Tag Archives: holy

Four Biblical Thoughts on Riches. Does God want us to be rich?

Does God want us to be rich?

Written by Dan Lee on 15/03/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Contentment, Finances, Money, Poor, Riches
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Are some preachers right when they say God wants us to be rich? They tell us we can get anything just by praying for it. Their lavish lifestyles seem to be an example of how God wants to “bless” us. Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and gave a strong NO to this idea. Here are 4 biblical thoughts on riches:

1. Be Content With God
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Timothy 6:6). This verse tells us that if we are believers in Christ and have a good relationship with God, we should be satisfied. We are already wealthy. On the other hand, when we place anything, including material things, above God, we make idols out of them. How terrible it would be if following Jesus helped us only in this life! (1 Corinthians 15:19) God may use the resources of wealthy people. But James 1:9-11 reminds us that material wealth adds nothing to our value. (Luke 12:15)

2. Eternity is What Matters
Whether we are rich or poor, none of our earthly goods will go with us to Heaven. “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it” (1 Timothy 6:7). The more we understand that Heaven is our true home, the less we will care about getting more stuff, and the more we will use our possessions for God’s glory. Then, we can be like the widow in Luke 21:1-4 who gave all she had and did not worry about what she kept for herself.

3. The Basics are Enough
The Bible talks about those whose "…thinking has been confused. They have lost their understanding of the truth. They think that devotion to God is a way to get rich.” (1 Timothy 6:5) However, Jesus warns how hard it is for rich people to follow Him (Matthew 19:16-26). But poverty does not measure godliness either. A great biblical model is the Apostle Paul, who said “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). We don’t need a lot of nice clothes, or to eat at fancy restaurants every day. We just need to work hard to provide for our families, and trust the Lord to meet our needs.

4. Riches Can Ruin Us
The Apostle Paul tells us the 10th Commandment, (“you shall not covet”), was the way God showed him the sin in his heart. (Romans 7:7) When we desire riches, it may lead us to lie, cheat or, in extreme cases, steal and murder! “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil . . .” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). But if we submit our lives to God and His Holy Spirit, He leads us to live in a way that helps and blesses others, and brings glory to Him.

Pray this week:

that God will help you use money and wealth to please Him

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How to Memorize Scripture Be Like the Cow

Be Like the Cow

Written by Dan Lee on 28/02/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: God, Scripture, Memorization, Meditation
Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.

Psalm 1:2
The Bible mentions many strong and noble animals – the lion, the eagle, the horse. Why would we want to be like the cow?

The reason is that after eating a stomach full of grass, the cow brings back the grass to its mouth to chew it again and digest it completely.

When we read God’s word, we have to “digest” what we read. Psalm 1 tells us to think about God’s law day and night. This means we should “meditate” scripture – think about it over and over again, so we can understand it.

If we go beyond reading, and actually keep His word in our heart, the Holy Spirit can bring scripture back to our mind anytime. This is why it is important to read the Bible everyday, if possible.

Take Jesus for example, when He was being tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), He resisted Satan’s attacks by quoting scripture that He had memorized.

So what are some practical ways we can start to memorize scripture?

1. Choose a Passage and Set a Goal
Memorizing a bible verse here and there is valuable. But a verse is just one small part of a book of the Bible. God’s word is better understood when we read the text around one verse. Choosing a longer passage of scripture helps you avoid changing the meaning of scripture or misunderstanding it.

So, try to select a paragraph or even a short chapter. You might look for a passage containing attributes of God, or one which will help you in an area of weakness. For example, if you lack joy in your life, you might choose Philippians 4, where it says “Rejoice in the Lord always . . .”

Other suggestions are: Colossians 3:1-17; Matthew 5:3-12 (the Beatitudes); Ephesians 1:3-14.

Also be sure to use a Bible version that is easy to read and understand. If 17th century English is hard for you to understand, then don’t choose the King James version!

Finally, decide how quickly you want to memorize your passage. Adding one verse a day may be good. A little bit of daily progress adds up fast!

2. Make Multiple Copies of it
You probably don’t carry your Bible everywhere. Here are some other ways you can keep your memory passage with you at all times:

Type it on the computer and print it out. Then fold the paper so it fits your pocket or purse. Tape a copy to your bathroom mirror where you brush your teeth.
Use a Bible app on your mobile phone or tablet if you have one. There’s even an app for phones that are not so fancy! You can download it here. (Link to AskBible)
Make it easy to find on your smartphone or tablet.
Make an audio recording of yourself reading the passage, or use an existing audio Bible. You can then listen to it while exercising, cooking, or walking.
If you don’t have access to all that technology, you can write your passage out with pencil and paper!
3. Read, Listen, and Speak it over and over
As you review your passage in all these different ways, think of the words and how they sound (this helps you remember it), and also think about the meaning of the passage. Try to hear what God is saying to you through it. And the more you go over it, the more God can speak to you.

Scripture memory can help you with patience! Maybe you are in your car sitting in traffic, or in line at a store, or waiting for someone who is late. Instead of being annoyed at having to wait, pull out your scripture passage and go over it again (but please don’t read while driving!).

Then, when you have memorized the passage, review it often. And then choose the next passage to work on. I am excited to get up each morning, knowing that there is another verse to memorize!

We pray that as you memorize God’s word, hide it in your heart, and meditate on it often, the Holy Spirit will do His work in you and that you will truly be “Transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Pray this week:

Dear Father, thank You for Your wonderful Word, the Bible. I do want to hide Your words in my heart and let You speak to me often. Help me to do this by the power of the Holy Spirit and for Your glory. Amen.

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Do You Know the Real Truth?

Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Written by Joy on 12/10/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Truth
“The people of Berea were more open-minded and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures daily to see if Paul’s teaching was true.” Acts 17:11

The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the REAL thing! Most of us will not fall for an obvious lie, but we can be fooled by a slight twist of the truth.

Know the Enemy’s Strategy
In Genesis 3:1, Satan only changed a few words from God’s original commandment to confuse Eve. When Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he quoted scripture to lure Jesus into sin. Jesus quickly saw the verses had been taken out of context and used for wrong motives. People can be easily led astray by the use of scripture that gives the appearance of following God, but actually promotes selfishness and pleasure-seeking.

Know the Whole Truth
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is a complete message from God, so it all fits together. Be careful of taking verses out of context. Like the Bereans, study the scriptures every day searching for an overall understanding. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth according to Jesus’ promise in John 14:16-17,26.

Know the Meaning
Pay attention to the meaning of words, and check everything against the rest of scripture. If someone talks about “Jesus,” make sure they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible who is God and rose from the dead. “…just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. You happily listen to whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach..” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

Some say that because God is “love,” you can do whatever you want. Some say God is a “judge,” so you must obey these strict laws. Both of these ignore the total truth of scripture summarized in John 3:16 – God does love us! He graciously gave His Son Jesus to save us. Why do we need a Savior? God’s holiness required a just punishment (death) for our rebellion (sin) against God. Peace with God (eternal life) is a free gift for ALL who believe (have faith), just as it was for Abraham in Genesis 15:6 (See also Romans 4)

The entire Bible is a love letter to us from God our Creator. From beginning to end, it shows God lovingly pursuing us to bring us back into His plan which we rebelled against. If you want to go back to God’s plan, accept Christ today. How will you respond to God?

Pray this week:

For the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth.

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Who is the Holy Spirit?

Who is the Holy Spirit?
You are not alone in wondering who the Holy Spirit is

Written by GodLife
Series: Look to Jesus
Tags: Holy Spirit
Have you ever wondered who the Holy Spirit is? You are not alone. Followers of John the Baptist had to admit, "We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." (Acts 19:2).

So let’s look into God’s Word to find out some things about the Holy Spirit, and why this is such an important subject:

WHO is the Holy Spirit?
He is the Spirit of God and of Jesus Himself (Romans 8:9). John 16:13 says, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…”

WHAT does the Holy Spirit do?
The Holy Spirit comforts us (John 14:16); prays for us (Romans 8:26); and guides us to the truth (John 16:13). These are just a few things the Holy Spirit does for us.

WHERE is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is everywhere (Psalm 139:7-8), yet lives right inside of us. “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT)

WHY did the Holy Spirit come?
To bring glory to Christ and to give us the strength to spread His message everywhere: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit’s Power in Our Life
Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

Other religions tell us to live a certain way, but only Christians have the power to live God’s way: The Holy Spirit living inside us. How do we connect to this power?

You must want to be guided by the Spirit (Matthew 5:6)
Confess your sins (1 John 1:9)
Give every area of your life to God (Romans 12:1-2)
By faith, claim the Holy Spirit’s power, according to his Command (“be filled with the Spirit” – Ephesians 5:18) and his Promise (“when we ask according to His will, he hears us . . .” – 1 John 5:14)
You could talk to God and say something like this: “Dear God, I need You. I’m sorry for all the wrong things I have done. I want you to help me. I know my sins are forgiven because you sent Jesus to die on the cross. Thank you for forgiving me. I want Jesus Christ to take control of my life. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit; give me Your wisdom and power to live a life that brings glory to you.”

Look to Jesus…
…to fill you with His Holy Spirit, giving you the strength to live a life that glorifies Him.

Part 3: Get Direction from the Bible

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Understanding the Humble Nature of Jesus

Surrendering our own power and becoming more like Jesus

Written by Dan Lee on 04/10/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: God, Power, Humility
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

Philippians 2:5-7a
Power, like control, can become an idol in our lives. The world tells us to be powerful, to be fast, to be strong, and to be in control. Even just recently in the Olympics, we watched the worlds most physically powerful people come together to compete against each other and admired and envied the power they had. Though there is a time and a place for power in acts like sport, we so often desire power and lean on our own power which moves our focus away from God.

One of the best ways to resist the unhealthy desire for power in our lives is to model our lives after the humble nature of Jesus. His surrender of power, described by the Apostle Paul in Philippians, was one of the most amazing things he ever did!

How do we stay humble like Jesus? First, we have to understand in what ways he was humble…

1. Remember that He was God, yet still humble
Jesus was not just a good man or even a great man. In Matthew 28:18, he said, “All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He was God in the flesh – the One who had existed for all eternity, the great “I AM” (John 8:58). He created the world and maintains it (Hebrews 1:2-3).

2. He humbled himself to become a human
Yet all that greatness, the immortal and eternal, was somehow squeezed into a human body.

In his time on earth, Jesus chose to limit his power. He healed some sick people and performed many miracles. He had all the power and yet He lived His life under submission to the Father. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

3. Know that He gave up his life
“When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7b-8). Jesus’ captors beat him, taunted him, brutally whipped him, and then nailed his hands and feet to a cross. He resisted the temptation to reveal himself the as Almighty God. His plan from the beginning was to give his life for us, because “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

4. He was exalted
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). What a great day that will be, when every human being honors Jesus as Lord. And to extent we imitate Jesus‘ humility, we will be exalted: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6).

Pray this week:

Father, the desire for power is so strong. Help me to marvel at how Jesus humbled himself, and through your Holy Spirit’s power, to humble myself just as he did.

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