Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jesus' Instructions On God's Blessings

Our God is a God of blessings. It is his great pleasure to bless and not spoil his children. His ultimate desire is for us to join him for eternity but he also enjoys pouring out good things on those who love him. A person would have to purposefully ignore great portions of scripture and the underlying current of the Bible to miss this point. Just this one scripture alone:

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11)

The words of Jesus. But what the world considers good is not necessarily what God considers good. Scriptures also make it clear that God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are so much higher than our own. Can I tell you, there is more to life than money? Too many of us associate God`s blessings with money. It`s like we are possessed by the thought of it. Jesus told us to consider money to be a tool. Do you remember that odd passage?

Jesus told a parable about a shrewd manager who was being fired so he went to all his boss' business associates who owed money. He cut what they owed so that when he was fired they would remember what he had done and would show kindness to him. When his boss found out what he had done he commended him and did not fire him. An odd parable but Jesus concluded it with this:

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (Luke 16:9)

Money is a tool that will open many doors in this world for the purpose of relationship. Relationship is what is key. But Jesus also gave us plenty of warning not to allow money to become something that it is not. Remember the parable about the farmer who had a bountiful crop? It was so big he built extra barns to store it. Jesus said he was a fool because that night his life would be taken from him and what good would all that wealth have been.

We are all familiar with the passage concerning worry. Jesus told us not to chase after what the rest of the world chases after. We are not to be worried about what we need. We are God's instruments here and he will always make sure we have what we need for life and service. When we chase after wealth there is a change of who is our master. Jesus warned:

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Luke 16:13)

Money is a tool, perhaps a blessing that is intended to be used on others, for others but with eternal benefit. Money is not power. Money is not to be possessed, stored away, hidden for other purposes. Jesus taught that we are to be as generous as our Father is extravagant in love. The possession doesn't matter and the relationship does. Jesus also gave us this warning:

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:10-12)

You are entrusted with many blessings from our Father. He is rich beyond compare and he pours these riches into your life, but it is not to be horded away. You are to be as generous toward others as your Father has been to you. He has entrusted you with great things, to pour those great things into people around you. Understand, generosity marks the children of the Father:

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

It's not just about money but every material and spiritual blessing we receive. Do not be possessed by money but instead possess it. Do not treat it like a commodity but instead a powerful tool. Do not see it as something to be stored away for a rainy day as that shows you do not trust God, but instead, give it out as quickly as it comes in. You are a blessed child of God, so be blessed and be a blessing.

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