Category: What does the Bible say About


When God changed a person’s name and gave him a new name, it was usually to establish a new identity. God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5) and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15). We know from history that the descendants of Abraham and Sarah formed many nations, including the Jews’ and Muslims’.

God changed Jacob’s “supplanter” name to “Israel,” “having power with God” (Genesis 32:28). He changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to “Peter,” “rock” (John 1:42). Why did Jesus occasionally call Peter “Simon” after He had changed His name to “Peter”? Probably because Simon sometimes acted like his old self instead of the rock God called him to be. The same is true for Jacob. God continued to call him “Jacob” to remind him of his past and to remind him to depend on God’s strength.

Why did God choose new names for some people? The Bible doesn’t give us His reasons, but perhaps it was to let them know they were destined for a new mission in life. The new name was a way to let them in on the divine plan and also to assure them that God’s plan would be fulfilled in them.

Advertisements

The answer to the above question is quite simple in one respect, and quite complex in another.

The baseline answer to America’s present condition is  that the Constitution of the United State is “wholly inadequate” for the governance of a people who are not Christian.  In a much larger world, where peoples were divided by time and space and the availability of philosophical, historical,  social and cultural knowledge was primitive compared to today, our Founders did not realize that the term religion could mean a wide array of desperate philosophies which were not compatible.  Nor could they have contemplated and understood the present state of man in terms of “closeness” and congestion.

Christianity and the Bible provided a broadly based common view of the world and life.  There were differences within Christianity, and those differences had helped cause continued war among the Christian nations of Europe.  But America offered sufficient land – space and lack of established special interests at the time of its settlement and colonization and creation of this nation, that those conflicts did not carry over to America in a defining way.   Instead, our founders being sensitive to the differences between the Christian denominations, built in a tolerance within the broader Christianity.  A review of the religious toleration clauses of the colonial and early state Charters and Constitutions clearly indicate it was tolerance for the different Christian denominations which were central in their minds.

In my life time, and probably before, intellectuals have sought to expand or re-write the meanings of the Founders.  The concept of a “living” Constitution embraces the idea of historiography (meaning the change – ability of the meaning of words depending upon fashion) as a less cumbersome way of modifying the practical aspects of the Constitution in daily life.  This is not what the Founders intended.  They were very clear about the limited role of the Courts, and the means to change the Constitution.  But today’s intellectuals, the ruling elite, and those in political governance, prefer to govern through the Courts rather than the ballot box and legislature.  Progressives prefer court-dictated changes because it is easier to make happen, and can be micro managed in terms of intent.

The common foundation of Christianity was not just one of morality in terms of the Ten Commandments, but was also an understanding of the spirit as the essential breath within the law.  Christ’s teachings are filled with this approach.  It is not just the words of the law which are important but their spirit, and without the spirit, the words whither and die.

America is in chaos because the people have moved away from the Christianity, which God used to create the United States of America. The people moved away, in part, because the ruling elite erased the history of America (1492 – 1789). and mostly because, as in the Old Testament of the Bible, we are no better than the people of Israel in our constant desire to do as we please, rather than please God.  The spirit of the Constitution, spoken of above, should be the spirit of God, through the American people and applied to life.  That is precisely what the Founders intended.  (This point will be fought tooth and nail by the intellectuals, and most may believe them because most are completely unaware of the history of this nation, combined with a desire to live and let live.)

Christianity is under attack by Satan through a wide variety of means, and the Pulpit has been less than vigilant or energetic in its defense of the Christian foundation of the Constitution and our nation.  Between the electronic devices which run a 24  – 7 river of sin at the hearts and minds of the people,  the rising challenge of Islam around the world, and the spiritual corruption of both the American people and its ruling elite. only the power of God has prevented collapse before now.  But, it appears, it is coming.

America’s lurch towards Donald Trump appears to be the same as the Jewish people calling for a King.  God attempted to dissuade his chosen people of that choice, but reluctantly allowed the people to choose that course, choice being the optimum operational theme throughout the Bible.  Americans have no idea how to look to God for the answer to our problems and challenges; instead we have become addicted to government as the answer.  Modern liberal thought has become the idol, and America is living that idolatry now.

I have written before and will continue to do so, that what America needs is a national revival, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 .  and for those who agree, I can only commend to you, pray for such an event.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free…. “

I believe that The AMERICAN PATRIOT, is the only political party in America that is still firmly loyal to OUR Founding Fathers and supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the United States of America.

We hear a great deal today from politicians, news organizations and candidates this is the “most important election year” in the history of the United States,  “a crucial election,” and  there is so “much at stake.”  Yet, they never fully tell us why it is the “most important,” the most “crucial” or “what really is at stake?”

If we answer the last question first, “what is at stake,” we have a foundation of which to answer all of these questions. But first we must ask the ultimate question: “Why do Republicans and Democrats alike fear and hate Donald Trump?” I proffer to you this simple answer.  Donald Trump is aware that for 100 years most politicians have knowingly ushered in the ideal of Communism through implementation of laws and propaganda.  Trump understands that the people (politicians) who believe in the socialistic and communistic concepts, [especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas] are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the United States of America… Trump wants to expose it and stop it before the final fatal blow is administered to our Republic; and this scares the hell out of politicians of who will be exposed. Not to mention that everything these politicians have worked for will have been in vain. I strongly believe that this is why Republicans, Democrats and nearly every News Agency has aligned against Donald Trump and his agenda.

Now we can answer the two remaining questions of why this election was “so important” and what makes it “so crucial?” The answer is not in “who” will make the ultimate blow that murders our current Republic form of government; but instead “who” will “guide and control” this new United States Socialist Republic [U. S. S. R.]. This is what is causing the chaos from within the News Media and from within both political parties. This is why we are experiencing riots in the streets and political stonewalling.  America’s freedom is in the balance. This is why everyone is scrambling to oust Trump before he had a chance to be elected.

This is why the 2018 mid-term elections for Senators will be the most  crucial election in the history of mankind and of the United States of America. By whatever name they go by, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Socialist or Communists, they need to go.  Plain and simple.  This is why supporting President Trump’s agenda is vital to American freedom and prosperity. This is why the likes of Schumer and Pelosi need to be ousted and replaced with Conservative, God fearing , pro-America Congressional leadership..

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system [Capitalism] and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name [Liberal, Progressive or Socialist] is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…  The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” .

These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated [see: Youth Indoctrinated] with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. …

America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

 

 

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words,  is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the United States of America?????

KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

The AMERICAN PATRIOT, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Join me for more from this series. Thank you.

 

A comparison between “forced giving” through Communism and “joyous giving” through Capitalism and Bible principles:
Communism, a branch of socialism, is an experimental social system based on a set of ideals that, at first glance, seem to agree with some biblical principles. On closer examination, however, little evidence can be found that the Bible truly supports or endorses communism. There is a difference between communism in theory and communism in practice, and the Bible verses that seem to comply with communist ideals are in fact contradicted by the practices of a communist government.
There is a surprising sentence in a description of the church in Acts 2 that has led many people to wonder whether the Bible supports communism, and has led some people to defend strongly the idea that communism is actually biblical. The passage reads, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45). This statement seems to imply that communism (which has, at its heart, a desire to eliminate poverty by “spreading the wealth around”) is found here in the earliest of Christian churches. However, there is a crucial difference between the church in Acts 2 and a communist society that must be understood.
In the Acts 2 church, the people were giving to each other out of their own good will to those who had a need, and they were giving freely, without regulation of how much they were to give. In other words, they shared what they had out of a shared love for one another and a common goal—living for Christ and glorifying God. In a communist society, people give because a system of government forces them to give. They don’t have a choice in the matter as to how much they give or to whom they give. This, therefore, does not reflect on who they are; it says nothing about their identity or character. Under communism, the cheerful, generous giver and the stingy man are both required to give exactly the same amount – namely, everything they earn.
The issue is one of cheerful giving (which the Bible supports) versus forced giving. Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” After all, the Bible contains a great number of references to helping the poor, being generous with what we have, and looking out for those who are less fortunate. When we obey in this area with cheerful hearts with the proper motivation, our giving is pleasing to God. What is not pleasing to God is giving out of compulsion, because forced giving is not giving out of love and therefore profits nothing in the spiritual sense. Paul tells the Corinthians, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Loveless giving is the inevitable result of communism.
Capitalism is actually a better system, when it comes to giving, because it has proven to increase individual wealth, which allows its citizens to give out of their increase. Communism has proven to simply make all its citizens poor, except the very few in power who decide where the wealth goes. But even capitalism won’t work, by itself, as a system for aiding the poor. It depends on its citizens to be diligent (Proverbs 10:4) and generous with the fruits of their labor (1 Timothy 6:18) and to give out of love for God and neighbor. Thus, we see that God has designed for the physical and financial needs of the poor to be met by Christian individuals, rather than by any system of government. In one unified voice, as christians and citizens alike, we must express to our leaders our clear choice.

Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words. Words do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.

Our words have the power to destroy and the power to build up (Proverbs 12:6). The writer of Proverb tells us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). Are we using words to build up people or destroy them? Are they filled with hate or love, bitterness or blessing, complaining or compliments, lust or love, victory or defeat? Like tools they can be used to help us reach our goals or to send us spiraling into a deep depression.

Furthermore, our words not only have the power to bring us death or life in this world, but in the next as well. Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36–37). Words are so important, that we are going to give an account of what we say when we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). In this passage, Paul is emphasizing the positive over the negative. The Greek word translated “unwholesome” means “rotten” or “foul.” It originally referred to rotten fruit and vegetables. Being like Christ means we don’t use foul, dirty language. For some reason, many people today think it is macho or liberating to use vulgar humor, dirty jokes, and foul language, but this kind of talk has no place in the life of a Christian. Paul continues: “. . . but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” This is reminiscent of his words to the Colossians: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6; see also Colossians 3:16).

There is a remarkable parallel between Ephesians 4:25, lying; Ephesians 4:28, stealing; and Ephesians 4:29, unwholesome talk. In each case Paul is urging us to be a blessing to those with whom we have daily contact. Paul is emphasizing that merely refraining from telling lies, stealing, or unwholesome speech is not enough. The truth is that Christianity is not a mere “don’t” religion. As followers of Christ we should emulate the example of Jesus whose words were so filled with grace that the multitudes were amazed (Luke 4:22).

Jesus reminds us that the words we speak are actually the overflow of our hearts (Matthew 12:34–35). When one becomes a Christian, there is an expectancy that a change of speech follows because living for Christ makes a difference in one’s choice of words. The sinner’s mouth is “full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14); but when we turn our lives over to Christ, we gladly confess that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9–10). As condemned sinners, our mouths are silenced before the throne of God (Romans 3:19), but, as believers, our mouths are opened to praise and glorify God (Romans 15:6).

Christians are those whose hearts have been changed by the power of God, a change reflected in our words. Remember, before we were saved, we lived in spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1-3). Paul describes those who are dead in sin: “Their throats are open graves” (Romans 3:13). Our words are full of blessing when the heart is full of blessing. So if we fill our hearts with the love of Christ, only truth and purity can come out of our mouths.

Peter tells us, “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Let the power of our words be used of God to manifest the power of our faith. Be prepared to give the reason for why we love the Lord—at any time, to anyone. Our words should demonstrate the power of God’s grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. May God enable us to use our words as an instrument of His love and saving grace.

There are many warnings in the Bible about giving in to greed and longing for riches. Jesus warned, “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). “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal… You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19 and 24). Did Jesus pursue the acquisition of money? No. On the contrary, He became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) and had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). The only disciple concerned with wealth was the embezzler Judas, who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Greed and a desire for riches are traps that bring ruin and destruction. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” and Christians are warned, “Do not put your trust in wealth” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18). Covetousness, or wanting more than we have, is idolatry. “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5). The principle to remember is contained in Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”

It is the love of money, and not money itself, that is the problem. The love of money is a sin because it gets in the way of worshipping God. Jesus said it was very hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matthew 19:16-22; Luke 10:17-31). By instructing him to give up his money, Jesus pointed out the young man’s main problem: greed. The man could not follow Christ because he was following money. His love of this world interfered with his love for God.

People are more likely to cry out to God when they are in need than when they have plenty. Too often, the wealthy become complacent and self-satisfied and ascribe their riches to their own efforts instead of acknowledging that every good gift comes from God. The easier our lives become, the more enjoyment we derive from our wealth, the greater the temptation to store up treasures on earth, instead of in heaven. If we focus on earthly things like material wealth and possessions, then we fail to give God the glory and worship He deserves. We are to serve God, not waste our time trying to become rich (Proverbs 23:4). Our heart’s desire should be to store up riches in heaven and not worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. “But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25-34).

While most major translations of the Bible don’t specifically use the word stress, Scripture does speak to things such as anxiety, worry and trouble and gives us clear answers on how we should deal with them. The dictionary defines stress as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Everyone suffers from stress at one time or another. In fact, research indicates that children who live in a stressful home environment are at greater risk to become highly stressed by life’s challenges. Stress can cause us to do things we would not normally do or cause us to shut down completely. Anything that causes stress is called a “stressor.”

Stress can be caused by either processive stressors or systemic stressors. Processive stressors are those that elicit what is called the “fight or flight” reaction. Systemic stressors are our bodies’ automatic physiological responses to stress. Stress takes its toll on all of us to varying degrees, and how we deal with it depends in large part on who we are. It is no wonder that many days we struggle trying to cope with the distresses that come from our jobs, our health or family issues. God has created us and knows that, because of our fallen natures, we can sometimes allow stress to rule our lives.

Many people become stressed because they don’t trust God to provide the basic necessities of life. Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27). This passage is a classic example of why we get stressed in the first place—we worry about providing for ourselves and our loved ones. We stress over money because we never seem to feel that we have enough. We worry about making ends meet, often living paycheck to paycheck. Or we become consumed by materialism and, in turn, stressed-out about maintaining our lifestyle. Materialism inevitably leads to stress because, when we seek the world’s goods, we have fallen for the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), the lie that such things relieve stress and lead to happiness, contentment and joy. They do not.

The starting point for dealing with stress is Jesus Christ. Jesus offers us great encouragement in John 14:1: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” We desperately need Him in our lives. We need Him because He is the only one who can give us the strength to cope with the troubles in our lives. Believing in Him does not mean that we will have a trouble-free life or that we will not succumb to stress in our lives. It simply means that a life without Jesus Christ makes coping with stress an impossible and often debilitating task.

Believing leads to trusting. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Leaning on “our own understanding” often means adopting the world’s ways of relieving stress—things like alcohol or drugs or mindless entertainment. Instead, we are to trust His Word as our ultimate guide to a stress-reduced life. David says, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). David knew that by seeking the Lord and sharing his troubles with Him that perhaps he would find favor with Him. The Lord in turn answered him and calmed him down.

Perhaps no passage in Scripture better captures how to handle stress than Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Lord tells us not to be anxious about anything, but rather to turn everything over to Him in prayer. Lifting our burdens and concerns to a holy and righteous God daily will mitigate or eliminate the stress in our lives. Psalm 55:22 tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He will sustain us and never fail us. Jesus Christ offers peace if we come to Him with our worries and concerns. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Stress of all kinds is a natural part of life (Job 5:7, 14:1; 1 Peter 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:13). But how we deal with it is up to us. If we choose to try to do it on our own, we face a long, uphill battle that will not end well. The only way we can deal with stress is with Jesus Christ, first by believing in Him. Without believing in Him we are on our own, and success in coping with stress is almost impossible. Second, we need to trust Him and obey Him. We should trust Him to do what is right because His ways are always best for us. Disobedience and sin can produce stress and cut us off from the only means of peace and joy. By obeying His commandments we reap the blessings of true contentment from a loving God. Finally, we need to seek His peace daily by filling our minds with His Word, lifting all things to Him in prayer, and sitting at His feet in awe and reverence. It is only by His grace, mercy and love that the stress in our lives can be managed.

  Materialism is defined as “the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things.” If a Christian is preoccupied with material things, it is definitely wrong. That is not to say we cannot have material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the Christian, for two reasons.

First, any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God is sinful and is displeasing to God. We are to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which is, according to Jesus, the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38). Therefore, God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually. He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

Second, when we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness of wealth” (Mark 4:19), thinking that we will be happy or 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. He wants us to be chasing after something he knows will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy—God Himself. Luke 16:13 tells us we “cannot serve both God and money.” 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 Bible tells us that a person’s “life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses” (Luke 12:15) and that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

If materialism was ever to satisfy anyone, it would have been Solomon, the richest king the world has ever known. He had absolutely everything and had more of it than anyone, and yet he found it was all worthless and futile. It did not produce happiness or the satisfaction our souls long for. He declared, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In the end, Solomon came to the conclusion that we are to “fear God, and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

What is a Christian work ethic?

  Colossians 3:23-25 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Another translation says to “work heartily” (ESV). Yet another says to “work willingly” (NLT). The Amplified Bible adds “from the soul.” Ephesians 6:7-8 shares a similar concept: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.” In essence, this is the Christian work ethic. We are commanded to put forth our best efforts, to work from our heart and soul at whatever we do. We are accountable to God and stewards of the gifts He has given us. Our work flows out of our gratefulness to Him.

God instituted work with creation, prior to the Fall. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” After Adam and Eve sinned, work became toil (Genesis 3:17-19), but work itself is included in the “very good” part of creation (Genesis 1:31).

Throughout the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites specific instructions about how to do their work. He also gave instructions about providing for those who had less: “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23:22). This command confirms the importance of work. God does not tell the people to harvest everything and then simply give food to the poor. Instead, He tells them to leave enough of the grain to allow the poor to work for themselves. Work has a way of giving us a sense of purpose, productivity, and dignity.

The Proverbs and Ecclesiastes contain some wise sayings regarding work. Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 6:6-11 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” A strong work ethic is confirmed, with warnings concerning slackness.

The New Testament contains another important principle regarding work: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10); that is, the refusal of an able-bodied man to work should have the consequence that he lacks food. Paul also says that an “idle” man who refuses to work should not be part of the church (verse 6). Paul and his companions set a good example of hard work: “We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you” (verses 7-8).

Christians should work hard. Work is integral to life, and approaching work as God-given will give us more pleasure in it. We can work cheerfully and without complaint because we are working for the Lord who loves us and has redeemed us. A good work ethic can also be a witness to others (Matthew 5:16). The world takes notice of our efforts and wonders why we do what we do.

It is important to note that the Bible does not condone workaholism. We do not work merely to amass worldly wealth (in fact, Matthew 6:19-34 warns about this). We work to bring glory to God. We also do not work ourselves into the ground or to the extent that our health is damaged or our families suffer.

God is more interested in relationship with us than He is in what we do. God instituted the Sabbath at the beginning of creation. He did the work of creation for six days and then ceased. God is omnipotent; He did not need rest; He was setting an example for us. In the Ten Commandments, God confirmed both the importance of work and rest. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:9-10a). Later, we see that God even required a Sabbath for the fields (see Leviticus 27). Though the specific laws regarding the Sabbath no longer apply to believers, we are told that “the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). It is a gift that we are wise to accept. So, while Christians are called to have a strong work ethic and to work hard at all that they do, they are also called to take times of rest.