“Be On Your Guard Against Every Form of Greed” (10/26)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Luke 12-13.

Greed is often associated with the wealthy. Those who believe the government ought to confiscate wealth from the rich through higher taxation and redistribute to those who have less will often condemn the “greedy” rich as a way to make people sympathetic to their views. Some will even try to use the Bible to support such government action. After all, we are to seek after equality and justice, right?

Notice what Jesus said to one who complained about an “unequal” and “unjust” distribution of wealth.

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 a abundance does his life consist of his possessions’” (Luke 12:13-15).

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They Prophesy for Money (7/14)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Micah 1-7.

After condemning the rulers for oppressive taxation of the people (Micah 3:1-3), the Lord addressed the prophets who had the same “love of money” (cf. 1 Timothy 6:10) as the rulers. Money, rather than simply proclaiming the word of God, was the primary motivation for these prophets.

Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, her priests instruct for a price and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord saying, ‘Is not the Lord in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us’” (Micah 3:11).

Since their motivation was money and not truth (their claim that the Lord was with them and would protect them was false), these prophets adjusted their message depending on whether or not their audience would support them.
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"Woe to Those Who Are at Ease in Zion" (7/12)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Amos 6-9.

Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, the distinguished men of the foremost of nations, to whom the house of Israel comes” (Amos 6:1).

God was sending a message through the prophet Amos of the coming judgment against Israel. Yet these people were oblivious to the danger. They had other matters to focus on besides divine punishment for sin.
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“Easier for a Camel to Go through the Eye of a Needle”

Camel

And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:23-26).

This is one of the difficult statements of Jesus. It almost seems as though He was discouraging a portion of His followers and future followers (the rich) from coming after Him. Yet His statement was not meant to be discouraging, but a warning of the potential danger that riches can be to one’s spiritual well-being.
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How Long Will You Love What Is Worthless? (5/16)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Psalm 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55.

O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:2-3).

Too many have a warped sense of priorities, especially when it comes to spiritual things. They will reject the things of God, will consider righteousness a reproach, and will refuse to follow the truth. They mock such things and ridicule those who value them.
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The Potential Danger in Prosperity (3/14)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Deuteronomy 8-10.

Before entering Canaan, Moses issued a warning to the people of Israel of a certain danger they would face once they had begun to enjoy the blessings of the promised land.

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14).

Material blessings and prosperity, especially when they are had in abundance, can easily distract one from serving the Lord. Jesus made this point in His parable of the sower:
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A Man of Integrity (1/11)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Job 29-31.

I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? (Job 31:1).”

As Job defended his integrity, he stated that his purity in heart was such that he would not even look at  a woman. While many in our culture argue that there is nothing wrong with just looking, Job made a covenant — a conscious decision and commitment — that he would not look with lust at one of the opposite sex.
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