But God in His Word (Jesus) says,
Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth.
This is a shortsighted practice—don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here.
Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets.
Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack,
where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
When Jesus speaks of eyes and light, He means all people should keep their eyes on God because the eyes are the windows to the soul. Eyes should not focus on trash—pornography, filth, or expensive things. And this is what He means when He says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Fight the good fight of the faith!
Cling to the eternal life you were called to when you confessed the good confession before witnesses.
Before God—the life-giving Creator of all things—and Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King,
who made the good confession to Pontius Pilate, I urge you: keep His commandment.
Have a spotless, indisputable record until our Lord Jesus the Anointed appears to set this world straight.
In His own perfect time, He will come—blessed is the only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
He alone possesses immortality; He makes His home in matchless, blinding, brilliant light that no one can approach—no mortal has ever even seen Him, and no human can.
So let it be that all honor and eternal power are His. Amen.
Here’s what you say to those wealthy in regard to this age:
“Don’t become high and mighty or place all your hope on a gamble for riches;
instead, fix your hope on God, the One who richly provides everything for our enjoyment.”
Tell them to use their wealth for good things; be rich in good works!
If they are willing to give generously and share everything,
then they will send ahead a great treasure for themselves and build their futures on a solid foundation.
As a result, they will surely take hold of eternal life.
(1 Timothy 6:12-19)
Here’s a parable He told the disciples:
Jesus: Once there was a rich and powerful man who had an asset manager.
One day, the man received word that his asset manager was squandering his assets.
The rich man brought in the asset manager and said,
“You’ve been accused of wrongdoing.
I want a full and accurate accounting of all your financial transactions because you are really close to being fired.”
The manager said to himself,
“Oh, no! Now what am I going to do?
I’m going to lose my job here, and I’m too weak to dig ditches and too proud to beg.
I have an idea. This plan will mean that I have a lot of hospitable friends when I get fired.”
So the asset manager set up appointments with each person who owed his master money.
He said to the first debtor, “How much do you owe my boss?”
The debtor replied, “A hundred barrels of oil.”
The manager said, “I’m discounting your bill by half. Just write 50 on this contract.”
Then he said to the second debtor, “How much do you owe?” This fellow said, “A hundred bales of wheat.”
The manager said, “I’m discounting your debt by 20 percent. Just write down 80 bales on this contract.”
When the manager’s boss realized what he had done, he congratulated him for at least being clever.
That’s how it is: those attuned to this evil age are more clever in dealing with their affairs
than the enlightened are in dealing with their affairs!
Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager.
Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships,
to provide opportunities for being generous and kind.
Eventually money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others,
you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.
If you’re faithful in small-scale matters, you’ll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities.
If you’re crooked in small responsibilities, you’ll be no different in bigger things.
If you can’t even handle a small thing like money, who’s going to entrust you with spiritual riches that really matter? If you don’t manage well someone else’s assets that are entrusted to you,
who’s going to give over to you important spiritual and personal relationships to manage?
Imagine you’re a servant and you have two masters giving you orders.
What are you going to do when they have conflicting demands?
You can’t serve both, so you’ll either hate the first and love the second,
or you’ll faithfully serve the first and despise the second.
One master is God and the other is money. You can’t serve them both.
The Pharisees overheard all this, and they started mocking Jesus because they really loved money.
Jesus (to the Pharisees): You’ve made your choice. Your ambition is to look good in front of other people, not God.
But God sees through to your hearts. He values things differently from you.
The goals you and your peers are reaching for God detests.
The law and the prophets had their role until the coming of John the Baptist.
Since John’s arrival, the good news of the kingdom of God has been taught while people are clamoring to enter it. That’s not to say that God’s rules for living are useless.
The stars in the sky and the earth beneath your feet will pass away before one letter of God’s rules for living become worthless.
Take God’s rules regarding marriage for example.
If a man divorces his wife and marries somebody else,
then it’s still adultery because that man has broken his vow to God.
And if a man marries a woman divorced from her husband, he’s committing adultery for the same reason.
There was this rich man who had everything—
purple clothing of fine quality and high fashion, gourmet meals every day, and a large house.
Just outside his front gate lay this poor homeless fellow named Lazarus.
Lazarus was covered in ugly skin lesions.
He was so hungry he wished he could scavenge scraps from the rich man’s trash.
Dogs would come and lick the sores on his skin.
The poor fellow died and was carried on the arms of the heavenly messengers to the embrace of Abraham.
Then the rich fellow died and was buried and found himself in the place of the dead.
In his torment, he looked up, and off in the distance he saw Abraham, with Lazarus in his embrace.
He shouted out,
“Father Abraham! Please show me mercy!
Would you send that beggar Lazarus to dip his fingertip in water and cool my tongue?
These flames are hot, and I’m in agony!”
But Abraham said,
“Son, you seem to be forgetting something: your life was full to overflowing with comforts and pleasures,
and the life of Lazarus was just as full with suffering and pain.
So now is his time of comfort, and now is your time of agony.
Besides, a great canyon separates you and us.
Nobody can cross over from our side to yours, or from your side to ours.”
”Please, Father Abraham, I beg you,” the formerly rich man continued, “send Lazarus to my father’s house.
I have five brothers there, and they’re on the same path I was on.
If Lazarus warns them, they’ll choose another path and won’t end up here in torment.”
But Abraham said, “Why send Lazarus?
They already have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to instruct them. Let your brothers hear them.”
“No, Father Abraham,” he said, “they’re already ignoring the law and the prophets.
But if someone came back from the dead, then they’d listen for sure; then they’d change their way of life.”
“If they’re not listening to Moses and the prophets,
they won’t be convinced even if someone comes back from the dead.” (Luke 16)
We must amputate the desire so the sin will never become an act, and then we will remain pure,
as will the object of our desire. Imagination is a wonderful gift from God,
but if fed dirt by the eye, the imagination can easily become impure.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Tenth Commandment (1998)
Next to the first commandment, the tenth may be the most important of all. Commentator Robert I. Kahn writes:
The first commandment deals with foundations; the last with motivations. The first deals with the Rock of ages; the last with the surging tides of desire. The first is an affirmation of the divine source of morality; the last deals with the well-springs of immorality. The first implies that right thought will lead to right action; the last reminds us that wrong ideas will lead to wrong action.
The last commandment is unique among the ten, and its position in last place is surely no accident. While the others concern actions, this one deals with attitudes. The others prohibit external deeds while this one focuses on internal thoughts. Like an x-ray aimed on the mind, it seeks to curb the restless, greedy, avaricious, jealous, and envious fountain of the human heart. It gets my vote as the most difficult to keep, since breaking it is the most widespread of humanity’s moral faults.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Tenth Commandment (1998)
The Wilderness — Time and Place of Testing
‘Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai’”
We pass through the Wilderness trusting God’s Word, obeying His Son.
lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION IN FEAR AND TREMBLING
the nitty-gritty of everyday life
FOR IT IS GOD AT WORK WITHIN YOU CAUSING YOU BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO
HIS GOOD PLEASURE
JESUS’ MEAT WAS TO DO THE WILL OF THE ONE WHO SENT HIM
AND TO FINISH THE WORK
The fear of God must become a foundation stone to us,