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Devotionals

Psalm 16 - Part Two - More Encouragement From God

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828ministries.com H3'ed 1/10/14
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Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head."  - Matthew 8: 19-20  (NLT)

Here is a verse that flies in the face of the so called prosperity gospel! Here we have one of the "respected" members of the religious circles of Jesus' day expressing a desire to follow Jesus and what is our Savior's response? Don't expect the comforts of the world you now enjoy! Don't expect the comfortable clothes and fancy homes! Don't even expect to have a place to lay your head! So then let us turn back to the alternate definition of the word inheritance and see that we inherit the traits of our Father! Now some may treat this contemptuously in light of discovering that they do not get a thousand cattle on a hill but let's remember what we inherit:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.  - Galatians 5: 22-26 (NLT)

Money and wealth are things that drive us to conceit and jealousy. How often have we seen the reading of a will be the source of divisive bickering that drives loving families apart? We are living by the Spirit of God who now dwells inside every born again believer. We belong to Christ and need to be found in Him. The inheritance we have already received is the very fruit of the Spirit we need to cultivate in our lives. If you spoke to most famous millionaires they would probably point to one or more of these fruits as being what they felt was missing in their lives. How often do we see the rich and famous overdosing on legal and illegal drugs or enter into abusive relationships, or take their own lives? How many of us as Christians wish we had real love in our lives? Or sustained joy? Or God's transcendent peace? Or better self control? The NIV version uses the word "portion" instead of inheritance and maybe that will make things clearer. God alone needs to be our portion. Meaning He is all we need in this world. Which leads us to the next point from this verse - that God is our cup of blessing. 

The reason why even as Christians we are often lacking the inheritance of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives is that we seek to fill our cup with the wrong things. If we think inheritance is an abused word today - how about the word blessing! Millions of people attend churches every week that equate blessings to material wealth of this world. That is what they actively pursue then to fill their cup. But when you play with the world, even under the guise of religion, there is no room for the true blessings of God.

Then the Lord said to him, "You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy--full of greed and wickedness! Fools! Didn't God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.  - Luke 11: 39-41 (NLT)

We clean out the inside of our cup by giving, not by taking. By generosity, not greed. The outside of our cup may be pristine. If we go to any of these mega-prosperity churches we will see a sparkling show. Impeccable buildings, waterfalls in the lobby, finely manicured greenery. But when you start to tear away the padded pews and the designer carpets you will find all sorts of filth, greed and wickedness. What are we seeking to fill our cup today? Psalm 16 reminds us that God is our cup of blessing. Not blessing as the world and false preachers see it; but as God sees it. God wants to bless us with His love but we are so often filled with the hate of this world. Or even the hate of the church that seeks to point a religious finger at everyone except themselves. God wants to bless us with his peace but we seek after the very chaos the world produces. God wants to bless us with His endless joy but if we fail to achieve the material blessings promised to us by the hucksters then we will end up in the same misery as the world hoping they hit Powerball this week. No beloved, we have to pursue the things of God first. We need to fill our cup with God first trusting that the blessings He desires to give us are worth more than the riches of this world.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  - Matthew 6: 33 (NLT)

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