money doesn’t grow on sprees….

Everywhere you look people are trying to make a ‘fast buck’ and enough just never seems enough!

Success today is measured in the terms of quantity, whether it be wealth, salary, possessions, etc., and we are trained to want more and to do everything possible to get more.  What’s our motivation?  Greed.

This isn’t anything new.  In Luke chapter 12, Jesus is speaking to a very large and unruly crowd (vs 1 says, ‘many thousands’) when someone in the crowd says, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13)

It seems that in asking his question, probably with his brother nearby, the man wants a judge and Jesus can see that his request is selfish…..greedy.  

Luke 12:14 says, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

This guy has an obvious desire for possessions, so much that he will even try to tell the Son of God what He must do in order to accomplish this desire!  He is angry with his brother and is consumed with his inheritance.  Is his desire for justice wrong?  No, but his motivation is!  

But our Lord, who sees the dark places in our hearts, labels it greed and warns the crowd with these words:  ““Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Wow.  He doesn’t just warn against greed but ‘all kinds of greed’.  The dictionary defines greed as an ‘excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain’.

How much is enough?  When is it too much?

I believe that when something takes first place in your life, whether it be money, your job, your talents, etc., and makes you put your relationship with God second, or third….or last….it becomes your ‘idol’.    

Some of these things may even seem normal.  Has your determination to be fit and healthy become your idol?  How about your job, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your (gasp!) computer and cell phone!  OUCH!!!  I struggle with these things every single day.  Your good things can become your primary things….then your primary things become your controlling things.

Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Before one can seek first the kingdom, they must be a part of it. The only way to become a part of God’s kingdom is to be born again. To put your faith and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Saviour! Once you have done this, then you can begin to put God first in your life and reap all His blessings….and life with our Savior is enough!

right to free speech…

Ok.  Yes, the First Amendment of the Constitution does guarantee every U.S. citizen the right of free speech, and I am certainly glad that it does.  Those freedoms were won and have been defended at enormous sacrifice.  But……

Not only are we under the laws of this country, but we are also subject to spiritual laws.  As a christian we carry dual citizenship.  We are not only a citizen of this country, but we are also citizens of the kingdom of heaven.  And as the laws of God’s kingdom are concerned, there is no such thing as free speech.

Remember?  Our words matter.  Each one carries with it a spiritual weight.  And we are ultimately accountable for how we use them.  You can’t simply say anything you want.  And with that in mind, read these words from David…

Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Wow.  That’s something I should paint on the ceiling over my bed, so that before my feet hit the floor, I have taken every precaution to watch my words!

We can sin with our words!  Look at Proverbs 6…..look at what Solomon said:

Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness that pours out lies and a man who stirs up dessension among brothers.”

Ok….I’ve said it before.  YIKES.  In this list of seven things that are an abomination to God, three of them are sins of the mouth.

FREE SPEECH?  Don’t believe the lie.  There’s nothing free about it.  (and by the way…..when you lie….and you are caught?  Saying, “I was just kidding!” doesn’t count…..)