob types, perhaps more instinctively than other types, “see God in all things, and all things in God.” Pouring oil on the rock, Jacob took an average and normal item and created a meaningful moment. Jacob types have this ability to draw forth life’s beauty—and God’s beauty—by the way they use their resources.

In Jewish understanding, something is beautiful if it endures. Something else can be pleasing to the eye and not attain this status of true beauty, because true beauty persists and remains. It is not transient and has nothing to do with the kind of beauty associated with today’s commercialized pursuit of remaining youthful, fit, and attractive—none of which are inherently evil desires.

True beauty is anchored in and stems from the beautiful One, the Creator God. In this way, something can be beautiful even if it’s not pretty; it’s beautiful because of its essence, its intent, and the way it is used. Aesthetic beauty has its place, but it must have its basis in this reality to be truly beautiful.

Jacob types represent a mix of Abraham and Isaac types, with the Abraham type embodying hospitality and God’s free-flowing love and the Isaac type embodying God’s discipline and restraint.

Tomorrow, you’ll learn about the Joseph money type.

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To learn more about Jacob types, including their negative or “shadow side,” order your copy of The Seven Money Types.

Discover your dominant biblical money type by taking a brief assessment at my website www.tommybrown.org (the full assessment is found in my book The Seven Money Types).

Watch the full book trailer to get more information and hear testimonies from those who have discovered and embraced their money type.

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For Our Own Good

Hebrews 12:10

Have you ever seen a ski jumper fly off the ramp and thought, “I could do that”? Of course not. You know it takes hours and hours of practice to pull off a stunt like that. When you start something new, like ski jumping, a coach doesn’t just push you down a ramp and say, “Jump!” You first learn the basics. You practice fundamentals. You repeat what you learn over and over. And as you practice, you become a better jumper, eventually able to do things you thought you never could.

No matter what you pursue, practice takes time, energy, focus, and perseverance. As you pursue Jesus—talk to him, read what he said, consider what he did—you will eventually be able to do things you never thought you could. You might forgive a friend more easily than before. You might become more patient with a little sister who used to drive you nuts. You might be best able to comfort a new kid in school. Your practice and discipline will start to reflect your new heart and character borne through hours and hours of practice.

People will notice the changes in you—certainly your family will, everyone you show kindness to will, friends who are watching will. It may not be an Olympic sport, but your practice is enough to earn a medal.

Dear Lord, Help me pursue you with discipline. I want my character to reflect you. Amen.

 
 

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