Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seek First the Kingdom of God

Did you read about the man who lost his job and went home to see his wife and five kids? He killed them and himself because he was so upset about losing his job. I would say that this is an extreme example of loving and serving mammon more than God.
In Matthew 6 Jesus offered us a beautiful and healthy way to look at material things. It is the way we can keep our wits about us during this economic slowdown.
19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (If you want security do not place your mind on getting it from material goods. Mold, rust, inflation and a lowering stock market can take our material treasures away from us. No body can take heaven's treasures from us.)
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (My dad always said, "The pocket book nerve is the nerve closest to a man's heart.)

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (This is powerful. The eyes are windows to the soul. If they are filled with evil, greed, mammon and self service the soul will be in a dark dungeon!)

24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
Not long ago Bernard Madoff, a very wealthy investor, was found to have been ripping off his investors for some 50 Billion dollars. They included his own family, his Rabbi and Congregation as well as numerous Jewish and secular charities.

How dark would a man's soul need to be to do such a thing? He had many houses, yachts and assorted luxurious items while stealing from charities. He attended Synagogue, gave to their charities and yet was so greedy that honoring God was a complete fake.

But to a lesser extent, many of us choose mammon over God. We worship the things money will buy and long for it in the bank or retirement account so we will feel secure. Is my security in things or in God. Jesus gives us this advice.

32 The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Is my security in things or the God who supplies all my things?

During this financial meltdown I have seen my retirement fund almost disappear. I was very anxious and I sought the Holy Spirit's guidance. He spoke to my heart and comforted me. (I'll tell you later what He said to me.)

Have you sought the Lord and His Kingdom during the meltdown? Did He comfort you?

Are you trying to operate in His kingdom rather than the political kingdom?
Are you exceedingly worried about your things? Does the worry help you or increase the bank account?
Let me know what you are experiencing.

Gary Sweeten

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