Years ago there was a song that went;
“Money, money, money; Money!”
Many of you remember it.
We have a tendency to think that money can solve all problems. If we just had more money well, we would be happy and set. No problems. We could buy whatever we want…. go wherever we wanted to… have fun… enjoy life..
Someone has said, “How much money do we need?”
The answer is; “Just a little bit more.”
But, more money doesn’t solve all our problems. Proverbs 11:4 says, ” Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.”
We can be loaded with money… we can be filthy rich but lost as a goose spiritually. There is nothing wrong with money… as long as we don’t think our money will save us. Our money… our wealth, does us no good on the day of judgment.
But, the writer says, “…right living can save you from death.” “Right living” means living for the Lord. It means accepting Christ as our Savior. It means living by the Golden Rule. It means being people of integrity… being honest… helping others. If we trust Christ as our Savior and live for Him, we get eternal life.
Riches won’t help us at the day of judgment… but right living will. If your faith or your security or your happiness is based on your wealth, it’s in the wrong place. Trust the Lord as your Savior and live for Christ and that leads to happiness and eternal life.
Is God speaking to you about doing something that is going to stretch you? Maybe it’s something a little out-of-the-box for you and you are a bit anxious. Or, maybe it’s going to stretch your faith some. Although we serve the God who created the heavens and the earth, we have a tendency to be timid when it comes to attempting great things for God.
In the book of Numbers, there was a time when God told Moses to get twelve men together to go and spy out the land that Israel was going to. So, Moses selected men and they went. The land was indeed flowing with milk and honey… it was beautiful. But, it was well fortified and the spies didn’t think they could take it.
So, they returned to camp and they gave a report. Of the twelve spies, ten of them brought a negative report. They told the people that although it was a beautiful land, they didn’t believe they could take it. But Joshua and Caleb gave a positive report. They told the people that God was able to take the land but the people had to have faith.
Well, the people rejected their report and elected not to try to take the land. As a result, God punished the people by causing them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. So, for forty years that generation wandered until that faithless generation died off. Then, God led the people forward.
The same thing can happen today. If God is calling you or your church to step out, do it! You may not see the way but God does. Don’t accept a negative report. Like Joshua and Caleb, have faith to move forward!
King David… a man after God’s heart. The man who defeated Goliath. The man who led Israel in battle.
But King David sinned. He committed adultery with Bathsheba. Then, he tried to cover his sin by having having Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband killed. So he commits adultery and has a man killed. We don’t rank sin but, those were two bad ones. And, David lived with his sin for a while until, he finally confessed it.
Psalm 51 is a record of how David’s sin had affected his relationship with God… it’s a record of how it had sapped David’s joy in the Lord.
David prayed, “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love” (Psalm 51:1). Then he added, “Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.”
Later in the Psalm, David admitted his rebellion against the Lord and David prayed for God to restore “the joy of my salvation.”
The 51st Psalm gives us all hope… If we confess our sins… if we repent of our sins… God does forgive. But, we must repent.. that means to admit that we have sinned and be sorry for it.
Maybe you have done something and you are afraid you can’t be forgiven. You can. There is nothing we have done that God won’t forgive us of but, we must repent… we must be sorry for our sins.
Today, maybe there is something you have thought God wouldn’t forgive. God will forgive, if we repent and ask Him too. He will restore the joy of our salvation.
As Christians, our desire is to follow the Lord. In fact, someone has said that success is “finding God’s will and getting in it.” We are happiest and at peace, when we are following the Lord. But how do we know what God wants us to do?”
In the Old Testament, God led Israel with a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. Numbers 9:23 says, “So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command.”
I love that verse….whatever Israel did, it was the Lord’s command. We must do the same. Every day, through Bible reading and prayer, we travel at the Lord’s command. Today, follow the Lord…listen for His command.
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
When you are visiting with someone and either you are they are about to leave, you may say, “God bless you” or, “I wish you well.” I have a friend, Paul Uccello, who often says to me “Blessings.” Thats’s his way of saying, “God bless you.”
Someone else may say, “May the Lord go with you.” In the Old Testament, God told Aaron to give Israel this blessing;
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
I love that blessing!
Today, that is God’s prayer for all His children. As we go our way, we do so resting in the promise of a God to be with us, to bless us and give us peace.
God gave Israel ten commandments but, which one is most important? That’s what Jesus was asked by a teacher of religious law. Jesus’ answer was a good summary of the commandments.
Jesus said, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
In two statements, Jesus sums up all of the commandments. Jesus says the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your :God with all your heart, soul and mind.” In that statement, Jesus sums up the first four commandments… “Thou shall have no other Gods before me… Do not make any graven images… Observe the Sabbath day” etc…
Then, Jesus said, “the second commandment is like the first one, “Love your neighbor as yourself..” In that statement, Jesus sums up the remaining six commandments… “Do not murder… .Do not covet… etc…”
So, all Ten commandments are summed up in these two statements; “Love your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and… “love your neighbor as yourself.” If we do those two things, we keep all the commandments.
Think about that… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart.. soul and mind.” That refers to worship… it refers to giving…it prevents us from engaging in idolatry…
Then, “love your neighbor as yourself…” If you love your neighbor, you will not murder, steal or gossip.”
If we live by those two simple statements every day, we could make a difference in our world. I encourage you today, put God first and treat your neighbor the way you would want to be treated and we will make this a better world.
Occasionally I will be talking with someone or, maybe I’m in a group of people and someone begins to boast about how much they drank or, they boast about something they did that was wrong. They may say something like, “Man, I got plastered” or.. “If you gives you an idea… I was there until they closed the bar down…” The person is boasting about how much they drank… how wild they were. Anytime I hear something like that I want to say, “I don’t believe I would be boasting about that.”
Proverbs 10:23 says, “Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.”
Think about that verse… “doing wrong is fun for a fool…” That’s a strong verse. So, a fool gets pleasure out of doing the wrong thing. What is the wrong thing?
It could be lying.
It could be having an affair…
It could be boasting about how much you drank.
Anyone who boasts about those things… the Bible says, is a fool. When someone wants to boast about many women they have been with.. that person is a fool.
When someone wants to boast about how wild a party was.. that person is a food.
Why does someone do that? Because they don’t have a moral compass or, there is no conviction of sin. They want to be accepted by people so they brag about this stuff. When, if you need to be brag about how wild you are, you don’t ned those people as a friend.
Paul said in Galations 6:14, “But it may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Doing wrong is fun for a fool. Let’s not be foolish. Let’s glory in doing right… in a relationship with Jesus.