Google+ 05/29/13 Vacant, For Sale!!!

Proverbs 16:19-21


 Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.

Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.

The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. 


Recently, God taught me about our Scripture today and I would like to share His insights with you.  All through the Bible, God speaks of the "poor."  Jesus has much to say about money, devoting two-thirds of His parables to explaining the use and accumulation of it.  Why?  No matter how hard a "rich man" tries, it is difficult to be obedient when large sums of earthly money are literally on the table.  Unfortunately, both individuals and churches suffer from this problem.  God wants us to depend on Him for our daily bread.  God cautions us about letting the world solve that problem for us!  Solomon was wise, as we all know.  The accumulation of wealth and possessions was probably even more important in Biblical times.  In many cases, what you had, where you lived, and all that you had accumulated determined who you were.  Anything sound familiar here?  Nothing has changed, which is why living humbly is so important.  Our "Caesar jobs" often determine what we do spiritually.  We miss many opportunities to serve God and fellowship with His people because we must work additional hours to make all of our "Caesar" payments.  This becomes a very vicious cycle in our lives.  Let me be clear so there is no misunderstanding.  God does not dislike "rich" people.  If you follow my logic, if you are a Christian, you do not stay "rich" in worldly terms for very long!  The money comes in for God and goes out to take care of God's people.  God speaks nowhere in the Bible about a "savings account" or "retirement!"  If we look at money the way God does, our lives would be much more joyful.  How do I know?  Our Scripture today says so!  Do we listen to instruction?  Often, especially in modern-day churches, the answer is "NO."  Often churches are forced to abandon the very ministry that God has called them to do, in order to allocate God's money to oversized buildings, ridiculous staff and ministry salaries and benefits, and expensive Sacramental stuff that is simply not necessary in carrying out God's ministry plan.  Remember the plan is to evangelize, disciple, baptize, and fellowship.  Most of the time, as our Scripture says today, when it comes to God and Jesus, less is more.  Finally, out of frustration, our tongues become sharp and we hurt people.  Our earthly desire to be "rich," creates overwhelming frustration with the "poor."  We begin to "target" the wealthy to fund our "church stuff," and before we know it, our churches are declining, and important ministries just cease to exist.  Let's do what the Scripture says.  We need to trust in the Lord to be joyful.  We need to be "happy with humble."  We need to be wise with understanding and make our words pleasant.  If we don't get back to God's basics, being "rich" will destroy us and our churches.  Look around because, in many cases, this type of greed already has severely hampered our abilities to reach the lost for Christ and disciple the "won."  What are the consequences of constantly sharing plunder with the proud?  Very soon, God may answer our prayers and give us a "sign" for both our spiritual and church lives.  Unfortunately, the sign will probably say, "Vacant, For Sale!"