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It's important to ask ourselves what has control over our lives, and what our top priorities are. There are probably a handful of things that each of us spends most of our time thinking about, and often a single thing that we see as our major goal. This should be
the Word of God, but for many people, including many Christians, it is some type of a material things. These things are the details of life that are really of only secondary importance, and money seems to be our biggest problem.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
Lust for wealth is a sin, which will bring us grief. Wealth becomes our idol, and it draws us away from the Word of God. We should hold your money lightly, and we shouldn't make life decisions based upon economics or jobs.
1 John 3:16-17 says, "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"
This is why God gives us extra material possessions--so we can share them with the needy. This is what the first century church did (Acts 2:42-47).
Proverbs 28:6 says, "Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse."
It is better to be poor, and have the Word of God in our hearts.
Proverbs 8:19 says, "My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver."
The godly man has much more than any rich man.
Proverbs 13:7-8 says, "One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. A man's riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat."
Isn't that strange? A poor man wants to be rich, but a rich man wants everyone to think that he is poor. A thief will steal from a rich man, but the poor man has nothing to steal.
If you are not rich, thank God for it. He has spared you many hardships in managing your money.
Luke 12:15 says, "Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"
Do you want to be rich? Be rich in God's Word. Your true riches are your spiritual assets--grace, spiritual maturity, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, eternal life, and prayer.
Joshua 1:8 says, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
Do you want to be successful? Then learn God's Word. True success is learning doctrine, and being positive toward it. Learn and understand the Scriptures, and memorize them.
Psalms 75:7 says, "It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another."
You don't have success unless God gives it to you. We should become oriented toward grace, and wait for our honor to come from God.
Do you want high social status? Proverbs 15:33 says, "The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor." Our social status and friends are not what are most important. Learning God's wisdom is what is important. Before we can be honored, we must become humble.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 says, "Bad company corrupts good character. 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God." We should watch out who we socialize with, and be honest with ourselves about why we're doing it.
Do you want to be praised? Jude 1:16 says, "These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
Do you have a lust for praise? Do you want to be complimented? We must please God, not man.
Do you want what someone else has? James 4:1-3 says, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." When we want what everybody else has, we are coveting. God won't give us things to spend on our own pleasure. Remember, our purpose is to please Him, not ourselves.
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
Do you have a lust for power or for status? We should be content with what we have.
Mark 12:38-39 says, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets."
We should be careful not to develop a lust for power. None of us are above it--even spiritually strong Christians. We shouldn't indulge any of these qualities of the old sin nature.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"
We have examples throughout the Bible of envious people, such as Samson, Ananias and Sapphira, Scribes, and Pharisees. Our honor will come from God on judgment day, not from men.
Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:11-13 says, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
God is not against fun, and we shouldn't be guilty about the details of life He has given us. However, we can only enjoy the details of life when you put doctrine first. If our happiness depends on the details of life, we will worry about them. If doctrine is not first, we will find something else to put first.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, "Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man."
Envy causes selfishness, greed, and unhappiness.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 says, "Do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. ... You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth."
If we pursue the details of life, and do not master them, we will perish.
Romans 13:14 says, "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
We should live for Christ, not for ourselves. It's His life that He has given us. We should be content with what we have. We should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and He will provide the details for us. We won't have to worry about losing something of real value. The thing that is permanent is deep within our souls. The details will leave us sooner or later, but the Word of God will last forever.
Owen Weber 2009