Category Archives: Generous

Instructions for All Who Follow Christ

1 Timothy 6 contains timeless wisdom for us to consider and apply in our lives. As you begin to read, consider that though the slave / master guidance may seem obsolete, perhaps you should consider it in regards to employee / employer perspective as I believe it still applies in that context or others where you are subject to proper authority.

1 Timothy 6

Instructions to Those Who Minister

     1All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.

      3If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

      11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

      17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

      20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Lending Money, Forgiving Debts, And Helping The Poor

What a beautiful way to take care of one another… and it it not unique to the book of Acts. This is Deuteronomy. YHWH instructs His people regarding how to help the poor and how to forgive debts. Surprisingly to most of us, He explicitly says we are not to avoid this situation by not lending money, but rather lend generously for those in need, and then forgive the debts every 7th year. Imagine how our society could be transformed if we could live more closely to how YHWH instructs us.

Keep in mind, however, this is not socialism. The government has no role in this. Further, this passage, similar to the church in Acts, is focused on brothers and sisters of faith. This is not to be overlooked. It is not because we don’t want to help strangers and non believers, but non believers can take advantage of this type of situation and wreck it through sloth, laziness, and demands for what everyone “owes” them, though they do little or no work. Surely, not all non believers are like this, but some are and this is why you cannot simply apply this form of godly living to godless people who are only thinking of themselves. The godly will take only what they need and try to repay it, even if they know it will be forgiven. The ungodly choose not to pay their debts and demand they be forgiven.

Deuteronomy 15

The Sabbatic Year

      1“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. 2“This is the manner of remission: every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because the LORD’S remission has been proclaimed. 3“From a foreigner you may exact it, but your hand shall release whatever of yours is with your brother. 4“However, there will be no poor among you, since the LORD will surely bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, 5if only you listen obediently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today. 6“For the LORD your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

      7“If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; 8but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9“Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,’ and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the LORD against you, and it will be a sin in you. 10“You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. 11“For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’

      12“If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free.13“When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. 14“You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16“It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; 17then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.

      18“It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the LORD your God will bless you in whatever you do.

      19“You shall consecrate to the LORD your God all the firstborn males that are born of your herd and of your flock; you shall not work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20“You and your household shall eat it every year before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses. 21“But if it has any defect, such as lameness or blindness, or any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22“You shall eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as a gazelle or a deer. 23“Only you shall not eat its blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.

Do not miss that nowhere in this is YHWH telling people to lend so they may charge interest and make money themselves, thus taking advantage of the poor. The money is loaned without personal benefit to the one loaning it to someone else. It is all about helping our brothers and sisters in faith. And because they share the faith, they do not take advantage and ask for more than they need and they intend to pay it back.

Deuteronomy 23:19-20

   19“You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. 20“You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Proverbs: A Manual For Living

Proverbs is a manual for living. It is every bit as relevant today as it was when YHWH revealed it to Solomon. Read it slowly, one verse at a time and pause to reflect on the wisdom and how it applies in your life and the life of others today. Let it guide your path.

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

      1The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

      2By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

      3A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

      4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.

      5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

      6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

      7He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

      8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

      9He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

      10He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.

      11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.

      12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

      13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

      14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

      15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

      16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

      17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

      18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

      19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

      20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

      21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

      22A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth
And does not know that want will come upon him.

      23He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

      24He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “It is not a transgression,”
Is the companion of a man who destroys.

      25An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

      26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

      27He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

      28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Give to the Levites From Your Inheritance

As YHWH was dividing up the land amongst His people, He made provision for the Levites along with the other tribes. Though their focus was to be on serving Him, they still needed to be provided for… and He did. It is interesting to note, but YHWH commanded the sons of Israel to give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession. He could have given directly to the Levites as He did the other tribes, but He did not. The sons of Israel were commanded to give cities and pasture land from their property to the Levites.

Numbers 35:1-5

Cities for the Levites

     1Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 2“Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession cities to live in; and you shall give to the Levites pasture lands around the cities. 3“The cities shall be theirs to live in; and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle and for their herds and for all their beasts.

      4“The pasture lands of the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall extend from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits around. 5“You shall also measure outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, with the city in the center. This shall become theirs as pasture lands for the cities.

YHWH still wants His people to support those He calls into full time ministry and service. Some of us will serve Him in business roles (e.g. Daniel, Moses, many of the people were farmers, etc.). However, some will be missionaries and pastors and Biblical teachers and these may need the support of the community of believers as a means for God to provide for them.

Do not let your own selfishness or greed stop you from making provision for those whom He calls to His service. Give joyfully. Give generously. It all belongs to Him anyway… He has just entrusted some of His things to us to manage and enjoy.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

     1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

      2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

      3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

      4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

      5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

      6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

      7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

      8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

      9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

      10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

      11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

      12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

      13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

      14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

      15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

      16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

      17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

      18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

      19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

      20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

      21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

      22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

      23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

      24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

      25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

      26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

      27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

      28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

      29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What It Means To Truly Be Great

Many seek greatness. Sadly, most of us use the wrong standard to define what it means to truly be great. We seek fame or fortune. We let the world define greatness as someone being more important than others… being served and adored by others. This is completely backwards.

Listen to how Yeshua defines greatness…

Luke 9:46-48

      46An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. 47But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, 48and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

Yeshua demonstrated greatness by coming, full of glory and power, to serve rather than to be served. He ministered to others sharing the gospel and healing many. He did not seek comfort or fame. He often told others not to tell anyone about the healing He provided. He suffered and died for our sins… to serve us while we were yet sinners who reject Him. He willingly went to the cross for us.

Reflect on your life and your goals. What do you pursue? Are you chasing personal gain or true greatness as a servant of God and others. Pray the Lord would open the eyes of your heart so you could fully submit to Him and lay down your life for Him, as He did for us.

Matthew 10:39

39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Yeshua Is The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Luke 9:24

    24“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

Some will dismiss it as nonsense because they do not have eyes to see. However, for those of us whom the Holy Spirit guides we can see much more in this statement. We must lay down our own selfish desires and plans and submit to Christ. By submitting to Him we will find true life through Christ.

John 14:6

6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

If we strive and struggle to save our live… our desires and plans… our vision for life… then we will lose it, chasing all the wrong things.

Psalm 46:10

10“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Let us put Christ first. Putting Him first means we will choose sometimes the path that is difficult in this wicked world. We must “pick up our cross daily and follow [Jesus]”. The cross was hard, brutal in fact, but above all, selfless and devoted to the Father’s will.

Luke 9:23-27

    23And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Let us proclaim our love for Him and His love for us. Let us not be ashamed of Him before men. There are serious consequences to this. Jesus, Himself, says He will deny before the Father those who deny Him before men. Don’t rush over that statement. Pause on it and reflect. Are you acknowledging Jesus publically and broadly? or are you silent, trying not to offend those who reject Him?

Let us put Christ first rather than all the things that the world tells us to chase, even when it seems hard.

Matthew 6:33

33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Truly what good is it to have all the selfish desire we may want in this world… to succeed beyond the wildest imagination of the worldly… if we lose our relationship with Christ and end up without Him in this world and eternity beyond?

Luke 9:25

25“For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

His Ways Are Not Our Ways

Luke captured powerful teaching from our Lord, Yeshua in chapter 6. It is good to read all of it for context and then break it up and prayerfully consider it bite by bite to make sure you don’t miss anything. Click here to start in the preceding part of this series on the Beattitudes or click below to go to the biblical text directly to read more.

Today’s scripture reading could not emphasize more that the ways of the Lord are different from the ways of men. Let us take care not to reject them too quickly as “impossible” and instead ask the Spirit to guide us in applying them in our lives.

Luke 6:27-36

 27“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

What a powerful text! What a tremendous challenge to truly seek to live this way. Do not brush this off and move on, but dwell on it… read it a few times… pray over it. Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and guide your heart to apply it in your life.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jehovah Speaks On Life and Conduct

Our Father loves us dearly. He has provided us with His word to guide us, His Spirit to fill us and help us, and the death of His son to make a way to forgive us. Let us never take that for granted, being complacent in our own way of living according to the ways of the world. The world if sinful and not righteous. Let us take His fatherly advice and change how we are living to be more like He instructs for us.

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

1Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.

      2Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.

      3The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the LORD.

      4Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend.

      5A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will not escape.

      6Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

      7All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.

      8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

      9A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.

      10Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.

      11A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

      12The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.

      13A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.

      14House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

      15Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.

      16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.

      17One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed.

      18Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.

      19A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

      20Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.

      21Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

      22What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.

      23The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

      24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.

      25Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd,
But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.

      26He who assaults his father and drives his mother away
Is a shameful and disgraceful son.

      27Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

      28A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.

      29Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.

Take time and dwell on each verse. Which one or two strike you the most as relevant in your life. Pray the Lord helps you to deal with this area of your life and continue your transformation to be more like Him!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.