Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today in Texas is going to be an awesome day.  The high is to be around 55 degrees, mild winds, and hopefully no sand blowing!

This time of year all the Stock Shows are in full force.  North of Lubbock, Texas, the last month has been host to various Stock Shows with students from all across the Texas Panhandle and South Plains showing; with pride; the animals they have been nurturing for many months.

It is a bitter-sweet time for the kids as they realize their ‘pets’ will be sold to be eaten by the public and possibly by their own families.

This morning in my devotional time, I was reading James 4:2-3James 4:2-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. lusts: or, pleasures  

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 “You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers.  [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.]  You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war.  You do not have, because you do not ask.  (3) [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives.  Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.”  

Why do we work?  The students above work with animals to learn respect for animals, how to care for them, and hone their skills of showmanship.

Are we as adults, jealous of others for what they have gained?  In our Presidental elections, the various competitors speak against each other’s wealth, financial gain and operations.  My opinion is they are jealous of each other, each one trying to top the other in the public’s eyes.

In our day to day lives, we find we are constantly trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ in our material possessions.  Each of us need to reevaluate our motives for our blessings.

Why are we working I ask again?  I know those who work all their lives to gain more and more, and all the while, they are miserable in their marriages.  Do we not value our marriages as much as we do our financial gain?

Here in James (by the way, I used the Amplified Bible) it says if our intentions are wrong for the gain we ask God for, then we are no better than a man or woman who is unfaithful in their marriage.

Yes, there are those close to us who are unfaithful in their marriages.  This is the reason I added the word ‘man’ to the verse.  I feel men and women who fight to gain wealth for the wrong reasons or spend their money only for material things for personal gain are not any better off than those unfaithful in their marriages.

These verses also state, if we are the world’s friend, then we are against God.  What does this mean?

If we love the world and things of this world, our focus is not according to God’s Will.  Our focus is not toward God, therefore, we find we are not following His will.

It amazes me that gaining finances, material possessions, and other blessings from God for the wrong reasons, places us in the same category as unfaithful spouses.  Our finances are to be used for the furtherance of the Gospel.

The Word also says, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.  When wealthy, hording or our blessings becomes a problem, then we are again not in God’s will.  Blessings are given to further the kingdom of God, not personal gain.

God will take care of His children if they serve Him with all their hearts, minds, souls, and yes, our possessions.  The government is not our source, but God Almighty.

I know over the years of serving Him, it would pretty destitute; but He has always come through just in time.  Never late, never leaving us stranded.  He is our Provider.

Many of us begin to look at the world issues, government changes etc. and get down about the future.  Think of Paul and Silas sitting in a dungeon, singing praises to God in the middle of their darkest times.

Can we not do the same?

Today, take inventory of your life.  Why have you worked so hard to gain things which will be taken away from you as you take your last breath on this earth?  What or who have you let go by the way-side during this life of struggle for more?

May I say, we need more of God, not more of this earth.  God loves to bless us if and only if we use blessings for the right purposes.  There is nothing, in my opinion, wrong with wealth, if you use it to bless others and promote God’s will.

What about it?  Are you seeking riches or a closeness to God the Father?

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