Archive for the ‘rich’ Tag

What good deed must I do to have eternal life?   Leave a comment

CamelThroughNeedlesEye

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Mat 19:23

Context: Jesus was about to leave for Jerusalem and a man came running and knelt down at his feet to ask a important question (Mark 10:17-22)

Who was this man? The Gospel of Luke (18:18) tells us that he was a religious leader and Matthew precised that this man was young and rich(Mat. 19:22).

In our era we could say this was the perfect guy any woman would like to marry or the right businessman to make honest deals with.

We discover in these verses that the man was humble and was sincerely seeking for an answer to a question which was a matter of utmost importance to him. His question was simply: ‘How can I get into heaven?’

If he was sick and old we could understand that it was a legitimate question to ask before dying, but here it was a young man which still had vitality and time. Though he was a religious leader, he came with humility and considered Jesus as the teacher who could taught him what to do. The question that this young man had did not just pop up suddenly and caused him to run. I believe that for quite some time he tried to answer this question by himself but nothing worked.

Before getting to the the subject, we can see through this scene, the soul of  a man which says: ‘I am religious, know well God’s laws and obey them but still I feel unsatisfied and not at peace in my heart. I still do not have the peace and conviction that I will go to heaven. Why?

I call this situation the Desperate Soul’s syndrome. He was rich but his soul was still unhappy. His flesh was satisfied with the things of this world, his religious conscience tried but in vain to reassure his soul of salvation but that soul kept lamenting and be desperate. The flesh wanted to fool the soul by saying ‘My soul, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!‘ Luke 12:18

The soul no longer wanted to be fooled. The soul’s desire was not quenched with worldly things and kept tormenting the young man with this question: ‘Where will you make me spend eternity, heaven or hell?’ To this question, the young man had the answer but not the one his soul wanted to hear. This man probably heard Jesus’ teachings before and he knew that Jesus was kind of a doctor who could tell him what he could do to calm down his soul.

Jesus often liked to unroll little by little His plans when talking with people. For example he did not tell the Samaritan woman that she had 5 husbands at the beginning of the conversation, nor did he grant the request of the Canaanite woman at first request(Mat 15) . He wanted the woman who had a blood lesion to reveal herself instead of clearly stating that it was her. Even though he knew there were just a few bread and fish, He asked his disciples how all the thousands people will be fed.

Jesus knew why the rich man came but told him a first answer which He knew the man tried and did not work. Jesus told him: ‘Keep the commandments’.

So the man retorted, OK but which one? The commandments are divided in 2 parts, the first 4 related to God and the last 6 related to man. By mentioning the latter, Jesus again mentioned answers He already knew and practiced:

Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not testify falsely ,  Do not steal and Honor your parents.I obeyed these like many people. Well, even the respectable atheist has a code of conduct and honor his parents, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not testify falsely and do not murder.

Sigh, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”

Now comes the crux of the answer which I believe is related to the first 2 commandments – relationship with God. The rich young man was a religious leader and I believe he observed the Sabbath and probably did not misuse God’s name. However, he did not realize that he was violating the first 2 commandments which dealt with having no other gods. The rich man’s problem was that the god of money,Mammon, invaded his heart and kept him away from God. His possessions made him idolatrous. To deal with this gangrene in his heart, it had to be removed and this caused him a heartache.

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Luke 18:22

Adam Clarke said of this verse:

If thou wilt be perfect – Τελειος ειναι, To be complete, to have the business finished, and all hinderances to thy salvation removed, go and sell that thou hast – go and dispose of thy possessions, to which it is evident his heart was too much attached, and give to the poor – for thy goods will be a continual snare to thee if thou keep them; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven – the loss, if it can be called such, shall be made amply up to thee in that eternal life about which thou inquirest; and come and follow me – be my disciple, and I will appoint thee to preach the kingdom of God to others. This was the usual call which Christ gave to his disciples

What does cupidity means in biblical perspective?

In my opinion, it is not limited to the amount of possession but also about storing up more what is needed for personal use. Storing up more what is needed is then cupidity or greediness. One can be a millionaire without being avaricious and one can possess little and be avaricious. To this Jesus said:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Mat. 6:19

To be rich, therefore, is in general a great misfortune: but what rich man can be convinced of being miserable?

The trade off for the rich man was: Should I get rid of the possession that gives my flesh comfort to possess the peace of soul possession cannot offer?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!

Posted May 13, 2017 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Christian and Money [Part 2]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Mat. 6:3

But when you give to someone in need

It is taken for granted that Christians should give, no matter how much. Caring for the poor, the widows, the orphans and the weak are debts Christians have. Christians have been commissioned to take care of such people.

The Jews called the poor’s box the box of righteousness. That which is given to the poor is said to be their due” – Matthew Henry

Money and gold belong to God (Haggai 2:8). Part of the money God blessed us with is reserved to care for needy people. God has granted poor people some ownership on our earnings. It is their due and it is our duty to give. Are we good stewards of that money God entrusted us to care for the needy? When God calls us to give shall we refuse, give grudgingly or cheerfully as we deem right?

The neighbor of my wife’s uncle is someone who gives grudgingly. One day he came to offer some fruits to my wife’s uncle with this motive “I know you use to eat rubbish, I brought these fruits for you”. It is better not to give if this is the attitude of giving.

There is no specific amount to give as it was under the old covenant. If we have decided in our heart to give cheerfully an amount of money, this is the amount that should be given. Not less, not more.

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, They share freely and give generously to the poor.Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 1 Cor. 9:6-9

James described pure religion as the: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” James 1:27

Ministers like Muller, Whitefield, Moody or Spurgeon believed firmly that it was God’s will for them to build orphanages. Their lives were a living testimony of their convictions. Only God knows where all these money came from to feed all these children!

Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” 1 Tim. 6:17-19

Storing up treasures on this earth is temporary. It will not endure forever. Storing up treasures in heaven is eternal. How then can we have such eternal rewards? By doing good deeds and helping the needy. These good deeds in themselves do not save our soul but render us rich. Good deeds do not bring salvation but they are evidence and fruits of salvation.

The riches you impart form the only wealth you will always retain” – Martial.

Wealthiness is not necessarily a sign of God’s favor. When we think about the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we can deduce that we’ll be judged on the way we manage our wealth. It is not mentioned that the rich man went to hell because he was selfish. However, he did not care for a man who stood at his door. However, he did not care for a man who stood at his door. If God ruled his life, he would have surrendered His wealth to God and help poor Lazarus.

The bible has a lot to say on money and  love. When these 2 words are mentioned together, there’s an evil behind.

At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.” Luke 16:20

Jesus made no mention that the rich man lived in debauchery, was a transgressor, adulterous or criminal. What then was this crime that dragged him to hell? The rich man did not suspect nor did family know that this man was heading to hell. His sins were selfishness and unrighteousness.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.” 2 Tim. 3:2

When God’s people wonder why there’s a hole in their pocket ,it’s most probably because God is not the center of their life. They are selfish and worldly things have priority over God’s kingdom.

You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” Hag 1:9

Posted May 7, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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