Anyone so naïve to believe that bad things never happen to good people is in for a rude awakening as life with Christ moves ever onward and upward. In fact, it can be argued that the deeper one’s relationship with Christ, the more tribulation, affliction and persecution there will be in this life.
The more abundant life Jesus promised is not to be measured by the lack of negative things happening to and around us, but rather the promises that God will always make a way out and that He will always be with us and never forsake us. The more abundant life is not a blanket promise of immunity from turmoil but rather the promise that no matter what happens to us in this life, we will spend eternity with the Lord our God.
No single subject has caused more confusion and tripped more Christians up than the mistaken belief that in Christ there is no more pain or problems in this life. Preachers and teachers have dangled this carrot in front of downtrodden people for centuries. Of course people respond for the same reasons they buy lottery tickets or purchase “snake oil”.
Salvation does not purchase an earthly life free of troubles but rather an eternity with Jesus Christ. Our redemption in Christ does not provide us with a comfortable life in the here and now but rather the assurance that our sin has been forgiven and no longer keeps us from God. Our righteousness before God does not give us a right to riches but rather the obligation to obey and serve.
Those who take a vow of poverty (and live it) have my undying respect and admiration. Those who cast aside all that the world deems important and focus their lives on becoming more like Christ have my complete support. Those who refuse to compromise with this world and suffer the consequences of rejection, persecution and affliction hold the highest place in my heart.
If God chooses to bless a person with great wealth, it can only be for the advancement of His Word and ministering to the saints. Nowhere in the New Testament is there anything to promote the idea of individual wealth solely for the purpose of relaxation and/or social prominence. Jesus taught His disciples how to live with very little and depend on God for what they need. Jesus did not teach them how to make tons of money so they could retire in Costa Rica.
It spiritually nauseates me to see so many Christians blaming God for their untold riches and success in this life. It troubles me when I see Christians work 60 or more hours per week for the world just to make more and more money to get more and more things. It deeply bothers me that so many of my spiritual brothers and sisters have so much in this life yet give so little of it away.
Jesus Christ is NOT a magic wand that when waved produces a beautiful home, a new car, a big boat, a life of leisure and an inflated bank account. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, Savior and Lord. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus Christ bridges the chasm that separated us from God and through His blood purchased for us eternal life.
If we would spend as much time enhancing our relationship with Christ as we do making money, we would walk in the blessings God has promised. If we would spend as much time becoming one with Christ as we do pampering our flesh with worldly stuff, we would understand who He is, why He came and what He accomplished.
As always, Blessings 2 You!
I wish I could recommend this blog more than once. It is indeed a lethal mixture. Yes, I do know people whom God has blessed financially. I also know some who have given it all away to serve Him. I know of others who are the most generous people I know. One couple I know comes to mind. They don't live in poverty but they don't live extravagantly either. They are always quietly looking for ways to be a blessing to other people and never seek draw attention to themselves... only Christ.
EXCELLENT! And, K Reynolds (@kreynolds)... I was JUST going to write, "I tried to recommend this blog more than once but it's not allowed"... and then I saw your comment!
EXCELLENT blog! I try to refrain from commenting on your blogs because I figure it would seem I'm biased :wink: but I could not NOT comment on this one.
[quote]The more abundant life is not a blanket promise of immunity from turmoil but rather the promise that no matter what happens to us in this life, we will spend eternity with the Lord our God.[/quote]
EXCELLENT blog, Oh, did I say that already?