VIDEO How Much Is Enough

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10

John D. Rockefeller was America’s first billionaire, a goal he attained in the early 1900s. At the peak of his wealth, at age 74, he was worth more than $300 billion in current dollar values. (Today’s richest persons have wealth approaching $100 billion.) On one occasion a reporter asked Mr. Rockefeller, “How much money is enough?” He is said to have replied, “Just a little bit more.”

King Solomon’s wealth made Rockefeller’s look small by comparison. Although it’s impossible to say exactly, estimates put Solomon’s wealth at more than $2 trillion. Yes, this is the same man who wrote that money can never satisfy. The love of gold and silver as a source of satisfaction is “vanity,” the famous king wrote in Ecclesiastes. That means it is a fruitless pursuit, one that can never bring temporal or eternal contentment or peace. Jesus said that the best treasures are those laid up in heaven rather than on earth—treasures that will last forever (Matthew 6:19-21).

Only heavenly treasures can bring the peace and contentment which we seek.

Everlasting life is a jewel of too great a value to be purchased by the wealth of this world.  Matthew Henry


The More You Have, The More You Want

Lovable!

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

“Lovable!”

That exclamation came from my daughter as she got ready one morning. I didn’t know what she meant. Then she tapped her shirt, a hand-me-down from a cousin. Across the front was that word: “Lovable.” I gave her a big hug, and she smiled with pure joy. “You are lovable!” I echoed. Her smile grew even bigger, if that was possible, as she skipped away, repeating the word over and over again.

I’m hardly a perfect father. But that moment was perfect. In that spontaneous, beautiful interaction, I glimpsed in my girl’s radiant face what receiving unconditional love looked like: It was a portrait of delight. She knew the word on her shirt corresponded completely with how her daddy felt about her.

How many of us know in our hearts that we are loved by a Father whose affection for us is limitless? Sometimes we struggle with this truth. The Israelites did. They wondered if their trials meant God no longer loved them. But in Jeremiah 31:3, the prophet reminds them of what God said in the past: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” We too long for such unconditional love. Yet the wounds, disappointments, and mistakes we experience can make us feel anything but lovable. But God opens His arms—the arms of a perfect Father—and invites us to experience and rest in His love.

Lord, hard things in our lives can tempt us to believe we are unlovable. But You say otherwise. Please help us to receive the life-transforming gift of Your everlasting love for us.

No one loves us like our Father.

By Adam Holz 

INSIGHT

Much of the book of Jeremiah deals with the prophet’s anguished appeal for God’s people to turn back to Him. Those pleas were ignored, making judgment inevitable. But God’s love is relentless, and in chapters 30–31 Jeremiah gives hope to the remnant who would live through the coming invasion. “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness,” God said (31:2). This “favor” would show up in ways the scattered survivors likely thought no longer possible. What the invading horde destroyed, God would rebuild, causing the people to “take up [their] timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful” (v. 4). Their farmers would plant fruitful vineyards (v. 5). No longer would watchmen cry out in warning, but would instead call the people to Zion (Jerusalem) for worship (v. 6).

When we begin to understand the scope of God’s love, we can accept His correction and learn from it. As we embrace His everlasting love, we find that God’s discipline is for our good and is proof that we are His children (see Hebrews 12:5–7).

Do you see God as our gentle and loving heavenly Father? In what ways have you sensed His loving correction?

Tim Gustafson

Having Peace With One Another

2 Corinthians 13:11

As Christians, we have a special relationship with each other because of our union with Jesus. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve met a stranger with whom you sensed a bond and soon discovered that you were both Christians.

Scripture calls us to be a source of encouragement and help to our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet most of us know at least one believer with whom we have more conflict than comfort. Perhaps our personalities don’t mesh, or we have different convictions that sometimes result in arguments. The problem could also be a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Whatever our natural differences may be, we can overcome them through Jesus Christ and live in peace with one another. Instead of building walls, we can express grace to others in the following ways:

Prayer. Make it a habit to lift up the other person in prayer to the Father.

Communication. Discuss the relational issue openly and honestly. Clear up any incorrect assumptions and uncover the source of conflict. Be willing to share concerns and listen to the other point of view.

Counsel. To work though the conflict, it may sometimes be necessary to enlist the aid of a godly counselor.

Restoration. Once the root issue is resolved and harmony is restored, both parties should agree to address new conflicts promptly as they arise.

God calls us to live in peace, and He has provided everything we need to obey Him. When we allow His indwelling Holy Spirit to control us, His goodness and grace will flow through us to others, creating harmony.

Best, Asking in Jesus’ Name

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

In the gospel of John there are at least six promises that if we pray in Jesus’ name, God in Christ will answer our prayer. The first is in our text, which promises that God the Father may be glorified in God the Son. Note also the equivalent promises in John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26.

Such promises seem almost too comprehensive and unconditional to be understood literally. The key, however, is the significance of the phrase “in my name.” This obviously means more than simply beginning or ending our prayer with this or some similar phrase.

In the first place, we must recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ our mediator that we dare enter the presence of the omnipotent God at all. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He said. That being true, it also implies that our prayer must be in agreement with what Christ Himself would pray. No Christian should ask for something he knows to be against God’s will. “If we ask any thing according to his will . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

When we come to the Father in Christ’s name, we are in a very real sense representing Him. Therefore, we must come with clean hands and motives worthy of the One in whose name we profess to come. Unconfessed, unrepented sin would surely misrepresent Him, and we could hardly speak in His name in such a case. Finally, acknowledging His power and promise, we must come believing, not doubting His Word.

Then, not only is the Father glorified, as says our text, but we shall rejoice. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). HMM

How much owest thou unto the Lord

Luke 16:1-17

Luke 16:8

And the lord not Jesus, but the steward’s master

Luke 16:8

It was not his dishonesty which was commended, but his shrewdness. The steward’s business was to get as much as he could for his lord out of the tenants; and finding that he was to be dismissed he used his remaining tenure of office to earn their friendship, by remitting their rents. In this he was sharp and far seeing; and we, though we must never act dishonestly, should also look before us, and act with our worldly treasure in such a way as to win the friendship of others. Money is never belter used than when we do good to others with it, so that in persecuting times, even the ungodly may think of us in a friendly spirit, while the gracious will love us, and welcome us into the mansions above. Hoarding gets poor interest; giving is true thrift.

Luke 16:10, 11

A man who does not use money well will not employ higher gifts discreetly. To use wealth to promote the good of others is wisdom, and he who fails in this, does not know how to use the true riches, and will not be trusted therewith. It needs much grace to use money well, and those who make it their care to. do so, are among the best of Christians.

Luke 16:12

If you are not faithful when you are under obligation to be so, you will be far more unwise in matters in which you think that you may do as you please. The bad steward of another will make a bad manager for himself.

Luke 16:13

Two principles cannot both be master in the heart. God and mammon will neither of them accept a divided empire. We must serve the one or the other; the two will never agree.

Luke 16:14

Men are very apt to pretend to ridicule that which troubles their consciences. No person is more hopeless than the man who jests at the Word of the Lord.

Luke 16:15

This we should always remember, for it will save us from loving the fashions of the day, or trembling at the frowns of men. If God abhors what man esteems, man’s judgment should be of small account with us.

 

The Ascription of Glory

Yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:18)

I am discovering that many Christians are not really comfortable with the holy attributes of God. In such cases, I am forced to wonder about the quality of their worship.

The word “holy” is much more than an adjective saying that God is a holy God. It is an ecstatic ascription of glory to the triune God. Everything that appears to be good among men and women must be discounted, for we are humans. Abraham, David and Elijah, Moses, Peter and Paul—all were good men, but each had his human flaws and weaknesses as members of Adam’s race. Each had to find his own place of humble repentance. Because God knows our hearts and our intentions, He is able to restore His believing children in the faith!

So, we should be honest and confess that much of our problem in continuing fellowship with a holy God is that many Christians only repent for what they do, rather than for what they are!

 

Home Blessings Extended

“The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.” Ps. 128:5

This is a promise to the God-fearing man who walks in the ways of holiness with earnest heed. He shall have domestic blessedness; his wife and children shall be a source of great home happiness. But then as a member of the church he desires to see the cause prosper, for he is as much concerned for the Lord’s house as for his own. When the Lord builds our house, it is but fitting that we should desire to see the Lord’s house builded. Our goods are not truly good unless we promote by them the good of the Lord’s chosen church.

Yes, you shall get a blessing when you go up to the assemblies of Zion; you shall be instructed, enlivened, and comforted, where prayer and praise ascend, and testimony is borne to the Great Sacrifice. “The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion.”

Nor shall you alone be profited; the church itself shall prosper; believers shall be multiplied, and their holy work shall be crowned with success. Certain gracious men have this promise fulfilled to them as long as they live. Alas! when they die the cause often flags. Let us be among those who bring good things to Jerusalem all their days. Lord, of thy mercy make us such! Amen.

 

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