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.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: 1Tim. 5:22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. Observation: Timothy may have been a very compassionate and sympathetic individual, but that could have led to problems in the church. There are two ways to see this passage of scripture. One has to do with the selection of leaders who are a part of the church. To avoid scandals, those who are to be in positions of leadership are to be well examined. There should be a process and a period of time in which the life and character of the individual is examined. Ordination is never a right, but it is a covenant of grace bestowed upon an individual by the church. Those who lay hands on an individual to be ordained bear responsibility for the future actions of those who are receiving ordination. This is why the ones who do the ordination must carefully examine and prepare those to be ordained. This is also where the second concern may have occurred, and that relates to individua…
Scripture: Phil. 4:10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. Phil. 4:15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than …