Monday, October 31, 2005

Divorcing wives?

Ezra 9:1-2
"After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, "The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness."

Ezra 10:9-11,16-17
"Within the three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain. Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel's guilt. Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives." "So the exiles did as was proposed. Ezra the priest selected men who were family heads, one from each family division, and all of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to investigate the cases, and by the first day of the first month they finished dealing with all the men who had married foreign women.

I've been in a kind of theme in my thought process as of late. But I thought that instead of saying what I think about this particular text. I would ask you the reader... If there is indeed a you the reader reading this, to please share a few of your idea's or conclusions concerning the following questions.

Why do you think it was necessary for the Jews to divorce or separate from their wives, and why did God condone it?

What application, if any, can we learn from this text?

I suggest that before you answer my question, you read all of chapters 9 and 10.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Young Christian

“And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:12-14

I was thinking of how God can use weak and simple things to bless us. And though there are many examples I could use, I thought that I would share with you a poem. I had originally read this about eight years ago and it really let me, at that time, bring things into perspective. It’s not fabulous by any means, and it’s a fairly simple poem, and has a few flaws, but it once blessed me none the less.

The Young Christian

I cannot give it up.
The little world I know -
The innocent delights of youth
The things I cherish so!
‘Tis true, I love my Lord,
And long to do His will;
But oh, I may enjoy the world
And be Christian still.

I love the hour of prayer,
I love the hymns of praise
I love the blessed word which tells
Of God’s redeeming grace
But I am human still!
And while I dwell on earth,
God surely will not grudge the hours
I spend in harmless mirth!

These things belong to youth,
And are its natural right -
My dress, my pass time and my friends,
The merry and the bright.
My Father’s heart is kind!
He will not count it ill
That my small corner of the world
Should please and hold me still!

And yet –“outside the camp”-
‘Twas there my Savior died!
It was the world that cast Him forth
And saw Him crucified,
Can I take part with those
Who nailed Him to the tree?
And where His name is never praised
Is there a place for me?

Nay, world! I turn away
Tho’ thou seem fair and good;
That friendly outstretched hand of thine
Is stained with Jesus’ blood.
If in thy least device
I stoop to take a part,
All unaware, thine influence steals
God’s presence from my heart.

I miss my Savior’s smile,
When’ ere I walk thy ways;
Thy laughter drowns the Spirits voice,
And chokes the springs of praise.
When’ ere I turn aside
To join thee for an hour,
The face of Christ grows blurred and dim,
And prayer has lost its power.

Farewell… Henceforth my place
Is with the Lamb who died.
My Sovereign! While I have Thy love,
What can I want beside?
Thyself, blest Lord, art now
My free and loving choice,
In whom, though now I see thee not,
Believing, I rejoice.

Shame on me that I sought
Another joy than this,
Or dreamt a heart at rest with Thee
Could crave for earthly bliss!
These vain and worthless things,
I put them all aside;
His goodness fills my longing soul,
And I am satisfied.

Lord Jesus! Let me dwell
“Outside the camp” with Thee!
Since Thou art there, then there alone
Is peace and rest for me.
Thy dear reproach to bear
I’ll count my highest gain
Till Thou return, rejected one.
To take Thy power, and reign.

written by an unknown author.

See nothing great... but it really helped me to focus my eyes back on Christ Jesus, and to see that some of the things we think are harmless could be a form of idolarty, if not put in proper check.

It's so easy to get distracted by the worthless things of this life, but we must set them aside and return to our Lord.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Revelation 3:14-22

Friday, October 28, 2005

The temple in my heart

I was watching the Jesus movie the other day, why? Mainly because I was curious about it. I had never seen it before and was interested to see the tool that had been spreading the gospel in so many countries for the last few years. It was older and of poorer quality than I thought it would be, kind of like some of those old spaghetti westerns I used to watch when I was a kid. It was neat to see how God could use something so weak and evidently low in production values to spread the “good news.” It just goes to show that He can really use anything too fulfill His wonderful will.

Anyway, let me get back to the reason I started writing this.

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

In the film, when it came to the part where Jesus was throwing the money changers and crooks out of the temple, it occurred to me that, as we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, does zeal for His house still consume Him?
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
What I’m saying is do I daily remember that I grieve Him when I conform to the lifestyle of the world. Usually I find myself too caught up in the here and now to pay much attention to what I’m subjecting my Lord too. I know that He’s everywhere and already knows everything, but is that an excuse we use to then live as we wish? Do I love Him enough to tell myself, enough John. The time has come and gone for me to carry on with worldliness. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
Perhaps that is why I’m writing this… because His Spirit in me is turning over the tables of greed and idolatry in my heart. I love the idea that He is changing me, and molding me, conforming me into someone more like Him. Kind of like when two people come together in marriage and the wife starts taking on the characteristics of the husband, or the husband that of the wife. In a similar way we are the bride of Christ, and receive the blessing of taking on His characteristics. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. I adore the idea that Jesus loves me more than I could possibly love anyone. A love that would have been beyond the reach of creation except that He gives it to us. His love is so deep for me that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wow! Does the Spirit of God grieve for me that much! Do my sins hurt Him like when a man cheats on his wife, or a wife ignores and despises her husband. Am I such a foul and loathsome creature when I betray the love of the eternal all-powerful, ever existing, God? Lord, please forgive me for when I betray your love! A love I don’t deserve and could never earn.
But He is so good, and in the end nothing can separate me from His love in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord, all of you who have found such mercy and grace! Praise the Lord, you who receive the everlasting love of their Creator!
Praise the Lord, sing and shout in every land! For Great is the Lord and worthy to be praised!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love

Just a few thoughts for today, nothing inspirational but perhaps ones you could give me some feed back on.

And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Birth pangs... I’ve noticed the earth going through a lot of them lately. I mean it’s true that for the past two thousand years since Christ came these things began to take place, but I’ve found that in the last few years they seem to be getting to be more frequent and steady. For something interesting to do, our school has been counting them. In the past 9-10 months throughout the world there have been at least(that we’ve seen on the news):
3 major fires, 4 huge earthquakes, 18+ hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones/tornadoes, 12 wide spreading floods, several bombings, war, worldwide unrest, famines, and volcanic eruptions. Not to mention all of the things going on in outer space the past few years.

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

I’m not trying to be a conspiracy junky, or a fear monger. We have enough of those as it is. I just wanted to remind you that the world as we know it is not going to last(thank heaven some would say). There is a coming judgement and a coming redemption. We must ask ourselves “If He is with us always, are we living according to His Spirit’s guidance?” If yes, then wonderful, if no, then why not?
We must set aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us and run with perseverance the race set before us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
For this reason it says,
Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you."
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Glorious Salvation

I was reading a devotional this morning and I found an interesting point that I'd like to share. It's not any thing new, I just like the way it was put.
In the old covenant a sinner would bring his offering of a sheep or bull to the temple. The priest would then carefully examine the animal. If it was found to be without a blemish or flaw of any kind, it would be pronounced good and slaughtered as a substitute for the sin of the man who had brought it. A thing to note was that the priest didn't study the man after the fact to see if he had become more spiritual. Or a quick open heart surgery to see if the mans heart was clean. It was taken in faith that the sacrifice was enough to cleanse the man for yet another day. The glorious part of this is that in the new covenant we have with Christ we are cleansed through faith in him, forever! The sacrifice of the perfect God man (Jesus)that he made on our behalf was so awesome and wonderful that even the vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from heaven a pardon receives! Praise the Lord! So be encouraged and take heart for we are saved not on the basis of things we have done, but by faith in the death and resurrection of the one who created the universe. His sacrifice was more than enough.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 6

Today I’ll address the question “Am I commonly too comfortable to follow Christ?” Perhaps, I should be more routinely utilising the Spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, Biblical reading and study. Why? Because they’re a definite part of the cure to what ails you(spiritually). I’ll discuss fasting because I think it is the most overlooked of those(by myself anyway). I read this by John Piper once talking about fasting, “The most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of the earth. For when these replace an appetite for God Himself the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.” Then the denial of my stomach’s appetite for food might express, or even increase, my soul’s “appetite” for God (a definite incentive). What is in jeopardy then may not only be the good of my soul, but also the glory of my Lord. He goes on to say, “There is no easy way home to heaven. The hard and narrow way is strewn with obstacles and many fatal paths of innocent pleasure. There is a war to be fought within and without. The inward war is with our own “appetites” that compete with our hunger for God. And one of the weapons is fasting. I invite you to turn from the dangers of idolatry, and to say with some simple fast, “This much, O God, I want You.” Truly everyday I desire to shout “This much, O God, I want You!” But, I often wonder if I can even grasp or realise what a self defence, self denial can be.

In conclusion the main questions I ask myself are:

Do I have faith in a goal of righteousness, or is my desire to find the limit I can reach or break and still be saved from eternal death?

Do I truly believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God come in the flesh, and that He came to die in our place( because of our sins) on a cross, rising three days later to a life everlasting in power, being seated at the right hand of God? That one is easy, Yes, I do. I couldn’t imagine anything otherwise.

Do I love Jesus with all of my might, confident that He loves me and is preparing for those who believe in Him a place sharing in His inheritance and glory?

I'll end with this verse which is one of my favorites:
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let the one who hears say “Come.”
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost
Revelations 22:17

Note: The End

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 5

Now, In Christ I am part of the Church and “we” (in Jesus) are all a part of Christ’s body, and we have been chosen, because of the amazing grace of God, to shine as lights in the darkness of this world, and to be bearers of fruit for His kingdom. John 15:16. We are called, though love and by love, to actively transfigure our lives and the lives of our community for the glory of Jesus Christ, by the power of Jesus Christ, and to grow in our love for God, each other, and the world. Being fully aware that, in and of myself, I am incapable of these things, I must also be fully aware, through faith, that it is Christ in us that is my hope for glory. There is most assuredly victory in Jesus. I must grasp the truth that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.” Then, as a follower of Jesus, assured through faith that the afore mentioned statement of transfiguration is not only a “hopeful” goal to strive for, but one that will be accomplished as I strive to serve Him. This needn’t take years to put in to motion, but it is a goal that is already in action, and will transform our lives and communities as soon as we step up and claim it in victory through Jesus.

When reading God’s word we see Him bestow miracles and gifts upon His people. “Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains, and caves holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:33-38.” This is written to encourage us to live in faith and victory, despite worldly consequences, while fixing our eyes fully and wholly on Jesus. We are called to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that entangles and to run the race set before us(read Hebrews 12). If Christians were “afraid” of worldliness as much as they are “afraid” of holiness, they would set the world on fire for Christ. Then the question to ask oneself(usually over and over again)is, are we living our lives humbly devoted to Christ Jesus or to the flesh(our old sinful nature)?

Note:To be continued

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 4

What influence do worldly things have in my life? I’ve always imagined that all of God’s gifts, whether material or Spiritual, are to be used for the common good of the "Church body," and in the coming kingdom of God(I wrote the aforementioned to remind my future self). In which Christ’s followers all have a place whether they realize it or not. Here’s an example of this in a story Jesus told to His disciples, "The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousands coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country. As soon as the man had gone, the servant with five thousand coins used them to earn five thousand more. The servant who had two thousand coins did the same with his money and earned two thousand more. But the servant with one thousand coins dug a hole and hid his master’s money in the ground. Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. Matt.25:14-19" Already we can see in the story that the master knew his servant’s capabilities, and we see what they did with the gifts and provisions that their master gave them according to their abilities. The story progresses and each servant reveals the outcome of their labor. The first and second are proclaimed good and faithful and are called to share in their
master’s happiness. But the third is declared lazy and good for nothing. He viewed his master as a harsh judge and therefore did nothing at all. The very least he could have done would have been to invest it in a bank for the interest. However this was not done and so everything he had was taken away and he was cast into the darkness. This may indeed sound harsh, but we must remember that the master new the capabilities of each servant. If the third servant had done anything with the gift according to his own ability, the master may have been happy. By this we can see that our new life is not based on our success, but on our faithfulness to our Master Jesus Christ. In my opinion it was a lack of faith and works on the side of the lazy and evil servant that condemned him. We know because of His word that our salvation and justification are based on faith, because of God’s grace, but we must remember that faith without works may be dead (read James 2:14-26). I must ask myself each day and every day because of my new life in Him, "What am I doing, through faith and according to my own abilities, with the gifts God’s given me?

Note: To be continued

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 3

Now I don’t think being rich and having wealth is the problem, but that there is such a determination in many "Christian" circles for obtaining a great deal of wealth and riches, whether it’s the newest and best car, jet ski, house, or television set. Do we not read our Bibles? Well, I must not enough because It seems that every year I must relearn these things. It gives many warnings and much wisdom on the follies in life, a big one being the pursuit of riches. "Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens." Proverbs 23:4-5. "There are two things, Lord, I want you to do for me before I die: Make me absolutely honest and don’t let me be too poor or too rich. Give me just what I need. If I have too much to eat, I might forget about you; If I don’t have enough, I might steal and disgrace your name." Proverbs 30:7-9. (I was going to write down all the verses about wealth and riches found in the Bible, but there are so many, and all of them good for instruction, that you(any one out there who had the patience to read this far) should really look for yourselves. Try using a concordance). Another important warning to the rich is in James 5:1-5. I hope I don’t misunderstand the meaning, I think it is a warning out of love. "You rich people should cry and weep! Terrible things are going to happen to you. Your treasures have already rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your money has rusted, and the rust will be an evidence against you, as it burns your body like fire. Yet you keep on storing up wealth in these last days. You refused to pay the people who worked in your fields, and now their unpaid wages are shouting out against you. The lord All-powerful has surely heard the cries of the workers who harvested your crops. While here on earth, you have thought only of filling your own stomachs and having a good time. But now you are like fat cattle on their way to be butchered." James 5:1-5. This must be written to people consumed by riches, but with so many warnings, why then is there so much drive for material gain in the Church? Remember what Jesus said, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me. Luke 9:23." I must remember that our Lord is returning, and that this world is not going to last, but my actions done, here and now, in hate or love, will determine my(and possibly others) everlasting future.

Note: To be continued

Monday, October 17, 2005

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 2

So to continue on with the debate in myself with regard to the aforementioned things, I ask "According to God’s word what is the purpose of material wealth in the life of a Christ follower?" Is it to enjoy a simple life of pleasure with friends and family? No, that can’t be with so many warnings against the follies of riches. His word says I am called to be a servant of others, "washing each others feet" so to speak. His word clearly says that the treasures of this life will not last, and that I should instead store up treasure in heaven (Matt.6:19-21). We are told in James 1:27 that true religion is taking care of widows and orphans and keeping oneself unspotted from the world. Can I keep myself unspotted and remain living the life society tells me to live? I don’t believe it’s possible, I must follow my Master’s example, and look to providing the needs of others before providing for my own selfish cravings (no matter how I may justify them). For answers to my questions I must look to His word because He is my Master and Teacher and Friend. He has prepared all the answers I’ll need to know before I need to know them. Wow, knowing God is incredible, even if I only know Him just a very infinitely little bit. Anyway His word says "Do not be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others as more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought: Christ was truly God. But He did not try to remain equal with God. Instead He gave up everything and became a slave, when He became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. Then God gave Christ the highest place and honored His name above all others. Philippians 2:3-9." Then this is what I am to be and how I am to live and function as a believer, and as someone reborn in a new and everlasting life in Christ and in the Church. So why does the Church have such trouble with this? Yet even Jesus in Revelations had to tell the Churches to return to Him. This is not a new issue that we struggle with, it has been going on since the church was young.

Note: to be continued

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 1

The vanquishing, suppressing, and uprooting of Christians in North America, is not the result of bullets, or swords, nor hatred and beatings, but because of the pride we take in having our simple pleasures or fears and fulfilling our selfish desires. Now to be sure society does compel everyone to participate in these things. Whether in the society of the world or the "church," all too often Christ’s followers are encouraged to enjoy themselves and live a life devoted to ease, comfort, and well being. We are constantly taught by those around us to focus on number one "El Numero Uno" (that’s M-E in case you didn’t catch it).
So I ask myself "What is "well being" in the life of a Christian or their family?" Christ Jesus taught us that God our Father has promised to supply our every need just as He did for His Son, but then what are our true needs? I think our problems arise from our perception of neediness. We are caught up in our own fancies, yearnings and the needs the world as a whole indicates to us. Is happiness or fulfilment a need? Is need a quality of life issue? When God supplies our every need is it for this temporal life or for our eternal life or both? I find the answers to these questions difficult because simply, I’m not God, I don’t see the big picture and I don’t understand "need" like He does. But I do indeed believe that when following Christ we will be "well-off", but in what regard, that of western society or the transcendent Word of God? "But godliness is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.1 Tim.6:6-9." Now I’m not saying it is not wrong to desire good things, but I do believe that it is wrong to be filled with the desire of worldly temporal things in the place of Christ. As long as our eyes are focussed on Jesus and we are living according to His Spirit, the pleasures of this world its lusts, worries, and fears will have no control over us. "The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. Galations 5:22-24." Have we killed our selfish feelings and desires? It says that because we belong to Christ Jesus we have. He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

NOTE: I wrote this and the others in this series about two years ago but it was the best way to quicly write a blog.