Posts Tagged ‘Rich’


Numbers 22:1,2,6,12,13,16-20,22,28,32,33,37 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. Balak son of Zippor, the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites… “Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me. Then perhaps I will be able to conquer them and drive them from the land. I know that blessings fall on any people you bless, and curses fall on people you curse”… But God told Balaam, “Do not go with them. You are not to curse these people, for they have been blessed!” The next morning Balaam got up and told Balak’s officials, “Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you”… They went to Balaam and delivered this message to him: “This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Please don’t let anything stop you from coming to help me. I will pay you very well and do whatever you tell me. Just come and curse these people for me!” But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord my God. But stay here one more night, and I will see if the Lord has anything else to say to me.” That night God came to Balaam and told him, “Since these men have come for you, get up and go with them. But do only what I tell you to do”… But God was angry that Balaam was going, so he sent the angel of the Lord to stand in the road to block his way. As Balaam and two servants were riding along… Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam… “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey”… “Didn’t I send you an urgent invitation? Why didn’t you come right away?” Balak asked Balaam. “Didn’t you believe me when I said I would reward you richly?” Balaam replied, “Look, now I have come, but I have no power to say whatever I want. I will speak only the message that God puts in my mouth.”

A bizarre story it seems and what is with all the confusion about God saying go and then threatening Balaam with death when he does go? How does this relate to us today? (more…)


Genesis 26:1-4,6-7,12-17 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham… So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful”… Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Today’s chapter has a lot more than just the few verses I’ve selected and I sometimes wonder if we should draw more from it but there will be a time for that in the future. After Abraham and Sarah’s journey, we are now journeying with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.

Amazing how true the statement is that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! Isaac says to the Philistines the very same thing his father Abraham said to them that their wives were their sisters.

They were operating in fear instead of in faith and it is only by God’s grace that they were spared. We read later that Abimelech discovers the truth, is angry again, and prohibits anyone in the land from touching Rebekah.

Because Isaac does not go down to Egypt but stays in the land God promised to bless him in, he is now blessed with abundance of everything, so much so that Abimelech requests him to leave the land and Isaac then moves to the valley of Gerar and settles there.

As we read this passage, we can see the pain of lying, the fruit of obedience and the nature of God. What probably surprises us is why God permits suffering in our lives when we willingly follow Him? (more…)


Revelation 3:1-2,8,15-20 I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God… I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name…

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Today’s chapter was all the more meatier than I expected and therefore I apologize for selecting 9 verses to reflect on. This is a continuation of God’s message to the 7 churches and like yesterday’s messages, they speak to each of us at our situation in our spiritual walk.

God knows us, knows our situations and gives us the grace to cope with where we are at. That is obvious from the way He speaks to us in each circumstance or situation. What I wonder is why does God not simply save us from the trials of life and take us straight to be with Him after we accept Him as our Lord and Savior?

To answer that question, we need to look at Jesus’ own life here on earth. He never came with any pomp and never lived in splendor, spent most of His ministry time with the poor, sick, outcast and sinful, did not give Israel the prominence they hoped for, brought His gospel to all regardless of race and lived to see a death so painful caused by those He came to save.

The purpose of our lives in Christ is not to escape the realities of life but instead to live a life of victory in Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are transformed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit and are able to directly communication with Jesus.

When we live in total submission to Him the challenges of this life cannot shake us because we now have God’s strength on our side, His protection of our souls as an assurance, His Holy Spirit to minister to us, His grace to carry us through, His love to overshadow the hate of this world, His peace to comfort us, His joy to keep a smile on our face in adversity and His promise to take us to be with Him as our final reward!

Are we awake or asleep in the spirit, do we see the open door of God before us, are we lukewarm in our faith or have the thrills of this earthly life caught our fancy? I pray today that we awake from our slumber and hold on to the hope that once brought us on our knees to submit our lives to Christ. I pray that those of us who have never experienced Jesus will do so and life a life of victory in Him.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 12
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

I have always been uncomfortable about messages on giving because I fear it takes away from the essence of Jesus. In my head, I separate finances from the spiritual realm as they don’t seem to fit together well or so I thought. This morning, as I read Paul’s recommendation on giving, I saw new meaning to it. That added with our present situation of trying to buy a home with the limited resources we have plus our non-existent credit history has opened my eyes to a new facet in our walk with the Lord. When I first started putting money in the offertory as a little boy, my understanding of giving was that it was a fee we paid, and as I grew up, it felt like buying favors with God. After I was saved, it became a joyous offering of what God gave me.

However, my understanding of giving was limited to finances. As I progressed in my walk with the Lord, I learnt that giving was in all areas of our lives and what we gave was the first fruits of what we had, whether it be our time, our love, our service, our efforts, our participation, etc. When we note that our Lord Jesus was rich, our minds construe it as wealth and we feel sad for what he sacrificed in terms of wealth. What Jesus actually sacrificed was much more and that includes being in the presence of God, something He valued so much that He wanted us to have. The riches Jesus wanted us to have were not simply material comforts but the abounding grace of God. To the blind, the greatest gift is not a lottery but the gift of sight. To the dying, the greatest gift is life. To the materially unsatisfied dying soul, the greatest gift they can have is a fullness of joy that no money can buy, a lifetime of guilt free living, an eternity in the presence of God to enjoy His glory and grace and many more such things that we can never buy. Jesus became poor so that through his poverty and sacrifice, we may become rich in a way no man can be through their own efforts. Are you rich and if so, is that going to satisfy your soul’s cravings?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness…


Luke 20:20-25
Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

How rich is God’s word that each time we revisit it, we can draw new and insightful meaning from it. I hope you are starting to enjoy this journey we have undertaken through the new testament and I hope that God is using his words to inscribe his DNA into your body, mind and soul. The spies sent to falter Jesus approached him in a very respectful manner and posed a question that was being asked by many in the land as they felt imprisoned by the Romans. An answer this way or that would mean certain death to Jesus and we can compare it to a ‘Checkmate’ move in a game of chess. Jesus not only had to navigate himself through an impossible situation but also chose to teach us through it.

I earned my first Canadian paycheck and also got paid for a wedding photography shoot this week. Being carnal in nature, my first thoughts were to see how I could use it for myself, my needs, then my family, etc. However, as a Christian, I am reminded that I need to give to God what is God’s and then to the government what is theirs and live on the rest. Many weeks back, I said that I would tithe 10% of my gross earnings I make to God, before taxes. I probably spoke too soon because I can now see how hard that decision is. However, knowing that I serve the Lord of the Universe who has provided me more than I need, I will give as I should and not hold back from the government too. I know the remainder will only be a fraction of what I earned but I also know our Lord provides as much as we need and so we need to learn to live within what is remaining. I hope you are also encouraged today to stop complaining about how little you have and rather focus on how much you are blessed by the Lord and give back to him what is his.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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The Crooked Tree