Tuesday, September 7, 2010

#63 - The Finer Things in Life

Good morning! It is good to be back! We spent the weekend in Pigeon Forge, TN and got home late last night. We stayed at the Christmas Inn. It was pretty neat! Very festive! We even saw Santa & sang Christmas songs! Wow! Quite an experience for September! Well.... I feel like I have a full day of catching up, so let's get started...

Today's Scheduled Reading: Proverbs 31:10-31, Proverbs 7, Psalms 7, 37, 67, 97, 127
Proverbs 31:21-22 - She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made].
Psalms 37:4-5 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
Well... I'm pretty excited about today's topic. I pray that it makes sense to you and that you are able to grasp what is available for you. That you are able to enjoy the "good things in life" without it being accompanied by guilt. I would say, this is a topic that Satan often tries to use in order to separate the body of Christ. This morning, I pray that we will help unite the body as we dig in to what the Word says on the subject. Abundance. Wealth. And, the Finer things in Life. 

Our Proverbs 31 woman wasn't shopping at GoodWill. Today, she would have been shopping at Saks 5th Avenue or St. John (http://www.sjk.com/en-us/shoponline/couture/). Our Proverbs friend was wearing fine clothes. One website tells it best, "Purple became a symbol of royalty and riches due to the scarcity of its dye.*" You guys, our Proverbs 31 woman DRESSED WELL! She dressed to the 9's! She did not and was not poor! She wore the best there was to wear! HER CLOTHING WAS FINE! 

It seems that sometimes when people get saved, they get this feeling that it means that they then have to change and "be poor" or "look poor" in order to be "holy". They have to do away with the fine things in life because it's not "Christian" or "religious" to have those things. Or... we hear the phrase, "I should do away with my fine things so I can give to the poor. I don't need it. I could use that to help the poor." Do you all realize that the Proverbs 31 woman DID BOTH!!!! She not only dressed well, with class in clothes that were EXPENSIVE... but she ALSO STILL gave to the poor. (Proverbs 31:20) And.... do you know what??? Get ready for this... this is exciting! GOD HAS ENOUGH MONEY SO THAT YOU CAN DO BOTH!!!!!  If you are walking in the revelation that YOUR FATHER really is the Owner of it all, he owns the cattle on 1,000 hills, he is Jehovah Jirah, El Shadai, He is the GOD of ABUNDANCE and with HIM there is NO lack! IF you walk in that revelation, you will KNOW that there is enough, God has enough that, like the Proverbs 31 woman, you can enjoy the fine things in life, while still blessing and helping the poor. 

When you are "delighting" yourself in the Lord, it says in Psalms 37 that He WILL give you the DESIRES of your heart! Even the SECRET PETITIONS, those things that you have had in your head, or deep down in your heart that you would really like to have. Maybe it's a "Tag" watch.... but at $6,000 you can't ever imagine owning something so nice. Maybe you have always wanted a white, fully loaded, with black tinted windows, new BMW. Infiniti QX56, Mercedes.... or a new house with a huge kitchen and top of the line appliances. Whatever your petition is....be it spoken or be it secret, do you realize that NOTHING is a stretch for God! The biggest stretch is probably getting to the point that you know that YOU are worth it! The God can give it to you in the snap of His fingers. That He would give it to you AND meet the needs of the poor at the same time! If you are a parent, just like how you get pleasure out of blessing your kids or grandkids... helping to meet their needs... or better yet, surprising them with something you know they have wanted but wouldn't buy for themselves..... GOD GETS PLEASURE IN BLESSING YOU TOO! God is YOUR FATHER! He wants to give you the desires of your heart!! 

If you live in a country with nothing, you are not more "religious" or "spiritual." The key to it ALL is not letting any of those "things" become an "idol" in your life. That they would not become more important than your God! Like the story of the Rich Man in the Matthew 19:16-27, the Rich man wanted to go to heaven, but went away sad, UNWILLING to give up those things. He HELD his POSSESSIONS in HIGHER ESTEEM then a relationship with God. I believe you can HAVE possession, nice things and in abundance as long as those possessions don't HAVE YOU! I also believe that it is important not to go into debt to "have" those secret petitions. God can do it WITHOUT debt!! 

And just to throw in a quick clarification.... when talking about wealth, a lot of un-knowing people are quick to quote the verse in Matthew 19:23, "...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." We are not talking about the impossible here. It is not talking about the eye of a SEWING needle. The "eye of a needle" was the entrance to a city. It was the door into the city. In order for a man to get his camel into the city, since the door was not tall enough for the camel to walk in, the camel had to get on his knees and scoot in, ducking his head under the door frame. It was not "impossible", and it was done frequently. Just because someone is rich it does not make them "less religious"... but what it can do, is it can allow them to help more people. Where a lot of people are focusing JUST on themselves and their own family.... "How are we going to pay our bills? How are we going to have enough money to buy Christmas gifts for our family? How am I going to make my car payment? My morgage payment?" While a lot of people are thinking ONLY of themselves and meeting their OWN needs.... those people with money, with wealth are able to get past the "Me Me Me - My Problems, My bills, My Debt", people who have wealth and are born again CHRISTIANS are able to not even have to THINK about how they are going to meet their own needs, those needs are MET (Totally Biblical if you read PHIL. 4:19), but they are able to say, "How can I meet the needs of others? How much money can I give away this month to go towards helping others. Feeding the hungry, supplying Bibles to other countries, supporting missionaries." Yes... while their PAID for Mercedes may sit in their 4 car garage, they are still giving away more money than a lot of people who are worrying about just meeting their own needs. 

So... I may have sounded like I was on a soap box... I probably was. I just want to portray that it is OK to have the finer things in life. The Proverbs 31 woman did and so can you! 

* http://www.ridingthebeast.com/articles/colors/

1 comment:

Deb Ellis said...

Yes, my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He gives me the desires of my heart.

Love the new Blog Photo! You look very peppy and full of LIFE!!!!!

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