God Money – Choose Your Master – There Can Be Only One

god money or God – Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve

Read Mathew 6:24-34. Decide whether you will serve god money, or the one true living God.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

god money isn’t everything – but it demands everything

For as long as I can remember I have been taught by several influences, including society, that god money is the key to a comfortable life. Being raised an American, society itself has taught that hard work is required to be successful. Hard work is crucial in life, but not for love of money.

Money is greedy, once you have what you think is enough, you overspend that and need more. When you start chasing money, you race away from God. Life becomes a struggle at every junction as God scrambles to draw you back to him.

Money will require your every ounce of effort as you become a miser, hoarding everything you bring in. Money becomes your master, forsaking God and giving you a spirit of mammon.

The Greek word mammon

Mammon is the Greek word for an all encompassing greed. It could be for money, or stuff. It is the idea that he who dies with the most toys, wins.

This is in direct opposition to God’s word. Jesus says no man can serve two masters. You cannot chase after money and God’s heart. Either you will hate God and love money, or devote your life to money and despise God.

Anything that we seek to replace God with is an idol. It is idolatry. Seeking pleasure or even satisfaction in anything other than God is the worship of false idols.

God Helps Those That Help Themselves?

I hate that saying that “God helps those who help themselves.” There is no scripture that points to this maxim. God implores us to love Him and his people. He asks us to use our money to bless people, and not to worry about how we will eat, drink, or what we will clothe ourselves with. God wants to be your financial planner.

Are you working to provide your family with more than they need? Do you neglect them or God in your quest for money? God wants you to know your needs will be met if you devote yourself to Him. He will not make you rich or even wealthy. He will bless you and provide for you. Seek first the Kingdom of God.

Get Close: Essential For Success In Judo and The Church

After learning to fall, the next lesson I learned in Judo was how to get close. In western culture, getting close is considered rude.

Judo – Lesson number two – Learn how to get close

After learning to fall, the next lesson I learned in Judo is how to get close.

In western culture, we consider getting close as rude. We value personal space in our society. In the U.S., we value personal space very highly.

In eastern cultures, it is less important. Getting in someone’s personal space is not uncommon. This is a major psychological hurdle Judo players must overcome in Judo to begin throwing opponents.

Being effective requires getting close

The same is true of my Christian walk, as it is essential to get close to others to be effective in their lives.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

This poses a big problem for me. I have never been close to anyone. I build walls around my heart to guard it from pain and hurt. This also keeps it from growing in love and eventually hardens it against God and His message.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” – Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV

So long as I keep everyone at arms length, I may feel safe. I am not positioned to be effective in the lives of others. Eventually, employing strength to avoid pain only ends up hurting myself .

Pride comes before a fall

One Judo class, we were practicing a throw called Uchi Mata. It is one of the more dangerous throws. It is difficult to throw me, and falling at over 250lbs really isn’t my thing. As my Judo partner began the steps for this throw, he turned fast. Instead of staying anchored as I expected, I flew around him, landing with a sickening thud. At first, it just felt like a hard fall. As I tried to stand up, I realized my ankle was in severe pain. A couple of instructors helped me off and iced my ankle. While sitting there watching Judo class, embarrassment replaced the pain. I betrayed my training because I was too proud to trust my partner to safely throw me. My ankle still hurts at times and reminds me of this pride I carried.

It is the same pride I exhibit when I forget God’s Grace has covered my sin. It is Him guiding me to who He wants me to become. This pride leads me to actions (or non-actions) that embarrass me in front of God.

Being close to others who are in Christ keeps me accountable and keeps my pride in check. Seeing others fall reminds me of my failures. Displaying God’s grace and love reminds me God loves me and has given me grace. This is why being close to others is important.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

Karma

Read Luke 6:27-36

Karma is defined by definition.com as the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation.

I hear this so often from non-believers and believers. Believe it or not, karma is not a Christian belief.

God is about justice. He is about perfect justice. He is the one who instituted eye for an eye, and also who sent Jesus to die for our sins.

Never once does he say you are rewarded or punished for your deeds. Your sinful actions deserve death. It doesn’t matter how much good you balance it with, you cannot earn salvation by claiming karma.

Good actions do not necessarily bring fortune and bad actions do not always result in bad consequences on earth, or in the afterlife.

What Jesus does preach is that we are to do good with no expectation of good return. We are called to be different, to be better than the world around us.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” – Luke 6:33-34

So go and treat others how you want to be treated NO MATTER HOW THEY HAVE TREATED YOU. In this the world will know you are different, set apart, In Christ.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31