Late Night Readings

So I decided to stay up a little later than usual tonight to try and keep up with school work.  It’s not usual I actually want to do school work so I thought it would be a good idea to do while I had the motivation.  That went pretty well and I wasn’t all that tired, so after I thought I’d play catch up with my year long bible reading plan.  As of tonight, I am officially just one month behind my wife, who has done a much better job of staying on track.  
Well tonight’s reading reminded me of some really good principles that I think all Christians should be reminded of every once in a while.  However, to me these reminders came from Psalms 49, one of most unlikely of places I thought to find it.  It’s not that I don’t think there’s a lot of good stuff in the psalms, things usually don’t come to light for me through them.  I probably shouldn’t say this, being a worship leader and all, but I actually have a hard time understanding the psalms.  things just aren’t revealed to me the way this was tonight.  
So here it is:
Psalm 49: 16-17 says,
     “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; 
       for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.”
Typically, I tend to grow jealous when I see people around me able to buy nicer, bigger, better things.  many times I feel like I’m getting a raw deal because I can’t buy all the things I want.  I would love to be able to buy a house, a nicer car for my wife, or even a new guitar, but the fact is, I would want those things purely for social acceptance and status, something that doesn’t really matter in the end according to this verse.  
This small portion of the psalm reminds me that I need to be grateful for what I have been given, which at times I’m not.  I may not have the biggest house, fastest cars (although I do have a really nice truck), and top paying job, but what I do have is pretty awesome.  I have a nice little apartment that fits the needs (not wants) of my family.  Our vehicles work exceptionally well, and on a side note, I just finished paying off my truck note so now it has to last for a good long while.  I love my job and work with amazing people at church.  
[To take a quick pause from my main point here, but the one thing I think I do have above everyone else is a really awesome wife.  She is pretty awesome and I really don’t deserve her. Love you Darlin’!!!]
Now the trick is, what am I doing with the stuff that I have been given?  There’s a story in Mark 12 where a woman gave all that she had to live on as an offering.  Even though it didn’t amount to much monetarily, Jesus basically said it was the best offering given at the time. He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)
(btw, this was also in my reading tonight)
I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to give everything I have to live on to God.  The full 100% of anything that I acquired would be sent directly back to God.  It’s crazy to even think about! 
Now, I don’t think that giving 100% of our monetary income is what this passage is saying, but I do think that if one takes it in light of the psalm passage from earlier, we should definitely be using the stuff we do have for God’s glory.  Why?  Because it’s not really ours!  We can’t take it with us when we die so the real question should be is, Why Not?
So, to my five followers, here is something to think about. What are you doing with your stuff? How are you using your Car, House or Apartment, Hobbies, or to make somebody uncomfortable, your Money? Are you really giving those things back to God, allowing Him access to the things only He can give you? 
  • If you have a nice house, Why Not let a small group meet there during the week? 
  • Nice car, Why Not give somebody a ride who doesn’t have one? 
  • If you have lots of money, Why Not give more? It’s not yours, you can’t take it with you when you go.
  • Have a Hobby that you’re around lots of people? Why Not use that to build relationships which lead to sharing your faith? 
I ask the questions not to condemn or question what anybody is already doing, just to get you thinking if you could do more.

Personally, I need to be doing more.  I felt a strong conviction from Passion 2011 that I need to be carrying the name of Jesus and making disciples.  For me, I need to be investing more time into relationships that lead to sharing my faith and making disciples.  I don’t know what this looks like for you, but I hope that you are offering the things God gave you back to Him to further His kingdom.
See ya next time,

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