My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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The Currency of Wealth
An offering to be used in kingdom work.
Luke 16:14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him. 15 So he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.
Jesus had just finished the parable about the good manager who had been honest in all of his dealings. Not only was he honest, but he was fair and just. Finally Jesus concluded by saying that those who could be trusted with little would be trusted with much, but that those who were dishonest with little, could not be trusted. If the goal of someone was to become wealthy at the expense of others, by dishonest means, then they could not be trusted to manage the kingdom of God. This made the Pharisees very angry because they knew that he was talking about them. They loved their money and were pleased to make it any way possible. Obviously they had learned to justify their actions and were feeling good about themselves. This, Jesus would not tolerate and he condemned them for what was prized in their hearts. They could not serve both God and wealth.
This is a tricky passage because there are some very good people who are wealthy. They have learned to manage very well and are servants who deal honestly in all they do and willingly share their good fortune with others. This is the beauty of wholeheartedly serving in the kingdom. I think it comes with a reality that you are simply a steward of what God has provided and not that you are the owner. The good manager understands that they don’t own the money, but that it belongs to God in the first place. Unfortunately, I think that these people are the exception, rather than the rule.
Jesus got to the point of the issue with the Pharisees because it turned out to be a heart issue. Most of us would say that money is not a heart issue for us, but that may be because we don’t have a ton of it! But what do we think about the resources or the things that we do have? What is it that we prize in our own hearts? Maybe it’s not things, but it could be attitudes. Maybe we value the opinions that we have and we are unwilling and unbending in submitting those to the authority of Jesus Christ. These days, opinions, especially expressed on social media, are currency. Some of us are willing to engage in the exchange of that currency, justifying ourselves for our words in the sight of others. But God knows our hearts and trying to win the day, no matter the cost to others, is an abomination in the sight of God.
The currency of wealth may or may not be money, but anything that we prize in our heart over Jesus becomes a stumbling block to ourselves and to others. We waste time justifying ourselves instead of managing the kingdom resources well. Currency of any kind is a distraction from humble servant leadership in God’s kingdom.
Lord, may my eyes be opened to your kingdom and may I learn to manage your resources well. Please, keep me honest in all my dealings. Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…