Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

Are we receiving comfort through our wealth?

Are we receiving comfort through our wealth?

Jesus lays out the principles of the Kingdom of God. This excerpt is from what is known as the Sermon on the Plain. It is similar but slightly different than the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon, he also has a series of “woe to you” statements.

Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: “Happy are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Happy are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Happy are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.” Source: Luke 6:20-21, 24

What does Jesus think about money, wealth, poverty, riches and what God wants for us?

Image result for jesus money

There is a lot of confusion among followers of Jesus about money, wealth, poverty, riches and what God wants for us. This isn’t intended to be an indictment about prosperity ministries but it is intended to offer caution both from King Solomon and most importantly, Jesus.

Prefer my life-disciplines over chasing after money,
    and God-knowledge over a lucrative career.
For Wisdom is better than all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 8:10-11 (The Message)

What is most important? King Solomon makes it clear that wisdom is more important than money. This from a man who was one of the wealthiest of his time. King Solomon suggest spending our time focused on wisdom and not so much on money, careers and wealth.

How important is wealth and money to God?

Image result for wealth

The Jesus Manifest continues (Matthew 5-7). This is a critical teaching of Jesus. What should we think about money and wealth? We need to get clear on this. Jesus is! Jesus is very clear on this.

Whom will I serve? It is a stunning question. Jesus now explains that behind the choice between two treasures (where I lay them up) and two visions (where I fix my eyes) there lies the still more basic choice between two masters (whom I am going to serve).

It is a choice between God and wealth, that is between the living Creator himself and any object of our my creation I term ‘money’ (‘mammon’ being the transliteration of an Aramaic word for wealth). For I cannot serve both.

What are we working for? What makes a difference?

Image result for jesus money

The backdrop to this is the feeding of the five thousand. It is a truly stunning miracle. Jesus was moved not to allow the crowd to go hungry. Jesus took care of their physical needs since they couldn’t afford to take them out for a meal. They were very impressed.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” ~Jesus | John 6:26-27

What are we working for? Money or God?

Bankrupt without love

What am I working for?

Jesus wants to know. Jesus has some commands for me on this.

I must act on what Jesus wants me to do. The Jesus Manifesto continues!

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” | Matthew 6:19-21

Can material goods turn our hearts away from God?

Materialism

Material goods can turn our hearts away from God. The pursuit of possessions and wealth and a preoccupation with physical things is futile and dissatisfying. Materialism is defined as “the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things.”

If we are preoccupied with material things, it is definitely wrong. That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for us as slaves of Jesus.

Where is our treasure? What is important to us?

Wealth

Where is our treasure? What is important to us? Is Jesus our Master?

Jesus told us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). He linked this command to the desire of our hearts: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Who is Jesus? Was He rich?

Was Jesus rich in the eyes of God? Larry Pons walks us through 1 Peter 2:18-25 and helps us see God as He strengthens believers to serve under authorities. Christ was not only our example, but he is also our source for endurance and life in this age.

1 Peter 2:18-25 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Submission of Slaves to Masters

18 Household slaves, submit to your masters with all reverence not only to the good and gentle ones but also to the cruel. 19 For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.

21 For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; 23 when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

_____________________________________________________

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — The 2020 date will be announced soon. | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

How should we treat the poor?

In both the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s desire for His children to show compassion to the poor and needy. Jesus said that the poor would always be with us (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7).

I need to care for the poor. There is no other conclusion I can come to. This isn’t something I can delegate.

What Does the Bible Say about Poverty and the Poor? 

Jesus wants us to help the poor. Want to go deeper into this subject? Check out John D. Barry’s new book, Jesus’ Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. Shane Claiborne calls it, “a beautiful vision for a world where everyone has enough.” Robert D. Lupton says it is “a fine handbook for practical mission work.”

John D. Barry is a Bible scholar, pastor, and the CEO of Jesus’ Economy, a nonprofit creating jobs and churches in the developing world. On JesusEconomy.org, people can shop fair trade and give directly to a cause they’re passionate about. John’s new book is Jesus’ Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.

The poor are near and dear to God’s heart. How we treat the impoverished is a major concern throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. You simply cannot have the gospel of Jesus and neglect the call to care for impoverished, marginalized, and outcast — those on the underside of power.

But what does the “whole counsel of God” have to say about the poor, poverty, and how we address it (Acts 20:27)? It’s impossible in an article format to cover comprehensively what the Bible says about poverty, but here are seven major themes that have emerged from my research on poverty for my recent book, Jesus’ Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.

Read more here:

What Does the Bible Say about Poverty and the Poor? – Topical Studies



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

 

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Everything Jesus had to say about the homeless, wealth, prosperity, poverty, riches, the poor, the needy and giving

Jesus had a lot to say about the homeless, wealth, prosperity, poverty, riches, the poor, the needy and giving. Here is a compilation of everything I have found. It is worth reading this to get a sense of what Jesus thinks and what he requires of us.

There is a lot of confusion among the followers of Jesus about much of this. When you read it all, you will get a sense of the mind of Jesus.

My suggestion is to read through this more than once. You may want to read it once a week for a while.

What Jesus tells us needs to be thoroughly absorbed. This is foundational to the radical world Jesus wants us to be a part of.

One question to seriously ask is “Did Jesus really mean all of this?”

The second question that follows is “Knowing what I now know, what should I do?”

Image result for jesus money

Is what “we have” in terms of riches of any value to God?

Godliness with ContentmentPanic over money is greed’s cousin.

Am I content with what I have? Do I have enough to eat and clothes? Is there a good roof over my head?

When I panic over something I have lost, I have stared greed in the face. Panic shows that I am not content with what I have.

God’s goal for us is clear. His desire for us is godliness. That is what matters for eternity. What “we have” in terms of riches is of no value to God.

Godliness is the mission. All else pales in comparison. What will I leave this world with? Not money. Only my love of God matters.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

May I love God and be content.

May I understand the value of godliness.