Daily Devotional – Rich, Poor, Enemies or Friends

The book of Provers is a contrast between Wisdom and Folly.  The same can be said for someone who only prays for those they love, their own needs, or  never those around them. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR DEC 31, 2020

Pray for the Rich and the Poor; your Enemies and your Friends

For those who are rich and prosperous in the world, some of whom perhaps need prayers as much as those who request them.

Lord, keep those who are rich in this present age from being haughty and setting their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, and give them to trust in God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy: That they may do good and be rich in good works, generous and ready to share; that they may store up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future. 1 Timothy 6:17-19(ESV)

Though it is hard for those who are rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven, yet with you this is possible. Matthew 19:24-26(ESV)

For those who are poor and in affliction, for such we have always with us.

Lord, make those who are poor in the world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, James 2:5(ESV) and give to them to receive the gospel.

O that the poor of the flock may wait upon you and may know the word of the LORD. Zechariah 11:11(ESV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous; good Lord, deliver them out of them all. Psalm 34:19(ESV) And though for the moment all affliction seems painful rather than pleasant; nevertheless, later let it yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11(ESV)

Pray for the least of these Matthew 25:31-46 (added by me) 

For our enemies and those who hate us.

Lord, give us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. Matthew 5:44(ESV)

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do; Luke 23:34(ESV) and do not hold their malice against them; Acts 7:60(ESV) and work in us a disposition to bear with others and forgive in love, Colossians 3:13(ESV) as you require we should whenever we pray. Mark 11:25(ESV)

And grant that our ways may so please the LORD, that even our enemies may be at peace with us. Proverbs 16:7(ESV)

Let the wolf dwell with the lamb, Isaiah 11:6(ESV) and let there be none to hurt or destroy in all your holy mountain; Isaiah 11:9(ESV) let Ephraim not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah harass Ephraim. Isaiah 11:13(ESV)

For our friends and those who love us.

And we wish for all those whom we love in truth, that all may go well with them and that they may be in good health; we especially pray that it may go well with their souls. 2 John 1:2(ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with their spirits. Philemon 1:25(ESV)

Daily Devotional – God’s Called

The saying below has become very popular on Social Media and among evangelicals in general but is it Biblical? Today we will briefly look at God’s Called.

21 Best But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to ...

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

As always we must take into consideration the Whole Counsel of God. Failure to do so even in this instance could lead to false or heretical teachings as you will see. 

So first let us look at the saying does God call unqualified folks. If we are speaking in the terms of Salvation, YES, of course our text will prove that.

On the other hand if we are speaking of ministry the answer is SORT OF. A careful reading of other bible text lists pre-qualifications for; Pastors, Deacons, Evangelists, etc. 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Tit. 1:5-9 then God further qualifies these chosen men through their study 2 Timothy 2:15 of scripture. To call someone to Pastor a church ignoring these qualifications is the same as saying God’s Word does not apply to our church and that is false teaching and HERESY, a term I never use lightly. 

Our text this morning,  1 Corinthians 1:26-31, comes from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. This is a church divided by two factions one I will call the Arrogant and Well Off, the other the Humble and Poor

A breakdown of 1st Corinthians 1 is as follows: 

In v.1-3 Greetings and Salutations to the church

In v.4-9 He thanks God for Christ and the fellowship therein

In v.10-17 He makes a plea for unity amongst the body of believers 

In v.18-25 He describes the Power and Wisdom of Christ

In v.26-31 He closes by reminding the Corinthians of their lowly state before Christ


BREAKDOWN:

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.Paul begins to closes chapter one, by insulting the church at Corinth. Seriously there is no other way I can read this, he is not pulling punches to lovingly sugar coating anything. WARNING; do not read into the text; Paul is not implying God is foolish or weak; he is implying that the those who think God is such a Greek, Moron, for sacrificing His only begotten son are the truly week and follish.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: – Look at your own calling to Salvation, and those around you in the church, how many are of the high and mighty the intellectual elite (prior to conversion did they have that distinction?). Paul points out it is the rare rich noble that believes in Christ.

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; – Instead of Mr. or Mrs. Fancy Pants, God chooses those that the world looks upon as foolish and weak to confuse the world and their so called mightiness. 

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: – The Greek word here translated in the KJV as base things, is the word Nothing.  Paul says God calls the nothings of the world (modern word would be insignificant) to Christ. He uses the nobodies to shame the somebodies. 

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. – WHY? The answer is simple so no one can brag about themselves in God’s presence. As stupid as that sounds I am convinced there are those who try when they day comes when we all stand before God on judgement day.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: –  Not only do true believers not boast in themselves they understand that God is the source of our Life in Christ. 

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. – Paul is quoting Jeremiah 9:23-24 here, and makes it clear if you need boast boast in the Lord. 


APPLICATION:

Paul makes clear in his writing to the church at Corinth that God is please to Call the foolish and weak, that truly believe the Gospel of Christ and Him Crucified. God purposely chose the base or insignificant as far as “the world” was concerned just to prove to who in the end is really foolish and weak.  

The Question is are you to High and Mighty to heed God’s Call? 

 

Was Jesus Poor So We Could Be Wealthy?

Another in the Frequently Abused Verses Series

 

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused VersesThe following entry from that series originally appeared on April 5, 2017.. -ed. (For other articles in this series just type Frequently Abused Verses into the search bar on the right)

Was Jesus Poor So We Could Be Wealthy?

by Cameron Buettel / Monday, August 12, 2019

The prosperity gospel is neither a small nor isolated error. The fixation with money and material riches pervades the theology of its adherents, corrupting every aspect of their faith and doctrine. It is a comprehensive lie—one that skews the very nature of the gospel itself, distorting even the Person and work of Christ.

In particular, it assaults the nature of Christ’s atoning work on our behalf. Forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness are of minor importance at best. Instead, prosperity preachers teach a version of the atonement that serves their material interests. And it all hinges on one verse: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Here’s how TBN televangelist Joseph Prince explains it:

On the cross, Jesus bore the curse of poverty! That is what the Word of God declares: “For you know the grace [unmerited favor] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” Read 2 Corinthians 8 for yourself. The entire chapter is about money and being a blessing financially to those who are in need. So don’t let anyone tell you that the verse is referring to ‘spiritual’ riches.” [1]

Prince is partly right—2 Corinthians 8 is about blessing others financially. But his fixation with money forces him to overlook the obvious flaw in his argument—that Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to give for the sake of other Christians in need. Apparently they had not been—as Prince promised his readers—delivered from “the curse of poverty.”

In verse 1 Paul commends the Macedonian Christians for the “wealth of their liberality” that flowed out of their “deep poverty.” Likewise, in verse 7 Paul reminds the Corinthians of their own spiritual riches: “Just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious [giving] work also.” The Corinthians and Macedonians were wealthy in many ways, just not in the specific way Joseph Prince is.

Phil Pringle, another prosperity preacher and founder of the gigantic C3 Church in Sydney, Australia, leaves no doubt about his interpretation of 2 Corinthians 8:9—going so far as to offer his own paraphrase: “Jesus became poor regarding the wealth of this world on the cross, that those who receive Him may become rich with the wealth of this world.” [2]

Such is the corruption and greed of men like Prince and Pringle, that no subject is off limits in their quest to sanitize and sanctify their perverse love of money. At best, they minimize the forgiveness of sin and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness at the expense of physical health and material wealth. At worst, they do away with the spiritual components of Christ’s atoning work altogether.

That self-absorbed theology collapses under biblical scrutiny. John MacArthur points out the true nature of Christ’s earthly poverty:

This verse is not a commentary on Jesus’ economic status or the material circumstances of His life. . . . The Lord’s true impoverishment did not consist in the lowly circumstances in which He lived but in the reality that “although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7). [3]

Christ was not a wealthy man, but He wasn’t especially poor, either. The poverty He endured was in contrast to the vast heavenly riches He willingly set aside during His incarnation:

Though as God, Jesus owns everything in heaven and on earth (Exodus 19:5Deuteronomy 10:14Job 41:11Psalm 24:150:121 Corinthians 10:26), His riches do not consist primarily of what is material. The riches in view here are those of Christ’s supernatural glory, His position as God the Son, and His eternal attributes. . . . As the eternal second person of the Trinity, Jesus is as rich as God the Father. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9), and “[Jesus] is the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Arguments for Christ’s eternity and deity are inseparable. Since the Scriptures reveal Him to be eternal, and only God can be eternal, Jesus must be God. Therefore, He owns the universe and everything in it, possesses all power and authority (Matthew 28:18), and is to be glorified and honored (John 5:23Philippians 2:9–11)[4]

Therefore, the riches Christ offers us surpass anything this world can offer. Material blessings don’t merely pale in comparison—they fade into oblivion when contrasted with the vast spiritual riches the Lord supplies. Justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and, eventually, glorification—the eternal benefits of salvation are beyond our comprehension. Peter described them as “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for [believers]” (1 Peter 1:4).

And as John MacArthur explains, these are the riches we most desperately require:

Sinners desperately need the riches of Christ because they are spiritually destitute. They are the “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3), beggars with nothing to commend themselves. But through salvation, believers are made “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), sharing His riches because they are made “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). The ultimate goal of their salvation is to be made like Him (1 John 3:2), to reflect His glory in heaven, “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). [5]

Paul anticipated the lies of the prosperity gospel. In his letter to the Philippians, he described its promoters as “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). He charged the church to avoid such worldly distractions. Instead, Christians must fix their hearts on the eternal riches only Christ can provide.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20–21)

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 06 May

MISER

I have gold my hope – Job 31:24

Thou fool – Luke 12:20

A harvest may as well be looked for in a hedge as true grace in a gold-thirsty heart. – John Trapp

The miser deprives himself of this world and God will deprive himself of the next. – Thomas Adams

A poor man wants many things, a rich miser wants everything. – John Boys

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. Today topic WHEN WE DON’T UNDERSTAND