Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Giver vs. the Gift

Category : Uncategorized

1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Too often I find myself putting too much hope in my job, bank account, or my 401K for the certainty of my future rather than the one who has provided those things for my enjoyment. It is an easy trap to fall into when God has provided so abundantly for us. Yet, we need to daily recognize that our hope does not lie in the gift but the Giver of the gift. It doesn’t matter if we are part of the 1.3 billion people in this world who make less than $1.25 a day, if we are part of the top 1% of global population that make $35,000 or more a year, or even if we live in a lavish suburban mansion, our hope does not come from what we have but from the one who willingly gives it to us. In whatever circumstance we find ourselves God wants us to learn to depend upon him for our daily bread. Unfortunately, our prosperity often trains us to look to our stuff and take our eyes off of Him.

I have two plump and healthy dogs that come see me every morning around the same time to remind me to feed them. They growl, spin around in circles, even nudge me with their sturdy heads urging me to put food in their bowls. I have faithfully filled their bowls every morning for the last five years. I doubt that I have forgotten once during those years. If you were to look at their sagging mid-sections you would immediately recognize that they have received a hearty amount of food each of those mornings. Surely they know by now that I will wake up and be sure to provide them a tasty morning meal. Yet, every morning they don’t go out to their bowls to see if they are filled to the brim with food. Instead, they go through their elaborate routine recognizing the giver of their day’s bounty. They look to their master to fill their bowls rather than thinking the bowl itself hold key to their abundance.

What are you putting your hope in? Day by day we need to express our need for God and be reminded that no matter where we stand in the prosperity index our hope always remains in the Giver more than in His bountiful gifts.

 


The Question of Evil

One of the most common questions (and stumbling blocks) about God and Christianity is “Why is there so much suffering in the world?” It is a valid question that deserves to be answered by those who promote faith in Christ. We don’t live in a vacuum. We live in the real world where questions about faith should be answered to the best of our abilities. A simple “just because” does not explain away the tough questions. And besides, God is big enough to handle some tough questions.

Recently, a radio program described how the United States has enjoyed unprecedented prosperity. There has never been another nation that has accomplished what our nation has in all of history. It is because of the drive of the American spirit. And the unprecedented freedom we enjoy. But with that freedom comes a level of crime and violence that is hard to fathom. There are some who believe the way to curb crime is to restrict freedom.

Consider that God Himself has given mankind a freedom that at times can boggle the mind. We are free moral agents. We are allowed to choose whether we will follow God and His ways or rebel against Him and choose our own path. Our freedom allows us to choose to do good or evil, be a helper to those in need or exploit and victimize others. Should God then restrict the freedom of men in order to prevent evil from effecting our lives?

While God maintains ultimate control over all things, it is clear that He has decided to let humans choose their own fate and determine their own actions, whether for good or evil. It is the basis of the human experience to be able to choose a life spent devoted to the Lord and His ways or a life devoted to rebellion against the Creator. In allowing men to have freedom, He has allowed evil to exist in this world. But we must remember that the evil that exists in our world will not be seen in heaven. This life is but a passing shadow and as such, the evils that exist are fleeting and will pass away in the final judgment.

Evil exists for a short time. As believers, we must stand against it, minister to those affected by it, and ultimately remember, that God is not the author of it, but desires to help His children get through it. So when you begin to question why God could possibly allow evil to exist, remember that He is a good and merciful God who loves us and wants to deliver us from the evil of this present world, and ultimately make heaven our home.