Thursday, April 28, 2016

Devotion: The Deceitfulness of Riches

Scripture upon scripture has revealed that God wants his children to prosper and he enjoys helping us to prosper.  Misinterpretations have caused many to reject the prosperity message, seeing it in a negative light.  Since “no man can serve two masters, because he will either love the one and hate the other or he will keep or hold on to one and have not respect for the other” (Matthew 6:24), prosperity has been taken off the table.  However, the Bible makes it clear that there is a right way or a godly way to prosperity and that there is a wrong way or an ungodly way to prosperity.

“Then someone called from the crowd, ‘Sir, please tell my brother to divide my father’s estate with me.’  But Jesus replied, ‘Man, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?  Beware!  Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have.  For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.’  Then he gave an illustration: ‘A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.  In fact, his barns were full to overflowing—he couldn’t get everything in.  He thought about his problem, and finally exclaimed, ‘I know—I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones!  Then I’ll have room enough.  And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “Friend, you have enough stored away for years to come.  Now take it easy!  Wine, women, and song for you!”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool!  Tonight you die.  Then who will get it all?’  Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven” (Luke 12:13-21 TLB).

Although this rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops, his only concern or problem was that, “his barns were full to overflowing and he couldn’t get everything in.”  His biggest problem was that he did not have enough room to store all that he had amassed.  He thought he was the source of his prosperity, which is why he had the conversation with himself about what he had done and what he was going to do.  But God revealed to him “the deceitfulness of his riches,” eventually saying “every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.”

Before you throw this message under the bus, like other prosperity messages, keep in mind that we stated, “there is a right way or a godly way to prosperity and that there is a wrong way or an ungodly way to prosperity.”  Most people use the world’s roadmap to obtain their riches and/or to measure their wealth.  When we are the source of our financial prosperity and not God, we worry about everything and we tend to take credit for everything that we have amassed.  However, when God is the source of our prosperity, we do not have to worry about anything.  God’s roadmap is different from the world’s roadmap.  This is what God is talking about when he says, “every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven.”  If we used the world’s roadmap to get rich and to measure our worth, then “we are fools.”

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen.  Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves.  If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too” (Matthew 6:19-21).

This rich man tried to store all of his wealth on earth, in barns no less.  None of his profits were stored in heaven and his heart was not on the things of God.  Scripture tells us that “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).  According to this passage, it is “the blessing of the Lord” that makes a person rich.  When our prosperity comes this way, there is no sorrow added with it.  It appears that having “the blessing or favor of the Lord” is the key to receiving true prosperity God’s way.  With “the blessing or favor of the Lord,” we do not have the burden or the weight of producing and/or maintaining our own riches.  “The blessing or favor of the Lord” will bless all that we do and make us prosperous with no sorry or bad success added, for the sole purpose of enabling us to be a blessing to others.

To strive or chase after money as our main purpose or goal in life is the lure or “the deceitfulness of riches.”  It is this love of money, when money holds first place in your heart, that scripture says, “is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:6-10).  It is this love of money that leads many down that dark path where they will do all kinds of wrong things to get it.  It has the same properties as being addicted to something, where a person will do anything to satisfy that desire, that itch, or that need for more.  This is completely different from having money and knowing God’s purpose for having the money.  When correctly understood, prosperity is not for us, where we amass as much wealth as we can for ourselves.  This is “the deceitfulness of riches,” because “real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.”  The primary goal for the prosperity is for us to be a channel for money to flow through so that God can use us, “that he may establish his covenant” and that we may be a blessing to others.  Our personal wealth is a by-product of having “the blessing or favor of the Lord” in our life and is not the primary goal for the prosperity.  Do not allow yourself to be “deceived by the riches.”

As always, we pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Devotion: Hang On!

Do you ever have those moments where you just want to give up?  What about a recent instance where you face a difficult situation?  You feel that you have done all that you know to do and nothing seems to be working.  And now you are at the end of your rope; at the point where you are just ready to give up?  Don’t let go and give up, instead, “hang on.”

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

We are told not to be impatient, but instead to wait on the Lord for he will come to the rescue.  When we place our hope in the Lord, we need to take heart and be strong as well.  We also need to “be of good courage,” and when we do, God will strengthen our heart.  This will help us to endure.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23 NASB).  Therefore, never lose hope, for there is always hope.  It is in this hope that we are saved.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12 NIV).  Never lose hope, there is always hope.  For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8:24-25 NIV).

“For instance, there was God’s promise to Abraham: God took an oath in his own name, since there was no one greater to swear by, that he would bless Abraham again and again, and give him a son and make him the father of a great nation of people.  Then Abraham waited patiently until finally God gave him a son, Isaac, just as he had promised” (Hebrews 6:13-15 TLB).

Abraham waited patiently on the Lord; holding on to the promises of God and God finally gave him a son just as he promised.  As a child of God, you have the right to the inheritance of the new covenant, a better covenant, built with better promises (Hebrews 8:6).  As a child of God, you have the right to good health, wealth, and total life prosperity (III John 1:2).  You have a divine inheritance to the best in life, deserving all the Father has to offer.  Jesus tells us that he came that we “might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  And while you may have the right to good health, wealth, and total life prosperity there be a thief, an adversary if you will, that is come to kill your good health, steal your wealth, and to destroy your total life prosperity (John 10:10).  He walks about like a roaring lion, seeking those that he may devour (I Peter 5:8).  The Bible tells us not to give place or opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4:27).  The devil wants to steal your divine inheritance.  He wants to steal all of your rights.  He does not what you to prosper in this life at all.  So, don’t give up, “hang on.”

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, to that hope that we say we have and not be changed.  We can trust God for he who promised is faithful to do what he has promised.  You might be at the end of your rope and ready to let go, but don’t let go.  “Hang on” because you will find God there.  There are more than thousands promises in the Bible and God has not broken one of them.  As you discover them, let them be your reasons to “hang on.”  Remember to keep the faith (Ephesians 6:10-20), stay the course (Philippians 1:16), and always, fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12).  Things will get better.  It might be stormy now, but it can't rain forever.  Amen.

We pray that today’s inspirational message will give you a new perspective on what it mean to “hang on.”  We also pray that this message will bless you, inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

Friday, April 8, 2016

Devotion: All Things Are Possible

Most believers believe God to be an omnipotent or an all-powerful entity.  By definition, God has certain innate capabilities and abilities that come with him being who he is.

“Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him” (Deuteronomy 4:35).  “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else” (Deuteronomy 4:39).  “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?  Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?  saith the Lord.  Do not I fill heaven and earth?  saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).  “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).

Most believers understand that God is sovereign, that he has supreme authority and supreme power, and that he is able to operate totally independent of any part of his creation, which translates to him being omnipotent or all-powerful.  God can do any and all things.  It was by his word, his spoken word, that God create all things.  God first said, “Let there be…” (Genesis 1:3) and that which he called came to be.  God created the heavens and the earth by speaking them into existence, placing everything in its place.  Yes that right.  Scripture says,

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.  He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.  Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.  For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6-9).

God spoke and the heavens and all the host thereof were created.  By the breath of his mouth, God spoke and the earth was formed.  It is by faith that we, who are believers; believe these things to be true and have accepted them as fact.

“By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen” (Hebrews 11:3 TLB).

Remember, faith is defined as trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.  It is having trust in somebody that you consider worthwhile and truthful.  It is also accepting that something exists when there is no physical proof of its existence or of its reality.  Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).  “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).  Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 NIV).

Jesus makes it very clear that those things that seem impossible with man are not impossible to God, for “with God all things are possible.”  Faith in God makes all things possible.  More importantly, faith in “the word of God” make all things possible.

“As the rain and snow come down from heaven and stay upon the ground to water the earth, and cause the grain to grow and to produce seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry, so also is my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It shall accomplish all I want it to and prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 TLB).

God says that his word will not return to him void.  God says that his word will always produce fruit.  God says that his word will accomplish all that he wants it to accomplish.  And God says that his word will prosper everywhere he has sent it.  Since God has sent us his word, then we need to repeat what God has already said.  By repeating what God has already said, we return his word back to him.  By returning God’s word back to him, we know that it does not return to him void, but accomplishes, prospers, and always produces fruit.  When we repeat God’s word, then we need to make sure that we do just that, repeat his word and not add to what he has already stated because once altered, they be not his word anymore.  God’s word has the power to create, if you could only believe.  As for us, we choose to believe, we choose to believe in the power of his word, and we choose to place our faith in God, “for with God nothing shall be impossible.”

We pray that the inspirational message will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW