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Posts tagged ‘Material things’

Man enticed to long for more

From the onset of times the human beings showed the want for more. The woman was enticed by what God asked her not to touch.

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first man and mannin the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, in the middle of the Garden of Eden, looked so attractive because they knew it could give something they had  not yet. They too wanted to have knowledge of good and evil like their Creator had. They longed for having as much knowledge and power as their Divine Maker had. This is their greed, because they had everything what a man needs. Everything was provide for by the Most Highest.

Though the thoughts of the man and mannin, Adam and Eve, was preoccupied with gain. They thought it could well be that God hold something hidden for them, which they too could use. As such they did not trust God and showed how they wanted to come on the same level as Him and that they wanted ore than He had given them.

The giving in to the temptation (the nachash) was bringing them to mutiny, revolting against their Divine Maker.

It is that revolt against the Divine Creator that still bothers mankind today. Today also the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things brings people further away from God. Having received the knowledge of good and evil each individual should know what is good and what is bad. People who have come to the Christian faith for sure should know that when they are preoccupied with material things, that would be definitely wrong.

We do not say that you as a Christian may not have your own house, a car, a television or hifi set. There is no objection against having material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the Christian.

Already in the Garden of Eden God gave a signal that He wants an intense connection with man. Man’s thought should go in the first instance to its Maker. After man got expelled from the Garden of Eden God insisted still to have a pure connection with Him, not giving more attention to material objects or subjects, not having idols placed in a higher ranking than the God above all gods.

Man has to be careful how he treats others and how he gives attention and obligation or glorification to others. Any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God, man should know, is something what displeases God. He wants us to love us above all persons and above all things. It is with all our heart that we should give honour to the Most High.

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV)

Jesus called that love for God the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). All our passion and prayer and intelligence should go in the first instance to Jehovah God.  When we do that we shall be able to find life.

“”You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”” (Luke 10:28 NIV)

therefore we should be very careful and attentive into what we put our energy and for what we want to strive. It is what is deep in our heart that God knows. He knows what we rally want and wherefore we long.  In our heart should be the choice for God and not for material things.

The Elohim, Jehovah God should be our focus. Our eyes should be directed on Him.  He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

We should recognise that when we are wanting for other things than those which are important in the Eyes of God, than we fall for the weakness of man.

The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are...

The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are thrust into a bleak Antediluvian world. Thomas Cole, 1828 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is true, man is caught up in the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things that have entered this world and choke it. But we should know that the material gain the world wants us to believe would make us happy, is just an empty soap bell.

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19 NIV)

We should not be fashioned according to this world, but should listen to the words of the sent ones from God, like to Jesus Christ, and follow the examples of them, living in humility and simplicity, always following not our will but the Will of God.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

We must come to see that the word of material wealth proves unfruitful. We are cheating ourselves by thinking that we will be happy or more fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, satan, which every adversary of God still wants us to believe today that we better not believe in God and try to earn as much money as possible in every way we can. Many are using bad ways to gain capital and do not mind what others may think of it or worse what God might think of it. Though for sure God shall take it into account. One day there shall be a moment of judgement for man. Then it will be time to justify for the actions that one has taken.

Those adversaries of God wants us to be chasing after something they know will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy — God Himself.

Many are blinded by those satans and do not come to see that the financial gain or the material wealth is the mammon, the killer of mankind.

All should know that one cannot serve both God and money.

“”No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”” (Luke 16:13 NIV)

When we put our eyes on that material gain we shall be deceived and disgusted to continually feeling dissatisfied, never feeling contented. We must seek to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes us to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams.

The infallible Word of God sheds light on how human beings best live and unto what they best give attention in their life. That life does not get its satisfaction in the abundance of the things which a person can come to possess.

“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”” (Luke 12:15 NIV)

Man’s eyes should be focused on that what is much more important in life than the treasures of this world: the Kingdom of God.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

Long before the master teacher Jeshua was born there was a man who had enough material wealth as one of the richest kings of the world. King Solomon had no shortage of anything and had absolutely everything what he desired. Though he also came aware that was not really what brought him happiness.  He declared,

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV)

Be aware that whoever loves wealth shall never be satisfied with his income. Perhaps it can take a long time before we come to such awareness. In the end, Solomon came to the conclusion that there is one greater thing we do have to bear in mind.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV)

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Preceding articles

Building up the spirit of the soul

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

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Additional reading

  1. God above all gods
  2. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  3. Bereshith 2 Man and Woman placed in a Royal Garden
  4. Orders for the first human beings and Rebellion against their Maker
  5. The figure of Eve
  6. Moment of getting knowledge and its consequence
  7. Scattered, broken, thwarted reflection of God
  8. Sources of evil
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #6 Curse and solution
  12. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  13. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  14. Faith and trial
  15. No good thing will he withhold

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Further reading

    1. Living
    2. Need and Want
    3. Livable Wages
    4. Greed
    5. Vanity and Greed
    6. Thingamabobs? I Got Twenty… I Want More!
    7. The Price Of Keep Wanting More.
    8. Greed for money
    9. An irrational reward system
    10. Our Entire Economy Is Based On A Massive LIE That Is Killing People
    11. Greed is God: How economics became a religion
    12. How much is enough?
    13. Too Much Stuff (Part 2)
    14. Enough by John C. Bogle
    15. They Deceived Him
    16. A Holy Judgement 
    17. When Does It All End?
    18. That there are people who are convinced they can give more to their family and should not bother about it proves Jack Bennett with his text: No Shame In Wanting More
    19. But that there are some things we can do without and some things we cannot do without, such as a clean conscience and a useful life, may give to ponder you the text:Quotes of Note #9 On Money & Wealth
    20. The power of greed’: Greed is one of Christianity’s seven deadly sins, and it predates capitalism. In our society, who is greedier – the consumer or the capitalist? Are there any positive aspects to greed?
    21. The Price is Wrong: No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Mat 6:24, ESV)
    22. Rich Toward God While they may not be mutually exclusive, if we are honest with ourselves, they frequently are in competition. Pursuing possessions on earth often has a way of cutting into laying up treasures in heaven.
    23. Avoiding covetous distractions
    24. Quick Thought – Monday, July 17, 2017
    25. Jesus Was Out
    26. Four things that kill the fire of God 
    27. Stop The Greed
    28. Starve the beast
    29. Self-discipline: How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy
    30. The Rich Man and Lazarus
    31. Generosity by Johannes Brahms
    32. 2 Kings Chapter 15
    33. No Other Gods
    34. Idols In The Temple, Part One
    35. Why Is God Jealous?
    36. 3 Kinds of Idolatry
    37. Patriotism — self-examination losing out to self-infatuation? “Patriotism is the go-to religion of those who would worship a super-sized version of themselves and seldom quibble to persecute non-believers, foreigners and conscientious objectors. It is a grandiose
    38. Depravity may lie in two extremes
    39. Conversion
    40. Whose God is it anyway?
    41. Modern Romans
    42. Why Make Idols?
    43. Evangelicalism’s Golden Calf
    44. Shabbat Balak: the Holy and the Idolatrous
    45. Weekly Torah Commentary – Mattot-Maasei July 21, 2017
    46. The Problem of American Worship
    47. Whom are you serving?
    48. Verse of the month: July 2017

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  1. Related articles

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:19-23

d) ‘Treasures’ and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:34-36

MT6:19 “Do not[1] treasure[2] up for yourselves ‘treasures’ on earth where moth and rust consume[3] and where thieves break in and steal. MT6:20 But, treasure up ‘treasures’ in heaven[4] where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves cannot break in and steal. MT6:21 For where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also.[5] MT6:22 The lamp of the body is the eye.[6] So, if your eye is focused right[7] your whole body will know the Way. MT6:23 But, if your eye is focused wrong[8] your whole body will be blind.[9] So, if the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’[10] – O, how much darkness!

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[1] Do not: The negative commands of the Nazarene. The phrase “do not” occurs over 200 times in the Gospels. The Nazarene says,

‘Those that love me, my true friends, will keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15; 15:12, 14)

There about 60 “commands” of the Nazarene in the Gospels, some negative, some positive. In the 600 laws of Moses it is estimated by some that 60% are negative and 40% positive. For a complete consideration read Nazarene Commandments©.

[2] Treasure: This is the Greek word from which the English thesaurus comes. The word occurs 15 times in Matthew and Luke. A more modern word for it would be “save” or “store.” Compare Luke 12:20: savings. Various renderings: store up no treasures for yourselves; don’t pile up treasures on earth. Is it fair to state that the Nazarene discouraged “savings” in a material sense? In all the Christian Bible there are only two exhortations to “save.” (1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28) Both deal with “saving” in order to give to those in need. One cannot “save” and at the same time ‘sell belongings to give to the poor’ (Luke 12:33). Unless this be a brief and momentary storage in preparation to give to the needy.

Stop saving! is a Nazarene command not to horde or store despite any supposed encouragement in the Solomonic Proverbs to the contrary. Whatever the Proverbs might counsel, ‘God now speaks by His Son.’ (Hebrews 1:1) This is a severe test of faith when the Western or Capitalist World is encouraging exactly the opposite.

The Nazarene and his disciples lived what he taught. Ghandi noted that Jesus was the only religious leader who actually lived what he preached. Solomon had a yearly income of 666 talents of gold. But, Jesus and Peter were unable to come up with the Temple tax, something like two-bits, and had to resort to a piscerian miracle to pay their proper debt so as not to stumble any (Matthew 17:25-27).

Money, material things, possessions and property (riches) can have a powerful influence on love of neighbor. Nothing can injure relations between friends or brothers more than riches. Seldom do the rich or propertied socialize with the poor or needy. These two classes have been separated from that first moment money was invented.

[3] Consume: It is true that in modern times rust and moths do not have the same affect on money as in the First Century. However, there are still thieves, and more importantly there is always the danger of electronic viruses, or transmission failures, or banking collapses that endanger hard earned savings. There is a prophetic warning in The Apocalypse about a future world power with the capacity to enforce the entire globe to use an “engraving” in order to “buy or sell.” (Revelation ch. 13) So, there are other forms of “moths” and “rust” and “thieves,” as property and financial accounts exist in an electronic atmosphere of computer wizardry always dependent on electric power, and totally under the control of economic powers, constantly manipulating stock markets, and materialistic institutions under the control of greedy persons world-wide.

[4] Heaven: The Celestial Bank protected by God! (Note Luke 12:33, 34: sell and heart; Luke 16:9: friends) Various renderings: WMS: keep on storing up your riches in heaven. Heavenly treasure is God’s view of what is valuable (Proverbs 2:1-9: treasure) and it includes the “gold” of faith founded on Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12 and 1 Peter 1:7: tested faith). The Greek for “treasure” is the English “thesaurus” which is a dictionary of words. This is apropos with regard to the Divine Thesaurus found in the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16: inspired).

[5] Where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also: It is left to the heart of each Friend of the Nazarene to determine the degree these teachings will be followed. Each person is in a different set of circumstances. However, the spirit of all of this cannot be ignored (1 Timothy 6:9, 10: materialism). There is no better indicator judging a person’s heart than how one uses and views money (1 John 3:17; James 2:15, 16; Matthew 25:31-46). This is surely “the bottom line” with most persons concerned about earthly credits and debits, unaware of the Divine Accountant who is keeping a perfect set of books (Revelation 20:12-14). Most will find themselves in the “red” with God, and unless they repentantly plead their cause and admit their materialism as a desertion of Christ, they can expect no payment except that gleaned from earthly coffers.

One way to judge the “heart” is what a person talks about. That is, what are the main subjects that occupy a persons dialogue and communications? Is the central topic those things of a spiritual nature, or do material matters dominate speech? (Consider Ephesians 5:3-5, 12)

[6] The lamp of the body is the eye: Still on the subject of earthly or celestial treasures, the Nazarene turns to the eye: what and how it looks at various matters. Light enters the eye as an opening to the body or the entire person as a physical entity. However, spiritual light imbues the inner person, the Nazarene Saint’s Transformed Mind. The purpose of this divine illumination is to direct each footstep in the direction of God’s path (Psalm 119:105: lamp).

[7] Focused right: The Greek involved here is APLOUS and is variously translated “simple, sincere, generous, single, unclouded.” The word occurs in various forms in contexts of simplicity and generosity (Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:2), sound or sincere (Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34), and, liberal (James 1:5). It seems to us the Nazarene’s subject is how we view matters and if our eye is healthy, and therefore focuses well, we will look properly on things and persons. The simple eye is generous in giving because it does not fret or worry about tomorrow’s anxieties, and so the view or focus on the morrow is bright with gleaming hopes of that “real life” only God can give (1 Timothy 6:19: real life).

Adam’s “eye” was focused wrongly and rather than see the Tree as harmful he viewed it as good (Genesis 3:6). Note the Nazarene’s offer of “eyesalve” to the materialistic in Revelation 3:17, 18. Compare the beloved Apostle’s thought at 1 John 2:16.

Luke 11:33-36 puts the subject of the well-focused eye in the context of the light hidden under a basket. Verse 34: ‘When your eye is single (simple, sincere, generous, focused) your whole body will be illuminated.’ There are various warnings in Proverbs about eyesight and how one views or does not view something (Proverbs 4:25; 23:31). The Bible provides numerous real-life examples of the improper “eye”: Eve (Genesis 3:6); Achan (Joshua 7:21); David (2 Samuel 11:2).

The association of the eye with the word “generous” is a good one when considering Jesus’ sub theme of neighbor love and charity. Note the word “beholds” at 1 John 3:17 (James 2:15, 16). Note also: ‘The generous eye will be blessed, the one who feeds the poor’ (Proverbs 22:9); and, ‘Eat not the bread of the one with a selfish eye, nor desire his delicacies, for he inwardly figures the expense.’ (Proverbs 23:6)

[8] Focused wrong: Various renderings: KJ: evil; TCNT: diseased; MOF: if your eye is selfish; NOR: if you have poor eyesight. The wicked eye, which is wrongly focused, is the envious one who cannot be satisfied with those things already possessed, but must have more than his neighbor. Such a wrongly focused eye is covetous. The Nazarene warns at Luke 12:15:

‘With eyes wide open, guard against covetousness, because Life does not come from possessions.’

The “evil eye” is greedy and desires more of what his neighbor has and is stingy when it comes to showing love to his neighbor.

[9] Blind: The Greek literally, ‘The whole body will be dark’ inferring blindness.

[10] If the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’: Various renderings are: TCNT: inner light is darkness; WMS: the very source of light in you is darkness. On the exterior there is the appearance of light as an illuminator of souls (Romans 2:19) but inside the divided heart is bedarkened by choices between God and Riches. No greater darkness can there be than the person who thinks by his riches to serve God with extravagant contributions to holy orders – often with show and often with the purchase of another Saint’s soul – believing by such charity the way into the Kingdom of God is purchased.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Written down for God to bring us up to a virtuous life

A look at materialism

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Man enticed to long for more

Anxiety and neighbor love

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Capitalism
  4. The Proper Place of Excess
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Charity & Egoism
  7. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  8. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  9. Summermonths and consumerism
  10. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  11. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  12. Material gain to honour God
  13. Stop and Think
  14. The Giant evil and danger for the country
  15. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  16. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Beginning a Path toward Distributism: A Brief Definition
  19. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  20. How do you define religion?
  21. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  22. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  23. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  24. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  25. Preparing for the Kingdom
  26. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  27. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  28. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  29. Blindness in the Christian world

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Further reading

  1. Consumerism
  2. Damned Acquisitiveness
  3. Because we are living in a material world, but I refuse to be a material girl.
  4. Materialism Today
  5. Materialism: Why happiness eludes us
  6. A message about materialism
  7. He is a slave of materialism. Dont buy things you cant afford.
  8. Materialism and the Church
  9. What is Important to You?
  10. Life, lost
  11. The Price is Wrong
  12. Ep 13: Christianity and Socialism
  13. Intro to Minimalism
  14. Our culture is damaging our well-being
  15. Quick Thought – Monday, July 17, 2017
  16. Truth lies not in the middle
  17. How Simple is Living Simply?
  18. What Did the Poor Ever Do to You?
  19. Materialists, their eye on the rear view mirror
  20. What is Right What is Wrong
  21. The Absolute Laws of Science Refute Atheism and Materialism.God scatters
  22. How some rich people are trying to dismantle inequality
  23. charity:water
  24. What would Jesus have us do?

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Belgian Bible Students review of 2015

2015 the year where terrorist acts demanded so much attention of people that some of them got over-frightened and even did not want to have refugees in their neighbourhood.

In the year that climate change at last got some more attention, every day hundreds of stories were produced on any given day and people before, between and after work are confronted with loads of messages, which because of the big amount do not move them so much any more.

There were some lunatics who took others with them into death, for own personal reasons, for revenge at the society or for religious reasons.

Two Airbus A319 of Germanwings at Stuttgart Ai...

Two Airbus A319 of Germanwings at Stuttgart Airport (STR) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was the Germanwings plane crash – as it happened, Paris attacks which killed more than 120 people – as it happened, and as such Europe came at war with the known but also unknown enemy. Paris terror attacks: Hollande says Isis atrocity was ‘act of war’.

In the Time to consider how to care for our common home many people in 2015 also got lost. Lost at sea: the man who vanished for 14 months. It took a long time before more Europeans became moved by what was happening with those people who are looking for some safer place than Syria or Iraq. Shocking images of drowned Syrian boy show tragic plight of refugees.

For some the end of capitalism has begun. Others clearly see the signs we have be warned off by the very old words in the Book of books.
We too, prefer to listen to those words and let them guide us. We take them at heart and do know that we are going to come to face a hard time. Therefore it is so important that more Bible students and Bible scholars warn the people of what is going to happen. Therefore we also shall continue in 2016 to bring our messages.

We know that there has been a Christian group whose confident prediction of the end of the world proved wrong but we are convinced all the prophesies given in the Bible shall come true. We also know nobody knows the exact date, but we are warned that we can and should come to see the signs of it. And we have come in a time that we can no longer ignore the signs.

Our world may have been confronted with the neural network that throws up hallucinatory images; and the Taiwanese boy who punched a hole through a 350-year-old, $1.5m painting, we should know that all the material around us is not of such an importance but that we should aim at the spiritual and the more important value, the Way to God and the Way to enter the Kingdom of God.

This 323rd message on Bible Students, placed on January the 11th, 2016, after we got a total of 26 915 views since 2010 when we started on WordPress, looks back on 2015 and looks forward to 2016, the year we want to offer you more writings and more interesting thoughts.

We are thankful that You come along here and without your presence our work would not be of much use.

In 2015, the year of Rumours of problems in Roman Catholic Church, there were 93 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 321 posts, which were getting views from 128 countries. today we have already 322 postings and now you are reading our 323rd publication on this site, but do not forget you also may find writings by us on Stepping Toes were we talked a.o. about Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today and on From Guestwriters, were we entered the abortion debate.

We try to reach as many people as possible and also try to bring some articles in the different main languages of our guest country Belgium, where German is also spoken and were the German article Der heilige Geist wird euch an alle Dinge erinnern got the most comments in 2015.

We sincerely hope we may find you under our readers again in 2016 and the following years and hope to bring more articles which can please you and be of interest for many.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Find additional reading

  1. State of Europe 2015 – Addressing Europe’s crises
  2. Asylum seekers crisis and Europe’s paralysis
  3. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  4. Paris attacks darkening the world
  5. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  6. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  7. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  8. 2015 In the Picture
  9. 2015 Human rights
  10. 2015 Health and Welfare
  11. 2015 Ecology
  12. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  13. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  14. French Muslims under attack
  15. Before you blame All Muslims for the terrorist attack in Paris
  16. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  17. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  18. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis
  19. Children of Men
  20. How to make sustainable, green habits second nature
  21. Vatican against Opponents of immigration
  22. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  23. Republican member of Congress from Arizona to boycott pope’s address over climate change
  24. Vatican meeting of mayors talking about global warming, human trafficking and modern-day slavery
  25. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1
  26. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #2
  27. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  28. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  29. Senator Loren Legarda says climate change not impossible to address
  30. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement
  31. Building a low-carbon world: the sixth industrial revolution
  32. Natural capital in concept works. They know it, we know it, but how come it rarely translates at the coal-face of sustainable development?
  33. A Miracle of Unity at COP21
  34. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  35. Rumours of problems in Roman Catholic Church
  36. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review

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Others looking back at 2015

  1. The Unified Field, Soul Partnership and More.
  2. Dear 2015
  3. Ode to 2015
  4. The last sunset
  5. 2015 (londondiaryblog)
  6. 2015 – year of continued subjugation of Indian males
  7. The 2015 change
  8. A New Year: 2015 In Review and Plans for 2016!
  9. A highlight of 2015
  10. Farewell 2015
  11. Flash backs [2015]
  12. My top stories of 2015
  13. Global Bubblegum Market 2015 Industry Insights, Study, Forecasts, Outlook, Development, Growth, Overview and Demands
  14. 2015 (damanizayas)
  15. Year in Review
  16. Sal Gomez Photography Video Slide Shows – A Year End Retrospective
  17. Goodbye 2015..
  18. My Achievements for 2015
  19. 2015 in Review: Original
  20. 5 Things I Take Away From 2015.
  21. Favorite-est things from #2015
  22. End of the Year Survey 2015!
  23. My Goodreads Year in Review
  24. The Annual End of Year Book Survey: 2015 Edition!
  25. The best books I read this year
  26. 2015: a year in review
  27. 2015 Favorites: Brushes!
  28. 2015 was great…
  29. 2015: A bad year of Tollywood
  30. 2015. (ichamber17)
  31. 2015 in review (thegatheringfire)
  32. As the Year 2015 Go
  33. Kaleidoscope of 2015
  34. 2015… (leahlorenesjourney)
  35. “New Year, New Me”
  36. Bye bye 2015 and welcome 2016
  37. A Thank You Note to 2015
  38. Thank you, 2015. Welcome, 2016
  39. 2015 In Review// Thanks
  40. Goodbye 2015
  41. 2015 in Blogging Annual Report (honeycrunch32)
  42. 2015 in Blogging Annual Report (nailsbyhoneycrunch321)
  43. FOOD for Life’s 2015 in review
  44. Nia 2015 – Beyond 21st Century Sharecropping
  45. Reflecting on 2015
  46. As 2015 fades into history, hello 2016
  47. 2016
  48. Looking Back…
  49. 2015: A Year in Songs & Haikus

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There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.—Acts 20:35.

Wednesday night we look how we as people, who have so much, should not have to look for our luck or happiness in gathering all material things.

We do find people who think they found God, get baptised, and than think everything is all-right and they should not do anything any more because they are saved by the sacrificial offering of Christ. They do forget that faith without works is dead.

26 Indeed, just as the body without spirit* is dead,+ so also faith without works is dead.+ (James 2:26)

When we are baptised, having chosen to go for God, we do need to keep in line with God His Will and with God His commandments. As we can see in several books of the Old Testament, there have been men of God who first walked in the line of God, but got tempted by worldly attractions. They let themselves be carried away. Some of them even did lost interest in the previous told and written down Words of God.

"Death of King Saul", 1848 by Elie M...

“Death of King Saul”, 1848 by Elie Marcuse (Germany and France, 1817-1902) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday we saw (in the study readings of that day) how King Saul allowed selfish thinking and pride to develop, like corrosive rust.
Saul arrogantly built a monument to himself. (1 Sam. 15:3, 9) When the prophet Samuel told him that Jehovah was displeased, Saul tried to justify himself by focusing on the part of God’s command that he had obeyed and by blaming others for his error. (1 Sam. 15:16-21)
Saul’s experience shows that we cannot be complacent, assuming that if we previously showed a self-sacrificing spirit, we will automatically continue to manifest it. (1 Tim. 4:10)

Also Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, apparently forgot to focus on the right things. At one point in time, he was no longer enjoying Jehovah’s service. Jehovah told him:

“You are seeking great things for yourself. Stop seeking such things. For I am about to bring a calamity on all flesh, . . . and wherever you may go, I will grant you your life as a spoil.” (Jer. 45:3, 5)

Bear in mind that Saul did well and enjoyed God’s favour for a while, but he failed to root out selfish tendencies that began to take hold. Jehovah ultimately rejected Saul for his disobedience. (w14 3/15 1:9, 10) We too, when we soften our interest in God, give preference to worldly matters and become obedient to God, shall see that the small gate might be shut for us.

As we have seen last Thursday King David described the information needed to build a human body as being written in a figurative book. Speaking of Jehovah God, he said:

“Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.” (Ps. 139:16)

Which impression do you want to give to God? How do you want to present yourself in front of the heavenly Father, the Only One True God? do you think He shall love you more because you have gathered more material things in your life?

The son of God showed us a very good example of a life worth living in front of the eyes of God. Jeshua (Jesus) did not want to do his own will, but always tried to apply God’s commandments and to do God His Will. He did not look for treasures on earth and did not talk about the worldly wealth to be gathered on earth, but about the spiritual richness people had to strife for.

What sort of building do you want to construct? Do you want to be one of the many stones in the building or body of Christ?

Jesus enjoyed seeing meek people respond to the good news. (Luke 10:21; John 4:34)
Perhaps you have already experienced the happiness that results from helping others. If you base your major choices in life on the principles Jesus taught, you will surely bring happiness to yourself as well as to Jehovah.

11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice,So that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.+(Prov. 27:11)

Our greatest and most true happiness, comes from love and perfection which can receive the best foundation-stones from serving Jehovah, with all your heart.  (Prov. 16:20)

What do you think? What would have made Baruch happy — seeking great things or surviving Jerusalem’s destruction as a faithful servant of God? — Jas. 1:12. (w14 1/15 3:10, 11)

+

Preceding articles:

A look at materialism

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Philippians 4:4–7 – Do Not Be Anxious

++

Additional reading:

  1. Are you being swept along by the world
  2. Gone astray, away from God
  3. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  4. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  5. Like grasshoppers
  6. Message to teenagers
  7. As the Lord commanded Moses
  8. Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping
  9. Lonely in the crowd
  10. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  11. Luck
  12. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  13. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  14. The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite
  15. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  16. Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
  17. For The Love of Stuff
  18. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  19. Watch out
  20. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  22. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  23. To be prepared and very well oiled
  24. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  25. True happiness, love and perfection
  26. Spreading good cheer contagious
  27. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  28. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  29. God plays hide-n-seek?
  30. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  31. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  32. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  33. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  34. With all your heart
  35. God’s wrath and sanctification
  36. You shall howl in your latter end

+++

A look at materialism

In our Belgian ecclesiae this fortnight we take a look at that what keeps so many busy these times. After the financial crisis it may look as if many people are not any-more so interested to get capital gain, but be not fooled, they still aim to enrich themselves, but much more with material things they can hold onto or dispose when not any more of use or not any more in fashion.

Lots of people are interested to get the most recent new gadgets. That this pursuit of pleasure can crowd out godly devotion we clearly can see in the many church denominations which all lost church members. Most people are not any more interested in God and His commands.

A typical narrow street in the Christian quarter

A typical narrow street in the Christian quarter in Tyre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We live in a world where many have fallen victim to greed and selfishness. Because of the prevailing commercial climate, much emphasis is placed on wealth. Hence, a Christian does well to examine himself to be sure that he is not falling into the same trap that ensnared the commercial city of Tyre. Does he spend so much of his time and energy in material pursuits that he is, in fact, a slave of riches? (Matthew 6:24) Is he envious of some who may have more or better possessions than he has? (Galatians 5:26) If he happens to be wealthy, does he proudly feel that he deserves more attention or privileges than others do? (Compare James 2:1-9.) If he is not rich, is he “determined to be rich,” whatever the cost? (1 Timothy 6:9) Is he so occupied with business matters that he leaves only a very small corner in his life for serving God? (2 Timothy 2:4) Does he become so consumed with the pursuit of wealth that he ignores Christian principles in his business practices?—1 Timothy 6:10.

Could it be that we need to make immediate adjustments in this regard? Granted, some benefits are derived from bodily training and recreation. Yet, such rewards are small compared with everlasting life. (1 John 2:25)
Today, many are “lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power,” and we need to turn away from such individuals. (2 Timothy 3:4, 5)

3 But know this, that in the last days+ critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power;+ and from these turn away. From among these arise men who slyly work their way into households and captivate weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 5-7)

Those who place emphasis on godly devotion are

“safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future, in order that they may get a firm hold on the real life.”—1 Timothy 6:19.

On From Guestwriters there are several articles placed which show how Materialism is a snare to many.

We may deceive even ourselves, “thinking that godly devotion is a means of [material] gain.” Thus, we could be emboldened to take improper advantage of the trust shown by fellow believers. (1 Timothy 6:5) We might even wrongly conclude that it is all right to press a prosperous Christian for a loan that we are unlikely to be able to repay. (Psalm 37:21) But it is godly devotion, not the acquisition of material things, that “holds promise of the life now and that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) Since ‘we brought nothing into the world and cannot carry anything out,’ let us more intently pursue “godly devotion along with self-sufficiency” and allow ourselves to be ‘content with sustenance and covering.’1 Timothy 6:6-11.

A lifetime of hard work in the pursuit of a secular career or material prosperity will not necessarily mean that one will “see good” if it is done to the exclusion of spiritual things. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority it well can be we will miss the boat. Only seeing those things others have and wanting to have them oneself, might pull us in a black hole. The envy man has, brings him into the darkness of the world and blinds him to see the real true light.

Jesus described the consequences of misdirected effort in his illustration of the sower. Regarding the seed “sown among the thorns,” Jesus explained that “this is the one hearing the word, but the anxiety of this system of things and the deceptive power of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) Paul also warned of the same trap and added that those who pursue a materialistic course “fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.” What is the antidote for such a spiritually ruinous way of life?

constant disputes about minor matters by men who are corrupted in mind+ and deprived of the truth, thinking that godly devotion is a means of gain.+ To be sure, there is great gain in godly devotion+ along with contentment.* For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out.+ So, having food* and clothing,* we will be content with these things.+

But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare+ and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin.+ 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.+

11 However, you, O man of God, flee from these things. But pursue righteousness, godly devotion, faith, love, endurance, and mildness.+ 12 Fight the fine fight of the faith; get a firm hold on the everlasting life for which you were called and you offered the fine public declaration in front of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:5-6-11-12)

17 Instruct* those who are rich in the present system of things* not to be arrogant,* and to place their hope, not on uncertain riches,+ but on God, who richly provides us with all the things we enjoy.+ 18 Tell them to work at good, to be rich in fine works, to be generous,* ready to share,+ 19 safely treasuring up for themselves a fine foundation for the future,+ so that they may get a firm hold on the real life.+ (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Remains of ancient columns at Al Mina excavati...

Remains of ancient columns at Al Mina excavation site – supposed palaestra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Please do find to read:

  1. Luxury
  2. Summermonths and consumerism
  3. The business of this life
  4. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  5. London an exaggerated microcosm of the UK at large
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #6 Transport factor of immobilising financial growth
  7. Democratic downfall
  8. The Existence of Evil
  9. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  10. Being ‘broke’ a state of mind
  11. Less for more
  12. Less… is still enough
  13. Gender connections
  14. Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
  15. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  16. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  17. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  18. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  19. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  20. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  21. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  22. Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others
  23. Hoarding Relationships and Things
  24. Forward ever backwards never!
  25. 30 things to start doing for yourself – #6 is vital.
  26. Watch out
  27. Stop and Think
  28. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  29. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  30. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  31. A bird’s eye and reflecting from within
  32. We all have to have dreams
  33. Material gain to honour God
  34. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  35. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  36. Bearing fruit
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  38. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  39. Believing in the send one and understanding that one does not live by bread alone

+++

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