Archive for April, 2008

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THE AUCTION

The upstate NY man was rich in almost every way. His estate was worth millions. He owned houses, land, antiques and cattle. But though on the outside he had it all, he was very unhappy on the inside. His wife was growing old, and the couple was childless. He had always wanted a little boy to carry on the family legacy.

Miraculously, his wife became pregnant in her later years, and she gave birth to a little boy. The boy was severely handicapped, but the man loved him with his whole heart. When the boy was five, his mom died. The dad drew closer to his special son. At age 13, the boys’s birth defects cost him his life and the father died soon after from a broken heart.

The estate was auctioned before hundreds of bidders. The first item offered was a painting of the the boy. No one bid. They waited like vultures for the riches. Finally, the poor housemaid, who helped raise the boy, offered $5 for the picture and easily took the bid. To every-one’s shock, the auctioneer ripped a hand written will from the back of the picture. This is what it said: “To the person who thinks enough of my son to buy this painting, to this person I give my entire estate.”

The auction was over. The greedy crowd walked away in shock and dismay.

How many of us have sought after what we thought were true riches only to find out later that our Father was prepared to give us His entire estate if we had only sought after His Son alone?

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 3:14)
COMMENT: Several years ago, while driving to Detroit, my nephew and I had clear sailing until we got to Cleveland when that “lake effect” snow began to blow horizontally. It wasn’t to the point of being a whiteout, but it was pretty bad. We almost made a decision to stop and get a motel room. Instead, my nephew decided to stop driving 80 mph and slow down to 35. We went on, slowly but surely, believing that God had His angels encamped around us. As we neared Toledo, the weather improved greatly.  We came through that ordeal unscathed. When I think about what Jesus said concerning the tribulations in our lives, a song comes to mind:”I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” When we become Children of God we are not immune to the trials and tribulations in this world, but we can take heart because He has overcome the world. Listen and be elated by this Amplified Bible version of John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in Me (Jesus) you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” So when everything in your life seems to be closing in on you, keep pressing on because you have a Friend who sticks closer to you than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
SCRIPTURE STUDY: John 10:10, John 14:27 and Hebrews 13:5
WISE SONG LYRICS: KEEP BELIEVING IN WHAT YOU KNOW IS TRUE. KEEP BELIEVING, YOU KNOW THE LORD WILL SEE YOU THROUGH. WHEN TROUBLES COMES IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, YOU’LL BE FINE, IF YOU’LL JUST KEEP BELIEVING!

I Cannot Pray

I cannot say OUR if my religion has no room for others and their needs.

I cannot say FATHER if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily life.

I cannot say WHO ART IN HEAVEN if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.

I cannot say HALLOWED BE THY NAME if I, who am called by his name am not holy.

I cannot say THY KINGDOM COME if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.

I cannot say THY WILL BE DONE if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.

I cannot say ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN unless I am truly ready to give myself to his service here and now.

I cannot say GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellow men.

I cannot say FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.

I cannot say DELIVER US FROM EVIL if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.

I cannot say THINE IS THE KINGDOM if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.

I cannot say THINE IS THE POWER if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do.

I cannot say THINE IS THE GLORY if I am seeking my own glory first.

I cannot say FOREVER if I am too anxious about each day’s affairs.

I cannot say AMEN unless I honestly say, “Cost what it may, this is my prayer.”

-Unknown

Excellent and insightful work by Jacques.

***Money won’t fall from the sky like in this picture…God does things His way. (Editor)

0 Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
Proverbs 8:10-11 (NLT)

What will your choice be, if you were in a situation where you can choose to have either a lot of money or wisdom? I suspect a lot of people in this world will go for the money. Why? The can see the money but they cannot see wisdom. So it is natural for them to go for the obvious. Those under the bondage of religion will say they want wisdom because their religious doctrines told them that having money is evil. (They believe) Value wisdom more They are to glorify God and according to their religion, God is glorified when Christians are poor and sick. So, religious people will choose to have wisdom because they think being wise is the same as being poor and sick.

Both sides are wrong. When God tells us to value wisdom more than gold and silver, he is not comparing good and evil. He is comparing two good things. Wisdom covers every area of riches including material riches.

18 I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice.
Proverbs 8:18 (NLT)

So, when you have wisdom, you will have riches, which include a lot of money. In fact, wisdom is the foundation of riches. They were people who had a lot of money but no wisdom. As a result, they ended up being harmed by their money. They had lost all their money, got into drugs, addicted to gambling, being infected with sexually transmitted diseases or imprisoned for fraud.

” Religious” people will capitalize on this and propagate the lie that riches are evil. According to their religious doctrines, God wants us to be poor because riches will harm us. If they are right, heaven must be very poor.

(based on this theory) Jesus should not have promised mansions in heaven to his disciples when he spent the last night with them. Jesus should have promised them mud huts in heaven. The roads in heavens should not be made from gold. They should be made from sand.

It is clear now that God wants us Christians to be rich on earth and in heaven. However he does not want us to be harmed by riches. This is why he wants us to have the wisdom to manage our riches. It does not matter if you are very poor right now. As long as you have the wisdom of God you are in position to receive abundant riches.

Riches by themselves are neutral. They are neither good nor evil. It depends on who is controlling them. Riches in the hands of the foolish will only cause harm but when they are in the hands of the wise, they will bring good to the people. Riches in the hands of the wise will result in lesser people dying of starvation, more people getting to hear the Gospel, more poor people having access to basic medical care, clean water, sanitation, education and all the assistance they need to overcome their poverty. One of the reasons our God wants us rich is because he has compassion for the poor and suffering people in the world. He wants to give us abundant riches because he can trust us to manage them and to channel them to help the poor and the suffering. He can trust us because we have his wisdom.

If you want to be rich, start by learning the wisdom of God. The book of Proverbs is about the wisdom of God. There are 31 chapters in it, which coincides with 31 days in a month. You can start by reading one chapter a day by aligning the chapter and the date. For example, read Chapter 1 on the first every month, Chapter 2 on the second every month and so on. In this way, you are daily exposed to the wisdom of God.

Please note that wisdom is more than just acquiring and managing a lot of money. It covers every area of our lives. It tells us about faithfulness, success, relationships, health, long life and many things that we care about. No matter what your needs and desires are, you need wisdom to achieve them. Start picking up your Bible and turn to Proverbs.

Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Proverbs 10:14 (NLT)

One of the characteristics of the wise is we love to learn. It does not matter where you are or what you are working as, there are always things to learn. There is always knowledge to be gained. God wants us to store up knowledge. He wants us to make continuous learning our life long habit. I don’t think I have to explain why. We are living in a knowledge economy. Knowledge brings power and riches. Peter Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker” to describe the transition of the economy in 1966. Knowledge workers are people who work with their knowledge and not muscles. If we can apply our knowledge correctly, there is no limit on how much we can earn.

There are several parts in storing up knowledge.

The first is formal education. I am referring to education systems that come with certificates, diplomas and degrees. If you have the opportunity, I suggest you go for it. Professional certifications from recognized institutions are among the best assets you can ever have because you can use them to convince your prospective employers or clients that you have what it takes to do what you claim you can do. They serve as platforms to jumpstart your financial prosperity and career success. In short professional certifications gives you a good start.

However, having a good start does not guarantee a good finish. This is where the second part of knowledge come it. It refers to continuous learning. What have you done in your job? Did you just do what you are supposed to do and pack up when the time is up? Or, did you attempt to find out more about your organization, find out how the system works and the interaction with external parties? Did you read books or articles related to your job and industry?

Why do you think it is necessary for you to learn and do more than what you are paid to do? Doing so will prepare you for advancement. You can pray and ask God to create promotions for you but will you know what to do when you get there? For example, you can ask God to make you a CEO of a multinational company. However, you must realize that no companies will pay huge salaries to hire a CEO who does nothing. As the CEO you have to deliver results which is usually better profits. Your company must be more profitable after your appointment in order to justify your huge paycheck. How are you going to create results if you are not prepared for it? So, start seeking God and ask him to lead you to the path you need to go in order to learn the knowledge you need in order to prepare yourself for the position you are longing for.

Finally, storing up knowledge must always include reading the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. It contains the wisdom of God. It is a reflection of what God is thinking. Since, God is the one who created the entire universe, he must knows a lot on how to be successful. In fact, if you read self-help books you will find that the principles they teach come from the Bible itself. The Bible is the source of success principles. You can save a lot of money reading the Bible instead of buying self-help books. Reading, meditating and obeying the Bible brings you prosperity and success.

8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

The second part of Proverbs 10:14 tells us the mouth of a fool invites ruin because fools only know how to speak evil. These are the people who like to talk bad, spreading slanders, lies and curses on others. If you find yourself in a position that people talk bad about you, don’t be sad about it. They are only inviting ruins into their lives. This is also a lesson for us not to be involved in the gossips and slanders of the fools. You may not be able to stop them from talking bad about people but the least you can do is not to be involved in them, or you might share in their ruins