YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS

Two-Masters

 

Matthew 6:24 No man 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.

 

It takes money to live in this world and our God blesses us with it and even gives us the power to get wealth Deuteronomy 8:18. The accumulation of money and wealth for Kingdom purposes is certainly not evil. It is the wrong attitude toward them that can lead a Christian astray and control the direction of their life instead of God.  Jesus addressed the wrong attitude about money to control the direction of our life when He taught on in Matthew 6:24 and mentions two masters: GOD and mammon. A master is one supreme in authority, one who controls, a lord and a God.

 

Mammon was commonly used to describe riches/money.  Mammon was also the name of the pagan god of wealth and prosperity.  By using the name of “mammon” opposite God, Jesus was implying money can be a god and even backed by some demonic power.  In a master/servant relationship, the master determines the direction of the servant’s life.  Who you serve, who your master is, determines the direction of your life.

You can serve God as your Master with your money (in tithing, giving, managing it), but you cannot serve money as your master at the same time.  You cannot have it both ways.  The direction of your life is either being determined by your love for God or your love for money.  That’s why it’s not coincidental you see a connection between money and the working of evil forces in what Paul told Timothy, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:9,10).

 

If we love money, we will obey what our love of money says and become enslaved to it and come under its control.  You’ll come under the evil spiritual forces behind it.  That’s why it’s not a coincidence that the Scriptures declare that they who will (crave, desire, hasten) to be rich or love money fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which are directed by evil forces.

 

A person’s love for money exposes him to temptations, snares, foolish and hurtful lusts that the evil forces and master god, mammon, uses to control the direction of his life. Paul goes on to say, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness 1 Timothy 6:11.

 

Flee going in that direction and follow another direction from God as your Master which will produce a life of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness. We must allow grace to create the proper motivations about money.

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Posted in #Abundant Life, #Anchored, #Believing, #Bible Truth, #Blessing, #Christlike, #Grace, #Grace/Faith, #Stewardship, Money, Wealth

THE CHURCH IS DESIGNED AGAINST THE SELFISHNESS OF SIN

 

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Hebrews 10:24, 25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

It can be said that the basic root of all sin is self and selfishness. People don’t sin for others but for themselves. James says every man is tempted when he is drawn away of HIS OWN lust and enticed James 1:14. When a person who has lived single their whole life enters into the covenant of marriage immediately they become aware that their life is no longer just designed around them and their needs. Its design is against self. The same holds true for those who are saved and get planted in the local church.

 

The basic design of the Church is formed to work against sin and self. The church isn’t designed around self it is about Christ and His Body which is made of many members not one member. First Corinthians 12:14 says, “For the body is not one member, but many.” Every believer that commits to finding their place and function in the Body called the Church soon finds out that spiritual life is not all just about them. They become a part of something bigger than themselves and realizing their highest potential is not in isolation of the Church but as a functioning member.

 

Aside from the direct command of Scripture (Hebrews 10:25), (and yes, there are commands in the New Testament age of grace) they also realize the need for faithfully assembling with the corporate Body because their identity is tied to it. Identity gives us acceptance, assurance, and purpose (a sense of significance). It describes who a person is and how a person is recognized. Identity influences how we think, view, and feel about our self and then how we act. A reason for faithful assembling is because they realize when they got saved they became a part of a:

 

  1. FAMILY – with an identity as a brother/sister.
    Ephesians 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named….
    Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

 

  1. BODY – with an identity as an individual member.
    1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

 

  1. BUILDING/TEMPLE – with an identity as a living stone.
    1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

 

  1. HOLY NATION – with an identity as a priest.
    1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

 

  1. KINGDOM – with an identity as a citizen/ambassador.
    Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
    2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

 

As you can see becoming a part of the Church is becoming a part of something bigger than ourselves. All the truths in the Bible about being blessed are not just related to us as individuals but to us as members of the Church together as the Body of Christ. Identifying with the Church makes one realize everything is not all about us. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching Hebrews 10:24, 25.”

 

 

Posted in #Abundant Life, #Assembling, #Believing, #Belonging, #Body of Christ, #Christian, #Christianity, #Christlike, #Church, #Doctrine, #Experience God, #Faith, #Faithfulness, #Grace, #Grace/Faith

GOD’S CHARACTER IN HIS LAW

 

GODS CHARACTER IN HIS LAW

We know about the Law of Moses or the Law God gave through Moses to the children of Israel Exodus 19-31; John 1:17. We know Christians are not under the Mosaic Law but under grace (Romans 6:14) but that does not mean there are no laws under grace in the New Testament, that we are anti-law, or that we are lawless. Some who teach grace speak very disparagingly about the Law but they seem to forget that God was the Author of both the Law and grace. Romans 7:12, 14, that’s a New Testament verse and under grace says, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good…. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”

 

Some kind of law had to exist before the Law God gave Moses if you only look at Genesis 2:16, 17; Genesis 9:5, 6. You can also see there had to be some kind of law that regulated acceptable versus unacceptable offerings from Genesis 4 where God had respect for Abel’s offering but did not respect Cain’s offering. A student of the entire Word of God can see God’s character in his laws and you can see it in this list of what is said of His Character is said of His law:

CHARACTERISTIC                                 GOD IS                                THE LAW IS

Good                                                        Luke 18:19                         1 Timothy 1:18

Holy                                                         Isaiah 5:16                         Romans 7:12

Perfect                                                    Matthew 5:48                     Psalm 19:7

Pure                                                         1 John 3:2, 3                       Psalm 19:8

Just                                                          Deuteronomy 32:4            Romans 7:12

True                                                         John 3:33                            Psalm 19:9

Spirit/Spiritual                                      John 4:24                             Romans 7:14

Righteousness                                       Jeremiah 23:6                     Psalm 119:172

Faithful                                                  1 Corinthians 1:9                Psalm 119:86

Love                                                       1 John 4:8                             Romans 13:10

Posted in #Abundant Life, #Bible Faith, #Bible Truth, #Character, #God, #Lawlessness, #Laws, Uncategorized

GRACE CAN CREATE TRUE CHARACTER IN GIVING

grace can create true character in giving

 

God’s grace is the only thing that can create true character in giving. God loves a “whatever it takes” giving attitude and only God’s grace can elevate us to this. Take some time to read 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 which are on the topic of giving offerings and grace giving.

 

When God’s grace infuses and impacts our giving, it will be characterized by these gracious attitudes:

 

  1. JOY – 2 Cor. 8:2, They were delighted and glad to give.

 

  1. GENEROSITY – 2 Cor. 8:2, They were generous, unselfish, not penny‑ pinching tightwads; not just enough but ample.

 

  1. SACRIFICE 2 Cor. 8:2, 3 – They gave beyond what they were expected or anyone thought possible.

 

  1. EAGERNESS 2 Cor. 8:4, 7, 8 – They pleaded for the chance to give. They didn’t need to be begged.

 

  1. PERSEVERANCE 2 Cor. 8:10 ‑12 They made a commitment to give a year prior and persevered and followed through with their commitment.

 

  1. WILLINGNESS 2 Cor. 8:12; 9:2 – They acted of their own accord. It was their own heart prompting and initiating them.

 

  1. INTEGRITY 2 Cor. 8:20, 21 – The leadership wanted to handle the money with openness and accountability.

 

  1. CHEERFULNESS 2 Cor. 9:7 – It means to give with readiness of mind and a promptness to do anything, as well as hi­lari­ous “happy to.” It means to be favorably inclined or disposed to do something.
Posted in #Abundant Life, #Behavior, #Bible Faith, #Bible Truth, #Character, #Christlike, #Christlikeness, #Faith, #Generosity, #Giving, #Grace, #Grace/Faith, #Offerings

HAS GRACE EVER MADE YOU BEG TO GIVE?

Begging to Give

 

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us (to beg, petition, make request) with much intreaty (exhortation and imploring) that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

 

When our heart overflows with grace a certain amount of that love pours out to God in the giving of our finances. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Paul began his teaching on grace impacting our giving by sharing the testimony and example of the impoverished Macedonians generous giving. These Macedonians were “in a great trial of affliction” as well as in “deep poverty”. The adjective “deep” describing their poverty is the word in the Greek “bathos.”  Ships probe the ‘bathos’, which are the very depths of the ocean or the depths of the sea. Paul is saying these people were in the deepest depths of poverty, like the fathomless ocean beneath the surface. They gave out of their deep down to the depth poverty!  Not only were they extremely poor, but they were in a great trial of affliction or being squeezed by the hardships of their life.

 

It was out of that circumstance that this grace giving came and Paul commends them for it. Out of extreme trial, severe poverty, they were overflowing with joy, Paul says, because it abounded unto the riches of their liberality or generosity. Because of what grace can do no one is too poor to give!  Paul further describes them in verses 3 and 4. “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves.” They gave beyond their means; they gave beyond how they really could, even contrary to their ability. This is grace impacting ones giving.

 

Now notice this: “Praying us (to beg, petition, make request), with much intreaty (exhortation and imploring) that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saint.” They did the begging, not Paul. They were saying: “Please Paul, come on Paul, let us do more, don’t hold us back in our giving.” They didn’t have it to give but are begging Paul, not for money, but begging to give money beyond their means. Now that is amazing grace! When has the grace of God ever made this kind of a beggar out of you?

Posted in #Abundant Life, #Bible Faith, #Bible Truth, #Character, #Christlike, #Devotion, #Disciples, #Discipleship, #Faith, #Giving, #Good Works, #Goodness, #Grace, #Grace/Faith, #Offerings

OUR GOD GIVEN LIBERTIES

 

 The Declaration 5 points

We continue to be, though presently endangered, the longest ongoing Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. A blessing like this is not an accident or by chance but that God has shed His grace on us. If you ever study the documents of the Revolutionary Period you’d see a picture and some obvious facts. Virtually all those involved in the founding work of our country were God fearing men.

 

The Founders were deeply influenced by a Biblical view of man and government, with a sober understanding of the depravity of man’s fallen nature. They devised a system of limited government, with a separation of powers, and checks and balances. The Founders understood that fear of God, moral leadership and righteous citizens were necessary for their effort to succeed. They structured a political climate that was encouraging to Christianity and accommodating to religion rather than hostile to it. We have been slowly drifting away from this political climate while most Christians are either unaware or uninterested.

 

Secularists may try to deny it but Christianity was the prevailing moral and intellectual influence shaping the nation at its outset. The Founders, though, did stop short of giving their Christian religion a position of legal privilege or rule over its citizens. They specifically prohibited establishing a religion of the state but they did not prohibit religion influencing the state. It was freedom of religion not freedom from religion.

 

God bless America and have a blessed Fourth of July.

Posted in #America, #Bill of Rights, #Fourth of July, #Freedom, #God Bless America, Constitution

OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Declaration2

 

Proverb 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

           

Once again we are celebrating our nations Declaration of Independence tomorrow the Fourth of July. The day after Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, in one of the letters John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail said, “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” He also said, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

 

“We hold these truths’ to be self evident. That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ….” The Bible is the greatest Book ever written through men by the inspiration of God. When it comes to documents written by men in the history of nations and governments I believe the greatest document is the Declaration of Independence, and the outgrowth of it, the U.S. Constitution with its Bill of Rights.

 

I believe Abraham Lincoln had it right who viewed the Declaration as a moral guide to interpreting the Constitution and that you cannot interpret the Constitution apart from the Declaration. Others have called it the conscience of the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln also on one occasion used the metaphor of the Scripture in Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” as the proper metaphor to viewing the Declaration and the Constitution together. The apples of gold being the centerpiece, the focal point, and more valuable part (gold vs. silver) and the picture frame being the Constitution (and the Union of the States), the silver, holding the centerpiece together or giving outward structure to it. The picture was not made to conceal or destroy the apple but to adorn and preserve it. The picture (Constitution and Union of States) was made for the apple (Declaration) not the apple for the picture. So when decisions need made, actions are required, laws written or ruled upon, let us keep both in view. Essentially, he was making the argument of natural law and inalienable natural rights are granted by God, Who was referred to four times in the Declaration of Independence as “Nature’s God,” the “Creator,” “the Supreme Judge of the World,” and “Divine Providence.” He argued that we cannot consider the Constitution independently of the purpose which it was designed to serve.

 

The Constitution serves to guard the core principles of the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution takes its moral life from the principles of liberty and equality, and was created to serve those principles, and not a document to be redefined to meet the needs of the time. We are divided as a nation today, because we have broken the connection between these two documents. The Declaration of Independence’s core moral principle of all men being created equal, with certain inalienable rights, and with liberty for all has influenced the greatest freedoms and quality of life any nation on Earth has ever known.

Posted in #America, #Bill of Rights, Constitution, Declaration of Independence
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