Losing Our Way

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness. —1 Timothy 6:10

An online survey conducted by a New York law firm reveals that 52 percent of Wall Street traders, brokers, investment bankers, and other financial service professionals have either engaged in illegal activity or believe they may need to do so in order to be successful. The survey concludes that these financial leaders “have lost their moral compass” and “accept corporate wrongdoing as a necessary evil.”

In mentoring young Timothy, the apostle Paul warned that the love of money and the desire to get rich had caused some to lose their way. They had yielded to temptations and embraced many “foolish and harmful” desires (1 Tim. 6:9). Paul saw “the love of money” (not money itself) as a source of “all kinds of evil” (v.10), especially the evil of trusting in money rather than depending on Christ.

As we learn to see that Christ is the source of all we have, we will find contentment in Him rather than in material possessions. When we seek godliness rather than riches, we will gain a desire to be faithful with what we have been given.

Let’s deliberately cultivate an attitude of contentment in God, and faithfully submit to Him, for our Provider will care for us. By Marvin Williams

In 1 Timothy, Paul gives practical instruction about money. He tells Timothy that the problem is not money itself, but the love of it. Love of money is improper because God is the giver of all our possessions, so they don’t really belong to us. Godliness with contentment is true wealth (v.6).

Father, it’s easy to see the problem that others have
with loving money. But I know I have my own
struggles too. I need Your help to learn thankfulness
for all that You have given. Grow in me an attitude of contentment in You.

To love money is to lose sight of the Source of life.

God’s Guidance for Life’s Storms

Isaiah 43:1-3

Storms in our life can make us feel off course and unsure of our direction. The disciples knew they were on the Sea of Galilee, headed for Gennesaret, but in the battering gale, they couldn’t gauge their direction or distance from shore. The storm obscured the guiding lights of the sky and at the same time assaulted their senses. Have you ever felt that way? Let’s think about what the disciples learned that will be able to help us.

Jesus’ Sovereignty. The Lord demonstrated that He was fully in charge of both nature and His followers’ lives. There isn’t a single moment when He has less than absolute control of our storms. That night on the Sea of Galilee, the winds blew just so hard and no harder; the waves rose just so high and no higher. Jesus knows exactly where we are, where we’re headed, and how fierce the storm is. Remember, the One who died in our place because of love is the One who holds the future-—and He also holds us.

Jesus’ Protective Power. Christ’s ability to protect was evident in this tempest. He watched over the disciples in the boat, and He took care of Peter on the water. But don’t miss an essential lesson: Peter was allowed to sink just enough to recognize his own helplessness so that he would turn to the Lord for rescue. It protects us to remember we are absolutely helpless without Jesus and must turn quickly to Him.

Jesus’ sovereignty and protective presence caused the disciples to worship Him as the Son of God. Are your lips bursting with praise?

Giving and Receiving

“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.” (Philippians 4:15)

As Paul went on his missionary journeys, he never asked for money for himself from the people to whom he preached. He later wrote to the Thessalonians “because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). He did stress the teaching of Christ that “the labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:18; Luke 10:7) and that “even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14). But he himself said: “I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me” (1 Corinthians 9:15).

Thus, he was especially moved when the impoverished Christians at Philippi, without being asked, “sent once and again unto my necessity” (Philippians 4:16), and they were the only ones who did! This act of generous concern came about, Paul recognized, because they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5). As a result, Paul could assure them: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Not only their material need, but every need.

They had learned a wonderful truth that every Christian needs to learn. As Paul told the Ephesian elders: “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Therefore, let each of us give in His name, “not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8). HMM

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.—John 15:11.

THOU bringest all again; with Thee
Is light, is space, is breadth and room
For each thing fair, beloved, and free,
To have its hour of life and bloom.
Each heart’s deep instinct unconfessed,
Each lowly wish, each daring claim,
All, all that life hath long repressed,
Unfolds, undreading blight or blame.

LET us offer up to Him each day, and all its occupations, yes, and all its relaxations—as it begins—and beg Him to let us somehow “see” Him throughout it. Let us trust Him with the hallowing of our ordinary “secular” interests, let us try to shape each day’s life so as best to please Him. “Would our Lord like me to say this or to read that? Would He sanction this train of thought or of fancy?
When I go with that companion, can I imagine His drawing near and walking beside us f” This habitual “looking up to Jesus,” this repeated reference to His will and pleasure—does it seem to us likely to be oppressive, restrictive, burdensome? Let us only try it, and judge for ourselves: it will turn out to be a source of peace and comfort indescribable. WILLIAM BRIGHT.

Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience

Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. Hebrews 10:22

If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. — The blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

When Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people. Moreover he sprinkled … with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 9:13,14. Hebrews 12:24. Ephesians 1:7. Hebrews 9:19,21,22.

Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things

Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1 John 2:20

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power. — It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. — Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Thou anointest my head with oil. — The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Acts 10:38. Colossians 1:19. John 1:16. Psalm 23:5. 1 John 2:27. John 14:26. Romans 8:26.