He, however, had not been to church for many years. He had a talented son who played on an elite travel sports team that practiced and played games on Sunday. That team had won multiple major championships. With self-justification of petty sins, Satan triumphs. For a bottle of milk, 5 a misspelled name, 6 a mess of pottage, 7 birthrights and inheritances have been traded. As we consider the nickel or national-championship exchanges in our lives, we can either self-justify our actions, like Cain, or look to submit to the will of God. The question before us is not whether we are doing things which need correcting, because we always are.
The Lord loves our righteousness but asks of us continued repentance and submission. In the Bible we read that it was a commandment-keeping, wealthy young man who knelt before the Savior and asked what he needed to do to have eternal life. Do you remember the response the Lord gave the king through His servant Aaron? We are to forget self-justifying stories, excuses, rationalizations, defense mechanisms, procrastinations, appearances, personal pride, judgmental thoughts, and doing things our way.
We are to separate ourselves from all worldliness and take upon us the image of God in our countenances. Brothers and sisters, remember that this charge is more than just not doing bad things. There are sins of commission and sins of omission, and we are to rise above both. While serving as a mission president in Africa, I was forever taught this great truth.
I was on my way to a meeting when I saw a young boy alone, crying hysterically on the side of the road. You will be late. About 20 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The young boy was outside. He was about 10 years of age. We found out his father was dead and his mother was in jail. He lived in the slums of Accra with a caretaker, who gave him food and a place to sleep.
To earn his board, he sold dried fish on the streets. But after this day of hawking, when he reached in his pocket, he found a hole in it. He had lost all his earnings. Write your email adress to follow this blog and get updates about new posts via email. When I was 16 years old , I read in the newspaper about world poverty. Chocked by these facts, I opened my Bible later that day and found the story about Jesus and the rich man:. Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then come, follow me. And Jesus explicitly says that the rich man should sell his stuff in order to give to the poor in every Gospel this story is written in Matthew , Mark and Luke In my experience, not many Christians believe in the non-literal interpretation.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Lk In fact, in Luke Jesus says that one cannot follow Him unless one gives up everything one has! Is Jesus actually saying that all Christians should abandon all their stuff and sit naked in some forest eating berries? Mark ends the story about the rich man with:. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Those who leave everything will gain a lot, not just in Heaven but even here and now. We see this in Acts where every Christian literally sells all they have:. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Acts ; , Those who previously lived in palaces got a normal house and those who previously were homeless got a normal house. There was equality and economic community, just as Jesus had been sharing money with HIs disciples John Poor people gain on community of goods so they surely want it, they just rarely get the chance.
It is the rich that have the responsibility to start selling and giving. Are you willing to do that? Very good post. How do you sync this with a modern community living? Thanks for your comment and question! See, there were at least people — possibly — practising community of goods in Jerusalem according to the book of Acts.
The important things is that nobody lives in luxury and that nobody is homeless. Instead, they live in 40 different community houses all around Great Britain. But they share a common purse where all income and expenses are pooled. My church has thrift stores.
Bible Verses About Money: 9 Practical Principles You Need to Know
So we have a continual opportunity to sell our things. And others in the neighborhood can too. Then we give the proceeds to relief and development around the world. In I did just that: I took and lived those sayings of Jesus literally for 35 years…never having a regular salary after Febr, I forsook a few old cars but mostly what I forsook was my own life: how I was used to the safe feeling of a monthly salary and to be able to have money to do what I wanted.
My so called financial freedom which actually had kept me in bondage with invisible chains… I never ever regretted giving that up, as it started a life full of daily miracles of supply from sometimes the most unexpected sources! I would do it all over again if I could! What do you do now? I have some ministries I can apply for which cost money to get involved in. I wonder if I should get a better school degree now and then drop out and help others with that degree.
One thing I think is that I think that Jesus keeps telling me to leave my job and reminding me of this passage and full all in dependence on Him even monetarily. What do I do? Dear weakmadestrongweb, Just read your question posted almost a year ago on charismactivism. It began an adventure of a lifetime, trusting God and watching Him work, but for the most part not without work.
Would love to hear how God has led you this past year. Brother, Thank you for your post. I am a Roman Catholic who has struggled with this passage for a long time. I am not proclaiming that these examples mean we should just forget what Jesus said. It is a call to die. There is nothing figurative about it. However, saying that Jesus called every one who might gain eternal life to sell everything is inaccurate. Not formerly, or a converted rich man who now begged. He used his wealth for the service of the Son of Man and by later fable went and spread the Gospel.
Mary Magdalene, Lazarus of Bethany and Martha had a house that Jesus frequently visited and enjoyed spending time with them and did not proclaim woe unto them. The disciples stay at her house and use it for services. She is not told to sell everything. Nicodemus was not told by Jesus in his discussion on salvation to sell everything otherwise he will rot in the eternal flame.
The Good Samaritan must have had possessions because he had enough to stop and supply what the man needed and then some. Zacchaeus sells half and restitutes fourfold. There is debate as to how much he has left, but the above statements make you think its very plausible he still kept his wealth.
I think every person of means is called, in one way or another, to downsize to a relatively significant extent to help their brothers and sisters. This question has lead me to study economics in college- how can we systematically help the poor? And every single person selling every single possesion halts progress and helps no one. Listen to God. Johnny, he is not saying selling, but sharing. All the examples you gave, if you look at sharing instead of selling which is ur way of twisting what the author says as the solution, it would make sense. The ultimate commandment is to love your neighbou as yourself, not providing systematic help to he poor.
The ultimate commandment encompass more and is very personal and does not bypass the individual in front of u. Do not worry about world economics. The number of people willing to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus are not enough to halt the progress of the world. Many will try to enter the narrow gate but few will be able. I suppose if any of those items were worth a great sum of money the heart of what is being asked is that you would part with those items and do with more modest versions.
Followers are to live modestly and be content with food and clothing. An existence that never gets old but is always new. In addition to the attitude theology answer u mentioned, I was also told. What else can I say…. God is asking that IF He asks you i. This theology provides the most self-righteous justification for the rich not to help the poor. True statement from bible class teacher at church. So by sacrificing my life as a pastor in a rich country , I am already sharing with the poor the much higher salary I could have earned if I were not a pastor.
So it is good to be wealthy and continue to own those possessions. Being homeless in itself is a formust of slow-cooked suicide. I volunteered there and talked to the sisters during their private hour a lot. They are good people but in such misery in terms of emotional needs because the Sisters are not allowed to have attachment. And a lot of the money goes into buying houses for the MissionAries of charity but the poor cannot take shelter in there.
They can at most get a meal and then go back to the street. How much nicer it would be for communal living where the poor actually can contribute and are on equal ground with the Sisters instead of always being the lowest with no future. But unfortunately, you again focus solely on materiaLism. This is understood if you come from a privileged background. You put zero attention on giving up brothers and mothers etc and gaining folds more mothers and brothers etc. People privileged with growing up in love always take it for granted and deny the need exist.
Because they have access to this family love easily. It is like people drinking water very day ignore the importance of water…. Proverty is not just about money. Indeed many poor below poverty line children are much more happier according to their own words after they became adults than some rich ones. No, the rich kids do not ask for it or deserve it as those privileged with a reasonably loving family may be ready to judge. Bottom line, does it matter. Many rich people who share minimally experience miracles and have all their wishes from God all the times, showing their clooseness to God.
Jesus says a lot of things in the new testimony…. And his criteria on love certainly does not just include sharing possession. He looks at humilily, emotional care, patience, compassion, judgement on others, pride, forgiveness, etc etc. If you always use what you yourselfind have done well in as a measuring stick for everyone and ignore everything else outside of money, are you any better handle those you judge?
The more I study Christianity, the more I am not sure if Christianity can offer any hope or if Jesus is real. It is like every single christian wh claims to be close to God or really loves God can offer me absolutely nothing but a bunch of demands or beliefs or judgements that will make themselves feel good. Dear Irene, Just came across your post in charismactivism. Looks like you have done a lot of active seeking and I get the hypocrisy you bring out from many claiming to have answers. The hope of Christianity is found in the person of Jesus Christ. If he had not been raised from the dead and were not alive now and forever, there would be no Christian faith.
He is willing to come dwell inside of each person who believes that he rose from the dead and confesses him as their Lord and Savior. He is the perfect one. He is real and can be known! He is our awesome God and creator, and desires a loving, personal relationship with you. Just saying…God Loves You! Every person has that one thing that he lacks, one weakness that he cannot fully overcome, one thing that he loves more than God…. It may be money, a career, a dream mission, or even a beloved person or pet… even himself…..
What you have just stated is the teachings of demons. This very explanation is the source of the multitudes who will not enter the narrow gate. Jesus says you cannot be His disciple unless you give up everything you have. If you have stuff that you keep for your own pleasure and luxury while people in the world are starving to death what do you suppose God will say?
Did He not tell us to love your neighbor as yourself? How about all the gizmos and gadgets you have? Are you also getting your neighbor the sames gizmos and gadgets? Very well stated. You put this together very well. I have struggled with this question for a while now. Also countless debates, of weather its literal or not. We are to do our best to follow in the footsteps of Christ in some way.
This is a real test of faith regardless of if you believe it is literal or not. Jesus gave many instructions on how those who follow Him should live. The secret is that in order to obey His commands you sincerely have to believe in Him. The ways of Jesus are so opposite the ways of the world and opposite the ways of the sinful nature that only those who truly believe in Him will deny themselves to the extreme that He commands.
It is a narrow door. Many will try to enter but few will be able. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Our hearts must be tested to show where our loyalties lie. God or Money. Others or ourselves. Obedience to His teachings is the test. The words of Christ are not open to interpretation by churchy church North America. I have lived 40 years justifying my false beliefs before until the resent overdose and death of my step daughter. In this journey I realized there is more to life.
Each day is a struggle to say, ok, what is one thing you want from me today? You find that living by faith and talking about faith are two seperate things. There is no room for compromise.
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Where your heart is, your life will follow. The Bible revolves around promice and result anyway you do this, and this will happen. This is clearly outlined in scripture.
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Once you start living this way, everything else starts to make sence and it all falls into place the gospels, acts. Luke 16 the rich ruler. Matthew 19 the rich and the kingdom of God. Acts 2 the early church.
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When he sends out his diciples two by two, they are sent with nothing more than the shirts on their backs. In Acts 2 the early church sold their possessions, gave it to the apostles and shared with those in need. There you have it, the cornerstone of Christianity. Once you start down that path, it simply becomes natural to want to follow the path of obedience anyway, which Jesus says is the measure of whether or not you truly love God.
No simple task, but when you consider the reward, you no longer think of the consequence. Your best friend is there beside you and once you follow that route you find no one could be happier than none other than the Almighty, in person each step of the way.
I do not know anyone who believes Jesus enough to obey His teachings. When I read what you wrote a hope was renewed that someone has ears that hear. My name is Jeff and I have a sincere longing to find others who desire the narrow path. I feel quite alone in my journey and often wish there were others who could help keep me on the narrow way. I just read your post and every other, I got to say im in the same position here and I cant seem to believe in some the things Jesus says but im too scared to turn away.
Something keeps bothering me to follow these teachings. I feel very alone and have hardly anyone i can connect to. Mostly my own fault but i always think i have my reasons too. I never get heard no matter what is bothering me yet i always have to follow these teaching and listen. There may be a reason for all of this or i might just be on the path to destruction. Today i tried to buy an iPad and feel like the world is putting me on a firing squad as if i just murdered somebody. All i own is a council given home by local authority, food in the fridge, an iPhone and a laptop given by my brother.
Day and night i have torments and horrible dreams, constant fear of hell. Nobody understands me and no one is willing to truly help because even though i hear kind words, my world is still a big fat control and torment. But apart from that i have nothing else to be called wealthy or living pure luxury and not thinking about the poor because i am the poor in spirit and finance.
Im angry at GOD day and night. Im not judging but thats how i feel. I get called a DOG day and night, I feel even hurt going to the toilet without being watched and waiting by GOD for me to have a wrong or dirty humiliating thought. I have the most scary miserable life ever and its getting worse everyday. Its horrible. Sorry for making this about myself but i just had to say it for some reason lol. Im not a nice guy by the way, Just a fool. But i do hope if you are having a hard time, there may be someone out there that will help you, i. Surely he loves his creation and he know all the weaknesses you have and loves you anyhow.
I hope hes not like me to be easily offended. So do I brother. I grew up with an abusive father with whom nothing I did was ever been good enough. My childhood, as well as my two siblings, was riddled with physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. Hard not to be angry with all of that.
Yes, you CAN serve in the church.
My anger actually has a hair trigger. Remember, Jesus loved those afflicted- did He not have mercy on the demon possessed man, or the three lepers that called out to him? I have been deeply afraid of God, and I have been angry at Him as well. It felt like a huge weight had lifted off me, and all the drugs that had my head in a fog cleared. From that moment, I was on good terms with God, His anger at me was gone. If I am still angered by someone, then I need to learn to let go. Even if I have to say, aloud, that I forgive them over and over. Forgiveness is letting go so your heart can heal.
Even forgiving yourself. Yeah, I had to do that one two. Sometimes constantly. The devil too. God will convict you, but He will not guilt trip you. And 4 Do NOT isolate yourself. Find beauty in the ashes. Let me tell you something I heard myself when I was beating myself up for failing.
And his son, weary from travel falls from his camel. Does the father deride him, or otherwise neglect his son? Does the man chastise his son, or check on his well being? He is a good Father, patient, caring, and understanding. He will chastise us when needed largely in our arrogance.
But He will not break a bruised reed, or quench a smoldering wick. God chose you from the beginning, you must choose to love Him by loving others and letting go. At one point He finally convinced me that I needed to get medical help for my anxiety issues. I did see a mental health doctor and was prescribed some meds that calmed my mind. But my relationship with God still needed, and will always need, effort on my part. And forgiving is at the top of that list. Dwell on the good, forsake the negative.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. What then? Well… make your life about others. Read Isaiah 58 if your question is genuine. First, I am sorry to see that you are having a difficult time both in fellowship and your relationship with the Father. Try to remember that it is through our trials that we are refined into pure gold!
I know that it is hard, but I do believe in the Word both in the physical aspect and the Word Jesus in the spiritual aspect. To have that longed for freedom, it is important that we have something in this world to hold on to, what we have is the grace that is given to us and the faith in the Word. I also read the rest of your post and the first few things that come to mind are: It is not by works, but by grace that we are saved.
Meaning, and it takes time to understand, but it is the Father that called us into His kingdom here on earth. He called the tax collector, He called Paul, He called you and He called me. Once we can come to the understanding that it is Him that either opens doors, closes doors, it is Him that creates our path and it is not by anything that we do that can make something happen. We just need to do what we know to do, try our best, pray a ton, and trust in Jesus. For it is Him, through the Spirit that teaches us all things. When we grasp this, it becomes our freedom! I feel that the enemy is attacking you the enemy is giving you condemnation, and fear, which is not from the Father.
This is a lie from the enemy who roams the earth seeking whom he may devour. You are a living child of God, a royal priesthood, full of His mercy, love and grace. That is why you are under attack. I think. Why would the enemy attack those who are already lost or those who do not believe? I know, its hard. Fellowship is important, very important but the right people, the right ones.