Everything Belongs to God The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24:1). The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:8). Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
God Makes It Possible for You to Earn Money You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 8:18).
An Entitlement Attitude is a Deadly Attitude Joshua 7:10-26—The story of Achan
Prioritize God and Give to Him Before Anyone Else Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce (Proverbs 3:9).
God Blesses Those Financially Who Honor Him Financially Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine (Proverbs 3:9-10).
Don’t Work Hard to Get Rich Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven (Proverbs 23:4-5).
Desire Only Your Daily Needs Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” (Proverbs 30:8-9).
Riches Never Satisfy He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
Not Giving to God = Robbing From God Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions (Malachi 3:8).
Stealing A Little Leads Towards Stealing A Lot He [Judas] said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it (John 12:6).
Do Not Give to Receive Praises of Men Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:1-4).
Store Up Treasures in Heaven Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).
You Can’t Serve God and Money No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).
Pay Your Bills, As You Expect To Be Paid So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12).
You Must Be Willing To Abandon Everything to Follow Jesus And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).
Investing In God Reaps Immense Dividends Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world,when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:27-29).
Faithfulness With Little Will Result In Being Entrusted With Much His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’ (Matthew 25:21).
It is Impossible for Money-Lovers to Enter Into God’s Kingdom It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:25).
Give Lavishly Even Out of Poverty And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).
Giving and Blessing Are Connected …give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).
C S. Lewis pointed out that “forgiving does not mean excusing… if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive.” The people of Paducah, Kentucky, understood this. A few years ago, fourteen‐year‐old Michael Carneal opened fire on a group of students who had gathered in prayer. In seconds, ten were wounded, three fatally. Yet the students and people from the community showed a remarkable willingness to forgive. Placards appeared at the high school reading, “We Forgive You, Mike.” Kelly Carneal, Michael’s sister, was not only embraced by her peers, but was also asked to sing in the choir at the slain girls’ funeral.
During the town’s annual Christmas parade, the people lifted up a moment of silent prayer on behalf of Michael and his family. One young girl said it best: “I can hate Michael and bear the scars of what he did for the rest of my life. But I choose to forgive him and get beyond it.”
Dr. Arch Hart, a Christian psychologist says, “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Forgiving is a decision, not an emotion. In our marriages we’ll often need to choose to have a right attitude before our wounded heart has healed. Even when we can’t control how we feel, we can determine how we act and what we do with our pain.
JUST BETWEEN US…
How did Jesus model forgiveness for us?
Is there someone in our family, our community, or our circle of acquaintances who has committed a widely known injustice?
How can we show this person forgiveness?
Is it necessary to forget in order to forgive?
Lord, thank You for showing us how to forgive. May we choose to forgive in our marriage—even when we don’t feel like it. We trust You to bring healing in our feelings and memories in Your time. Amen.
Trying to talk with an unresponsive older teenager is like inserting dollar bills into a broken change machine—your words go in, but nothing comes back out! Yet it’s vital that you stay in touch with your sons and daughters preparing to leave the nest. At a moment when you least expect it, they may ask for your advice on life’s “big questions”: “I want to follow Jesus, but will He tell me what to do?” Or, “I think God is calling me to the ministry, but how can I support a family on a pastor’s salary?”
These are the times to gently put your arms around your kids and remind them of God’s infinite love: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). God, the ultimate parent, will never abandon any of us or ignore a request for guidance. His Word is “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). That doesn’t mean He gives us a three-hundred-watt beam that reveals the entire landscape. But the Lord will illuminate our next step, and we must trust Him to lead us through the darkness beyond.
Your teen won’t be ready to discuss these deep scriptural insights every day. But if you stay close to your son or daughter, you’ll know just the right moment to drop in a few wise words from the Lord.
BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…
What “big questions” are on your kids’ minds right now?
What advice do you want to give them? Is it based on Scripture?
Are your kids trusting God to light their paths, one step at a time?
Father, we pray right now that You would grant us divine discernment. Help us to know our children as You know us, to see beyond their resistance and facades. Give us words of love and wisdom as we respond to their greatest struggles. Amen.
When Good and Godly People Disagree – From His Heart – October 25
WHEN GOOD AND GODLY PEOPLE REALLY DISAGREE
And there arose such a sharp disagreement that they [Paul and Barnabas] separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and departed, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. Acts 15:39-40
Paul and Barnabas were great friends and ministry partners. Barnabas had befriended Paul when Paul was just a young Christian. They were specifically paired by the Holy Spirit for the first missionary journey, a difficult but rewarding journey of disciple-making and church-planting.
When the time came for a second missionary journey, a problem arose. Barnabas (the son of encouragement) wanted to include his cousin, John Mark. Paul adamantly said no to that suggestion. They took John Mark on the first trip, and he bailed when the going got tough. Paul had no desire to experience that again. He was not about to embark on a second mission trip with a proven quitter. “Fool me twice, shame on me.” Barnabas, on the other hand, saw great potential in his cousin, and he wanted to love and encourage John Mark back into useful service. Since neither man would budge on his convictions regarding what to do with John Mark, the dynamic duo was forced to part ways.
Isn’t it interesting that two godly men such as Paul and Barnabas had such a serious disagreement that they could no longer work together? Why is this story in the Bible? Could it be to show us that it is not uncommon for good and godly people to disagree?
DISAGREEMENTS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
What can we learn from this situation to help us in our struggles with other Christians?
1. Life and ministry are filled with judgment calls. The situation with John Mark was not an issue of sin or immorality. There was no specific Scripture verse that said they should take him or should not take him. It was a judgment call … and Barnabas and Paul did not see the situation in the same way. Both had a great point to make in their respective arguments. You may be in an argument right now with a fellow Christian. You may think you are 100% right in your opinion. You may be … but he/she may have a good point also.
2. We often struggle to find the proper balance between love and truth. Paul was strong on truth. The truth of the gospel was too important to risk another bail out by a proven quitter. Barnabas was strong on love. The love of Christ was too important to not offer another chance to his cousin. In your life, you will gravitate toward love or truth. We need both.
3. Godly people can disagree without getting bitter and disagreeable. Paul and Barnabas couldn’t work together anymore, but they could still love and support one another. They were not bitter enemies; they were still brothers in the Lord and teammates in the work of the kingdom. How about you? When you hit a point of disagreement with your friend, workmate, or pastor, can you agree to disagree and still stay friends? Bitterness is a cancer of the soul. God hates it because it destroys lives and defiles many people.
4. If you hit an impasse, yield to the leader. Who was right in this disagreement? Was it the love of Barnabas that should have prevailed, or was it the truth of Paul? The Bible doesn’t specifically say who was right and who was wrong in the way they viewed the situation. However, the rest of the book of Acts is dedicated to the life of Paul. He was God’s chosen instrument. He was the leader of the mission team. What is the lesson here? If you hit an impasse on a judgment call issue, yield to the leader. If you disagree with your husband or your pastor or your boss on a judgment call issue (not a sin issue), yield to his leadership. God will bless you for yielding to authority.
5. Know that the Lord works all things together for good. The split of Paul and Barnabas produced two mission teams. The Lord’s work did not suffer, it thrived. And what about John Mark? The Bible tells us he became a useful servant to Paul (2 Tim 4:11). God used him to write the Gospel of Mark. What accounted for his great turnaround? Was it the love and encouragement of Barnabas … or the stinging rebuke of Paul? I think both were used to help him become a great man of God.
DISAGREEMENTS IN YOUR LIFE
You and I will certainly face judgment call disagreements in life, ministry, marriage, and family. That is just a given. Ask God to help you see the situation from the other person’s perspective. Ask God to help you develop a healthy balance between love and truth. Never let your heart get bitter. Godly people can disagree without becoming disagreeable.
Perhaps you have had a falling out with someone over a judgment call issue. Perhaps you left a job, a ministry, or a church poorly. Perhaps you are bitter and resentful. Confess it to God and get it out of your heart. Pick up the phone, humble your heart, and right the wrong with the other person. You will be so glad you did… and God will be glorified,
Pastor Jeff Schreve, From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Growth and change are part of the Christian life. Are you moving forward with the Lord or have you become complacent and stagnant? In the Christian life you either grow and glow or dry and die. What is the next step for you? Maybe it’s baptism, spending more time in the Word, strengthening your prayer life, or seeking a spiritual mentor to guide you in your growth. Discover the next step for you with this series from Pastor Jeff Schreve.