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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Donegal Creek in Lancaster County
Snowy path along Donegal Creek in Lancaster County.
To view this photo in a larger desktop size with a Scripture verse click here.
"Rich Toward God"

Message summary:  Are you rich toward God?

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"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Years ago we visited Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and one morning I took a long walk along the beach. I returned to our hotel on the first road parallel to the ocean, which passed many high-rise vacation condos. I was dressed in rather scraggly but comfortable clothing, not expecting to see anyone I knew and certainly not interested in impressing anyone.

A man who had the appearance of one who might be homeless approached me and said, "It's nice to meet a rich man". We engaged in a brief conversation and I learned his name was Carl. His words came as quite a surprise but also seemed like a golden opportunity for a witness. I responded, "Yes, I am indeed a rich man in Jesus".

We shared for a few more minutes a spiritual perspective on riches and I gave him a tract. "It's nice to meet a rich man." I am not sure what motivated his unusual greeting, although I have my ideas, but it sure got me to thinking. I suppose I am rich in comparison to him since riches are so relative. I am certainly rich in this world's goods, in comparison to those living in many regions of this world (which is the case for virtually all reading this.)

I have written and preached on today's Bible texts several times. But today let us especially focus on the phrase, "rich toward God". The main character in the text was not "rich toward God". He did not use his resources for God but instead selfishly built bigger barns for himself. (See context in "The Parable of the Rich Fool" in Luke 12:13-21)

We all need to consider:
  • Am I a kingdom builder or a barn builder?
  • Am I rich toward God or rich toward this world's goods?
Being rich toward God is a form of wealth entirely different than all worldly measurements. Actually I would be pretty certain that many of the famously rich in this world are not at all "rich toward God". I am equally certain that there are many who live their lives in relative obscurity with little of this world's goods who are truly "rich toward God".

What's your fundamental outlook on life today? Are you storing up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal?" (Matthew 6:19). Or are you storing up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal?  (Matthew 6:20).

Today let us commit ourselves to being "rich toward God"! Let us seek first His Kingdom! Let us build our lives on the solid rock of Christ and be like the person whom Jesus called the "wise man" (Matthew 7:24). When the torrential storms beat upon houses built by human hands they're likely to perish. But when our hearts are shaped by the divine hand of God the storms of life cannot destroy that which is imperishable.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, help us to hear the words of Scripture and be generous toward You. We want to give our all without reserve, to put our hope not in material things which is so uncertain, that can also lead to vain conceit or abusive power. When we store up goods only for ourselves it shows our lack of trust in You and our unwillingness to depend on you. Instead we want to share generously with others and be rich in good deeds. In this way we lay up treasures that do not diminish with time but lasts for all eternity. Keep us on track with this life goal in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God"  Video   Maranatha! Music

"Cornerstone" Video  Austin Stone Worship Live  We ended our service this last Sunday with this song and what a great declaration of the firm foundation we have in Christ!!!

Brooksyne's note: I made a brief reference to Pastor Raymond Koh yesterday and today marks two years that he has been in captivity. A video has been presented in Malaysia that features Pastor Raymond's wife and two daughters. I believe it will inspire you to pray for his release and for his family as they wait for his return. Our longtime reader and friend, Laifong, from New England is close to this family and carries a heavy burden for them which is how we came to learn about Pastor Raymond. Video

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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