What's Inside

The theological ramblings of a simple man.

Wisdom

Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.

Dean Koontz



"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006
On Prosperity Preaching
Prov 11:25 "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." I don't think that God wants us all to live in poverty. And I don't believe that God doesn't want us to be wealthy. What matters is what you do with what God has given you. If you are financially well off, fine. But what do you do your money? If you dress in Gucci and Prada, drive a $50, 000 whip with two other cars in the driveway for occasional use, wear enough ice that you sparkle 24/7, and there are rooms in your house that are never used while your neighbor can barely pay rent... There's something wrong with you. If you get all that nice stuff, you help your neighbor, and your heart is in the right place... I don't see anything wrong with that.

Prov 11:28 "Whoever trusts in his riches will fall." Money is nice, but it can and will disappear in a heartbeat. When the money goes, then what? Can you have faith in a god who will take care of your needs by blessing you with nothing but earthly riches when your financial stability is ripped away? I'd rather trust in a God of miracles who loves me and will provide for my needs even when there's less than a dollar in my checking account.

Isaiah 3:16-24 "The LORD says, 'The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald.' In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth: instead of beauty, branding." The women (and even the men) in Isaiah's time were more proud of their appearance than they were of anything else, and God punished them.... severely. The threads, the bling, status... it is all worthless without reliance on God.

Matt 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" God values us more than the rest of creation, yet he still cares for and feeds birds and beasts, creatures with no sense of prosperity. Matt 6:30 "God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you." This is one of the key verses for prosperity teaching, yet it doesn't say that God will dress you in nice clothes, just that you will be clothed better than plant life. The passage continues (verse 33) "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." The focus should be on God, then God will take care of the rest.

The book of Amos was written during a prosperous time for Israel. The book condemns the wealthy nation for prosperity leads to sin: neglect of God's Word, idolatry, pagan worship, greed, corrupted leadership and oppression of the poor.

Then there's the words of Jesus in Matt 19:21 & 23. "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven... I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Again, It's not what you have but what you do with what you have. For the rich young ruler in Matthew 19, the cost of what Jesus asked was too much, the material things were of greater (although temporary) worth.


Two more final thoughts. 1 Tim 6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Self explanatory.

Matt 6:19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Do you really want your heart focused on earthly things of no eternal value?

God will take care of me and my family, that is all I ask for.
posted by nicholas casey @ 5:30 PM   2 comments
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