Invest In Your Future 

Proverbs 13:7
“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”

Solomon is suggesting it is possible to have earthly possessions and yet to possess nothing of true value. At the same time, it is possible to have next to nothing, and have great wealth. He is not saying wealth is evil and poverty is good, but that within God’s economy, some things are of much greater value than others. The Bible teaches us there are three things that are eternal, and investments made in these areas will give a person lasting riches.

First off, God Himself is eternal. Before the universe existed, there was God. He is the un-caused cause that brought all other things into being. He is the source of all life, and the one who holds all things together. He is the one to whom we will give an account when our lives run their course. While it is not wrong to make capital investments and to store up for your family’s future, we must not do it at the expense of investing in a relationship with God. The most important investment we make is a decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Second, the Word of God is eternal. The writer of Hebrews explained that one day the heavens above us and the earth we stand upon, will be folded like a garment and replaced, but the Word of God will last forever (Hebrews 1:11-12). Every promise of God is eternal, and every investment of the Word of God in our lives, will bring eternal benefits. Often, the thing that keeps us from investing time in the Word, is the fact that we do not think it makes a difference. The reality is, when time has run its course, and the things of this life are a distant memory, we will still be reaping the benefits of our investments in the Word of God.

Finally, the Bible teaches us that the souls of men and women are eternal. God has done everything possible for each and every person to spend eternity with Him. He sent His Son to die for us, His Spirit to draw us, and His church to be an influence to win us. When we realize how much others matter to God, and we seek to influence them for eternity, we are making investments that will outlast time. The most important place where these investments are made is within the home.

There is nothing wrong with making earthly investments. There is nothing inherently wrong with riches, or with enjoying much of the pleasures that come with wealth. However, there are things of much greater value than stocks portfolios, profit margins and real estate holdings. The things that matter most, are the things that last forever. Don’t neglect to store up riches where they really matter.

Pastor Jim

 

Where Are You Headed? 

Ecclesiastes 2:24
“Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”

A few years ago, I stumbled across a pretty cool website designed to help create photo albums. In a few minutes, I was able to design a picture book capturing a recent family trip. Ecclesiastes is a bit like a photo album, capturing the travels of Solomon, in pursuit of the meaning of life. Solomon had the unique combination of great wealth and intellect. As a result, nothing was beyond his reach as he searched for the meaning of life, in the midst of living. His journeys took him down many different roads. Sadly, he found no matter what road he traveled, he seemed to end at the same destination. A place he called “Vanity of Vanities.”

Ecclesiastes 1:13 “I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven…”

His first pursuit was to acquire knowledge. He thought if he studied more, he would understand more, and that would make him happy. Solomon became a student of life. His pursuits gained him great knowledge and prestige. People traveled great distances to hear him speak on a variety of subjects, including botany, biology, zoology, philosophy and astronomy. While knowledge is a good thing, and education has great value, Solomon discovered the meaning of life was not found in being the smartest guy in the room. He learned knowledge could not satisfy the craving of the heart; and the more he knew, the more it hurt.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure’; but surely, this also was vanity.”

When knowledge didn’t satisfy him, Solomon chose to pursue pleasure. Because of his great wealth, he denied himself nothing he thought might make him happy. He had any woman he wanted, threw lavish parties with the most exotic themes, drank, partied, and sought to have as much pleasure as money could buy. Sadly, at the end of that road, he found life was empty, and in his wake, he left a trail of devastated lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:4 “I made my works great…

If wisdom and pleasure could not make him happy, certainly stuff would. He decided to live by the motto of “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Solomon built palaces and stables throughout the land to house all the stuff he had acquired. The more he got, the more he wanted, and the less he was satisfied. He took a long hard road that ended in the realization, “life is not found in the abundance of things that one possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

Ecclesiastes 2:17 “Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.”

Poor Solomon. All his wealth, intellect, parties, and possessions could not satisfy; and he was left hating life. Solomon is not alone. History is filled with men and women who spent all they had in pursuit of life, only to come up short. Even today, with all the modern advances, people are coming to realize, there must be more to life.

1 John 5:12 “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Since we were created to know God, the true meaning of life will only be found when we are in a relationship with God, through Christ. Instead of spending your life in pursuit of something you will never find, come to Christ and experience abundant life.

Pastor Jim

 

Power

Psalms 62:11
“God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.”

A number of years ago, I came home from a long day of work, at the end of an even longer week. I was worn out and hungry. Since I was the only one home at the time, I was facing a battle within. My stomach insisted on being fed, but the rest of me demanded rest. Too broke to order out, and too tired to fix a meal, I laid down on the couch and began flipping the channels. I stopped on a show called, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” This a series that displayed the possessions of extremely wealthy individuals. If memory serves me, this was the only time I had ever seen the show. The episode followed the life of a the king of a small Middle Eastern country, whose name I have forgotten. While his subjects lived in poverty, he was one of the wealthiest men alive. They showed his palace, which was the size of a small college campus. What really got my attention, however, was when he traveled to the U.S. He wanted to stay in a particular room in a hotel in Beverly Hills, but the room was booked. Instead of finding another room, or another hotel, he bought the hotel, remodeled it to his liking, and stayed in the room of his choice. Lying there on the couch, I was struck by two contrary things. The first was this man’s great wealth, the second was how it had no effect on me whatsoever. I was still too broke to go out and too tired to cook.

The Psalmist speaks of the wealth of God’s power. He declares, “power belongs to God.” His power is infinite. There is nothing too hard for God. It required no more effort from Him to create the world, than it did for him to heal Peter’s mother-in-law from fever. He spoke the world into existence, and holds it together by the Word of His power. When the time has come, He will fold this one up, and speak a new heaven and earth into being. However, unlike the wealthy prince, God’s power does have direct effect upon my life.

Jesus promised, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The power of God is available to the child of God. A power that will enable us to successfully walk with, please, and serve, the Lord. This power is received by simply asking and obeying. If you feel too weary to overcome the trials or temptations you are facing, the solution is to look up, and ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you. The God to whom this power belongs, promises to empower us through His Spirit.

Pastor Jim

 

Invest In The Future

Proverbs 13:7
“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”

Solomon is suggesting it is possible to have earthly possessions and yet to possess nothing of true value. At the same time, it is possible to have next to nothing, and have great wealth. He is not saying wealth is evil and poverty is good, but that within God’s economy, some things are of much greater value than others. The Bible teaches us there are three things that are eternal, and investments made in these areas will give a person lasting riches.

First off, God Himself is eternal. Before the universe existed, there was God. He is the un-caused cause that brought all other things into being. He is the source of all life, and the one who holds all things together. He is the one to whom we will give an account when our lives run their course. While it is not wrong to make capital investments and to store up for your family’s future, we must not do it at the expense of investing in a relationship with God. The most important investment we make is a decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Second, the Word of God is eternal. The writer of Hebrews explained that one day the heavens above us and the earth we stand upon, will be folded like a garment and replaced, but the Word of God will last forever (Hebrews 1:11-12). Every promise of God is eternal, and every investment of the Word of God in our lives, will bring eternal benefits. Often, the thing that keeps us from investing time in the Word, is the fact that we do not think it makes a difference. The reality is, when time has run its course, and the things of this life are a distant memory, we will still be reaping the benefits of our investments in the Word of God.

Finally, the Bible teaches us that the souls of men and women are eternal. God has done everything possible for each and every person to spend eternity with Him. He sent His Son to die for us, His Spirit to draw us, and His church to be an influence to win us. When we realize how much others matter to God, and we seek to influence them for eternity, we are making investments that will outlast time. The most important place where these investments are made is within the home.

There is nothing wrong with making earthly investments. There is nothing inherently wrong with riches, or with enjoying much of the pleasures that come with wealth. However, there are things of much greater value than stocks, portfolios, profit margins and real estate holdings. The things that matter most, are the things that last forever. Don’t neglect to store up riches where they really matter.

Pastor Jim

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