Wednesday, May 08, 2013

May 8, 2013 … Choked By Wealth

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 128

 Passage of the Day: Matthew 19: 16-30 [NLT] … Go to this link … 
 Reference Study for today’s passage: Matthew 13: 1-9 [The parable of the sower.] [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Ecclesiastes 5: 10 : [Beware, the money trap!] …[NKJV] …  
10 Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!

 Reference Passage #1: 1st Timothy 6: 10 : [Paul knew of the danger in the pits of wealth.] …[NKJV] … For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 

My Journal for Today: Os Hillman ends his devotional entry for today with two pointed questions: ” Do you have the same hunger for God that you once had? Has financial blessing or the pursuit of financial success had an adverse effect on your passion for Jesus Christ?”

And if you’ve read and meditated seriously on the scripture passages above, which I’ve taken from Hillman’s devotional and from my own recollections of God’s word, I could just stop here and let you reflect on the dangers of becoming wealthy and why Jesus taught about the trap money/wealth can become in our lives.

Yes, if you’re thinking, “Jesus wasn’t against wealth,” you’re absolutely right! In fact when Jesus was dwelling in Capernaum, which was sort of his home-base during His earthly ministry, He stayed with Lazarus, who was by all historical accounts a very wealthy man. Other great figures in the old Testament were, or became, very wealthy, … men like Abraham, Joseph, and Daniel, … all blessed by God with great wealth and influence without damaging their spiritual walk with God.

However, we also see, in the Bible, how wealth so often becomes a stumbling block to a close relationship with God; … for men like Solomon, in the Old Testament, and the rich young ruler In the New Testament (see the link to Matthew 19: 16-30 above). Jesus was not against wealth; but His concern was with the heart of mankind, which He knew was vulnerable to the temptations of having great earthly riches, with the power and influence which comes with that wealth.

God blessed Solomon with great human wisdom, great wealth, and earthly power; and we can read in the Book of Ecclesiastes, about Solomon’s testimony of how wealth became his earthly downfall. And when the rich young ruler came to Jesus, asking what he must do to be saved, Jesus, recognizing his primary weakness, told the young man to sell all his earthly possessions; and as we know, the young man couldn’t handle that command; and he crawled back into the pit of wealth which would, very likely, destroy him.

Actually, Jesus not only taught against the “love of money,” (as Paul wrote about to Timothy – see above - as being the root of evil). He also preached about ANYTHING, with which we become entangled in mental slavery, which tears at the relationship we have with God. And much of the Old Testament is the exposé of how God’s people couldn’t handle it when things went well for them. They would almost always revert to selfishness and pride; and in that they would ALWAYS fall.

So, let me return to Os Hillman’s questions at the outset of my journal entry here today. And I’ll let you grapple with them as I am today.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, shield me from myself and allow me to be grateful for all You’ve blessed me with; … and help me to remain humble before Your throne of grace. … Amen

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