"RICHES AND BLESSINGS"
From Lynn Eynon
The theme for April is “Riches and blessings.” This is a topic of interest to all of us. And we need to understand this correctly. God's word over and over again promises riches and blessings to those who follow Him, follow His ways, live like He wants us to live. God's promises have been and still are conditional. But no where does the Bible accurately teach the “health and wealth” gospel that is often heard from some pulpits and numerous TV/radio evangelists. That is a “sounds-good, feels good” message that fits worldly desires not Godly, spiritual desires. People like to hear that because it promises to meet here and now, physical needs. Yes, God is interested in our daily, physical needs ( Matthew 6:24-34 ). Yes, every good gift comes from the Father ( James 1:17 ) and there are many of those gifts from Him. However, I have come to believe that earthy issues are not the primarily concern of God. Jesus came to give us life and life abundant, but the main emphasis of His coming was to save the lost, to give His life a ransom for us that we can have a relationship with God now and eternally (which is a lot longer than the now, duh).
How do we balance our concern for our physical needs and desires and what should be our strong desire for spiritual growth and strength? Most of us don't need any help with the wanting and desiring material blessings. Most of us need to calm down those desires and the powerful pull of worldly things. Jesus tells us to hunger and thirst for righteousness ( Matthew 5:6 ). He tells us to seek first the kingdom of God, that is, the things of God, spiritual things ( Matthew 6:33 ).
How? The answer is simple and yet it is not. Three elements make up the answer: Bible reading and study ( 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 2:1-3 ), prayer ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 ) and church involvement ( Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25 ). You may disagree with the order but not the three, as they all come right from God's word. I choose this order because our prayers can be selfish and misdirected unless we are taught and directed about prayer and life from God's Word. God's word tells us about Him, about right and wrong, about how to live, etc. Then we need to pray for strength from God through His Holy Spirit ( Galatians 5:22f ) to “do” the word ( Matthew 7:24; James 1:22-25 ). We need to be involved in a church to gain further knowledge. We need the church to have the fellowship of fellow Christians as they remind us we are not alone in our serving the Lord and the struggles that can bring. We need the fellowship of the Church to have some spiritual accountability from and to others. On our own we tend to “think we stand” ( 1 Corinthians 10:12 ) strong spiritual when we do not. We can “think too highly of ourselves than we ought to think” ( Romans 12:3 ).
If you have been following along with the Psalms, Proverbs and Parables reading program I believe you have seen the blessing of it. If you have not, I encourage you to start now, pick up with where are in that program. You can always go back and read the passages for January – March later. Yes, it is the Old Testament but the encouragement of the Psalms has proven to be timeless. The wisdom of the Proverbs comes from God through Solomon and helps our lives to this every day. The Parables tell us much about the plan of God through Jesus. We have made this program very easy as we have developed it. You can click on the passage through our weekly Happenings email. You can click on the them through our website. We have them printed out in the foyer on a weekly basis.
Riches and blessings flow from God as we are in His Word, praying to Him, and fellowshipping together as the Church.
All of this so that we can truly be….
Together For Him,