Lifestyle, Convenience, or Profit?

2Cor. 2:17 “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”

We live in a day where people have taken the Word of God and have made it profitable for themselves. Purchasing private jets, money making books, and enormous salaries or benefits are just a few ways people have profited from the Bible, preaching of the Bible, or talking and writing about the Bible. I certainly do not oppose Scriptural resources, conferences, and good Biblical books. I use them and am grateful for how they feed my soul.

But there are some who are in the ministry for the wrong reasons. It is our duty as Christians to be discerning, alert, and aware of those who might deceivingly lead people in order that they may profit. We all remember David Koresh and the followers of his kingdom.

In the Apostle Paul’s day, it was no different than today. In the verse above, he shares that there were men who were “peddlers of God’s word.” The word “peddler” is to retail or adulterate. Today, there are ones who profit from the teaching and preaching of the word. We do well to discern, study, and test the hearts of those whom we follow. We are told that in the last days there will be teachers who turn the hearts of people away from Biblical teaching. (2 Timothy 2 & 3)

Personally, be certain that the Bible is your lifestyle! And, make sure that those whom you may listen to or follow, are not in it for convenience, profit, or personal agenda.

It is my prayer to be faithful unto the Lord till my last breath. Rewards are laid up in heaven. Our Savior told us, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)  If we keep our heart focused on the Kingdom of God, our riches will be tied to Christ’s plan and agenda, not a personal agenda.

What Really Matters?

Another Christmas, another year, and another birthday have passed. For each of us, time marches on. It goes by so quickly and waits for no one. As time passes, what are the things that really matter?

We occasionally sing a song by Geoff Moore and Jeff Silvey titled, “When All is Said and Done.” It asks a few questions about our life after we are gone. Will they say I loved my family? Was I faithful friend? Did I live to tell of God’s own Son? These are all pertinent questions.

Entering a new year, always brings me to a point of asking, “What Really Matters?” Most likely, the Christmas gift you received this past Christmas will have no effect on your life next Christmas. As a matter of fact, you probably will want a better one.

In life, relationships are what matters! First, your relationship with the Lord is most important. Secondly, your relationship to your family is of great importance. And lastly, all your relationships matter. It goes back to that old acrostic of Joy: Jesus – Others – You. How do you have joy in this coming year? Keep Jesus first, others second, and put yourself last.