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Mike is the general manager of Q90 FM and co-host of Stand Up For The Truth. His new book, "The Suicide of American Christianity" published in May of 2012.

Where is our real Hope?

Economy

It is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily life to the point that the future becomes a meaningless thought to us. We get up, go to work and just continue to plug along. We go to church on Sunday seeking that magic bullet that will bring peace and meaning to us in a world that seems hell bent on destroying itself. We as Christians, even while proclaiming our faith in Jesus Christ, seem to act no differently than the pagan world—chasing after material wealth and happiness in a world that is deteriorating rapidly.

We profess our faith and trust in Jesus yet continue to show by our actions that we have more faith in things of this world than in our Lord and Savior. Jesus warned us sternly of the potential evil in pursuing earthly wealth. In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”

Now very few of us as Christians would claim to love money and hate God—but do our actions tell us something else? Do we begin to worry when our finances get tight? Have we become slaves to our earthly desires instead of considering ourselves slaves to Jesus as the apostle Paul did?

Money and our desire for comfort and security is one of those subtle enemies that sneak into our hearts and distract us from what should be our one true love—God. And I am by no means immune to that. At times I find myself worrying about the future of my life on this planet. How will I live as I approach retirement age when the social security and medicare systems in this country are insolvent and on the verge of collapse? What starts off as diligent planning can so easily become an obsession as the enemy attempts to sow worries and doubts into my heart, taking my attention off God and placing it on myself.

 

What I am learning—not as quickly as I would like—is to look at things with eternal, not temporal eyes. An eternity of life awaits me when this old body breaks down and dies—where will I be spending it? In the presence of God? Or separated from him because I lived this life to serve myself and not Him?

So, you might think we don’t have to dwell on these things right now—life is still pretty comfortable for most of us. But a day may soon come when we are faced with the decision to trust in things of this world or to trust in God alone. A day may soon come when we are forced to serve God and go without things of this world; or serve the evil one so we can continue to live a life of earthly comfort.

Are we prepared for such a day? Is our faith in God solid enough to remain anchored in Him when our comfortable life on earth is challenged? Now as Christians, we will all answer “Of course!” But then we remember what God said through Jeremiah about the human heart—that it is wicked above all else. Are we truly anchored in God, or are we just fooling ourselves?

This might be a good time to ask God to reveal the depths of our hearts to see if there is anything wicked within them. Are we depending on Him? Or on our jobs and our retirement funds? Are we worried about storing up treasures for this life time or for eternity? You know, sometimes the truth hurts.

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4 Responses to “Where is our real Hope?”

  1. J #

    How does one plan for the future when it says in God's word we need to take it one day at a time? After the last 4 years I have tried to learn to let God take care of our finances.

    February 5, 2013 at 9:34 AM Reply
  2. James Beadle #

    Mike,

    There are all manner of wicked things hidden in the dark hearts of men. Though we, who have a guarantee of life through the salvation given us by the very Son of God, have a greater hope (hope being as the author of Hebrews taught us, not a whispy wishful feeling, but a sure knowledge of what is to come Heb11:1) than those who are perishing. We can be certain of our salvation by looking back upon our baptism, where Christ marked us with His seal and saved us in his death and resurrection (Rom 6:3-5). It is not by what we do, or how we live, or what efforts we make that lead us to sure knowledge of our salvation in Christ, but rather that promise of our Resurrection that He has given us by His blood shed on the cross for you and I. How we use our money matters, how we love God and others, how we spread our Christian witness, these are important and needful things. However my dear beloved Brother, how you or I work on these things does not impart one iota of influence upon our eternal disposition. We are saved in Christ regardless of what we do short of turning our backs on him and completely repudiating our faith, which is also a free gift from God, not earned or created by any means of our own so that no man may boast (Eph 2:9). James writes in his epistle that good works flow freely from a heart that is regenerated thought the Holy Spirit, but we must acknowledge these as signs of salvation, not a means of it. Plan good plans, seek to do good to your neighbor, remember the two commandments Christ gave as the sum of the law and the prophets, to love our God with all our might and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But let us never confuse ourselves or our friends with talk of our salvation hanging on anything but the atoning act of our Lord Christ Jesus who took away our sin on the cross of Calvary.

    With love and very deep respect,

    James

    February 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM Reply
  3. J #

    My wife is an accountant. With all of my part time jobs I worked at between October 2008 and November 2012 my wife would always remind me that we were doing alright in the financial department. We live very frugally.
    Fast forward to today. With God's help our bills were always paid during my time of being underemployed. If I lose my full time job tomorrow I know the Lord will carry us through again.
    Yes I realize we need to plan for the future but with everything that's happening in today's society we need to let the Lord carry us each and every day. If the Lord provided for my family's needs while I was underemployed why can't the Lord supply my needs in the future?

    February 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM Reply
  4. Mr Davis #

    I tell you the truth when I say in America we have yet to understand Our God is a God who saves though some may believe they do understand Him. You want to find those who understand our God is a God who saves, look to the pesecuted Church who bear the marks of obedience, the marks of the sufferings of Christ in their own bodies. It is plain to all who see these who so suffer what God they worship and know.

    Mike you bring up a real good point and it is time to determine what our faith is really in. Mammon or God. In our flesh, our abilities, our comforts or God.

    James a profession will not save you if it is not real. Only testing reveals the true character of faith, if it is genuin or not, if it is wrought in Christ by the Holy Spirit or not.

    Myself, I know I have not been fully tested and I hope in the day of trial I am not found as the seed choked by the worries and concerns of this world or those who fall away when persecution comes which bear no fruit. I pray that I may really know Him who raises the dead and know for certain whose I am. I pray where I fall short and I do in so many areas, that God will grant me repentance and put it upon my heart to cry out for His power to fill me that I may walk according to His ways, knowing that in my flesh is no good thing.

    Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth , and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth . 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

    Oh help us Lord God not to shun or despise the scourging when it comes.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:18 AM Reply

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