Saturday, January 31, 2009

True Wealth and Prosperity

by Chet Nowlen

Remember the story of the rich young ruler that came to Jesus asking what he could do to gain eternal life! Jesus mentioned six out of ten commandments and the man replied that he had kept these all of his life. Jesus knew the man's wealth was his most valued possession, the treasure of his heart. Jesus advised the man to sell all he had and give it to the poor and to follow Him. The man went away sad because he did not want to give up wealth. It is believed that this man did have a change of heart and is later mentioned in the Bible as one of the missionaries that traveled with Paul, his name was Barnabas.

Jesus was showing Barnabas he needed a change in his heart. The change he needed was to know the God kind of love. Jesus is the perfect example of living the God kind of love and He wanted Barnabas to follow him and learn this way of love through His teachings. It is not known whether Barnabas ever sold all his possessions or not, but we do know that he followed Jesus and later became a disciple (disciples were first known as Christians at Antioch).

Jesus gave us the secret to living a happy, successful, and prosperous life and its two fold; first is to love God, and second is to love others. Paul was able to explain love in his letter to the Corinthian church:

1 Corinthians 13 (Amplified Bible)

1. IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

3. Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing.

4. Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (My own added comment on this is love hardly even notices when others do it wrong.)

6. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

9. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).

10. But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

12. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God].

13. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

After reading these words I think you will see that for one to enjoy life to the fullest there is a need to change the way we look and think about life and living. Learning to love, the God kind of love, frees us to enjoy life like we've never known before. Having love is true wealth and prosperity.

I hope you will meditate on these words. It will change your life.

If you have not seen the movie "Fireproof" I think it is a must see. Please click on the link below for more information.

Fireproof Now Available on DVD

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sorry - Battle For The Mind Part 2

by Chet Nowlen

"Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sorry" is a tag phrase from the 1970 movie "Love Story" staring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw. This tag phrase is true in the sense if you really have love in you, you will not ever say or do anything that would hurt anyone, and need to say "I'm Sorry." Jesus is the only person that ever walked this earth that never had to say I'm sorry. He never hurt or offended anyone out of selfishness, jealousy, or anger. He did display righteous indignation towards the religious hypocrites, but he never offended anyone. He loved and had compassion on all.

In our natural carnal bodies our mind and emotions rule our lives therefore causing a constant battle within. As a Christian we are taught to renew our minds daily with the Word of God because our selfish nature is controlled by feeling and emotions that drag us around like ragdolls. We tend to be offended easily and we also tend to offend others when emotions of selfishness, jealous and anger surface.

We sometimes hurt those we love because we let selfishness have its way we tend to blame everyone else but ourselves. We do not feel the need to say I'm sorry because it’s not my fault, it’s his or its hers.

Adam did the same thing after failing to take responsibility for what he had done. Eve at of the forbidden fruit first but Adam is given credit for the sin because Adam had the authority to take control of the situation and stop the sin in its tracks. When God asked him about it he blamed everything on Eve. Adam never once told God he was sorry, nor did He ask God to forgive him.

Adams failure as a man, the head of the family, caused his family to endure much hardship. He was kicked out of the garden to struggle on his own and he took his family down the road of hardship. God had cursed the ground for Adam's sake. God made life tough for Adam (Gen. 3:17) and also for Eve (Gen 3:16). He did that because man has become like God and could no longer live in the garden where the tree of life is located or he would live forever in his sinful state.

Adam once knew the love of God but now he didn't need God any longer. He stubbornly wanted to do it on his own. Eve bore Adam two sons and one was very stubborn and self centered (selfish) like Adam and the other had a tender heart for God. The older son, Cain was a farmer and the younger son Abel was a sheep herder. They both offered to give a tithe of their labor to God but one of the two had a greedy and wicked heart. Cain gave a tenth of his harvest to God but instead of giving God the first fruits he gave what was left at the end of the harvest, which was the worst of the crop. Abel on the other hand gave his best to God as he love God more than his business.

Cain was jealous because God honored Abel but didn't honor him. God was not pleased with his offering. Cain could have said, "I'm sorry for my poor offering." He could have repented and done it right next year. But, instead Cain hated his brother because he blamed his brother for his own failure. He decided to kill his brother rather except responsibility for his disobedience.

Satan tried to destroy the first family and today he is still trying to destroy the family using the same tactics he used in the garden. Man was once governed by his spirit, but after the fall man's mind, will, and emotions took over. Satan uses our natural mind, will and emotions battle with us and attempt to lead us away from love into selfishness.

Satan can do nothing in this earth because he is a spirit. He has to work through man to do his dirty deeds. He has to trick man into thinking the way he thinks to get his evil plans done. God put man on the earth to be the steward or manager of the earth. That's why Jesus came, he had to enter earth as God, but he was man too. God came down to earth to destroy the works of Satan and did that by going to the cross as a man and taking the curse of death for us. Jesus won the victory and now we no longer have to be slaves to sin.

Love is saying, "Lord I'm sorry for my sin and I repent of my sin. Thank you for forgiving me of my sin and restoring me to my rightful place in my relationship with you Father. I confess I believe Jesus died for my sins and I put my trust in His shed blood that I am washed in the blood and cleansed from all unrighteousness in Jesus name. Lord help me to overcome the deeds of my flesh by the daily renewing of my mind and help me to live in love my brother as you have commanded in your word. In Jesus name Amen"

Actually Love is having to say "I'm Sorry" to those we have hurt or wronged. True Love is the ability to admit when you did it wrong and ask for forgiveness. True love is also at the same time being able to forgive those who have wronged you, even when did not care to for forgiveness; Luke 11:4, 2 Corinthians 2:10, Matthew 6:14, 14, Mark 11:25, Matthew 18:35, Luke 23:34, 2 Corinthisan 2:7