- WHO DECIDES HOW MUCH ONE SHOULD GIVE?
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN?
- HOW MUCH SHOULD ONE INVEST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
NEW COVENANT PRINCIPLES
2 Cor. 9:7: Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.
Under the Old Covenant system God’s people were required by the Law to give a minimum of a tenth to God. God wants the New Covenant person to decide for himself the amount to give. Whatever the sum, it is to be given cheerfully.
A believer cannot allow himself to come under compulsion. Obligatory gifts are not gifts at all. One must resist peer pressure that demands a percentage or a set amount.
Romans 8:14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The New Covenant person is to be led by the Holy Spirit in all aspects of life, including his givings.
James 4:17: to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
Christians are to be fruitful. Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.” “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Branches are to bear fruit.
2 Cor. 9:6: But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
In God’s kingdom stinginess costs and liberality is profitable. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is. 55:9). Christians swath their own path, determine their own future. A wise Christian sows. And sows and sows and sows.
Mat. 6:19, 20: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
There are two types of Christians, those who lay up treasures on earth, and those who lay up treasures in heaven. The first far outnumbers the second.
The foolish man lays up treasures on earth. He lives for today. He embraces the temporary. His barns are always too small. He is a short-sighted man, forfeiting eternal rewards for momentary gain.
The wise man lays up treasures in heaven. He is an investor. He invests what he has – his abilities, money, time – for a future return. He walks by faith, focusing on the unseen. His life is a preparation for that day he will stand before Christ at the judgment seat.
2 Cor. 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.
This fable may cause the student of the Word to have a deeper appreciation for the above verse:
Some years ago three teens of approximately the same age and intelligence responded to an altar call given by a certain evangelist invited to speak at their school. They each wept away their rebellion and embraced the Lord Jesus Christ into their young lives. They have since, all three, entered the business world, lived a full life, and now are with Jesus in heaven. Today is judgment day. Today they each must, along with every other believer, give an account to King Jesus so they “may receive the things [be rewarded for the deeds] done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.” This is their story.
Businessman number one entered the business field immediately after graduation, beginning his career as a real estate salesman. He soon learned to recognize a profitable opportunity and often secured property, usually with very little down payment, and then search for a less discriminate buyer. His increasing expertise in realty and this simple policy of quick-turnover-quick-profit eventually made him a wealthy investor.
As a young convert he was determined to never allow business to interfere with his relationship with Jesus. However the pressures of business set in and he spent less and less time “in the secret place of the Most High”, investing most of his time buying and selling. Love of money crept into his heart, mammon became god, and God became a lost love. Much time and imagination were spent laying up treasures on earth. He grew callous to the needs of others and critical of anyone less enterprising than himself. He spent the entirety of his wealth on himself and his family.
Now he is weeping at the feet of Judge Jesus. All his work is wood, hay and stubble. Oh, if only he shared at least some of his fortune…if only he invested in the Great Commission…if only he had fruit to lay at the Master’s feet.
Businessman number two inherited a small construction business from his father and diligently set to work to make the company an impressive and profitable enterprise. In less than ten years he was building everything from multiple family units to shopping centers. Business was often very taxing and yet it never usurped his love for Christ. Over the years he led many associates and employees to the Lord and always dealt fairly with his fellow man. Even though most of his profit was spent on himself and his family – a stately home on the lake, impressive cars, vacations three or four times a year, boats, diamonds, costly wardrobes, etc. – he did support his local church and on occasion contributed to various evangelistic concerns, local and international.
With mixed emotions he approaches the judgment seat of Christ. Yes, he is happy about the eternal rewards Judge Jesus so generously bestows upon him for his obedience and accomplishments on planet Earth. And yet he knows he never came close to fulfilling the high calling of God on his life. He never gave sacrificially but only from the overflow of his abundance. Adulation of men was more valuable than preaching Christ and feeding the poor. More time and energy were spent laying up treasures on earth than securing treasures in heaven. Jesus consoles him and wipes away tears of remorse from his eyes.
Businessman number three spent his entire Christian lifetime preparing for this day and it is indeed a most joyous occasion. He stands confident before Judge Jesus, knowing he had accomplished the work God had given him to do.
This man started a janitorial service after working with his uncle, as a janitor, for seven years. His rates were competitive, he was always keen to provide efficient service, and he dealt fairly with his employees. He rarely lost a customer and his profit, though marginal, was consistent. Soon he initiated a second janitorial service in a neighboring city, using the first as a model. Eventually he had a dozen such small endeavors, each one showing a profit. He then applied his business experience to other ventures and soon had a chain of painting, gardening and roofing services.
Business was always servant and never master. This man held in his heart a deep affection for his Lord, never to be usurped by profit no matter how sizable. Even when profits began to multiply he lived in moderation, giving as much as possible to the work of God. Ever in his heart was a compassion for the lost and dying, and ever in mind was the certainty of judgment day, the day of accountability. He lived to give and to serve and to testify to the power and goodness of Christ.
There were a few occasions when he made costly miscalculations in his business affairs. He asked God to sharpen his discernment and he purposed to never enter a business opportunity without an inner assurance it was the Lord’s direction. One day the Lord gave him a simple insight which caused his diversified businesses to flourish. Instead of fitting a man to a business, he would fit a business to a man. Previously he would establish a business in which he was knowledgeable and then spend much time and energy searching for the right man to manage it. Now he would look for an honest, industrious [and usually Christian] man and finance a business suitable to his abilities. He hired a young accountant, supplied him with an office, a secretary, and all necessary office equipment and instructed this young man to establish an accounting-bookkeeping service. His own activity in this new business was merely that of consultant. Next he hired a veterinarian and built an animal clinic. And then he hired a printer and a chef and a plumber and built enterprises conducive to their talents. Every year he added to his businesses, some years as many as six, becoming more and more diversified.
This man and his wife and children lived a fulfilling and joyous life. His was a Christ-centered family. Over the years he supported every major evangelical organization in North America, giving to some well over a million dollars. He supported overseas missions and sent a number of young men and women to Bible school. And he was always sensitive to his fellow man, never critical, always encouraging, always approachable. After he died the profits from his various businesses continued to pour into the Great Commission.
Today he receives his bountiful rewards. His cup is full and overflowing. After many years of anticipation, he hears his Master speak those gratifying words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Galatians 6:7, 9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap,
A Christian should consider himself a full time sower. “Due season” is forthcoming. God is a good accountant. The sower shall reap from every sown seed.
Mat. 19:22: But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
This young man kept his money and his sadness and walked away from the Giver of life. Money [or rather the love of money] sends multitudes to hell. Money is a danger to those of both spiritual kingdoms. Money often keeps the pagan from becoming the redeemed and the redeemed from becoming a disciple. Oh, how money costs. How very expensive it can be.
Money [or rather the love of money] brings sadness to the Christian. For a bagful of dollars he forfeits eternal rewards. On judgment day he weeps before his Judge, fruitless.
Mat. 19:27: we have forsaken all, and followed you;
Peter spoke those words to Jesus. Every Christian wants to be able to say those same words to the same Person, “I have forsaken all, and followed You.”
Romans 14:12: every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
This should be a very happy occasion. And it can be a very happy occasion. Just a little perception. A little preparation. A little sacrifice. A little wisdom.
Mat. 25:14-17: For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his ability; and straightway took his journey.
Than he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Both of these men heard their lord say to them, “Well done, good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”
“He that had received the five talents went and traded with the same.” This man invested all that he had been given. Five talents out of five. “And likewise he that had received two.” Christians ask themselves, “How much should I give?” The answer is, “How much have I been given?” The good servants invested what they had. The apostles “have forsaken all.” Jesus “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.”
Another answer might be, “How much do I want?” The servants were well rewarded. The apostles had stored vast treasures in heaven. Jesus had been given “a name which is above every name.”
THE FAITH WALK
Hebrews 10:38: the just shall live by faith:
Living by faith in not limited to [but certainly includes] laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover. Or speaking to the mountain. Or exercising authority over powers of darkness. Faith is also focusing on the unseen, preparing for judgment day, being merciful. It has been said that Peter did not walk on water, he walked on the Word. Jesus said, “Come” and Peter came. Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” That’s the word believers are to walk on. That’s faith.
Faith walks on Rock, the Rock of God’s Word. Unbelief walks on sand, words of another. Double-mindedness walks on both. People of faith lay up treasures in heaven. Doubters lay up treasures on earth. The double-minded do both.
“The just shall live by faith.” Faith is to be a way of life. Faith is walking on the Word, taking hold of, and investing in, the promises. Faith is obedience to the One we call Lord.
BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS
Luke 12:15: Take heed, and beware of covetousness.
The fruit of greed is pain and remorse and barrenness.
1 Cor. 3:15: If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss.
“He shall suffer loss.” He will experience a degree of destitution. He will be poorer than necessary.
Luke 12:15: a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
Jesus said a man’s life is not measured by his possessions. The world disagrees. It believes it is. Many Christians live as though it is. But Jesus said it isn’t.
Goods do not make a person valuable. A fool counts his money to determine his worth. Large barns is little faith.
Jesus was born in a stable. He triumphantly entered Jerusalem riding a donkey. He died on a cross. But who could put a value on His life?
Colossians 3:25: he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done:
There are consequences for wrong-doing. Perhaps those consequences are simply losses, rewards that could have been. Perhaps the repercussions will be more serious.
1 Tim. 6:9, 10: they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Greed is a forerunner of pain.
LIVING TO SERVE
Acts 20:24: neither count I my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course
Those who count their lives dear unto themselves will never complete their course.
2 Cor. 5:15: he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.
This is the Christian’s mandate, to die to self and to live for Him. To live for Christ is to carry on the work He began. Perhaps this is the only reason the Lord does not take His own to be with Him in heaven. There’s a job to do. The work is far from finished.
Ph’p. 2:21: For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
Many make an art of self-gratification. Few can say, as did Paul, “For me to live is Christ.” Or, ”For whom [Christ] I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung.”
Colossians 3:2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
This is faith. This is prudence. This is obedience.
Rev. 12:11: they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Many of the early church “loved not their lives unto the death.” There is a link between their dedication and their effectiveness. They were very dedicated and very effective. Many welcomed martyrdom, loving “not their lives unto the death.”
The cost of Christ, in fullness, is a complete death of self [self-assurance, selfish ambitions, self-importance, etc.]. “I” must go. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). The less of self, the more of Christ. The more of Christ, the more bountiful the fruit. If one is not willing to lay down his life he will not have the effectiveness of early church Christianity. His fruit will be limited.
Mat. 23:12: whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased;
People can, and often do, exalt themselves by accumulating. The more they have, the more they are coveted, esteemed, exalted.
Mat. 23:12: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
One cannot humble himself by giving away possessions. One humbles himself by acknowledging his dependency on Christ. A humble man has no need to prove his worth because he has already admitted his inability. His worth is in Christ. There is no exaltation of self. Possessions are not needed. He simply wants enough to fulfill his calling.
John 4:34: Jesus said unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
“Follow me,” Jesus said. “Where I am, there shall also my servant be.” The true disciple, the good and faithful servant, says:
“My meat is to the will of God. He has a purpose for my life. He needs me. If I am not obedient others will suffer needlessly, some eternally. But I will be obedient. I love God. I appreciate Calvary. I will prove my love and appreciation by my obedience. I live to serve Him. I love Him above all distractions, more than myself. My entire life is a preparation for judgment day. He will say unto me, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’
“I refuse to be distracted by the cares of this world. I turn away from the world’s entertainment. I will not surfeit. I will not hoard. I will not play church. I will not be ashamed of the cross. I am a man in a race. I have one purpose, to fulfill God’s calling. ‘ My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.’ “
John 3:3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
This is the bottom line. Unless a man be born again he cannot partake of God’s kingdom. Jesus will not sup with him. He will never be clean, whole, sanctified. Never. He will not be invited to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).
Unless a man be born again he will go to hell, the lake of fire, the place of eternal banishment. His will be a forever of anguish and remorse.
And so it behooves the student of the Word to do what you can. Share what you have – your talents, your time, your substance. Let go. Spend wisely. Take a stand against peer pressure from those less dedicated. Invest in the Great Commission. Know the value of a soul. The door will soon be shut and those on the outside will stay out there. “The night comes, when no man can work” (Jn 9:4).
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2Cor. 5:10).
It will happen.
It will surely happen.
There will be a day.
We will stand before Christ.
To receive rewards.
According to what we have done.
Whether good or bad.
Every knee shall bow.
Every tongue shall confess to God.
All shall give an account.1
Every man’s work shall be made manifest.2
Each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.3
The fire shall try every man’s work.4
The Judge will give unto each according to his works.5
Judgment is coming.
It will happen.
There will be a day.
God has decreed.
This celestial arrangement irrevocable.
We will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.6
Eyes as flames of fire.7
Feet like fine brass.8
Voice the sound of many waters.9
Countenance as the sun.10
Holy, holy, holy. 11
He is our king.12
Alpha and Omega.13
First and Last.
He who lives, and was dead, and alive for ever more.14
The Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep.15
Lamb without blemish and spot.16
King of kings and Lord of lords.17
Order in the court!!
The fire is ignited.
Our works aflame before us.
Gold, silver, precious stones.18
Wood, hay, stubble.
If any man’s work remains he shall receive a reward.19
If any man’s work is burned he shall suffer loss.20
Whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap. 21
There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.22
And hid that shall not be known.
God is not unrighteous to forget our labor of love.23
Whatsoever good thing any man does the same shall he receive.24
He that does wrong shall receive for the wrong.25
The Judge has said, I am he who searches the heart.26
The fire continues.
Verses learned on earth flash through our minds:
Let your light so shine before men…27
What you hear in the ear that preach upon the housetops…28
Let every man prove his own work…29
Be partakers of the afflictions of the gospel…30
How shall they preach except they be sent…31
Blessed are the merciful…32
Give and it shall be given unto you…33
Lay up treasures in heaven…34
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good…35
No man who wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life…36
Flames will soon die.
Will anything survive?
Gold, silver, precious stones?
Obedience, good works?
Did we abide in the Vine?
Bring others to heaven?
Were we fishers of men?
Did we lament in prayer over our Jerusalem?
Invest in the Great Commission?
Sound the trumpet?
Stand in the gap?
Were we merciful?
Will our Judge say, Well done, good and faithful servant? 37
(1) Rom. 14:11, 12 (2) 1Cor. 3:13 (3) 1Cor. 3:8 (4) 1Cor. 3:13
(5) Rev. 2:23 (6) Jn. 1:29 (7) Rev. 19:12 (8) Rev. 2:18 (9) Rev. 1:15
(10) Rev. 1:16 (11) Rev. 4:8 (12) 1Tim. 6:15 (13) Rev. 1:11
(14) Rev. 1:18 (15) Jn. 10:11 (16) 1Pet. 1:19 (17) 1Tim. 6:15
(18) 1Cor. 3:12 (19) 1Cor. 3:14 (20) 1Cor. 3:15 (21) Gal. 6:7
(22) Mat. 10:26 (23) Heb. 6:10 (24) Eph. 6:8 (25) Col. 3:25
(26) Rev. 2:23 (27) Mat. 5:16 (28) Mat. 10:27 (29) Gal. 6:4
(30) 2Tim. 1:8 (31) Rom. 10:15 (32) Mat. 5:7 (33) Luke 6:38
(34) Mat. 6:20 (35) Luke 6:45 (36) 2Tim. 2:4 (37) Mat. 25:21
SUMMARY – 39 points
- The number, even the approximate number, of unsaved people on earth is not known. Estimates vary. It is conceivable there are as many as five billion persons whose names are missing from the Lamb’s book of life.
- Jesus taught one soul is more valuable than the entire world.
- Before leaving planet Earth, the Lord Jesus Christ gave His church the commission to make disciples of all nations. This mandate is often referred to as the Great Commission.
- To date, the church has failed to accomplish this task, so much so that many of the world’s inhabitants have not heard the name of Jesus.
- Generally, Christians lack love and compassion for the lost multitudes. Only a relative few really care about the masses marching on that wide road leading to destruction.
- This apathy reveals a lack of love for Christ and a small appreciation for Calvary.
- The world’s greatest enemy is the church’s apathy. Because of this apathy, multi-millions will spend their eternity bathing in anguish and remorse.
- One of the causes of this apathy is the accepted method of collecting and distributing money. This accepted system of collecting and allocating funds is referred to in this book as The System.
- There are many ill consequences of The System, not the least is that The System utilizes funds that belong to the Great Commission on other endeavors. This has the effect of depleting the natural passion in men’s hearts for soul-winning. A man’s money and a man’s heart go in the same direction. If his money is not being directed toward the Great Commission neither will his heart be there. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
- Financing the Great Commission is a very expensive enterprise. However, God has always provided. The necessary funds pass through Christians’ lives. Sadly, leadership of local assemblies have learned to extract much of this money from the people, spending nearly all it collects on the care of the assembly. In reality, Christians are merely giving to themselves.
- Each assembly has its master builders. Man is a compulsive builder, itching for a reason to build, to renovate, to expand. Often the builder is the expounder.
- Some building projects are sanctioned by God. Most are not. Most are built with funds belonging to the Great Commission. Some edifices are nothing more than a monument to a people turned selfish.
- The System is not sanctioned by God; it is the invention of man. Many [most?] Christians have accepted the traditions of men [The System] over the Word of God. When they drop their tenth into Sunday’s collection plate they thereby dissolve themselves of the responsibility of being obedient to God’s Word. They are no longer responsible to finance the Great Commission, share with fellow believers, feed the poor, etc.
- The cornerstone of The System is the tithe. Someone has reached over to the other side of Calvary, pulled out the tithe statute from the Law, and applied it to the New Covenant person. This has been done for illegitimate reasons.
- The most ardent lobbyists for the tithe and The System are those paid a wage by The System.
- It is a fact that the Bible does not teach the New Covenant person to tithe. The early church did not tithe. Tithing is foreign to the Father-son relationship established between God and believer through the New Covenant.
- To tithe is to choose another way and is therefore a wrongdoing. It is wrong to promote, condone or collect tithes.
- If the Great Commission is to be properly financed the local assemblies must either stop collecting more than its share or forward most of the money it collects into the Great Commission.
- Regardless if this will ever happen, the individual Christian is responsible to do his part to finance the Great Commission. The Holy Spirit will help the Christian invest wisely.
- The Christian is not compelled to give all, most, or even much of his givings to the local assembly.
- Peer pressure is a reality in the body of Christ. Much peer pressure is applied, unintentionally and otherwise, to every individual to conform to the opinions and attitudes and practices of the majority. Both the Bible and history confirm the majority is often wrong.
- Spiritual bondage is submitting oneself to, or being swayed by, an individual or a group rather than the Word and the Spirit. Spiritual bondage is lack of freedom to obey God. Most Christians are in spiritual bondage to one degree or another.
- Many who have been convinced by this book that their spending is contrary to the will of God and there is a much more fruitful and profitable way of directing their givings will still, in time, bow to peer pressure and conform to the will of man.
- Every Christian is accountable to God. Every believer will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be recompensed for his deeds on earth, good and bad. For some it will be a most joyous occasion. For others it will be a time of remorse and embarrassment.
- A wise Christian considers his life a preparation for judgment day. It is important to invest one’s substance wisely. Investing money is investing life, the amount of time it takes to earn that money. It is foolishness to allow others to decide how this money should be directed.
- Money, well invested, will result in the salvation of many. Supporting the evangelist will result in a certain number of people spending their eternity with Christ instead of with satan and his fallen angels. Everyone can bear much fruit by simply financing the Great Commission.
- A Christian will be judged for that which has been entrusted to his care. He who has been given little, little is required; he who has been given much, much is required.
- Christians should not invest in casual men. Many ministers put an undue strain on the gospel by their high standard of living.
- The Word decrees that those who minister the gospel should make their living from the gospel.
- The fivefold ministry, that of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher, should be equally financed. Denying support to any of these is a detriment to the Great Commission.
- The System highly favors the pastor. He is the first to challenge Christians after payday, and often he is the only one on salary. For that reason many sit in the place of pastor who are not called. Because of the lure of a salary many evangelists ‘turn’ pastor, leaving fewer to herald the good news of Jesus Christ.
- It is said over ninety percent of all licensed ministers serve less than ten percent of the world’s population. (It is the licensed who consume much of the Christians’ donations.) Some nations have been combed many times with the gospel of Jesus Christ while others have been barely touched. There are men and women willing to go, but The System is not sympathetic. The apostle Paul endeavored to take the gospel to lands that had not heard of Christ. More Christians should be likewise minded and direct the bulk of their contributions for the same cause.
- There seems to be a link between the dedication of the early church and its effectiveness. It was very dedicated and very effective.
- The Word has much to say about Christians supporting one another, saints sharing with saints, carrying one another’s burdens. This helps each to fulfill God’s calling on each person’s life. This in turn results in the extension of God’s kingdom.
- The Word instructs the Christian to give to the poor. He who does so is actually lending to God.
- According to the Word, the abundance of one is to meet the needs of others.
- The plumber and lawyer do not have a right to a higher standard of living than the widow and preacher.
- The responsibility of the Great Commission was given to every believer at rebirth.
- Rich or poor, “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
FROM THE AUTHOR
I have addressed this book to you, the student of the Word. I know you have been challenged. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). And I know you have been honed. “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Pr. 27:17). You will not be the same. “It shall not return unto me void” (Is. 55:11).
We are much the same, you and I. We both can’t. We try hard but it doesn’t work. ‘My way’ isn’t so brilliant after all. We call Him “Lord, Lord” but go the “way that seems right unto a man.” We swing on pendulums. We choose the familiar and popular teaching. The trampled path takes little courage. We like to be tickled.
But we rise again. We are students of the Word. We tire of conformity for conformity’s sake. We demand truth. We want fruit. So we resist peer pressure and submit once again to the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth. We ask the Vinedresser to prune away silly notions and inferior motives.
The majority is often right. The majority is often wrong. They misspend, they lay up treasures on earth, they lack compassion for the lost, they are lukewarm. The one clinging to the group will sometimes be right. And sometimes be wrong.
It’s not easy being a student of the Word. It’s easier to build a house on the sand than way up there on the Rock. It’s fun being a hearer only. To “Amen!” everything we hear. The student of the Word challenges the accepted. “Chapter and verse, please!” We are not always popular.
The student of the Word is a doer. “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11). That is our motive. We know anything less is an ego trip. “Knowledge puffs up” (1Cor. 8:1).
This book is not bad news. It is good news. It was not written to bring condemnation but rather freedom. Hopefully it will cause you to be better prepared for that day of accountability. I want you to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Yes, the truths of this book demand change. Revelation increases accountability. “Of him shall much be required.” But change only hurts for a little while. You said you wanted to be more productive. Today is your day. You have been pruned by the Word so you can bring forth more fruit.
Choosing the Word is choosing Christ. Your obedience will have the benefit of enhancing your relationship with Christ.
Where will you go from here? I wish you well. I encourage you to work hard at pressing in. Be satisfied with nothing less than the inner circle of fellowship. There’s life in the “secret place.”
To God be the glory [that is, may almighty omniscient God be fully glorified for any and all positive happenings in your life and mine]!