Tag Archives: possessions

Seven Lessons for Suffering Saints (a study of Hebrews): Part 4

Our church has been going throughthe book of Hebrews.  Screenshot 2015-12-11 05.49.35My assignment was the question, “What do we learn about suffering from this book?”  You can access that message here:

.  In part 1, we saw Principle #1- The Lord Jesus suffered the worst life can bring — DEATH! (2:9).  We then asked the question, “How dare I ever feel that Jesus can’t understand my suffering?”

In our second installment we saw Principle #2 – God used suffering to perfect the Pioneer of our salvation! (2:10).  There we read, “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.”  We then asked the question, “How dare I resist His using suffering to perfect me?!”

Screenshot 2015-12-16 06.10.35The third principle we saw in the book of Hebrews was simply this: Principle #3:  Remembering our sufferings brings believers together to support & encourage each other! This principle comes out of Hebrews, chapter 10:  “32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.”  The question we asked was: How dare I waste my suffering by forgetting the past or not standing with those suffering in the present?!

The fourth principle from the book of Hebrews on suffering is this:  Principle #4: Experiencing loss focuses our longing on the next life’s better and lasting possessions! (10:34)  In that verse we read, You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”  The question we asked was: “How dare I allow myself to be captivated by this world’s stuff?!”  We are not saying that having stuff is wrong for the believer.  Possessions are fine.  The challenge is that I shouldn’t let my possessions possess me!

I’ve been working my way through a very helpful book entitled Becoming Worldly Saints: Screenshot 2015-12-16 07.03.50Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life? by Michael Wittmer.  It’s so good that I’ve asked to teach it in a series of Sunday School lessons in our church.  Did you catch that last statement?  I asked to teach a Sunday School class!

Unlike some other books that seem to say we shouldn’t enjoy anything in this life, and sacrifice all comfort for Christ, Wittmer’s book gives us a balanced view, including the concept from I Timothy 6 that “God has richly given us all things to enjoy.”  Here’s one quote:  “We must love God more than the world, yet if we truly love God, we will also love the world, on his behalf. God matters more than the world, but because he loves it, the world now matters.” 

Your thoughts?

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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in suffering


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Time for a Great Cartoon! (possessions)

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What an insightful cartoon! This strikes at the heart of Western materialism, doesn’t it? The biblical model which ought to govern our relationship to possessions is found in I Timothy 6 where we read, “17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

I see at least seven points from this text:
(1) It is okay that there is a category of THE RICH among Christians.
(2) But the rich need to be warned not to put their hope in their material wealth.
(3) One’s hope in God can be replaced by one’s over-focus on their possessions.
(4) God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
(5) Believers are to be RICH in good deeds.
(6) Believers are to be generous and willing to share.
(7) Using our material wealth carefully will lay up treasure for us in heaven.

That ought to be the elements of the Christian’s motto!

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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in materialism


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