“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continue to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, ‘Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.’” (Genesis26:12–16)
In Old Testament times people often identified faithfulness to God and personal property. Wealth was considered a reward for faithfulness. Job discovered the deeper truth that we cannot judge a person’s religion by their bank account.
God does bless His faithful people, but His blessings are not always in material form. Isaac’s prosperity provoked anger and envy from those living around him, as is often the case even in today’s times.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, when You called me to accept You through Christ Jesus, I thought money led automatically to happiness and good times. Nothing was further from the truth. When I experienced a couple of traumatic times, I looked at people around me and saw Christians that walked with cheerfulness and joy, even in the hard times. I finally said, “I want what they have,” for they have a peace about them, that carries them through the hardest of times and gave them assurance in the good times. My beloved, we all need this assurance and comfort, I don’t care who you are. No matter how big our bank account or how small it is, we need You in our lives every single day of our lives. Today, this we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Our blessing is in our attitude.”
“Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers. If you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy30:9–10)
Beloved, discipline is not God’s last word. He seeks through discipline to lead us to repentance. Toe repent (Hebrew – shub, “turn, return”) is to change life’s directions, trust God and obey Him. Therefore, repentance leads to salvation. God punishes His people when they are unfaithful. He seeks to restore and renew the people. A sign of His restoration is renewed blessings for His people, as others witness them changing the direction of their lives, to be in accord with God.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs3:9-10)
The experience of God’s people through the years is distilled into a pithy proverb by the inspired writer. It reveals to us that God’s people can count on His blessings when we honor Him with our offerings. Certainly wealth is part of it, but it is also an attitude of servanthood towards living our lives in honor of our Lord. As with all proverbial wisdom, this is not an ironclad rule without exceptions. It is a principle proved through experience and inspired by God. Stewardship is not an attempt to bribe God and ensure our own wealth. It is a committed response to the God who never forgets the needs of His people.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke6:38)
Our motives for giving usually determine the rewards we expect. Like a generous merchant who dispenses a heaping measure of grain, God pours out love and blessings to those who exhibit love to others by gracious giving. The greatest reward to the faithful giver is the joy of participating in Christ’s ministry and seeing the results!
Christ, our Lord and Savior taught that rewards are gifts from our God. They cannot be earned and are primarily spiritual rather than materialistic. God may choose to provide material blessings as well as all spiritual blessings; however, but we have no right or reason to demand or an expectation of material gifts. The lives of Jesus and Paul illustrate this. The wealth of joyous faith and fulfilling life are the greatest rewards possible.