For the Love of Money!

A man once worked hard all his life. He toiled with sweat as he slowly accumulated that hard earned money and land. He had married the love of his life and had several beautiful children. He continued to work hard to provide not only shelter, but food and all the many extra luxuries they all enjoyed. As the years passed by, he became older and could no longer live alone. His children that he once spent years lavishing upon, stripped him of all his money and possessions, and only allow him to have less than $50 a month for him to use freely.

Another story is of a very wealthy man. He owned a lot of land and had several people that worked for him. He was known as a so called "Christian", but was cruel to his workers and made sure that they felt less than he. After working for years for this man, a worker quit and said, "If he is a Christian, then I never want to be one."

Greed! It consumes, it destroys, and it is not of God. It is a root that takes over those who allow it to deeply penetrate their heart, until they want more and more and do not care who stands in their way. It divides families as people no longer care about the welfare of others, but believe they alone should be in charge of it all.

Matthew 19:24 says, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Why is that? If a person has money, they should be so thankful to God for providing for everything they need, want, and more. They should be giving some away to help all those less fortunate around them, and they should be content and happy, for they want for nothing! That is exactly the reason why! If you have everything you want, you are not in need of God! Men pride themselves on being the provider. The more they earn, the more they feel like they alone have earned it and no one else "deserves" their wealth. They begin to keep it all for themselves and start to think that since they have used their blood, sweat, and tears to earn this money, no one else is worthy of a penny of it. This reminds me of a family where the father worked and the mother stayed at home with their young children. He worked hard for their money and in his mind felt like she was doing nothing to contribute to their wealth. He decided she should have an "allowance" and only get a small part of what he makes. Even though she was taking care of his children, his home, she was still not worthy enough in his eyes to be equal.

As I watch all the celebrities on tv that make all these millions of dollars, I have yet to see a truly happy person. The news is constantly filled with divorce and how they will divide their fortunes. Even the richest of rich struggle with finances and sometimes find themselves bankrupt, alone, and even suicidal at times. The love of money and pressure of failure consumes those that can't reach that "America Dream".

Let us remember that someday we will stand before God. We can put all the money of this world that we have earned in our beautiful golden coffin, and that is where it will stay. The home, the cars, the trinkets that we hold dear will not be in lovely Walmart gift bags next to us as we stand before His throne. We will be all alone, as our lives, our past, and our future lay before God. In those moments, will God praise you for your love of others, admire you for your selfless sacrifices, or will he condemn you for having a greedy heart that ignored the widows, looked past the poor, and kept their life only to themselves.

May God forgive each of us for our selfishness, and may we always remember that things of this world pass away. It is only earthly, paper money and cannot be used to purchase one of those mansions in heaven.

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


Best Friends With Godly Benefits!

We have all heard the term "Friends With Benefits". It is the newest wave of ungodly principles hitting the world today. It basically refers to having a friend that you can sleep with on occasion if you like while still only remaining friends and never making any type of commitment. This phrase is all over the place now. There are books, tv shows, and movies being made showing that it is ok, and that eventually they realize that it either ruined the relationship or they end up falling madly in love with each other like some fable fairytale.

The sad fact is that people actually believe that this can work. The lies being told by satan through these movies and books are being thrown out to our teenagers in bucket fulls. In society, we no longer believe that God has just one person in mind for us, and as far as saving yourself for marriage, it is being completely cut out of the equation all together. The basic thought now days is that a person should try out as many options as they can. You don't want to only have kissed one person or had sex with just the person you would want to marry. They make it sound like you need to have "sowed your wild oats" and "kissed many frogs" before you find "Mr. Right." It is as if we are living at a car dealership and are suppose to test drive many vehicles before we choose the right one. The problem is, we are not machines! We are humans designed by God. We are created in His image and are not made in that way. We have feelings and emotions that are attached to each person that we become close to. Ask anyone who has ever been in a relationship that ended if they still have feelings for them and they would say, "Yes!" The more people that you "try" out in relationships, the more confused a person becomes. When you find that "Mr. Right" and he eventually does something that upsets you, which he will, you begin to dream about the others you might have been with and thought that they wouldn't have done or said that to you. You begin to compare them to your spouse and the wheels of doubt and distrust begin to turn.

Now, I am going to get really personal here. I arrived at Bible College at the young age of 18. Excited to start a new adventure, I quickly realized that not all boys, even at a Bible college, had the right intentions. Not too long after school started, I had gone on a couple of small dates, but quickly I had met my future husband. We began to hang out just as friends. People thought we were dating, but we weren't. We just were getting to know each other. As the months went by, we decided to start dating, but we had decided to wait for our first kiss, so that we would not be led into temptation. After about a year, I got my first kiss from him and I kept myself pure until marriage. I had decided that long ago, because I wanted to honor God and my future husband. Now, if we get into little tiffs, which is rare, I don't have ways to compare him, because I am faithful to only him. He is my friend with Godly benefits. He is there when I go to sleep at night, and there when I wake up. He is there when I need a hug, and I can know for sure, that as long as God allows us to live, he will be there when I'm old and gray.

God has a plan for each of our futures. Whether he chooses for a person to face this life on their own, or has one special person in mind for us, we are responsible to save ourselves for that one person. The world has tried to tell us that we should be out there, trying out every car in the lot until we FIND that special one. But, we don't need to go looking, for God already knows and has that special person for us; all we need to do is wait for God to place them in our path. And when God brings them before you, remember to keep yourself pure until marriage and do not allow yourself to be caught in situations that cause you to sin. Hang out in groups and spend time just getting to know each other on a Godly level. Wait patiently and God will supply you your "Best Friend With Godly Benefits".

Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."


God Used it for Good!

I was reading in Genesis about Joseph. Many of us know the story about a boy who was a favorite to his father. In jealousy, his brothers sold him as a slave. Through many trials of being in captivity and ending up in jail, he became one of the most powerful men in Egypt. In Genesis 50:20, the Bible says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives". As you read the story, this boy who becomes a man through so many trials and hardships, is so quick to forgive those who had wronged him. It is truly amazing to read as the brothers worry about his revenge and Joseph cannot figure out why they are so worried. He had forgiven them, realizing that even though they had originally intended to harm him, God has used them. In the rest of the story of Joseph, we read there was a drought so horrible, that it would last for years. In preparation, God had sent Joseph there, to interpret dreams and help save the people of not only Egypt, but of the surrounding land, including his very own family. Joseph had realized in his heart, that God had used his sorrow, for a very special purpose.

We all face hardships in our life. As I look back on mine, I think of some of the cruel things that people have done to me. I remember the tears that stung my eyes as I begged God to release me from the pain I was going through at that moment. Even though those times are tough and can even be painful to look back on, I began to realize that God taught me some amazing and valuable lessons through each of those moments. I learned about God's grace, His true love for us, and how He wants us to love one another. He showed me true patience. Sure, there are times when the devil likes to remind me how someone has hurt me and my mind begins to seek revenge! Then God begins to remind me of how He used me, and helped me grow in each of those times.

As painful memories creep up, I encourage you to begin to pray over them and ask God to reveal to you the good that took place in those moments of misery. They can sometimes be very hard to see with our mortal, imperfect eyes, but let us allow the Holy Spirit to show us how we have grown through those tough times. Let us also forgive those who have done wrong to us and leave it in God's hands. Remember, there may have been times that we may have hurt others and would want them and God to forgive us.