New International Version (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Covetousness – the evil desire for something belonging to another – is one of the most deeply rooted emotions in the human heart.
The Apostle Paul, who as a Pharisee could speak of his faultless outward observance of God’s Law (Philippians 3:6),
As for my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church. As far as righteousness in the law is concerned, I was blameless.
is finally exposed as a sinner by the command, “You shall not covet” (see Romans 7:7-8).
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[a]8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.
He could refrain from stealing but he could not of himself refrain from coveting.
Anything whereby we may glorify God is a talent. Our gifts, our influence, our money, our knowledge, our health, our strength, our time, our senses, our reason, our intellect, our memory, our affections, our privileges as members of Christ’s Church, our advantages as possessors of the Bible – all, all are talents. Whence camethese things? What hand bestowed them? Why are we what we are? Why are we not the worms that crawl on the earth? There is only one answer to these questions. All that we have is a loan from God. We are God’s stewards. We are God’s debtors. Let this thought sink deeply into our hearts.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
The Parable of the Bags of Gold
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
One of God’s primary means of encouraging Christians everywhere is with truth – truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. The repository of that truth is the Bible. That is what Paul wrote, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonouring and degading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best.
Our wills must be broken to His will. To be broken is the beginning of revival. It is painful, it is humiliating, it is the only way. It is being ‘Not I, but Christ,’ and a ‘C’ is a bent ‘I.’ The Lord Jesus cannot live in us fully and reveal Himself through us until the proud self within us is broken.
This simply means that the hard unyielding self, which justifies itself, wants its own way, stands up for its rights, and seeks its own glory, at last bows its head to God’s will, admits it’s wrong, gives up its own way to Jesus, surrenders its rights and discards its own glory – that the Lord Jesus might have all and be all. In other words, it is dying to self and self-attitudes.
God owns it all (including you too ) and we are stewards of His resources… So with that being said, as stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us, every financial decision we make is actually a spiritual decision. For many, that’s a revolutionary concept. How you manage your finances is a pretty good barometer for the condition of your spiritual life. Since Christ is our Lord and Savior that means we are to consult and include him all our decisions, even financial ones.
If we only give what we have left over after paying our bills, entertaining our families, and put aside for retirement, we have given nothing.
That kind of giving is an abomination to God because that kind of giving exposes our lack of faith and sheds light on our true priorities.
How believers handle their money is inextricably related to the depth of their worship. Whether we place money in the offering plate or not, daily worship should remind us of our continual stewardship of the possessions that Lord has entrusted to us.
God doesn’t look at just what we give. He also looks at what we keep.If we do not give properly we cannot worship properly because worship in its essence is giving thanks and praise to where its due.
In Deuteronomy 16:16 the Lord says “Do not appear before Me empty-handed”,remember it doesnt matter how much we give just as long as we give from our hearts.
When giving money to God or towards the advancement of His will, we shouldn’t only give after we have paid our bills. And also when giving we shouldn’t keep a log of how much money we have given because thats God’s job.
"You do not need to keep up with the amount of cash. Give to Me (God) simply out of a heart of love, and see how much you enjoy the service.”
More so than anything our hearts are desperately proud. All sins being equal, if there is one sin which God hates more than another, and more sets Himself against, it is the sin of pride. Like a weed surrounded by cow manure or feces, pride grows more exponentially in some soils, especially when well fertilized by worldly rank, riches, praise, flattery, our own ignorance, and the ignorance of others. We all inherit pride from our fallen ancestor Adam, who got it from Satan, that “king over all the children of pride.” The funniest thing about pride is that those of us who think we possess it the least really have it the most. But here is the thing you CAN NOT overcome pride on your own for many reasons but I will discuss 2 for now. The first reason being that in order to tackle and battle pride you have to pray to Jesus Christ your Lord & Savior for the discernship to see where pride has not only taking hold of our lives but also where it rears its head in subtly ways. Only then can you battle pride because now you are cognitive of where your weakness reside. Remember it is not just good enough to know but not work towards ridding yourself of pride and that’s where the second part comes in. The second reason you CAN NOT overcome pride on your own are that we need Christ for the will and strength to want to be less self-centered. I have never heard of a slave master willingly releasing a slave to be free from their reign to regain freedom, and the devil is the same way. Only through Christ can we be set free. And since Jesus died for us our freedom has already been purchased but striving to be more and more like Christ is an ever going daily process and that’s why we need Him more than anything.
“Since God is the owner, I am just the manager. I needed to adopt a steward’s mentality toward the assets He has entrusted me with – not given – to me. Everything belongs to God, so it’s our responsibility to invest His riches while they are in our possession in a way that would bring Him the most glory and largest investment. #word4christians”—
“The cure you need when you find your self envying others is finding contentment in God. Understanding that God has a divine purpose for each of us and remembering that as long as we walk with God, we can never be late keeps things in perspective. #Word4Christians”—
Either we will love and serve God, or we will love and serve our idols. Idols exist in our lives because we love them and invite them in. But once idols find a home, they are unruly and resist leaving. In fact, they change from being the servants of our desires to being our masters.