Wealth And The Kingdom Of Heaven
If wealth, or position, or life-style, or family hinders one’s loyalty to Christ, then that has to be dealt with radically. The radical discipleship Jesus taught does not allow for people to serve God and mammon; their loyalty must be to him first. Salvation is by God’s grace, through faith; and that faith is a radical commitment to follow Christ as Savior and Lord.
Wealth is not necessarily a sign of God’s blessing on a person; and poverty is not necessarily a sign of God’s judgment. Believers must not evaluate spirituality on the basis of worldly standards. In the age to come the righteous will be rewarded with a share in the reign of Christ. But those rewards will be given by God to people for faithful service, and not necessarily to people who had wealth and power here. To please God believers must follow Christ wholeheartedly, and make doing the will of God the top priority in their life. If God grants them wealth (as he did with Solomon), then that is fine; but if getting wealth overrides the commitment, then there is a real problem. If making money, or a name, become the primary goals and leave no room for serving Christ, then being a success by the world’s standards will mean that they are a failure with God and will not have the rewards of the faithful.
The theme of God’s sovereign grace underlies the whole passage. No one should ever say, “I have been obedient to the LORD and therefore he should bless me this way or that.” Salvation is by grace; rewards in the life to come are by grace; and all of it is the decision of God alone. This will be the theme of the next section of the book.
How to Pray to God Matthew 20
Prayer is a great matter in the Bible, and praying to God is one of the most precious privileges we have as believers.
We can learn from the blind men about how to pray to God.
They were desperate to get through to Jesus
we can see that the Lord appreciated their desperateness and stopped to call them to Himself. We don’t need to be formal with the Lord, thinking we have to say the right thing. We can just open up our mouth and exercise our spirit to pray and be desperate to contact Him.
They contacted the Lord directly
The blind men were not only desperate, but they were insistent on contacting the Lord directly.
We don’t need an intermediary to pray to the Lord for us. We redeemed ones have the marvelous right to pray to Him directly. In fact, just by calling on His name, “Lord Jesus,” we can personally contact the Lord who now lives in our spirit at any time.
They spoke in a simple, straightforward way
We can also learn from the blind men how to pray by seeing the simple and straightforward way they spoke with Jesus.
We may think that in order to pray, we have to to use fancy words or the right combination of words. But actually, we see from this story that the Lord just wants us to talk to Him in a simple, straightforward, and conversational way.
They told the Lord exactly what they wanted
Not only did the blind men speak simply to the Lord, but they also told Him plainly what they wanted.
We can tell the Lord directly what we want without thinking we need to say so much in a complicated way. We can tell Him exactly what we need.
They cried out loud
Certainly, God isn’t deaf and knows what’s on our hearts. But praying aloud with our voice helps us to exercise to focus on the Lord in our spirit. Many of us have experienced attempting to pray silently only to find ourselves lost in our thoughts, anxieties, or feelings.
Sometimes due to the environment, we have to exercise to pray inwardly. But most of the time, we have ample opportunity to pray out loud.
Exercising our spirit by praying aloud can strengthen our prayer life.
✍️🦋Mrs. Kalaiselvi Balakrishnan in Jesus Christ 🦋✍️
TO GET SALVATION : “WHERE IS YOUR FOCUS”? (Matthew 19: 16-24)
Today’s reading passage is also recorded in Mark 10:17-25 ; Luke 18:18-25. From this synoptic gospels it is learnt that the man was a Jew, rich and a young ruler ( may be of Synagogue ). The man ran and fell on Jesus’ knees ( Mark 10 : 17 ), and asked a series of questions ( Mat 19: 16, 18, 20 ). The man started well but his end was futile.
1️⃣ HE HAD A RIGHT QUESTION
📌 ” What good things must I do to get ETERNAL LIFE ?”
2️⃣ HE CAME TO THE RIGHT PERSON?
📌 Jesus ✝️
3️⃣ HIS APPROACH WAS RIGHT / GOOD
📌 He called Jesus “.. Good teacher..”
4️⃣ HE GOT THE RIGHT INSTRUCTION
📌 “.. OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS “
5️⃣ HE GOT THE RIGHT COMMAND
📌 “.. GO and SELL your possessions and GIVE it to the POOR ..”
6️⃣ HE GOT THE RIGHT ASSURANCE
📌 “.. you will have TREASURE IN HEAVEN “.
7️⃣ HE GOT THE RIGHT INVITATION
📌 ” COME AND FOLLOW ME “.
8️⃣ BUT THE MAN TOOK WRONG DECISION
📌 “the man became very sad and went away because he had great wealth”.
📌 Thus, the man forfeited entry into the kingdom of God and the opportunity to become a disciple of Jesus.
✅ Today, this is the condition amongst many Christians ( “.. went away from Him ” ).
🔐 Let us unlock the man’s FOCUS:
1️⃣ CONCERNING JESUS : The Jews reserved the word good for God.
📌 The man addressed Jesus as “good teacher”, supposing him to be a worldly teacher . Jesus reacted by saying that only God is good and thus, he wanted to draw his attention that ” if you are calling me good , WHERE IS YOUR HONOR FOR ME AS GOD “.
2️⃣ CONCERNING SALVATION : For him to earn salvation / eternal life is to do some good works.
📌 He said, “What GOOD WORKS must I do..”
3️⃣ CONCERNING 10 COMMANDMENTS : Since he asked what must he do, Jesus answered in terms of doing ( DO NOT..) .
📌 Jesus did not quote the first four commandments ie relationship with God but asked him to obey the last six commandments ie how we relate to one another.
📌 The man replied , “all these I have kept since I was a boy “. A SPIRITUAL PRIDE.
WHAT ABOUT HIS LOVE FOR HIS POSSESSION ❓
📖 The law says , “Do not covet? Love your neighbors ( poor).
📌 But the man in today’s passage loved his wealth and do not want to give it to the poor. He failed because the scripture says , ” For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it ” ( James 2:10 )
4️⃣ CONCERNING GOD :
📖 The law says , “you shall have no other gods before me “.
📌 The wealth is number one ( god ) for the man in today’s passage and he loves it.
💖 Beloved Church, WHERE IS OUR FOCUS ❓ Is it on our Good Works, Wealth, Name and Fame , Denomination or Biblical Knowledge ? The Bible says, “Let us FIX our eyes on Jesus , the author and finisher of our faith..” Heb 12:2
📌 Our good works on earth will not give us salvation. Only by believing in Jesus Christ we will have Eternal Life ( Acts 4:12 )
📌 Practising religion does not necessarily mean that one is being obedient to God .
📌 Our Wrong Attitudes will lead us to take Wrong Decision.
📌 But Right Believing will leads to Right Living 🙌
Glory to God🙏🏼
✍🏾 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳