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Thursday, July 5, 2018

GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT, GIVES "YOU" RICHLY ALL THINGS TO ENJOY!!

                            
GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT, RICHLY GIVES YOU "ALL THINGS" TO ENJOY!!

“… The living God, who GIVETH us richly ALL THINGS to enjoy…” (1 Timothy 6:17 KJV). “…Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee POWER to get wealth…” (Deuteronomy 8:18 KJV). 
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God is NOT opposed to money or material wealth and he DOES bless his people with material wealth. All through the Old Testament God’s covenant people had material wealth. “…Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.…” (Genesis 13:2 KJV). “…Jacob became very wealthy…” (Genesis 30:43 NLT). ‘…Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt …they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly…” (Genesis 47:26 KJV). “…[Job’s]… inheritance also was seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east…” (Job 1:3 KJV). “…King Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom…” (1 Chronicles 9:22 KJV). “…the Lord stablised the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to [King]…Jehoshaphat presents, and he had riches and honour in abundance…” (2 Chronicles 17:5 KJV).

Sometimes, we see in the OT that, material wealth was dependent on obedience (FOLLOWING GOD'S HOLY INSTRUCTIONS). “…IF you fully obey  (FOLLOW) the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey (FOLLOW) the Lord your God:BUT IF you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey (FOLLOW) all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:…” (Deuteronomy 28 NLT).

OT wealth appeared to be a blessing rewarded, from God, for obedience (FOLLOWING HIS HOLY INSTRUCTIONS). The lack of wealth was usually a curse for disobedience. Either way God warned them NOT to put their trust in WEALTH. “…Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness…” (Psalms 52:7 KJV).

God does not condemn material wealth nor does he announce it as a sign of Christian virtue. His disciples are known for their love for one another. “…LOVE one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this ALL MEN will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another…” (John 13:34-35 KJV).

In addition, God does say not to TRUST in material wealth, but ALWAYS remember he is the provider and BLESSOR; not material wealth. “…he (God) SHALL command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses…” (Deuteronomy 28:8 KJV).  

In the OT, material WEALTH had a DIVINE purpose, which was to help PEOPLE and to SHARE with those in NEED. “…Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked…” (Psalms 82:3-4 KJV).

 Material WEALTH, therefore, carried with it a responsibility for OTHERS as a means to direct people to the love and knowledge of God. direct [their]… hearts TO the love of God…” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB & Romans 12:3). “…The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all…” (Proverbs 29:6 NLT).

Not everyone prays for GREAT material WEALTH. Some people just want enough money or material possessions to live righteous. “…Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.…” (Proverbs 30:8-9 KJV).

Like everything else money and material possessions became marred, deceitful, and tainted with sin and thus, so has the original purpose for material WEALTH.

The DESIRE for spiritual well-being is obstructed or takes a very low priority. “…The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, CHOKE the word, and it becometh unfruitful…” (Mark 4:19 KJV).

There are people with adequate material WEALTH who do NOT bat an eye to the destitution around them, but they will be eternally damned. “…The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony…” (Luke 16:22-25 NASB).

God’s people are GIVEN material WEALTH for a DIVINE purpose. The right use of material WEALTH is to advance the kingdom of God and direct people to his GREAT love. “…Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you…” (Luke 14:12-14 NLT). direct [their]… hearts TO the love of God…” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB & Romans 12:3). “…May the Lord lead your hearts INTO a full understanding and EXPRESSION of the love of God …” (2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT).

It is actually better to seek after spiritual well-being (wealth) before seeking after material WEALTH. “…Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness….” (Matthew 6:33 KJV). “…Take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where withal shall we be clothed? …your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things…” (Matthew 6 KJV). “… SEEK ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you…” (Matthew 6:33 KJV).

God does BLESS his covenant people with material wealth. They are NOT to covet material wealth, but they are to SEEK after righteousness. “… SEEK ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33 KJV).

When Job’s material wealth was gone, the devil thought Job served God ONLY for the blessings of material wealth. Job decided, “…a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Romans 12:1 & Luke 12:15 KJV). Job said, “…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord…” Job 1:20-22 NASB).

Job also said, “...though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” (Job 13:15 KJV). “…Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (Job 1:20-22 NASB). In spite of the loss of his material wealth Job remained a “…blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil…” (Job 1:7-12 NIV).

Jesus’ Father owned the WHOLE world. HE IS "NOW" OUR FATHER TOO! “…The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein…” (Psalm 24:1 KJV). “…for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof…(Psalm 50:12 KJV).

Yet, while on earth Jesus often had NO material wealth and said he had no place to even lay his head sometimes. “…Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man HATH NOT where to lay his head…” (Luke 9:58 KJV).

Jesus’ disciplines suffered with him. Sometimes Jesus’ disciples were hungry and had to depend on the charity of others. “…At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an HUNGERED, and began to pluck the ears of corn and eat…” (Matthew 12:1 KJV). “…When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger (sometimes, the disciples), for the fatherless, and for the widow…” (Deuteronomy 24:19 KJV).

It was said of John the Baptist; “…among them that are born or women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist….” (Matthew 11:11 KJV). Yet “…John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins, and he did eat locusts and wild honey…” (Mark 1:6 KJV).

Jesus specifically said what he came to SEEK and it was NOT material wealth. “…the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost…” (Luke 19:10 KJV). “…In this world we are like Jesus…” (1 John 4:17 NIV).

The devil tried to tempt Jesus with material wealth and Jesus declined. “…Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil  … took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” ” (Matthew 4:1-11 NLT).

ALL the material wealth belonged to Jesus’s Father and OUR heavenly father. “…The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein…” (Psalm 24:1 KJV). “…for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof…” (Psalm 50:12 KJV). And it belonged to Jesus too. “…All mine are thine, and THINE ARE MINE…” (John 17:10 KJV). "I and my Father are ONE." (John 10:30 KJV).

Jesus knew a GREATER wealth than all the kingdoms on earth. He had been around heavenly wealth, both material and spiritual. “…our Lord Jesus Christ …HE WAS RICH…” (2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV). Jesus was RICH before he came to earth. “…In my Father's house are many mansions…” (John 14:2 KJV).

The bible describes the materials in which the “new Jerusalem” will be built (Revelation 21:2 KJV). “…the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass…” (Revelation 21:18-22 KJV). “…our Lord Jesus Christ …HE WAS RICH…” (2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV).

Jesus did not SEEK after material wealth while on earth, but he doesn’t condemn it. He doesn’t, however, elevate material wealth over spiritual wealth either, but sets up a PRIORITY or standard about it. “… SEEK ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33 KJV).

Remember, one of the definitions of wealth is well-being. The scripture says, “…Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (not as your material wealth prosper)…” (3 John 1:2 KJV).

Material wealth can be a stumbling block for some believers. “…Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”   ….to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’” The man replied, “I’ve obeyed (followed) all these commandments since I was young.” When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich. When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”… (Luke 18:18-30 NLT).

It was easier for the rich man to follow religious rules and depend on his riches than to give up his life and depend on God. That is why some people want neither material wealth or poverty. “…Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.…” (Proverbs 30:8-9 KJV).

Lydia was wealthy and worshipped God. Nicodemus was wealthy and came to Jesus. “…And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple …which WORSHIPPED God…(Acts 16:14 KJV). “…there came also Nicodemus…to Jesus….and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight…” (John 19:39 KJV).

It is not the material wealth that matters; it is the heart attitude that matters to God. “...God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”(1 Samuel 16:7 NASB). God zooms in on the “…hidden man of the heart…” (1 Peter 3:4 KJV). For from within, out of the heart of man, proceed evil thoughts… wickedness…[greed for material wealth]...  All these evil things come from within, and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23 KJV). The heart “…is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked…who can know it [except God?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).

Material wealth WILL NOT and CAN NOT save you. You will ONLY be wealthy in this world.   “…Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy…” (1 Timothy 6:17 KJV).

In the next world, the SELFISHLY wealthy will NOT be rich. This world is temporary, but the next is eternal. “…The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony…” (Luke 16:22-25 NASB).

You can’t serve material wealth and God too. “…No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon….” (Luke 16:13 KJV). “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve….” (Joshua 24:15 KJV). “…Choose LIFE” (Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV). “…The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who CHOOSE that way. …” (Matthew 7:13-14 NLT). “…Jesus saith…I am THE WAYand THE LIFE…” (John 14:6 KJV).

God WILL and DOES bless his people with material wealth. “…It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it…” (Proverbs 10:22 NASB). “…Remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth” (Dueteronomy 8:18 KJV). “…The LORD will make you abound in prosperity.” (Deuteronomy 28:11 KJV). “…[To]…every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God…” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NASB).

However, remember this scripture: “…Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be…” (Matthew 6:19:21 NLT).

Therefore, “… SEEK ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness …” (Matthew 6:33 KJV).
AND REMEMBER: “… The living God ..giveth [YOU[... richly all things to enjoy…” (1 Timothy 6:17 KJV).

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