wealth

Wisdom is Weightier than Gold

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” – Proverbs 16:16 Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have a million dollars or the wisdom to make a million dollars? How you answer that says a lot about your priorities. However, don’t feel bad if you chose the money — who wouldn’t want resources like that just thrown in their lap? Though it’s always tempting to go the route of instant gratification or a quick-fix, living in the Kingdom of God means that you don’t have to. You already have all that you need! We talked yesterday about the fact that you have many callings and that everything you do in life has a purpose that builds upon the one before. Today, I want to encourage you with the thought that all of your jobs, positions, and vocational appointments work together to

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The Lust of the Eyes

“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” – Ephesians 1:22-23 Yesterday, we looked at the lust of the flesh and talked about how obsessing over physical desires can make our lives vulnerable to the enemy’s destruction. Today, I want to share with you another way the devil seeks to wreak havoc in our lives — the lust of the eyes.  We live in a world that is obsessed with appearance. In fact, many of us learn to obsess about our image, or what we look like to those around us, even before we are old enough to understand why. Our materialistic society teaches that in order to be somebody, we must have certain things. In other words, I am what I have and I

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Lay Down Your Cross

“The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: ‘This one was born in Zion.’ As they make music they will sing, ‘All my fountains are in you.’” – Psalm 87:6,7 Are you aware that you are the ruler of your own personal kingdom? Every human being has a sphere of influence or an area where their will and power are exerted in a way that influences those around them for better or worse, as weird as that may sound. I have a “Bobby-dom,” and I am the ruler of my realm without supernatural intervention. I will make decisions that favor me and give me more power; I am inherently self-serving. This, I believe, is why Jesus’ thesis — the most important thing He spoke about — was the Kingdom of God. When He arrived, He brought the principles and characteristics of Heaven to earth, providing a far superior

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God’s Covenant Bearer

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:2-4 4,000 years ago in the Ancient East, the world was a dangerous place, full of sickness, plague, famine, and drought. Struggling humanity survived through the enactment of covenants, or permanent promises made between two tribes that combined their strengths, assets, and property. The idea was that when both groups came together, they were stronger, wealthier, and wiser than they were on their own. Such agreements were typically made during a ceremony wherein two tribes faced each other, sang songs, and performed sacrificial rites. The tribal chiefs would exchange coats as a sign of honor and then they would

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Let Go of Ego

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” – Luke 12:15 Which of us hasn’t driven through a really exclusive neighborhood and thought to ourselves, “Man, I would love to live here.” Or maybe we’ve taken a walk by the beach and admired a massive yacht floating by that left us wondering how the “other half” does it. No matter who we are, the finer things beckon us, and though there’s nothing wrong with having what the world offers, pursuing it above all else leaves us feeling hollow. While most of us instinctively know this to be true, society continually hounds us with images of how it might be if we would just bow to its idols. The problem is that in the end, doing this will leave us sad. It’s been proven

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Rejection for His Sake

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” – Matthew 5:11 As Christians, we sometimes get the idea that once we know Jesus, life will be easy. Since certain teaching emphasizes earthly prosperity over spiritual power, many have come to believe that we’re called to an existence of sheer wealth and popularity. However, the truth is that embracing the journey of discipleship isn’t a guarantee of a trouble-free path. You see, we are set apart to be different, and at times, this can feel lonely. While the world is going one way, we’re asked to go another, and swimming upstream against the strongholds of culture can be exhausting. Nevertheless, it’s a battle worth fighting, for in the end, we will be rewarded for our faithful endurance. Though Jesus was not always popular, He was triumphant, and His

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The Joy of Contentment

“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless— a miserable business!” – Ecclesiastes 4:8 There’s a story I like to think about, and though it’s apocryphal, I believe it sums up perfectly the state in which many of us spend our lives. The tale goes that a very wealthy, Harvard-educated businessman was vacationing in a little village in Mexico. One morning, as he was sitting on the beach, he saw a fisherman approach with a boat full of yellowfin tuna. He complimented the man on his catch, and since it was only 11:00 a.m., he inquired as to whether or not he was done working for the day. When he indicated

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Joy Isn’t Found in Power

“Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” – Jeremiah 10:23 Today, I want to sum up our lessons about King Herod by saying that his legacy is proof that wealth and prestige can’t buy happiness. In fact, when I look at his story, I don’t see joy or success, I see narcissism and rage. Even though he had everything that money and power could procure, he was miserable — constantly fighting to maintain his position and worrying about who he had to conquer next to stay on top. As hard as he tried to make his name immortal, like the compounds and shrines he erected for his glory, he himself came to ruin. And while to his contemporaries he had no rivals, his life is evidence that we cannot gain joy from power. Since the fall, our natural

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Milk and Honey

“And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.” – Exodus 3:17 What do you imagine when you hear the description, “A land flowing with milk and honey”? My guess is that you envision a large quantity of white liquid and an abundance of a sticky, sweet substance produced by bees. However, this is not what the phrase means in the Biblical context. The Lord promised His people, the Israelites, a land full of these things, but they are actually an analogy for wealth, not a reference to food. Milk symbolizes livestock such as sheep, cattle, and goats, and honey is a reference to farmland. Therefore, the Promised Land was a place rich with both animals and property, and in those days, that’s what influence was made

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About treasure…

“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” -Ecclesiastes 5:10 We put a lot of trust in things like money, gold, wealth, stocks, bonds, property, and inheritance. Napoleon III decorated his table in the nineteenth century with the finest accoutrements for his special guests. They all ate with gold flatware. Napoleon himself ate with an even finer set of flatware made of platinum. But the finest guests, only the most special, very, very honored guests got the most valuable flatware made of aluminum. That’s a true story. The finest piece of cutlery that Napoleon had was made of aluminum, now considered the most common metal on the planet. However, before the process of electrolysis was perfected, it was nearly impossible to pull aluminum from ore; you could mine hardly anything but flakes. So, over time, Napoleon gathered enough of

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