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IF MONEY IS A CURSE THEN SMITE ME WITH IT

There is a line from the movie Fiddler on the Roof, the main character Tevye in prayer says something along the line of "Lord if money is a curse then smite me with it and may I never recover." Not a direct quote but close. Although I have seen the movie many times it has been many years and I always thought that line was funny. Not so much anymore.

I was thinking the other day what I would do if I had lots of money, if all of a sudden I was rich. I have to admit the first thought that came to my mind was I would buy new shock absorbers for my car. Not a world changing thought I know but that is the truth.

Stay with me on this; sometimes little thoughts reveal bigger things.

I have a 1992 Lincoln Town car and it still has its factory shocks so it bounces a lot. I never really wanted a big car let alone what is considered to be a luxury car. I had a mid-size pick-up and loved that truck and God told me to give it away. So I went two weeks without a car praying very earnestly as I tried to get to places for a car. Then a brother drives up one day with the Lincoln and hands me the keys saying God told me to give you this.

Like I was saying, I did not want a big car, gas mileage, more chrome to polish and all that, but God seemed to have other ideas.

God does not always give you what you want but He does give you what you need and there is a very good reason for that.

So I accepted the car thanked God and the brother for it and went to work on fixing all the things on it I could. Little things like broken switches and cleaning it the best I could.

P\I put new brakes on it, prayed just as earnestly for tires (the steel belts were showing) and God brought those in, too. But here is my point. I want Jesus to say this of me.

His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
Matthew 25:21 (Amplified Bible)

The Lincoln is "a little" thing I need to be trustworthy over. Slowly but surely I am going to make that car into the best car I can. I know it was given to me by God's hand and here is the question: what in a Christian's life is not given them by God's hand?

Your life, your family, your job, everything, should be considered with this scripture in mind. Every word you speak falls into this category. Did not God give you breath and the ability to communicate?

The scripture says "each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God has called them to." In every area we must as it says in Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Romans 12:2 (Amplified Bible)

The Lord gave us "a spirit of love, power, and of self discipline (sound mind)". The Word tells us, too;

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1st Peter 5:6

I find it is a general theme throughout the Bible that when you prove yourself responsible with what God has given you then God will change the situation and "lift you up" in His due time.

This goes right against today's prosperity doctrine that says God is a sort of make a trade up type God. Sow a little more money, tithe that ten percent, give that love offering and God will give you a bigger blessing in return. More seed, more seed, that's what you need. I have met a lot of people that believe that and I look at the fruit. None, not one, is getting blessed. The only ones that seem to be being financially blessed are the people that preach it. Every time Jesus talks about sowing seed it is the seed of the gospel, not money.

The sower sows the Word.
Mark 4:14

There is no work done here on the individual, no, what is God trying to show me in this the situation I am in. No learning as Paul did "for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." It is just a false so called short cut to wealth and honestly you have a better chance of winning the lotto. But have you noticed how many people buy into it (no pun intended). In fact the time has come "when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."

I will be the first one to tell you I want more. I want more of Christ.

10) [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11) That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].
Philippians 3:10-11 (Amplified Bible)

I will be the first one to tell you I want more things. More things that will help me "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." The car has actually helped me do that. I can carry more people more comfortably and I can haul just as much stuff as in my old truck (you would be surprised at how much you can carry in a Lincoln Town car).

What I want is a plane. God opened the doors that I could become a pilot and I want my ministry to have a plane. Not a jet, I want a plane that I can carry people (ministers, doctors, ext) and supplies to out of the way places. I know God will do that but He won't if I don't take care of my car. Why would God give me more if I don't take care of and I am responsible for what He has given me?

So what would I do if I was suddenly wealthy? First I would be on my face before God. Why, because I believe Him when He says those that have much will be accountable for much. I am glad God will give me all that I need to get the work done on earth that He has given me to do while I am on earth. It may not be what I want all the time but it will be what I need. The Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil. It says;

For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.
1st Timothy 6:10 (Amplified Bible)

I look at the state of the Church when I am overseas and then compare it to the state of the Church in the U.S. The Church of the U.S. is cursed with money.

When I was in India I went to a little village and a young woman came running up to me and fell at my feet kissing my shoes. After we could get her to her feet and to stop crying she told us that she and her husband were the only two Christians in the village and they had not talked to another Christian for seven months. As she took us to her house the people of the village, even the children, spat on her and us all the way. She kept towels and a pan of water just inside her door to clean the spit off. It was an every day occurrence. Her husband was out working and she said he only got the lowest paying jobs because he was a Christian. She told me much more and it did not get any prettier. I finally asked could they not move to a place where they would not be persecuted so much? She said no, when she and her husband had prayed the Lord told them to stay there and love those people.

That woman had a depth and knowledge of God and a faith and a love of God that rocked me to my core. The more I talked with her and saw the joy that she had the more I realized this is a true Christian and this is true Christianity. The things of the world she cared nothing about; the things of God she cared all about.

We Christians in the U.S. have been "blessed" with so much yet that very blessing is taking many away from God and it has become a curse.

With our blessing we could do so much more for the sake of Christ and the gospel. Instead we ask God for more and mishandle and I mean for the gospels sake what we have. Look at all the 1000's of Churches, the fine looking huge temples with there glass towers and mini malls. Be honest WE COULD DO MORE FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL.

17) For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

18) Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.
Revelation 3:17, 18 (Amplified Bible)

This is why I do not think that line is so funny anymore: I see the fruit of being so wealthy.

1) AND TO the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Sardis write: These are the words of Him Who has the seven Spirits of God [the sevenfold Holy Spirit] and the seven stars: I know your record and what you are doing; you are supposed to be alive, but [in reality] you are dead.

2) Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.

3) So call to mind the lessons you received and heard; continually lay them to heart and obey them, and repent. In case you will not rouse yourselves and keep awake and watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know or suspect at what hour I will come.
Revelation 3:1-3

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Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible.

 
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