Gods’ people should not get into the habit of worrying about their own things. There are so many promises that God will provide for us and he will supply to our needs. There are about 2000 verses that speak about money in the bible and most of them speak about God providing for us. For example, The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children (Ps 115:14), and “The lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Ps 34:10). And, my favorite “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Ph 4:19). So, as believers in Christ we should not be worrying about our providence in fact Jesus said that we should not take no thoughts about what we should wear, eat and everything else, because our Father in heaven knows our needs (Mt6:24-26). We don’t preach the gospel of prosperity because they focus on putting emphasis on gains, but we focus on God’s providence and not worrying about it.
Jeremiah 33 :1Moreover the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
2 Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name;
3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
So, when God tells Jeremiah to call upon him and that he would show him great and mighty things, it was towards his people and not just towards his circumstance. The promise of restoration was for God’s people, but Jeremiah was to pray for it. The people were in devastation and defeat, there cities were burned, the families were separated and taken into captivity. God had a plan to restore them and the time was at hand, but Jeremiah needed to take some action. The voice of Joy and gladness was going to be heard again (Jer33:11) in the city. There was also going to heard a little praising God. The land was going to once again be covered with fresh pasture where Pastors were going to able to bring their cattle and feed them, kind of like the church(v12). The call to prayer in these rough days is raised again, God’s people need to pray more earnestly than ever (Zac8:20-22).
One of the components of the human being is the soul and such is probably the most important and hardest to take care of. That’s right to take care of the soul is the hardest to look out for, because since we cannot see it we neglect to even think about it. One would think to take care of your life because it is the only one you have and yes we need to take care of it, but life is something that goes back to God and so it will not suffer perdition (Ecc12:7). And, your body, well that needs to be taken care of otherwise it will deteriorate and go back to dust, but whether you take care of your body or not it will go back to dust because it is corruptible; and Paul tells us that it must be redressed with incorruptible (1Cor15:53-54). The bible tells us that the one thing we need to guard is our soul, because from it the issues of life come out (prv4:23).
27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
So, why guard your soul? After all, it is where all your emotions and feelings are stored, and we can always go and see some sort of therapist to put us back on track. At the soul level is where all the learning takes place, so when Solomon tells us that we need to vehemently guard our hearts (soul) it is because those learnings will become an integral part of our lives(prv2:10). The soul is the storage place where all the memories, sounds and life events are stored. And, Jesus said that those things that he speaks to us in the dark; referring to the soul, we should speak proclaim them from roof tops. His words speak to our soul and they register there(Jhn6:63). But, when we do not listen for the souls edification the words slip away and Satan will remove them (Mt13:19). Now, Jesus said that we should not fear man, because they cannot kill the soul, and that the only one that can kill the soul is God. James tells us that it is through the word of God that we can become saved (Jms1:21) and that if we can through the same help convert a sinner their soul can be saved as well (Jm5:20). The fact is that soul can be put to suffer want (prv19:15), and it can also be healed. The soul can be spoiled by others (ps35:12:13) with the ways they treat and react towards us. God’s sole interest is in saving a soul and not so much into your life because it is his and your body because it is going back to dust.
Our conscience is what convicts us. It is the compus in our body by which we make decisions through and in the conscience is where the emotions are stored. Our decisions and cognitive reasoning come from the conscience and it filters via the moral compus. So, when we do something bad our conscience sends a negative feeling that will hunt a person, and it also sends a positive message concluding it clear (Ro2:15,) Paul found himself before a counsel in defense of his conscience testifying of having no feeling of guilt (Act23:1) setting an example of the possibility that anyone can have a clear conscience. His defense before the counsel was not of his own but of his conscience, because it serves a testimony to others of word or action (2Cor1:12). Neglecting to paying attention to the conscience puts to jeopardy faith and make it stranded or shipwrecked and flattened as with a hot iron (1Tim1:19, 1Tim4:2). Our conscience can be healthy or suffering illness.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
This women was apparently apprehended in the very act of adultery and brought to Jesus for judgment; but was really to tempt Christ. Now, those who were the eldest left first once the conscience began to accuse them and then followed the younger. The conscience of those that heard of Christ was pricked, because it is what the word of God does; it either convicts or affirms our conscience (Heb4:12). During the time of the law worshipers would have their conscience purged through their sacrifices (Heb10:2). In order for our conscience now to be purged; and purged from dead works, the blood of Christ needs to be active (Heb9:14). Our conscience can be contaminated with dead works and not that of faith works.
Jesus was confronted by these religious fellows who were in the practice of tax evasion and wanted to entrap him with the government. Like today, some very talented people have found their ways to avoid paying their share of taxes, the people of ancient days found their ways as well. There are both earthly and spiritual laws for contributing financially to our government and God’s people are required to abide by those laws. In fact, there are penalties for the infraction of the law of giving such as jail time and in God ceasing of blessings and financial prosperity will occur. God will close the window of heaven by which we are blessed when we do not give (Mal.3:10). There are no illegalities to giving; as long it is not to support some bad thing like terrorism. We are encouraged to give all the time, the bible states that God blesses a cheerful giver(2cor9:7), and for many giving is a voluntary decision in every aspect. But, in other aspects giving takes the form of a must or obligation God spoke through the prophet Malachi saying that his people robbed him by not tithing or giving offerings (Mal3:8-9). It is important to note that there is a voluntary aspect of giving and a required one.
Mark 12:14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
These religious guys came to Jesus adorned with hypocrisy seeking a way to getting out of giving and getting Jesus in trouble, but their intentions were not undermined. In fact, Luke tells us that with the same measure we mete for giving it shall be measured to us (Lk6:38). Solomon’s proverb tells us that him that waters he shall be watered as well (prv11:24-25, Ecc11:2). Jesus knew the thoughts of their hearts and with the law of giving in question he had to ascertain that both earthen and heavenly were mentioned.
The house of God or the church is a special place where the presence of the creator of the universe dwells in. It is the place that requires special reverence and careful consideration to the activities that transpires in. People throughout the ages have built houses to their God and have set dangerous traps to restrain others from touching or entering the most sacred places therein. Spiritual encounters have impacted people to the point of imparting fear of God in their lives. For example, when Esau ignorantly sold his birth right and lost his blessing to his brother Jacob, Jacob while on his way Haram where he was to marry fell asleep on a spot. At the spot that he slept at he had a dream and saw a giant ladder that went to heaven with angels going up and down. The Lord spoke to Jacob affirming his purpose and promises to him, and called it the house of God (Gen28:16-17). Jacob was terrified with the encounter at this place and called it the gate of heaven. It is what the church of God is, the gate of heaven where God speaks to his people and angels minister to them. That is why Luke wrote to the church not to be like those who forsake the gathering of the believers as a custom (Heb10:25), because that is where God makes his presence present.
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
Jesus was being carried to Jerusalem on a donkey with a great multitude laying down their garments in front and behind him, they made it to the temple late in the afternoon. As he went in the temple he noticed the preparation, but left with his disciples unto Bethany. On his way to Bethany Jesus was hungry and noticed a fig tree from afar with leaves, and he made his way to it only to find leaves only on the tree and no fruits. Jesus rebuked the tree and caused it to dry up, because when he saw it, it simulated to bearing fruits like many in the church. Many look like they bear fruit and are ready to bear fruit, but only have leaves in the churches (Jh15:4). As people of God it is required that we bear fruit unto God (Jh15:8) Jesus’ expectation was that the temple was to be looked at as the house of God and that it should be revered, but was not. He began to overturn tables and drive out the money changers and sellers and reiterate the lesson that God’s house is the house of prayer (Mk11:15-17). Like Jacob who looked at the house of God as a terrible place where God’s presence is, we must also. It is the place where everything regarding the kingdom of God happens; at the gathering.
Inheritance describes the process and rights a person has to various types of property upon the death of a spouse or relative. In order for man kind to be saved and inherit heaven Jesus had to die. But, there are laws that are established to which gives rights for people to the inheritance of heaven, and one of those laws is the faith law. One has to have a certain type of faith that is classified as the saving faith to have rights to heaven. One can have the measure of faith that heals, prospers, calls out miracles, but in order to inherit heaven he/she needs to have the saving faith. The jailor in Acts 16 after Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail developed the saving faith and believed in Jesus Christ along with his family and were saved (v34). Paul speaks about this saving faith that is one of the key component to having rights to the inheritance in Colossians 2:12, when he says “buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead”. The inheritance can be taken away if one does not abide within the rules to inherit.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Abraham was made a promise that he would be an heir of the world if he kept the faith; of which he did. He believed God and his inheritance was secured; his seed inherited the lands they touched. Now, our inheritance is not earthly, but it does impact our earthly lives and can be lost; though it is guaranteed by God (Eph1:13-14) to them that are his. But, a special interest has to be placed on that inheritance; an opening of our eyes, otherwise it will slip away (Eph1:18). The idea nowadays that by grace alone you are saved is incorrect, because before grace there has come faith (R.4:16, Eph2:8). In order to receive the grace of God one needs to have saving faith it is part of the inheritance of the kingdom.
Serving God is a fruit of repentance. Like other acts by which we demonstrate that we are repented, that we regret the evil that we have done and are grateful for God taking the burden of sin of our shoulders, serving God instills that feeling of guilt free in us. Now, repentance means to turn away with regret or remorse from something that we have done that hurt someone like God, and it is followed by certain actions by which we call fruit. A certain religious man invited Jesus to his house to eat and a multitude of people followed as well along with this women who was known as a sinner. This women as soon as she entered the house began to kiss and anoint Jesus’ feet with an expensive perfume. Those that watched criticized and murmured against Jesus, but what this women was doing was an act of repentance. The religious leader did little to show repentance compared to this women (Lk7:47). Like many in God’s kingdom who give little preference to serving God over their own affairs. The things that are personal to us carry more wait in our lives then does serving God. There was this rich young man whom when was asked to leave everything and follow Jesus could not (Mt19:21-22). If one is truly repented from their sins their first reaction is to engage in service.
13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
Paul was a persecutor of the church and was determined to abolish it at whatever the cost. He was on his way to arrest some of the Christians when all of a sudden a light shone around him dropping him of his horse to the floor. When Jesus finished revealing himself to him Paul’s first reaction was reflected when he asked Jesus what is it that you want me to do (Acts22:8-12). Demonstrating repentance is important, it is the fruit that everyone around us see. Serving God needs to be viewed like any bill that we must pay (Ro4:4), but it requires a will to pay it. It is the reason why we attend church, we read the bible, we pray and serve others. Repentance and the fruits that follow is the call for mankind. It is not a vain thing to serve God. There are rewards that come with serving God (Heb11:6, 1Tim5:18). The reward for serving God is in part the inheritance of the kingdom of God.
What makes a hero? What is a hero? The definition of a hero is “A hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) is a person or main character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through impressive feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing his or her own personal concerns for some greater good.” No one really wants to hold the title of a hero these day, because most of today’s people who have done a heroic act is just that a heroic act on the spur of the moment. But, there was a time when real people with extraordinary strengths held the titles of heroes. Unlike, Greek Mythology where the characters were made up the heroes that existed once were real and did have super human strengths and abilities; one might question if Greek story tellers got their ideas from ancient scripture scrolls. According to the scriptures beings known as sons of God had sexual relations with human women and produced super humans. The bible tells us that Lucifer, aka Satan were cast out of heaven with one third of the angels (Is.14:12,Rev.12:3-4). These fallen angels had relations with women who gave birth to giants known as Nephilim of which Goliath came out of. These heroes were so appreciated that people made a special house for them (Neh.3:16). In those days though they had heroes with super strengths crime and wickedness was at all times high.
3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.
Chicago has the latest state of the art crime fighting forces and yet crime and evil is at all times high and increasing, but the difference between now and then was that then the heroes had super human strength and not today. Today we have people who do heroic acts to help others, but it is not enough. There is an increase in heroes for the wrong side of humanity, for example, just the other day this couple were performing an act over youtube and it went bad, the boyfriend died. The bible tells us about drinking heroes (Is.5:22) where they have become champions at drinking and creating mixed drinks. Evil was so that God repented of making man. Evil and violence increased so high that it hurt God’s heart (Gen6:7). God was about to destroy mankind and everything along the way; not even the heroes could turn God from destroying, and just before the destruction came he found Noah (gen6:8). Noah was a man who walked in perfection; the only man at those times. He was a Christian type man. Luke tells us in Hebrews 6:1 that we need to press forward towards perfection and not lay back the foundation of repentance of dead works. God calls us to be perfect (Mt5:48). Now, perfect is having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
Delighting in the things God is doing or is going to do is for those who want more out of their lives, such as did Mordicai the Jew did. Cousin of Esther and adopter of the child, Mordicai during very harsh times adopted and took Esther as his own though he did not have any other family members and could not afford it (Est.2:7), he had the hunch that God was going to supply all his needs. In the time of captivity of the Jews; when all hope seemed lost for God’s people, Mordacai understood God’s never changing plan. In the quest of a new queen for the king, Mordacai did not seek to alter what was going to happen to Esther when she was taken from him as a possible candidate for the king or not. Daily, Mordacai stood at the gate inquiring the state of his adopted daughter his commitment to his family did not waiver (Est.2:11). Unlike many of us, Mordacai did not hold his words when those evil eunuchs conspired to kill the king he called out the evil. We are called to call out evil and to step on scorpions not to pet them and be passive (Lk 10:19). We are called to hate sin (Jude 23). When the word was out that everyone had to bow to Haman, Mordacai kept God’s command of not worshiping other God’s despite of any consequences (Ex.20:3). And, finally when the plot to do harm to God’s people came to Mordacai’s ears he did not run or hide, but called out Esther’s time for the a time like this (Est. 4:14).
2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.
Now, seeing God at work is an adventure where one does not have any say so or control of. God does what he will for the good of his elect (Is. 64:4). And, when you know that God works the quest to see more becomes real on our lives. Mordacai knew that God worked, and since he had no control of the things that came his way he sought out God’s to see His working. Paul understood this concept of God working without his consent for His purpose (Ph. 1:12) when he said that the things that had happened to him were for the progress of the gospel.
Who would not like to receive free stuff. Receiving free things is something that we could get into a habit of, I mean just imagine a place where one could go and without any commitments receive everything free; that would be great. Unfortunately, there is no such place to get all things free; at least here in earth. Although, there are some places that will give grocery, clothes and other things free, but not all things. And, nothing is really free, there is always a price to pay; whether it is monetary, or labor wise a price is always paid. Many of the people that followed Jesus followed him because of the signs and wonders he did that satisfied their needs, but not because they believe (He.11:6). In the miracle of the feeding of five thousand, the disciples were tasked to think of ways to feed all those people and they became lost in the dilemma. But, Jesus with the smallest and unthinkable item of solution fed those five thousand people (Jh 6:11-12). A widow in the old testament went from being rich and having it all including her husband as one of the prophets to having nothing and at the risk of loosing it all. She came to the prophet Elisha with her dilemma and with a small jar of oil she was able to surface from her poverty state (2K4:5-7).
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
God is in the business of supplying the needs of them who trust him and even those who do not trust. But, the problem has always been that people followed God because of his providence and not because they really believe. After the feeding for the five thousands, Jesus whereabouts was intensively searched by the people, because they wanted to crown him king. Jesus’ concern was and is the eternal provision for man more then the material (Jh. 6:27). Jesus said that we should seek God’s kingdom because when we seek it everything is will be added (Mt. 6:33). In fact, Malachi the prophet stated that man should bring a portion of their income or efforts to him, because God will open the windows of heaven and supply all their needs (Ma. 3:10). David said in Psalm 34:10 that lions and their whelps lack food, but those that seek and trust the Lord will not lack anything. It is important that we do not allow our temporal needs blind us from him that supplies all our needs according to his riches in glory (ph. 4:19). God told Solomon the condition by which his providence would come by in 2 Chronicles and that was by taking a humble and prayerful attitude (2chr. 7:13-14).