In the rich young ruler, we see a respectful and eager young man who leaves Christ and goes away sorrowful. The Christian walk is particularly hard for the wealthy.
Even if we have everything we could ever want or need, when we die, our goods will do nothing for us. Because of wealth, the fool believes he has no need of God.
Jesus' Parable of the Treasure in Matthew 6:19-21 is designed to get us to evaluate the relative values of material wealth and "treasures in heaven." Martin Collins expands on the metaphors of moths, rust, and thieves.
Laodiceans think of themselves as rich, while God sees them as poor. On the other hand, the Smyrnans see themselves as poor, yet God says they are rich! What are true riches?
John Ritenbaugh, relating some insights from economist Gary North, an unusually religious man who has authored (or co-authored) over 60 books, all demonstrating a clear support of biblically-based law and economics, examines some of the causes of poverty a. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses on Proverbs 30:7-9, in which Agur asks God to cushion him from the extremes of poverty or excessive wealth, allowing himself to live a balanced life of contentment. Wealth has a powerful influence on one's life, causing us to overes. . .
God has made it possible through His Spirit for us to be optimistic and happy even in a world that seems to be crumbling around us.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 10:13, explains the context in which the statement "money answers everything" appears. Some people obsess about money, working their fingers to the bone to accumulate more. Money is neutral, but the inord. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Solomon's observation that "money is the answer to everything" (Ecclesiastes 10:10), suggests that, though wealth is neutral, the inordinate and obsessive desire for money as a means of control is evil. Equating money. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on an article about the Hummer automobile which cast aspersions on America's excessive extravagance, points to another example of someone who sold his ticket to an exclusive restaurant on eBay. The black market allows scalpers t. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the curse of a corrupt judicial system described in Ecclesiastes 5:8-9, warns us that corruption in the courts is a fact of life, but it will intensify before Christ returns. We should not be surprised by this curse, realizin. . .
Mike Ford, acknowledging that many of us are now in a de-leavening mode, suggests that getting rid of accumulated clutter is a positive goal as we simplify our lives in our preparation of extracting ourselves from the world and following God. Spring cleani. . .
Everyone is out to acquire as much as possible for himself. The tenth commandment, however, governs this proclivity of human nature, striking at man's heart.
Ryan McClure suggests that each year the calendar is filled with meaningful events, but what we consider important is modified by maturity and experience. Eventually, we learn that the world does not revolve around us and we defer to the needs of others. O. . .
A major theme of the book of Ecclesiastes is satisfaction. In his wisdom, Solomon assiduously sought out the answer to the question, "What brings a person true satisfaction?" John Ritenbaugh proposes that God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction:. . .
John Ritenbaugh insists that true riches consist of what we are (or what we become) rather than what we have. True riches consist of those things that can be carried through the grave and into the Kingdom of God. The circumstances of our lives (totally det. . .
John Ritenbaugh again warns about the debilitating faith destroying consequences of anxious care and foreboding. If we "put on" (assume the disposition and the way of life of) Christ, we will through continuous practice learn the processes which . . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the insidious affliction of welfare mentality, the attitude in people who believe that because they are, they are owed something. Human nature has not changed from the days of the Israelites, who thought they were entitled to m. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the metaphor of eating as a symbol of fornication or the regarding of something as profane, illustrated by the harlot dismissing her affair as if she were consuming a meal,(Proverbs 7:18) and Esau, who regarded his birthright a. . .
Men have searched for centuries for the keys to success in life. Many have found rules to live by to bring them physical wealth and well-being, but all of them have neglected the most important factor: God!
The eighth commandment seems so simple: "You shall not steal." Yet, it seems that just about everyone on earth has his hand in someone else's pocket! John Ritenbaugh documents the ubiquity of thievery, particularly in the U.S., explaining that the solution. . .
Drawing an analogy between kudzu and the thorns in the Parable of the Sower, Mike Ford shows how we have to "weed out" detrimental habits that choke our lives. If we want to produce quality fruit, we must weed the garden!
When properly evaluated, there are no discrepancies in scripture; God is not the author of confusion. God does not enlighten us until we are mature enough.
Compromise usually begins small and can grow to encompass once strongly held beliefs. Martin Collins uses the story of Solomon to illustrate how this process works.
In Jesus Christ's letter to the congregation at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22), He pulls no punches in His evaluation of their works, essentially saying that they sickened Him with their lukewarm attitude ...
John Ritenbaugh suggests that being poor in spirit (a precursor to humility) is a necessary, foundational spiritual state one must have to qualify for God's Kingdom. As the polar opposite of pride, poor in spirit describes a condition of being acutely awar. . .
Our love for beauty must be coupled with love for righteousness and holiness. Our relationship with Christ must take central place in our lives, displacing all else.
What is it to be poor in spirit? This attribute is foundational to Christian living. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches.
If church members are to grow in grace and knowledge and be zealous in producing fruit to God's glory, they need to have their priorities in the right place.
In God's plan, the development of uncompromising character requires struggle and sacrifice. Our victory requires continual drill, tests and development of discipline.
John Ritenbaugh studies the "Get way" or the "Keep up with the Joneses" (lust or coveting) principle with which advertisers and politicians shamelessly (and successfully) manipulate us. A commentator once remarked, "All public crim. . .
John Ritenbaugh reveals that God intended land to be the basis for all wealth, desiring that families should own and retain property. The Jubilee Laws indicate that God never intended any kind of state collective (or corporate) ownership of property, but t. . .
Martin Collins reflects that those who depict religion as a life of gloom and deprivation, full of do's and don'ts, are too short-sighted to realize that the empty husks of the world's entertainment do not satisfy the deepest need. In contrast, spiritual f. . .
Martin Collins, commenting on the progressive liberal media's charge that women are discriminated against, points out that the feminist-goaded media fails to take into account that more men place themselves in life-threatening, dangerous occupations which . . .
The content of Ecclesiastes 4 is a series of comparisons based in the everyday life of a society—from the gulf between the powerful and those they oppress to the various attitudes that people bring to their daily work. John Ritenbaugh explains that S. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh suggests that the practical advice in Hebrews 12-13 fits our current condition like a glove. Like the recipients of this epistle, the greater church of God, having drifted away and given in to sin, we must also lay aside every weight whi. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that satisfaction in life does not derive from material things or wealth, by instead from an eternal relationship with God who has given us abundant spiritual gifts which we must reciprocate by developing skill in living from usi. . .
God works all the time. In fact, it is the first thing we see God doing in His Book. We must follow His example to become skilled in living as He does.
The Parable of the Great Supper is Jesus' response to a fellow dinner guest exclaiming, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" In the parable, Jesus exposes and corrects the ignorance of those who, in their pride, misjudge their true mo. . .
Ecclesiastes is a book of wisdom. The kind of wisdom that it teaches, however, is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living. John Ritenbaugh explains that this kind of godly wisdom, if appl. . .
John Ritenbaugh explains the significance of the eye, clear vision, and light metaphors in Matthew 6:22-23, stating that the eye represents understanding (as the metaphorical eye of the heart) while the light represents truth. It is not enough to have know. . .
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