Tag Archives: money

mmmm matthew 6 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken with Tomato Rice Mmmm

In Sydney, we have delicious Asian Food thanks to multiculturalism!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

No one can serve 2 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.

Matthew 6:24

There is an old saying “Money makes the world go round.”

Many people watch their bank balances & stock markets closely.

Everyone is worried that we don’t have enough money.

We just want more and more money.

Even when we are wealthy, we are never satisfied.

Our wealth and livelihoods are at the mercy of global stock markets.

We cannot predict with certainty when the next crash will occur.

The Bible passage above is a challenge to all who follow Jesus.

Jesus was teaching his disciples about how to live in his kingdom.

A large crowd was also listening to his teaching.

Jesus’ teaching was revolutionary and counter-cultural 2,000 years ago.

His teaching is still relevant and a stark reminder to us today.

It is impossible to serve 2 masters because they have conflicting demands.

Anyone who has ever worked for 2 bosses knows this.

1 boss wants something & the other wants the complete opposite at the same time.

Money can be very demanding if we constantly worry about our financial security.

Pursuing wealth through workaholism can damage our health & family relationships.

Instead Jesus reminds everyone to be fully devoted to him instead.

We are to trust him with our lives instead of worrying about money:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

We need to ensure that we are actually in his kingdom.

Do you know him as your King and Saviour?

He promises that if we follow him, he will look after us.

He knows that we need food, clothes and shelter in our daily lives.

So where do we place money in our lives?

  1. God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit occupy No. 1 place in our lives.
  2. Our relationships with family, friends and other followers are in 2nd place.
  3. Money is in 3rd place.

So if we trust Jesus, what does it mean to “seek first his kingdom”?

Here are some suggestions:

  • We spend time ensuring that our family & friends know Jesus.
  • We encourage other followers to pursue righteousness.
  • We may even give up our careers to tell the world about Jesus.

How are you seeking God’s kingdom?

Do those around you know that you are in His kingdom?

How can others see that God is in No.1 place in your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 timothy 6 mmmm

Mmmm Warm Lobster Salad with Chilli Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest seafood & farm produce to create amazing food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 which God will bring about in his own time – God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might for ever. Amen.

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.

1 Timothy 6:3-19

For many people, the “love of money” is the most important goal in their lives.

To them, money is a liquid form of power giving people “security and control”.

Recently the Global Financial Crisis shattered this security showing we are not in control.

Millions lost their jobs as major countries went into recession.

Everyone lost money as this Crisis affected investments across the globe.

Some lost their life savings and homes showing the uncertainty of wealth.

In the Bible passage above, Paul contrasts “contentment” with the “love of money”.

Paul was teaching a young man Timothy about how to lead a church.

Paul gave up a promising career and devoted his life to sharing Jesus with the world.

He had no permanent home, little money and few possessions.

Yet he found the secret of contentment by trusting God to provide his daily needs.

Paul was happy with basic needs: food & clothing.

He warned Timothy against the “love of money” as a trap to avoid.

Fast forward 2000 years later and Paul’s teaching is still so relevant today.

An Australian bank’s slogan several years ago was “Whoever dies with the most: Wins”.

How stupid?!? We cannot take our accumulated wealth with us when we die.

Money does not prevent us from dying either – we cannot buy eternal life.

Wealth gives us a “false sense of security” as we nervously watch global stock markets.

So what is the alternative?

Trust God with your life and build up treasures in heaven instead.

Place your hope in Him and nurture spiritual relationships that are everlasting.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness and take hold of eternal life.

Be generous with your money and share your possessions with others.

Money itself is not evil, but we are always tempted to be greedy and want more.

God knows that we need money in this world and provides everything for our enjoyment.

But the “love of money” is so insidious causing us to be discontent with our lives.

Society attitudes & pervasive advertising pressures us to buy more in order to be happy.

Don’t believe the lie that money buys happiness.

Experience God’s love now so that you can “take hold of life that is truly life”.

What do you love in life and where do you find happiness?

Who will you trust when you lose your wealth and/or job during the next economic downturn?

Are you living life to the full?

Is God challenging you to give up wealth/security so that you can share Jesus with the world?

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse the advertisement you may see below my blog:

mmmm ruth 3 mmmm

Mmmm Cantonese Yumcha with college friends Mmmm

Sydney has the best Chinese Food in Australia!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

I’m continuing to eat mouthfuls of Old Testament after last semester’s feast at college.

3 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wingsover your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman…”

Ruth 3:1-11

The book of Ruth sandwiched between Judges and Samuel is often overlooked as it is so short.

It’s worth reading the 4 chapters to uncover a special story of faith, hope and love.

This book is set against the disastrous period of the Judges where anarchy reigned.

But here we have a subtle love story that has great significance for Israel’s history.

This is no Hollywood Romance, but instead we have an account of salvation and love.

Ruth, a foreigner accompanied her mother-in-law Naomi back to Israel when her own husband died.

She risked everything showing great faith not knowing what would happen in this strange land.

Naomi and Ruth were 2 poor, helpless women with an uncertain future.

Ruth met Boaz, an older land-owner who showed grace and great kindness to her.

This was a glimmer of hope from God for Naomi and Ruth during unpredictable times.

We pick up the story when Naomi suggests that Ruth seek protection from Boaz –
a distant relative.

According to local customs, Boaz could act as a “kinsman-redeemer” and save Ruth.

Boaz was pleased that Ruth chose him instead of chasing after a younger man.

He praised her noble character and thanked Ruth for her kindness.

Boaz married Ruth and they became the great-grandparents of David – Israel’s greatest king.

But there is a greater love story in the New Testament.

In Romans 5, we read that God loved us as his children even when we were his enemies.

At great personal cost, God sent his son Jesus to save us and bring us into His family.

We live in unpredictable and uncertain times.

Do you want to be assured that God loves you always, in good times and bad?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm 1 samuel 2 mmmm

Mmmm spicy Thai Green Curry with Tofu Mmmm

Sydney has fantastic Asian food that is so fresh!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

‘The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and makes them inherit a throne of honour.
‘For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.

1 Samuel 2:6-8

After the anarchy of Judges in the previous blog post below, we come to a new period in Israel’s history.

1 Samuel opens with the birth of the prophet Samuel to Hannah.

Hannah was so thankful to God for answering her prayer that she dedicates Samuel to priestly service.

A portion of her thanksgiving prayer is quoted above.
But take time to read the whole of Chapters 1 & 2 in 1 Samuel.

Hannah’s prayer acts like a roadmap for Israel’s kingship history that follows.

Even though she is not a prophet, the words of her prayer are prophetically played out in the lives of Israel’s kings.

We can see that God alone is in control of the rise and fall of kings.

David, Israel’s greatest king had humble beginnings as a shepherd and God exalted him (lifted him up) to become the leader of a nation.

But sadly, David abused his royal power and God humbled him in the end with disastrous consequences for his family. But God still lovingly forgave him and promised that his dynasty would last forever.

So what does this mean for us?

God brings prosperity and also poverty to everyone on earth – Christians or non-Christians.

Some people have the wrong view of Christianity – they believe that as long as they follow the Ten Commandments, God will shower them with wealth and success in their lives.

But Christians can also experience poverty, hardship and unemployment at some point in their lives.

This is not necessarily because they are leading “bad” lives.

Bad things can also happen occasionally to “good” people or loyal followers of God.

God is reminding us that he is in control and that we need to trust him even when disaster strikes in our lives.

Whether we are rich or poor, we need to live humbly before God and not to become proud of our own achievements. We need to thank God in good and bad circumstances.

It’s not all bad news: there is a greater promise in these verses.

God has the amazing power to raise people from the dead!

God raised Jesus to life again after he died on the cross.

If we trust Jesus with our lives, God will also raise us to eternal life after we die.

This is the hope and confidence that Christians have.

Some Christians are rich, some Christians are poor.

But we all will face Jesus as our judge at the end of our lives, regardless of our wealth.

Clearly we cannot control the global economy or prevent cancer from striking.

How do you cope when disaster strikes?

Who do you trust?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm judges 2 mmmm

Mmmm fantastic Korean BBQ feast on the weekend Mmmm

Sydney has the most diverse multicultural Food in Australia!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.

Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heresin the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.

Judges 2:6-11

Joshua successfully led the Israelites to claim the Promised Land.

During his lifetime, the Israelites followed God faithfully and lived in peace.

But after Joshua and that generation died, a new generation grew up not knowing the amazing things that God did for their parents.

Joshua’s generation failed to teach the younger generation about God.

The children started worshipping idols or Baals and turned away from God completely.

And so we have the sad book of Judges which details the anarchy that followed.

Similarly in Australia, most of the Baby Boomer generation went to church in the 1960s and were familiar with the Bible. Australia was a “Christian” society.

But now most of Generations X & Y no longer go to church and know nothing about God.

Their parents failed to teach them about the Bible.

Now Australia is a “post-Christian” society where most people in my generation chase after other false idols like money, career and sexuality.

But these false idols don’t bring happiness, they bring loneliness and emptiness.

Australia has higher rates of alcoholism, divorce, depression and suicide than ever before.

Do you know the hope and peace that only God can give you?

If you are a Christian, are you teaching your kids about the Bible?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm job 28 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you crave something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Job 28:20-28 (NIV 1984)

Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds of the air.
Destruction and Death say,
‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’
God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
And he said to man,
The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.’”

The book of Job in the Old Testament is about a Man and his relationship with God.

Job experiences unexplained suffering and cries out in pain.
His friends try to offer comforting words of wisdom but are tactless and foolish.
Job wonders where true wisdom can be found.

Only God is the source of true wisdom.

Man can find wisdom in right relationship with God.
We do this by humbly approaching Him and recognising that He is the Creator (and we are not!)

He creates thunderstorms like Super Storm Sandy that devastated NE USA recently.
I love New York in the Spring – one of the great cities of the world alongside Sydney.
So to see the recent devastation is heart-breaking and humbling.

When suffering happens to us, we cry out in pain.
But instead of asking, “Why did you do this, God?”

We should ask, “How can I trust God to get me through this suffering?”

God is more important than our treasured homes that can be washed away in a storm.

God is more reliable than politicians who promise but fail to deliver.

God wants us to trust Him when everything collapses around us.

He sent Jesus to give us eternal hope so that we can weather the most powerful storm.

Who do you trust when you lose everything?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm colossians 1 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you crave something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Colossians 1:15-16 (NIV 1984)

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

What is the meaning of life?

Philosophers, comedians and theologians have pondered this question since time began.

Some answers include:

  • Love, Family relationships and friendships
  • Knowledge, learning and education
  • Career success and job satisfaction
  • Good food and wine
  • Money, possessions, a comfortable home in a good suburb and a fast car
  • Good health, the body beautiful, fitness and sport
  • Art, architecture, music and entertainment
  • Travel and the environment
  • Recreation and leisure
  • Humour and happiness

Colossians tells us something different and often we miss the last 2 words in verse 16.

Jesus created the universe for himself. This includes all humans – Christian and non-Christian.

We belong to Jesus. He is our “meaning”.

So what does this look like?

Jesus desires to enjoy us in close relationship to him – closer than our family or best friends.

We often look for meaning in the wrong places:

  • Family and friends come and go – we mourn when we lose them
  • Even with all the knowledge in the world, we can still be lonely
  • Redundancy can stunt our career plans and threaten our homes
  • Cancer and Diabetes can spoil our appetite for good food and wine
  • Money and possessions can be stolen or destroyed in fire
  • We are so busy in life and no longer have time for rest and hobbies
  • Worries and Depression can make our fun and laughter disappear

Jesus is eternal – he is still there when our world collapses around us

He is our food that satisfies the greatest hunger when we need it most

Enjoy him today!

mmmm Bible mmmm