“Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans” May 31

 

"Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans" - As we come into this graduation season, are there warnings in God's Word about how we use education? And what about wealth, can the very blessings of God hinder someone's relationship with God? What about our attempts to bless others? Can they be misguided, such as when we co-sign loans? Can they be a snare to the receiver and to us?As we come into this graduation season, are there warnings in God’s Word about how we use education? And what about wealth, can the very blessings of God hinder someone’s relationship with God?

What about our attempts to bless others? Can they be misguided, such as when we co-sign loans? Can they be a snare to the receiver and to us?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Kings 9 & 10
Psalm 69.1-4
Proverbs 17.18-22
John 11.30-57

 

Dangers of Wealth, Education & Co-Signing Loans

 

1 Kings 9 & 10:

Wealth & Education

 

Solomon has been king for some time and God had blessed him and the nation of Israel beyond imagination. Can you imagine a time in history when the blessings of God were so great that silver was accounted for nothing? And, in fact, the gold that Solomon acquired was measured in “talents.” A talent was 100 pounds and would probably be worth over $5,000,000.00 today.

And it wasn’t just the monetary blessings, God had blessed Solomon with great wisdom—so much so—that the Queen of Sheba traveled 1200 miles at a time when there were no jets, no trains, not even cars, only camels, horses and carts—just to see if it was true!

But then to see how the sinful nature of man can allow even the blessings of God to become a snare. Solomon began to accumulate wealth in a way that he had been forbidden to do. It’s not that it’s wrong to “save” or to have money in the bank, or even to have material goods. Remember, God gave Joseph the wisdom to set aside stores of food to last Egypt through 7 years of famine and enough to sell to people from other nations.

But when we quit relying on God and begin to rely on the “strength of horses” and how many “talents of gold” we have stored up, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Today we may not rely on horses and we may or may not have much gold, but we can easily rely on our retirement plans, our 401Ks, the Social Security System or the government, when God wants us to rely on Him. He is to be our source and our trust is to be in Him, no matter what means He uses to meet our needs.

And what about much learning? Is there danger in education?

Even great wisdom, if it’s the world’s wisdom instead of God’s, can be a stumbling block. Romans 1 tells us:

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (vv. 20-22).

That is the state of much of our educational system today.

Once we begin to focus on things other than God, we can easily be drawn into greater and greater sin. In tomorrow’s reading we’ll see the downward spiral of sin in Solomon’s life.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 69.1-4:

Up to Your Neck in Problems

 

Have you ever felt like the psalmist—so overwhelmed with problems that you felt like you were “up to your neck in them”? Here the psalmist was even falsely blamed for being the source of the problems. Tomorrow we will see that in spite of it all, the writer kept his eyes on God knowing that He would vindicate him in due time.

 

Proverbs 17.18-22:

Co-Signing Loans

 

Verse 18, “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, and becomes surety for his friend.”

co-signing

The word “understanding” is often used in Proverbs and means “the ability to process information.”

This verse is about “co-signing.” So we could paraphrase it, “A man without the ability to process information co-signs for a friend.”

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Besides not being the wise thing for us as the co-signer, it is usually the wrong thing to do where the other person is concerned. There is often a reason they are unable to purchase something on their own: their age, their income, or past decisions, for example. Too many times we are getting in the way of God’s work in their lives and allowing them to get in over their heads.

There may be a few exceptions, but I have found they are few and far between.

 

John 11.30-57:

Anger or Belief

 

throwing stones rocks angerIn chapter 11 Jesus had performed the great miracle of raising Lazarus after he had been dead for four days. It caused some to believe and others to plot to kill him (11.45, 53). The same is true today. While God’s handiwork is everywhere, those who choose not to believe are not only not persuaded, but angry at the suggestion He is at work!

Blessings,
Donna


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“What do you see?” May 7

 

What do you see? One kind of vision leads to greater faith in God the other leads to fear, worry and doubt.What do you see? One kind of vision leads to greater faith in God the other leads to fear, worry and doubt.

Our Proverbs reading reminds us that even the thoughts of an evil man or woman are an abomination to God, because, as Matthew Henry says, “thoughts are words to God.” Think about that! Thoughts are words to God!

Thoughts come, even ungodly ones at times, but what do we do with them? Do we take them and consider them, look at them from different angles, or do we reject those that are not pleasing to Him? What are you saying to God with your thoughts?

A thought, like a bird, may come and land on your head, but you don’t have to let it build a nest!

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 16 & 17
Psalm 57.4-11
Proverbs 15.26
Luke 23.26-56

 

What do you see?

 

1 Samuel 16 & 17:

What God Sees

 

Verse 16.7, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”

God doesn’t look at outward appearances, nor at the amount of education, nor financial or social status, nor great beauty. He looks at the heart!

Make it your ambition to please God with your life (2 Cor. 5.9). Do what you have to do to make yourself available to serve Him. Ask Him to give you the right heart attitude and He will do mighty things. You do your part and He will do His. In fact, it’s His grace that enables us to even do “our part.”

 

What We Should See

 

Chapter 17 recounts the familiar story of David and Goliath.

Verse 24, “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid.”

But the young man David saw things differently:

Verse 26b, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

The other men looked at their size in relation to the size of the giant, but David looked at the giant in relation to the size of His God!

How do you see your problems? Do you see them in relation to God or do you see yourself in relation to your problems? One way leads to greater faith in God the other leads to fear, worry and doubt.  Continue reading

November 18 “Does God still love us when life gets hard?”

problems depressed sorrowWhen life gets hard, it’s easy to believe God doesn’t love us. But what is God doing during those times and is there danger in rejecting His discipline?

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 27 & 28
Psalm 129.1-4
Proverbs 28.26
Hebrews 12.1-29

Ezekiel 27 & 28:

Pride & humility

God continues to speak through the prophet, this time to Tyre, a coastal city in modern Lebanon famous for its trade and goods. In 28.11-17 he speaks to the King of Tyre. This passage and others in the Bible, especially in the prophetic books and the Psalms, have duel meanings. While it is addressed to the historical king and city, it also speaks of Satan who was the power behind the King of Tyre.

In both cases God addressed their pride and arrogance. It was pride that caused Satan to exalt himself above God and cost him his place in the heavenly kingdom.

Stuart Scott in his little book From Pride to Humility, says, “Pride is the epidemic vice. It is everywhere and manifests itself in many ways. As much as we may hate to admit it, we all have pride, each and every one of us. The question is not, ‘Do I have it?’ but, ‘Where is it?’ and ‘How much of it do I have?'”

Pride is the enemy of humility.

Scott says, “… humility is the one character quality that will enable us to be all Christ wants us to be. We cannot come to God without it. We cannot love God supremely without it. We cannot be an effective witness for Christ without it. We cannot love and serve others without it. We cannot lead in a godly way without it. We cannot communicate properly without it. We cannot resolve conflict without it. We cannot deal with the sin of others rightly without it. We especially cannot resist sin without it.”

He goes on to list 30 manifestations of pride (what he calls, “just a sample list”).

Let’s pray that we allow God to root out pride in our lives and help us to grow in humility.

How has God revealed pride in your life? Continue reading

July 23 “Got problems?”

Got problems? If you are like most of us, you have a few, maybe a lot! Are you distressed, fearful, anxious, or discouraged? Where are you looking for the answers?

imagesCAB0B7SS

Today’s Readings:
Ezra 7 & 8
Psalm 88.1-5
Proverbs 21.21-22
Acts 23.16-35

Ezra 7 & 8:

How God protects His Word

As you can well imagine, most of the returning Jews who had lived and been born in a pagan culture had little understanding of God’s law. But chapter 7 verse 6 says:

“This Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given.”

Ezra had faithfully studied and meditated on the laws and precepts of God in spite of the culture around him. And because of his faithful preparation, he was instrumental in teaching the people who returned to Jerusalem from the captivity and was greatly used by God!

bible

Do you suppose he ever wondered, “Why am I spending all this time reading and studying and memorizing?” John MacArthur says in his Daily Bible that, according to tradition, Ezra had God’s law memorized. That would have been at least the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—memorized! God has always supernaturally protected His Word and always had a remnant of men and women faithful to seek to understand and apply it. Continue reading