Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 6

I just can’t get away from Paul’s advice to “be content with such things as ye have” (Hebrews 13:5). I think what God is trying to convey to us is that this is the way we should live our lives, by looking at what He has blessed us with already … and not what He has blessed someone else with. And … to be grateful for what we have … not angry or envious at what someone else has.

Even in what we consider to be difficult times,” we must not lose this focus of first looking at what we already have “in our storehouse.” When the poor widow cried out to Elisha, his first response, his first question was, “What hast thou in the house?” (2 Kings 4:2). Sometimes, we are so overcome by our circumstances that we look elsewhere for a solution first … then, if that doesn’t pan out, we look somewhere else, and, well, you get the idea. It’s the same with prayer: Prayer shouldn’t be our last resort, it should always be first on the list. When you adopt this prayerful attitude about everything, you will begin to look around and realize what you already have. If you do this, I promise your first response will be one of thanksgiving for what you already have “in the house.” The only thing this poor widow apparently had in her house was a small amount of oil. How did that work out?

By the way, even in spite of her great need … she was still willing to give … in faith … of what she already had …

Remember, we already have the greatest gift: The gift of salvation, and Jesus living inside of us!
And, the Holy Spirit, inside of us, standing by, waiting, just waiting for us to realize we have His help too! The world teaches us, and I will admit that one of my all-time favorite quotes is from Henry David Thoreau: “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Wow! I still love that quote! Years ago, I used to have a bracelet which had those very words inscribed. Mr. Thoreau’s quote is so true, yes Christian or not, and the world certainly uses this quote to inspire. Yet … think about this … As Christians, we have the very Spirit of God living inside of us! Living inside of us! And … just waiting … waiting … waiting … for you to ask for His help. If the world’s system can be furthered by statements such as this … how much more, yes “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) … should we be … If we have the very Spirit of God “within us?”

“Did he just say that this is true “Christian or not?” Yes, I did. We must remember that the world’s guiding principles were first originated by and through God’s Word. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about Military maneuvers, social hierarchy, work force delegation, money management, rules for success, it’s all there in the Bible. The world just takes a Biblical principle, and shapes it into “its own.” For instance, how about “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” from Galatians 6:7? This is a Biblical principle, God set it in place, and it applies regardless of lifestyle.

How about this one, Wall Street?: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). The list goes on and on. Yes, this means that even “ungodly” people … are still, in a very real sense, living a life, and being rewarded for their actions … according to Biblical principles. They just don’t know the Source! Here’s one that, sadly perhaps, I have used for example purposes: “I have good news and I have bad news: Jesus is coming back.” Same thing applies to this statement: The fact that Jesus is returning is good news … in fact, great news. What should get us off of our “whatever it is that’s stopping us” is that this will be bad news to millions. Millions who will be lost, without Jesus, when that day comes. Remember that Paul used his description of the “end,” and the return of Jesus (2 Thessalonians) to encourage the church … and, to also make them realize there are so many who need Jesus, who, simply put, won’t be ready, and never, ever will be ready … unless someone tells them about Jesus, and about salvation … which is available only through Him. Period.

The wicked are storing up wealth for the righteous. What are we doing to share “the wealth” of what we have “within us?” Wealth that the world doesn’t understand … nor, will they understand … until it’s too late. Unless … unless someone intervenes in their lives … and explains to them what is, right now, available to them … just like it was made available to you.

When Jesus fed the 5,000, and then, in a separate miracle, He fed the 4,000, when the question arose among His disciples about how they could possibly feed so great a multitude, Jesus’ very first question was, in effect, “What do you have right now? What do you already have in your possession?” The miracle of feeding the 5,000 is found in Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, and John 6. The situation seemed hopeless. Thousands of people, and no food. What to do? Again, the first response Jesus gave, when questioned, “How …?” was this, and we quote from the feeding of the 4,000: “How many loaves have ye?” (Matthew 15:34; Mark 8:5). The secret to success? Bring what you already have to Him … and, He is more than capable of taking care of the rest. In fact, He wants to take care of the rest, but I think that first of all, we must realize what we already have. Allow Him to use that, especially allow Him to use that to bless others. If you will do that, just like with the “leftovers” from each of these miracles, there will be more than enough “left over” to take care of whatever need you may have.

He knows what you need. And, He knows what you already have. Are you ready to trust Him with what you already have in your storehouse? Or … is the real question, “Do you realize what you already have?” If so, then you will be able “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
And, only then will “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (verse 7).

Richard. Vincent. Rose.


Video: June-Weddings, Weeping, Brides, Brothers, and Butterflies

Hi Friends:

I wanted to do something special for this month of June, thinking I could somehow tie in weddings and Father’s day. Maybe I could also offer encouragement to those dear friends whose Fathers are no longer with us, while at the same time add how thankful we should be for those of us who still have a Father in our lives.
Much like the celebration of Mother’s Day: How difficult it is, on this and so many other days, after our own Mother has gone on to be with Jesus, while at the same time being so grateful, so thankful, if our Mother is still with us.

Perhaps there is no better song to honor Fathers, while at the same time celebrating weddings, than Bob Carlisle’s classic “Butterfly Kisses.”

Then, I thought about all of those brides who have lost their Fathers, and how bittersweet the wedding day must be. The one moment both the Father and daughter have been waiting for, looking forward to, for so long: The Father walking her down the aisle, and then … the moment so many brides cherish the most … that dance with her Father …

Then, I happened upon this video: Just before the wedding day, the bride’s Father had passed away … Her brother gives her an amazing gift for the wedding. We share this with the same thought we have, each time we share a video or someone else’s story: If it will touch me, it will touch others. When I cried the second time I watched it, I knew I must share it. On our website, we use the words “heart, power, and emotion” as a common description. There’s no 3 better words to describe the video.

Plus, my Christian brothers and sisters, on this 19th day of June, 2015 … we all just need a “good cry”


Always Be Grateful for What you Have: “My Shoes”

We are in the middle of a series entitled, “Wealth Stored for the Righteous.” A lot of what we have learned is about how important it is to just be thankful for what we already have … to be grateful for the things that God has already blessed us with … to spend more time looking at what we already have, than looking at what others may have …

Then … I came across this video … which in a quiet, but most powerful, powerful way, brings that point home. A little boy, grieving over the condition of his shoes … sees another little boy with brand new shoes … and wishes “He could be like him.”

Please view the video … and, always, always be grateful for what you have right now …
The video is entitled, “My Shoes,” and please view the credits at the end:


Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 5

We continue the series to encourage us to look ahead to our glorious future, yet to not overlook what we already have … what we have, in Christ, right now. Yes, we should always keep our “eye on the prize” of eternal life, but also remember that it is what we do during our journey to “get there” that establishes what reward we may receive once we arrive. To a certain degree, we are all “waiting” to go to Heaven, to spend eternity with Jesus, in the very presence of God forever. Yet, God has given us all certain tasks to accomplish along the way, while we are “waiting.” And … just as in Paul’s day … some of those tasks may not be “pleasant,” the road may not be as smooth as we’d like, others will disappoint and hurt us (and we’ll disappoint others, too!), and we may not be what the world considers as “successful.” God has promised that He will meet all of our needs, and there will be times of “great need” along the way.

If God gave us everything we want … when we wanted it … where would the need for faith be? By the way, there is a big difference between what we want … and, what we need. Remember that in Philippians 4:19, God “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” That does not promise that He will give you everything you want. God, as a loving Father, knows more about what we need than we do!

We should look more at what we have … than look at what other people have … that we wish we had … Hebrews 13:5 sums up this matter of jealousy this way: “Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have …” As you know, the word “covetousness” is a form of “covetous,” which means “feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else; marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another’s possessions.” That’s a pretty good description of what our life’s goals shouldn’t be.

I think a pretty good description of a “happy, successful life” would be one that is characterized by an attitude of contentment. Plainly put, to be content with what we have. This means to be content with what we already have … not driving ourselves crazy trying to obtain what we don’t have. And (God knows better than us), chasing after things we shouldn’t have. I have heard many testimonies to the effect that “if God had given me what I was asking for, what I was begging for, what I was pleading for … it would have ruined me.”

So, let’s begin by just being content with what we already have. What God has allowed us to have, thus far. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:11: “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” This is one of my favorite Bible verses to write in a card, or inside the front of a Bible, to give to someone who is moving away. I have signed this verse with “state” endings, following up the “state I am” with something like, “… even Florida.” I just recently signed a copy of my book with this verse as part of the inscription, using “even the state of retirement.” Please, very carefully note that Paul wrote that “I have learned.” This means that he didn’t learn this lesson from school, or a book … but, this lesson had been learned over time, through many, many circumstances of life.

I’m thinking, “What advice would Paul give us, or give his children, if he were here right now?” Then, I stop and think how ridiculous a question that is … because Paul left us letter after letter after letter to instruct us. In fact, Biblical instruction was the whole idea and reason for the letters to begin with! And, not just to “run the church,” but to run our daily lives, every aspect of our thoughts and actions. Many scholars believe that Paul may have had a son, perhaps even a wife, at some point before his conversion to Christ. When I think of Paul’s “children,” the first person who comes to mind is Paul’s “son in the faith,” Timothy. I’ll pull just two passages from one of two letters addressed to Timothy: “And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). For the love of money is the root of all (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called …” (1 Timothy 6:8-12).

Wow! That sums up exactly the points which I believe God wanted me to share to begin this installment. I had no idea I would include the whole passage, but it fits so well into what we are trying to convey. Note that it is not “money” as the focus of “evil” here … it is the ambition to be rich … to covet riches above all else in life. We are to “flee” from this mind-set, and we must … if we want to be truly, deeply content. And, if we want to escape the “evils” of such covetous ambition. It really doesn’t seem to be “about the money,” but what we will expose ourselves to, in the pursuit of it.

What a rich, rich chapter this 1 Timothy, chapter 6 is! (Did you notice we used the word “rich” in a good way?) The remarkable thing is that these verses only scratch the surface of the instruction Paul gives to his young charge … and, to us. In fact, this passage really begins in verse 5, with Paul warning of the dangers of exposing one’s sound mind to men with “corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness.” In other words, Paul is warning Timothy, and us, to beware of those who equate “riches or wealth” with Godliness. That we shouldn’t take the fact that someone has been blessed with wealth or riches as proof of a Godly lifestyle. Paul’s instruction on how we should deal with these types of men? That we shouldn’t deal with them at all! “From such withdraw thyself” (verse 5). Wow! Remember how we began this whole series with the fact that God has stored up our wealth, to give us at a later time? Well … who do you think has this wealth in their possession now??? We’ll touch more on this later …

I can’t add anything to these words to Timothy, and to us. So, I’ll close with this verse, in the middle of this passage: “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

Richard. Vincent. Rose.