160928A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.  If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked. The poor and the oppressor have this in common: the LORD gives light to the eyes of both. If a king judges the poor with equity, his throne will be established forever. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by a neglected child. When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall. Discipline your children, and they will give you rest; they will give delight to your heart. Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but happy are those who keep the law. By mere words servants are not disciplined, for though they understand, they will not give heed. Do you see someone who is hasty in speech? There is more hope for a fool than for anyone like that. A slave pampered from childhood will come to a bad end. One given to anger stirs up strife, and the hothead causes much transgression. A person’s pride will bring humiliation, but one who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.  To be a partner of a thief is to hate one’s own life; one hears the victim’s curse, but discloses nothing. The fear of others lays a snare, but one who trusts in the LORD is secure. Many seek the favor of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that one gets justice. The unjust are an abomination to the righteous, but the upright are an abomination to the wicked. (Proverbs 19:11-27, NRSV)

If you are a helper of the poor, God will lift you up.

The king will establish his throne forever by judging the poor with equity. When he treats them as his equal, then he will be king forever.

When we look upon people as people and not objects to be used, then we will be a helper to those around us and we will be living as Christ called us to.

So are you a helper?

160927A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor have this in common:
the LORD is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
is riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
the cautious will keep far from them.
Train children in the right way,
and when old, they will not stray.
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.
(Proverbs 22:1-9, NRSV)

Rich and poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of all.

You see we are all children of God, we are all creations of God.

And how we live our lives reflects on who we follow.

If we hoard everything and only look out for us, then we are a follower of the unholy trinity, me, myself and I.

But if we give freely of our blessings, and help others, we are following after God.

So which are you rich in God or poor in God?

160926Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. (1 Timothy 6:6-19, NRSV)

Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Your calling is to live life eternal and live it now.

Not to wait for Jesus to come back to give you a prize, but to live into the life Jesus is giving you now.

Live your life in such a way that others see Jesus and are drawn to Him through your life.

Be generous, storing up treasures in heaven, and flow the blessings you have received back into the world.

Video  —  Posted: 2016/09/25 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Pentecost, Songs, Video
Tags: , ,

Video  —  Posted: 2016/09/25 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Pentecost, Video
Tags: , , ,

160925“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,  who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.  The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.  Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’  He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’  Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’  He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19-31, NRSV)

So what do you see?

Or what do you not see?

Here we have a story of a man who had more than enough for himself, but he did not see those around him.

You see both the poor man, Lazarus, and the rich man die. One goes to be with Abraham, and the other to Hades.

So what did the rich man do to deserve Hades?

Did he inflict the sores on Lazarus?

Did he keep Lazarus at the gate?

It doesn’t say how he treated Lazarus, so we assume that he was indifferent to him. He probably didn’t even notice him at the gate.

And his five brothers, if they are as observant as this man, then they will not be seeing others around him.

But what do we see?

Skin color?

Sexual orientation?

Minorities?

Is someone convicted based on what they look like?

Do we see just what is on the surface, or do we look deeper?

What does Jesus want us to see?

160924Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD; praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time on and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113, NRSV)

From the rising of the sun to its setting we should praise the Lord!

Why should we praise the Lord?

He raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap

He makes the lowly sit with princes.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.

He comes to the help of those in need.

That is why we praise the Lord because He is worthy to be praised!