Wealth, but no sleep: Ecclesiastes 5.12

“The sleep of the laborer is pleasant – whether he eats little or much – but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.”

Ecclesiastes 5.12

The Teacher (author of the book) knows that in some ways wealth brings advantages, but in other ways it causes many worries. Rather than providing security, wealth begets a bevy of struggles.

Jesus said wealth makes it hard to enter his Kingdom, because people make it their god. The true God does not brook rivals. Has desire for and pursuit of wealth damaged my soul?

#votd #Ecclesiastes #wealth

What example should Christians set when it comes to wealth?

This week’s ‘Gospel Advocate’ lesson over James 5:1-12 asked an important question … a question the Bible discusses hundreds of times (seems that way). “What example should Christians set when it comes to wealth?

Here are some answers that I took note of: Continue reading

#james, #money, #questions-and-answers, #wealth

Word to the Wise. Proverbs 10:2

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death. Why would someone seek wealth via wicked deeds or thinking? Because there is no real belief there will be a day of reckoning. While the thinking of great profit awaits, many hope, actually, it is the righteous who receive wealth, a wealth that is not of this world – which is of greater value. If the wicked thought as the righteous, the wicked would no longer be wicked, but righteous. Seems to be a truism; we also see another truism: the wicked far outnumber the righteous. The Lord’s way of educating the mind has a way of changing hearts that have no desire to live by this world’s standards, but those hearts need to want a wealth that is not of this world. RT

#wealth #truisms #Proverbs

Wealth and Wisdom (Word to the Wise)

How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver (Proverbs 16:13, NKJV). The value of wisdom above wealth is obvious to any and all mature people. The value of wisdom helps one make proper use of what is possessed. Unfortunately, there are an untold number of people who value material possessions to the point they are consumed in thinking about them. Whatever value there might be in material things, in comparison with godly wisdom it pales! How can it not pale? Wisdom is great, but godly wisdom is greater still! With godly wisdom one knows the direction of life and the destination after life is over. With godly wisdom one knows how to handle the nuances of life because the Lord has set the proper course for each of us. Yes, it is true, there are some circumstances in life where one may not know what to do, but none of those circumstances will pertain to how to live morally, because the saints know how to live. He lives for God. Wisdom and understanding is FAR better than material wealth.


#wealth, #wisdom, #words-to-the-wise


1-18-2016 Lottery Fever

After a few “winning” tickets have claimed prize money from millions who donated their ticket money out of their limited funds, it would be good to review what a Wise Man has said. “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21 NKJV). The faster we get it, the quicker it leaves. The list of “The Wealthiest People in America” seldom, if ever, includes a lottery winner! “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase” (Proverbs 13:11 NKJV). A good, steady job is worth more than dishonest gain. “Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend” (Proverbs 19:4 NKJV). Friends, relatives, riotous living, and “good causes” rain from the sky upon lottery winners, because many will help you spend what they don’t have! Truly, “riches are not forever” (Proverbs 27:24 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#dishonest, #lottery, #wealth

Do we take our clothes for granted?

Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them carts, according to the command of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. He gave to all of them, to each man, changes of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments.” (Genesis 45:21-22)

In case you’re not familiar with the idea, a sign of wealth throughout the Bible (including the New Testament) was the ability of an individual to give away clothing. Wardrobes weren’t cheap! Especially certain colors that were difficult to obtain. So when the Bible says that Joseph (a man who was familiar with special clothing), who happened to be second in command throughout the land of Egypt, showed kindness, but also great wealth, by sending his family home with new clothes, including five changes to the brother closest to his heart, I can’t help but wonder to myself if we (the majority of us in the western culture) take the blessing of our clothes for granted? Because in case you haven’t noticed, there’s probably more than one or two of us who can afford to give away five changes of clothes without our closet being any worse for the wear. And we don’t even have to be the second in command of any nation to do it!

#clothing, #taking-blessings-for-granted, #wealth, #western-culture


(#153) The Proverbs of Solomon 21:5-Hurry Up And Lose

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Work, hard work, and plenty of it is the only way to true wealth. Though God could have Created “the heavens and the earth” instantaneously, He used 6 days to establish a work ethic for humankind (Genesis 1:1-2:3). His example established the principle of daily work, which He commanded in the Law of Moses: “”Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12); and in the Law of Christ: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Steadfast” and “immovable” are the characteristics of “steady” and “sure.” The Apostle Paul obeyed God’s work ethic to support his preaching of the Gospel: “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Other proverbs emphasize this principle: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29); “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of a field; You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

The other side of this is found in the common phrase, “haste makes waste.” ALL shortcuts, fast tracks, or quick remedies will fail. There is no gambling game, lottery, raffle, pool, sweepstake, betting, or bookmaking that substitutes for diligent, daily, hard work, either in personal satisfaction or security. “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Second generation fortunes seldom survive; most lottery winners squander their monies; those on an unearned government dole can lose it on a whim; gamblers are generally just contributing their bets to someone else’s jackpot! No one has ever thought of a scheme that betters God’s principle of satisfying work! Solomon will later say: “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). He then explains: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

Keeping busy is the work of God which He rewards, but hastening to be rich will fail. Do you want to hurry up and lose?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#betting, #bible-study, #daily, #diligent, #gambling, #god, #hard-work, #haste, #hasty-poverty, #labor, #lottery, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #raffle, #sweepstake, #toil, #unearned-government-dole, #wealth, #work

stop and smell the… lilac?

The human soul has this tendency toward discontentment. The status quo is not quite enough, no matter how great it may be. This concept is all over the book of Ecclesiastes–the diary of the man who, seemingly to us, had everything he could ever want at his fingertips–wisdom, wealth, power, sex, fame, influence. Yet, as you read his account, you discover one of the most miserable, unhappy, tormented individuals that ever lived. Seems that “everything” turned out to be “not enough.” So he drops these little hints throughout his thesis that man’s purpose is simply to enjoy the lot he’s been given. Why? It does no good to fantasize. As you’re walking past the lilac bush, it’d be an awful shame to waste the moment dreaming about roses.

What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires.
~ Ecclesiastes 6:9

#contentment, #ecclesiastes, #solomon, #stop-and-smell-the-roses, #wealth, #wisdom


(#133) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:10-11-Do You Have Social or Spiritual Security?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 18:10-11: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. 11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem.”

Soon out of the Garden of Eden, “men began to call on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26); Abraham “built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8); David offered sacrifices and “blessed the people in the name of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 16:2), who repeated his confidence: “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8); Jesus Christ was welcomed into Jerusalem with people saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Mark 11:9); and even today, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). “The name of the LORD” has always been the authority figure for the Bible. David summarized its power when he sang: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). The Israelites generally refused to flee to God, however, as Jesus lamented: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34). The Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The tendency of mankind seems to be, when trouble arises, to hide behind “a high wall” of “wealth.”  This is forbidden in the New Testament. Jesus warned, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24). “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). It is sad, indeed, as an economy weakens, to see people flock to a “give-away government,” Lottery chances to be rich, or crime, trying to become rich quickly. Why flee to the security of “wealth,” when Wisdom has declared: “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5). “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; The destruction of the poor is their poverty” (Proverbs 10:15).

With the uncertainty of money’s value, and the haughtiness of those who think they are rich, and seeing how economies can be sucked dry by covetous leeches, why flee to “wealth” for security, when “the name of the LORD” is always dependable? “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#baptism, #bible-study, #name-of-the-lord, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #riches, #security, #wealth, #wisdom

True Treasures

People place a great deal of value on material things. Owning things drives a lot of people to work long hours. It is simply not enough that we have food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8), we must also have houses, cars, cell phones, televisions, and such like. Some work more than the standard forty hours per week simply to be able to afford more possessions. Now having an abundance of material things is clearly not sinful except if it keeps you from putting God first in your life (Luke 18:18-25). If you are striving to obtain treasures, strive for those things that will last for eternity.

Strive therefore to obtain salvation. Paul in writing to Timothy tells us that he endured “all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10). Since salvation is in Christ then it is imperative that we know how to get into Christ. Galatians 3:27 tells us that we are “baptized into Christ.” John summed up these thoughts by writing “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). Salvation is eternal as long as we remain in Christ.

Strive also to remain a part of the church. Our saviour Jesus Christ died that the church might come into existence. Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Scripture also tells us that Christ is the saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23) and that the body is the church (Col. 1:18). Time spent with the church is of far more value than time spent in the workplace.

Also of more value than material things is the hope of heaven. Everyone will die one day. A person may work their entire life in pursuit of material wealth yet at their death they will lose it all. If therefore there is nothing for us after this life does it not seem a waste to worry about earthly gain? Yet scripture tells us there is something awaiting us after this life is over. There is a place being prepared right now for those who are faithful to God (John 14:1-3). Heaven is a place of great comfort and joy. It is a place with no “death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4). How great it must be to live forever with God in that heavenly home.

Having material possessions is not sinful. Jesus didn’t say wealth would prevent a person from entering heaven, only that wealth would make it harder to get there (Luke 18:24). The man Job was a rich man by standards of his time yet God called him “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). Are you working to obtain material wealth? If so, make sure to acknowledge that God is the one who gives you the ability to do so (Eccl. 5:19) and be ready to help those in need (1 John 3:17).

In Christ, Steve Preston


#heaven, #materialism, #wealth

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (15)

Proverbs 10 is where the “pithiness” begins due to the mouthful of wisdom served on spoon sized verses. For this chapter I’ll only comment on certain verses that stand out (at least to me) instead of commenting on whole passages like I have done previously for Proverbs 1-9.  Bon appetit!

Verse 1: Interesting due to the bluntness of the statement. Building up the self-esteem of a child is an essential task of a parent, but psychologists today get it all wrong if they say any sort of guilt is bad. Solomon flat-out tells his child if he listens to his father he will make him a better child and he will make his parents proud – ignore the advice and he’ll remain a child of constant sorrow to his mother!

Verse 2: The Bible in Basic English translates this verse, “Wealth which comes from sin is of no profit, but righteousness gives salvation from death.” Reminds me so very much of what Paul said in Romans 6:23.

Verse 5: There is a time to rest and a time to work – don’t confuse the two! If only this nation’s parents taught more children this principle many of the problems that our young people face would simply fix themselves. Busy hands have a harder time getting into trouble!!!

Verse 10: When I read verses like this it reminds of how much the characteristics of sneakiness in people has not changed since the days the Bible speaks of. The devious, destructive and deterring “wink of the eye” still remains one of the quickest markers of something when it’s not what it appears to be.

Verse 12: A wonderful verse! Not only do I think so, but so did Peter and James! Peter quotes the verse directly while you can’t help but think of it when you read what James said. They were obviously both fans of the Proverbs.

Verse 13: It’s a ‘hard knock life’ for those who have a hard head – at least that’s how I’d sum it up.

Verses 15-16: Wealth is a tool! Some have more tools than others but we’re all responsible for how we take care of our own tools. Wealth does not always make things better. Use some tools with ignorance and you’ll end up getting hurt. Wealth is one of them! To the untrained heart physical wealth will replace the spiritual treasure of the heart (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 16:1-14).

Verse 19: I quoted this verse just the other day…but I accidentally left out a word in my comment. I wasn’t following the verse per say; just made a mistake. Shutting a door and window – yeah, we’ve got that! Shutting our mouth – I wish I had it down as much as the doors and windows.

Verse 21: I think this is one of the most overlooked gems in Proverbs. How do the lips of the righteous feed others? Advice, encouragement, warnings, admonitions…it all feeds the soul.

Verse 22: Solomon has much to say throughout Proverbs about work, wealth and blessings from God. I wonder why? True financial blessings from God come without the sorrow…and the fact that all financial “blessings” are not without that issue reveals the source of some “financial aid.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 preaches right along side with the Proverbs today as strongly as the day they were written. Solomon was a man who felt the sting of wealth and sorrow!!!

Verse 27: Accidents do happen to those who strive to live after the Lord, but foolishness happens to more people than you can shake a stick at. Watch the news! Foolishness affects our lives much more than accidents. Bottom line is a life lived in accordance with God’s will is most-often a life of wiser and more fulfilling days.

Verse 29: The Lord can be for you. But never forget that the Lord can be against if you chose to work evil! You can hear Solomon saying that we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Lord.

Next up, Proverbs 11.

#book-of-proverbs, #foolishness, #god, #instruction, #parenting, #poverty, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wealth, #wisdom, #work

The richest man

A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day, while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by. Hans said, “I was just thanking God for my food.” Carl protested, “If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.” Hans replied, “God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.”

The old farmer added, “It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.” Carl snorted, “Dreams are nonsense,” and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: “The richest man in the valley will die tonight.”

He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, “Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.”

Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream.

At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door. “What is it?” Carl demanded. The messenger explained, “It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.”

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#riches, #spiritual-riches, #stories, #wealth

What would it take for you to live…

What would it take for you to live comfortably in America? That was the question Gallup asked and found that only 31% thought they could make it on less than $50,000 a year. A full 25% believed it would take $100,000 or more. This illustrates the fact that there are a lot of Americans who have no idea how other Americans struggle. Dipping crackers into caviar and drinking champaign from long-stemmed glasses while sun-bathing on their private yacht, they give no thought or care to the average citizen. Last year the average large corporate CEO made 531 times what an average worker made. Jesus said, “woe to those who are rich, for they have already received their comfort.” This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess

#just-a-minute, #rich, #wealth

Edifier: Love of money

There are many, many things which can distract us and lead us away from what is really important in life. There is the desire for popularity and involvement in worldly things which should not be part of the Christian’s life and we give in to the temptation. There are many other things and people that become obstacles in our way of living for Jesus.

Do you know what is the greatest hindrance that most people confront in living for the Lord? It is the love of MONEY. The apostle Paul knew this and warned us in 1 TIM. 6:6-19 of the dangers which accompany riches. He did not say that it is wrong to want money nor to have money. But, he did say that the ‘love of money is the root of all evil.’ He also told Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” Can you see that money is not wrong, but our attitude toward money and our use of money is often a great liability in our service to the Lord? I believe that if you have the ability to make money that is good and you should use that ability, but only in a way that gives glory and honor to God.

I pray that you will not allow your need and your hunger for money to cause you to stumble in your relationship with God. That is not a profit, it is a loss. I have known many Christians in America as well as in Romania who at least think that they are so desperate that they allow their need and their desire for money to blind them to the blessings and responsibilities of serving God. Surely it would be better to die a pauper and be right with God, than to die with much material wealth and be poor in our relationship with God. Think about it.

May God bless and keep you this week. We rejoice with the baptism of Ema Tiodor last Saturday and pray for a long and fruitful life for her in the Lord. We love you and miss you.

With Much Love,

Ted & Barbara

If you know of others who might like to receive it, send us their address and we will add them to the list.


I Corinthians 14:26

“Let all things be done unto edifying”

An E-Letter from Ted and Barbara Knight to EDIFY our Brothers and Sisters in Romania

August 15, 2011

#greed, #love-of-money, #materilaism, #wealth

Joseph and Mary were poor

Jesus’ parents were poor, from all indications. One such cue comes from Luke 2:22-24, part of our NT reading schedule for today:

2:22 Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 2:23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.

People who couldn’t afford a sheep were to bring the birds (Lev. 12:8). So the text seems to indicate that Joseph and Mary would have been strapped to present the more expensive offering.

At the very least, we may conclude that being poor was not an impediment to Jesus’ spiritual formation as a child. Primary in the divine plan, obviously, was the righteousness of Joseph and Mary. The financial state of the family was not a consideration in God’s mind.

Would that people today would care more for righteousness than for riches!

#gospel-of-luke, #materialism, #righteousness, #wealth