The Abundance of One’s Possessions

Christmas giftsDuring the holiday season, it can be easy to become distracted by the “things” of this life. Instead of focusing on one’s blessings and being grateful to God for them, many people choose to focus on the things they do not have. There is certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings of this life. There is also nothing wrong with giving gifts to friends and family. However, we need to keep everything in the proper perspective. We must avoid jealously, discontent, and materialism. Failing to avoid these attitudes can ultimately lead to eternal destruction.

Jesus warned about such a misplaced focus when he spoke with a man who was jealous of his brother. Afterward, He used the opportunity to expand upon the issue in a familiar parable.

Someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?’ Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions’” (Luke 12:13-15).

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Audio: The Entitlement Mentality

Our society has developed an “entitlement mentality” – particularly among the young, but anyone can be guilty of thinking that because they exist, they are “entitled” to certain things. The Israelites adopted this mindset in Egypt. Though they suffered and God delivered them, they often complained about not having what they thought they should have.

The “entitlement mentality” is contrary to certain characteristics we are to have as God’s people – contentment in what God has provided and submission to God’s will rather than seeking our own will. In this lesson we will consider some things that many believe they are “entitled” to today and contrast that belief with Scripture.
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Making Wise Investments (Part 4): The Great Gain of Godliness

Making Wise Investments (Part 4): The Great Gain of Godliness

Why do we serve God? Different people will have different answers to that question. Yet not all of them will have the right motivation. Some are motivated by material gain – a better life now. We sometimes use the term “health and wealth gospel” to refer to the message that is tailored to this group’s desires. Others are motivated by spiritual gain – a better life in eternity. Many are motivated by a combination of the two. In this lesson, we will consider Paul’s words to Timothy in which he warned of the danger of being motivated by material gain and he explained what is the great gain of godliness.

But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment” (1 Timothy 6:6).

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Making Wise Investments (Part 1): The Value of the Soul

Making Wise Investments (Part 1): The Value of the Soul

The first valuable commodity that we will consider in our study is the soul. People often fail to properly consider the value of their soul because their estimation is distorted by either self-deprecation (failing to see how valuable they are personally) or short-sightedness (failing to see past the things of this life). So let us see what the Scriptures teach us about the value of the soul.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).

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The Application of Wisdom: Character (Part 2)

Notes on Proverbs

In addition to the lessons we can learn from the seven abominations, there are other character traits that one will gain from his pursuit of the wisdom that comes from above.
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Why the Righteous Do Not Beg

Workers

The psalmist had an interesting observation regarding the state of the righteous and how they were blessed by God.

I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

This is not to be interpreted as an absolute statement. There may be times when godly people are in such dire straits that they have no other option than to beg. Lazarus was one example of this. We know he was righteous because when he died he was “carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” to enjoy a place of paradise (Luke 16:22). Yet during life, he was “a poor man…covered with sores” who longed “to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table” (Luke 16:20-21). After he died, because he was righteous, he was “comforted” in a place of paradise (Luke 16:25).

Although there are exceptions, generally speaking, those who are righteous will be far less likely to have to beg than others. Even now when God no longer operates miraculously as He did during Bible times, the psalmist’s statement is generally true. Why is that? There are several reasons we can find in the Scriptures that explain why the righteous, in general, do not beg.
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Do Not Associate With Those Who Are Given to Change (6/10)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Proverbs 22-24.

My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those who are given to change, for their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin that comes from both of them?” (Proverbs 24:21-22).

There are times when change is necessary, both in religion and politics. The warning in this passage is not about necessary change, but change for the sake of change. There are some people who are not content, no matter what, and are always looking for something new, exciting, and different. The wise man says we are to avoid such people.
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