Friday, April 15, 2016

The Secret to King David's Greatness - Part 3

Friday, April 15, 2016


Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.  Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!  Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.
Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you.  Help abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good.  I long to obey your commandments!  Renew my life with your goodness.  Psalm 119:33-40 (NLT)

We are looking at keys to unlocking the human heart, transforming the evil in our human nature into Godliness – turning the heart towards God’s will.  King David is our example.  We have learned so far that he was teachable and pro-active.

Thirdly we discover that:

David understood the difference 

between riches and money

Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!  Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.

I think it’s actually quite hilarious that we come to this section on April 15th – tax day!  Trust me, I didn’t plan it; you can’t plan this stuff…really! 

There is such an abundance of teaching about wealth and the use of money throughout Scripture that it’s not easy to make a summary in the five minutes we have for this devotion.  We have, for instance, people like Solomon, (a pretty smart guy) in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; we also have Job, the guy who learned the hard way.  In the New Testament we have James, and lots of Paul, and, of course we have Jesus.  We even have Paul quoting Jesus.

Here are a few:

Paul:  …for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  Philippians 4:11b(NLT)

Paul:   For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  1 Timothy 6:10a(NLT)

Jesus:  I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”  Matthew 19:24(NLT)

Paul quoting Jesus:  For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17(NLT)

Each of these short statements is packed with the principle of greatness of heart.  When someone has learned to keep money in perspective, whether it is a small amount or a king’s fortune, it is then possible to see life in God’s Kingdom clearly.

In talking about the difficulties that come along with riches, Jesus gave the illustration of a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle.  The humor of that aside, it is a compelling picture of one’s trappings keeping him on the outside.  If that “needle” happened to be a short, narrow passageway into the city, the rich man would have to dismount the camel, strip the saddle off and anything else ol’ dromedary was carrying so the beast could kneel and wiggle through that opening.  If the trappings of life are too meaningful, you spend your life outside the city to which you’re travelling.  You’ve lost your perspective.  And money always clouds perspective; it doesn’t take much to clog the eye of a needle.

Paul told the church at Philippi he could be content whether his pockets were slam-full, or dead-broke; what was important was the peace beyond understanding (which he’d come to understand and cherish much more than wealth, power or position).

The heart often learns best when it sees things as if looking through a mirror.  And, nothing could be more so than with money or possessions. 

The way to genuine financial health (keeping money in its place) is to be found in giving things away. 

Jesus taught:
…anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.   John 12:25b(MSG)

For You Today

Greatness of heart shows up in some measurable ways.  When’s the last time your bank statement said at the bottom line:  REAL and ETERNAL? 

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…and have a blessed day!

[1] Title Image:   By Jastrow, via Wikimedia Commons

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