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Mike may I make an early morning comment on Proverb 22:1: If you maintain your character, your reputation will take care of itself by defending you.

This has been proven in my life many a time. A couple of weeks ago someone when to my new boss and said, I made a nasty comment about them. My boss being new, believed them and called the other persons supervisor after e-mailing them what I had said. (She also called me to task for my words) Well, I did say the words the person said I said, but not to him. I had commented on something I had e-mailed to our IT department over the weekend (an article on taking personal responsibility) and the person making the complaint said I was talking about him, when I was not talking about him but too his supervisor. (Could this be a case of “conviction?” When his supervisor found out what was said to my boss, he reprimanded the person who tried to get me in trouble (I really wasn’t concerned because I knew what I had said and why). He also told him that He needed to mind his own business and that he knew me and that I would 1) never say that about anyone and, 2) “Ramona was talking about something else,” that’s where the mind you own business came in.

Believe me your reputation will take care of itself if you work at maintaining your character, though you may not be liked but you will be respected.

Grace and peace

I really like this meditation about finances from I Corinthians 16:

Really, as I think about it, giving of money to our churches with each paycheck is an act of worship. We are worshiping God with our finances. Let us not wait to give to our churches. Let us give faithfully and regularly with each paycheck God blesses us with.

MY COMMENT:

The question I have often heard or read is this (from people who resist giving money):
* Why does God need my money?
Or…. I have heard this exclamation stated in absolute terms:
* God doesn’t need my money!
Or…sometimes I have heard people say this:
* I want to give to the greatest charity I know—and that is me!

Of course, it is true that God has warned us against money being used as a TOOL which can be used by the enemy to DESTROY our love and passion for the Lord:

I Timothy 6 (Amplified)
9
But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.

10
For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many [e]acute [mental] pangs.

HOWEVER, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT MONEY CAN ALSO BE USED AS ONE TOOL TO KEEP OUR HEARTS PURE AND FOCUSED ON THE LORD:

19
Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal.
20
But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal;
21
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

HOW WE USE OUR MONEY IS NOT ONLY AN INDICATION OF THE STATE OF OUR HEART… but how we use our money is ALSO ONE TOOL WHICH CAN ESTABLISH OUR HEARTS IN RIGHTEOUSNESS !

I Timothy 6

17
As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment.
18
[Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others],
19
IN THIS WAY LAYING UP FOR THEMSELVES [THE RICHES THAT ENDURE FOREVER AS] A GOOD FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE, SO THAT THEY MAY GRASP THAT WHICH IS LIFE INDEED.

~~~

There is a wonderful relationship between giving and keeping our hearts pure before the Lord, and between giving and walking in the fullest of God’s blessing:

Some emphasize GRACE who say that because we are in the age of GRACE, we do NOT need to obey God’s commandments—for He deals with us in the New Testament through GRACE

However, my question is this: Has God’s Word changed? GOD’S GRACE DOES NOT SET ASIDE THE NEED FOR OBEDIENCE out of love!

So…
* RIGHTEOUSNESS is FREE through GRACE
* BLESSING comes to us as WE OBEY in love!

One of my favorite chapters highlighting the nature of the relationship between giving and keeping our hearts pure before the Lord, and between giving and walking in the fullest of God’s blessing is 2 Corinthians 9 (NIV):

6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
9
As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."
NOW HE WHO SUPPLIES SEED TO THE SOWER AND BREAD FOR FOOD WILL ALSO SUPPLY AND INCREASE YOUR STORE OF SEED AND WILL ENLARGE THE HARVEST OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
11
YOU WILL BE MADE RICH IN EVERY WAY SO THAT YOU CAN BE GENEROUS ON EVERY OCCASION, AND THROUGH US YOUR GENEROSITY WILL RESULT IN THANKSGIVING TO GOD.

The chapter that the Holy Spirit through Paul is quoting where Paul says, “It is written…” is Psalm 112. This is an EXCELLENT Psalm to quote in its entirety (NKJV):

The Blessed State of the Righteous
1
Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
2
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
3
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
4
Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5
A good man deals graciously and lends;
He will guide his affairs with discretion.

6
Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7
He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8
His heart is established;
He will not be afraid,
Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
9
He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted with honor.
10
The wicked will see it and be grieved;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked shall perish.

IT NEES TO BE EMPHASIZED: That to give money just as some sort of “formula” without repentance and giving as sacrificial worship from the heart…will do no good.

Thids is what the Proverbs verse beautifully says:

PROVERBS 22:1

"Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold."

LOVING PEOPLE WITH THE LOVE OF GOD… because we want to do the right thing for the right reasons… TO ME IS THE DEFINTION OF TRUE RICHES!

But giving from the heart, joyfully—out of our hearts to God even if given to a person in need—is worship!

Jesus succinctly summarized all of this in Luke 6:31 – 36 (NKJV):

31
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.
35
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36
Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

NOTICE THIS PART OF VERSE 35:
“…But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great.”

SO, Jesus agrees with the idea that it is WRONG to give in order to expect to get from someone. However, Jesus ALSO clearly establishes the principle of giving as worship, giving in obedience and God’s blessing. Thus, though we should never “give to get”,

JESUS LETS US KNOW THAT WE CAN EXPECT GOD THE LOVING FATHER—in His own time and His own way—to BLESS our obedience of love.
Jesus summarizes all of this in Luke 6:38 (NKJV):

38
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

NO MATTER WHO WE GIVE TO on a human level, WE ALWAYS GIVE IN WORSHIP AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD—the Source of all what we need! He is the Only One Who supplies what we need. There is only ONE Source, but He will use MANY instruments on earth.

And WHY DOES GOD BLESS US?

Because, as being children of Abraham by faith, we are established in the covenant of Abraham and his children:
“BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!”

Vance


I love how Vance has woven the thread of "Giving" through today's readings, that's awesome (Mike's Favorite Word).

Taking up Vance's comments regarding those who use their own mental reasoning to justify their lack of giving, Money is a neutral quantity it takes on the character of those who posses it.

Yes, God does not need our money, but what we do with our money points to what we are doing with our heart. And for those who say, "I'm not giving my money to that preacher, church, denomination, etc." then yes, you need to keep your money in your pocket. Those who have given their money to God will receive a return on their giving.

The people who gave to PTL, Jim Baker (Sorry I'm using a United States reference point) and the like received nothing back because they gave to the wrong person. Ahhh, but those who gave to God, well they were blessed.

When we give to God through one of his servants who misuses the money, then that person will have to answer to God, but when we give to a person, a ministry, etc the entity they answer to is us and perhaps the IRS (The Internal Revenue Service) and we have no rewards, or heaven and hell to put anyone in, thought the IRS may have a nice jail cell and a big fat fine. If we allow God to direct our giving, then we just have to give because God told us to. And Yes, God may direct you to give to someone who isn’t walking right, and you know what? That ain’t our business.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Hey Ramona and Vance,
Greatly struck by what you shared so true. About the giving I got enlightened. Thanks a lot.

The verse that ring in my heart from Job is this verse

25"But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God[b]! 27I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!

REALLY OVERWHELMING!
Its really inspiring, That Job can say amidst of all that criticisms and ridiculing these words.

Man, I wannabe like this. I wanna sing, My Redeemer Lives amidst of all the stuff that goes through...
I want this faith, after my body decays I will see Him, I wanna recount this fact in my darkest hour and take courage!

In Him,
Arun

Job 16-19:29

Things that made me go, “Hmmm,” in today’s reading of Job:

1) 16:20-21: My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. Oh, that someone would mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.

It seems to me that if your friends were scorning you then they really were not friends. A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still likes you. Job’s friends thought they knew everything about him, they operated out of assumptions and presumption, and didn’t like Job based on what they presumed.

There are friends that one hath to his own hurt; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 JPS) That friend is Jesus.


2) 17:1-2: 1"My spirit is crushed, and I am near death. The grave is ready to receive me. 2I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me.

This word translated “mockers” in the Hebrew means, to deride; by implication to cheat: - deal deceitfully, deceive, mock. (Strong’s number 2048). Job is battling his “friends” word for word and telling them off, to their face, but they still stick around and Job doesn’t tell them to go take a hike.

Is it good to have people around you that do not believe the things about God, His character, His attributes, the same way you do? Can this be good for your faith? Can it build you up or does in inevitable tear you down?

3) There is a saying that I had forgotten but maybe here I need to bring it out and think about it,

“Sometimes a set back is nothing but a set-up for God to make a come back.”

Whatever is happening to Job, even in the midst of his deepest, darkest despair Job has a revelation that his life consists of more than what can be lived on the earth in his body. There is a realization that life is lived outside of this flesh we call “us.. His hope that he has lost, in the material world, is moved to the spiritual. I believe this because the man who said that all he had to look forward to was the grave and worms (17:14), now proclaims something wonderful in the 19th chapter and it is the same verse that caught Arun’s imagination,

25 "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. 26 And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! 27 I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!

Job suddenly understands that there is more to him that a decaying flesh and blood body, he is sprit and soul. Paul spoke of this in his letter to the Thessalonians,

Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

I Corinthians 16:1-24

The offering that Paul encouraged this church to prepare for him to take to Jerusalem, I believe was a “special” offering dedicated to the relief of those in Jerusalem, not to be confused with the regular offering needed by the local bodies to finance the work of the Gospel as well as the servants God had called to oversee His sheep.


Psalm 40:1-10

8 I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your law is written on my heart."

Everyday we come to this site to get the day’s reading so that in reading and studying God’s Word we will move what we have managed to understand from our heads to our heart. Thank you Mike for helping us to put God’s Word in our heart. You have also provided a place for us to come and learn how to have a relationship with God and His Son. John 1:1 states,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 KJV)

God and His Word are one, and though at times the presence of God can be felt with our five senses, our relationship with Him, Jesus and the Holy Spirit has to begin and be based on His Word.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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