The final and crowning temptation that the devil offered Jesus was "All the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them." That's the most riches anybody had ever been offered--the whole World! The Devil said, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Jesus answered, "Get thee hence, Satan: For it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve!"--The worship of the riches of this life is Devil-worship! (Mt.4:8-10)
Matthew chapter 6:19-34: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." He says don't bury your heart in those treasures, because those treasures will vanish away or get stolen, rust, corrupt or rot--along with your heart.--They'll corrupt your heart!
"No man can serve two masters: For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon!" (Mt.6:24) Now what is Mammon?--Money, pure and simple. Mammon was literally the god of wealth, and if you serve money then you're serving the Devil! But if you are just using a job as a means to an end, in order to serve the Lord, that's different!--Like one meat-packer in Chicago said, "Preaching the Gospel is my main business, but I pack pork to pay expenses!"
"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on."--Don't even worry about the necessities of life! "Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"
"Behold the fowls of the air: For they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are you not much better than they?" He says, "If I can feed the birds, don't you think I'm going to feed you?" "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."--"Look at the lilies: God makes them, God clothes'm, and they don't even work for it! So certainly God's going to take care of you!"
"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought."--That means fretting, anxious thought.--Don't worry about "What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek."
That's all the worldly people live for, that's all they care for, that's all they work for! They're slaves of things! You can be a slave of things! They can own you, instead of you owning them! You can be working for them, instead of them working for you!
It's not that there's anything wrong with money, riches or wealth. It all depends on whether you own the money, or the money owns you! It's your attitude toward it. It all depends on how the money is used: Whether the money or the wealth is using you, or whether you're using the wealth!
"But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you!" God's Kingdom is whatever the King reigns and rules over!--The Church!--It's souls, people, His people!--Not a building nor a denomination nor an organization!--It's the children of God.--They are His Kingdom!
So if you're going to seek first God's Kingdom, you're going to seek souls! You're going to witness!--Be a witness and a soul-winner yourself, or help others to witness and soul-win, right? You're going to help the Kingdom of God in some way.
"Seek first"--means foremost and above all!--Before everything else, above everything else, beyond everything else and more than anything else! It means working for God and others more than for yourself, more than for money, more than for riches, more than for pleasure, more than for health, more than for government, more than for anything else!
And what'll happen if you put Him and others first? He says, "All these things shall be added unto you!"--All these material things, which God's got plenty of! If you need it and have to have it, He'll give it to you! If you're putting His Kingdom first, then everything you want, everything you'd like to have and everything you need will be used for what?--To keep on putting His Kingdom first!--To keep on using it for His Kingdom!
Bible economics is utterly contrary to the economics of man. Man's economics says: Self-preservation is the first law of nature. The first law of man's carnal, evil, human, wicked nature is, "First, I'm going to take care of myself.--First, I'm going to get mine!"
What's God's law of economics?--"He that would come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he that loseth his life for My sake and the Gospel's, shall save it; but he that saveth his life"--self-preservation--"the same shall lose it!" (Mk.8:34,35) If you spend your life trying to save your life, you're going to lose it and lose eternity too! Spend your life losing your life for others--that's the secret of saving it!
"Take therefore no thought"--no worrying, doubtful thought--"for the morrow: For the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." Don't worry about tomorrow! Tomorrow isn't here yet! Why worry about it? You've got enough to worry about today! "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!"
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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