The Power of Christ Like Thinking (Part 2) by Edward A. Morrison
What does it mean to be prosperous? I suppose if I asked numerous people what their definition was, I would get some different answers.
However, I think most would say that it is defined by the things we own and the status that we have in life.
So then, as Christians, what would our answer be?
Maybe if we ask people what their definition of success is that would be a more appropriate question for believers.
The prosperity gospel as we refer to it today has lured many people into what has become the era of the mega-church. Why are so many people swarming to these types of churches? What is the big drawing card? Is it to hear the truth of the scriptures? Or the core values of Christ and the teachings of the apostles in the New Testament. Should this, “You can have everything in life that you want,” philosophy, be taught in our churches?
So here is the dilemma.
We live in a very wealthy culture, shouldn’t we expect to get a piece of the pie. I ask you this, What in your mind determines a person’s worth? Is it his status in life, is a person more blessed by God if he or she is wealthy? If we look at the Old Testament when mankind was under the old covenant we see Israel either being blessed or cursed materially by God depending on their obedience to Him. However, we are no longer under the law, we are under the new covenant of grace. God sees our worth by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the one and only savior of the human race.
To think that a part of being a child of God means that we are now entitled to the world’s goods is both wrong and naïve. We do not belong to this world anymore, we are now purchased by the precious blood of our savior. Our focus now needs to be on our relationship with Him and not on what the world can offer us. In reality, it can not offer us anything of lasting value.
So back to the church:
Preaching and teaching the power of the mind and how we get in life what we think about.
If that were the truth, I’d be the greatest male singer on the planet right now. As a younger man, it was all I thought about and dreamed about. It never happened although I did have the privilege of God using the talent He gave me to praise Him and encourage other believers. Personally, I think this sanction of the church has fallen into Satan’s trap of believing this new-age philosophy.
I know the mind is a gift from God. When it is directed towards the work of God and guided by the Holy Spirit we can
indeed move mountains. But those mountains I believe are spiritual ones. Our lives need to be governed by God’s Word, not by our next purchase or business move.
I always use our greatest example of a man to drive home a point.
Who did Jesus say was the greatest man born of woman?
It wasn’t Abraham, Moses, David, or Solomon. It was John the Baptist. People today would probably shrug him off as being somewhat insane or as a vag-a-bond. I mean John lived in the wilderness and ate locusts and wild honey.
So what made him Jesus’ choice of the greatest man?
It was his commitment to God and dedication to the preaching of the truth.
Let me ask you this, who would you say was the greatest man to ever grace our planet?
To me, that is a no-brainer, it was Jesus. Yet He never owned anything other than the clothes that He wore. I guess the point that I’m getting at here is that if you think being wealthy is going to get you any closer to God you really are kidding yourself. If you are listening to preachers telling you that you should be wealthy and if you’re not then your relationship with God mustn’t be right. Or if you are hearing in your church that sickness and lack of financial gain are because you have sin in your life, then I suggest you run out of that building and never look back.
However, let me say that I do not think being wealthy is in any way a terrible thing. Many Christians are very prosperous and use their money in great ways to further the Gospel. However, if God does bless you financially I believe you have an enormous responsibility to use that money wisely and to be ready and willing to give to others.
Most of us will never have that heavy burden in our lives but whether we have a little or a lot, we need to be ready to allow God to use whatever we have for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom. To be at peace with God and your fellow human beings I think is the greater desire to have. This, I truly believe, will give us a sense of contentment that can only come from the spirit of God.
So, in conclusion:
Seek God first and His kingdom and His righteousness and as the scripture tells us, “All of these things will be added unto you,” these things in my mind being of a spiritual nature, not material.Tweet
So to have the mind of Christ is to be filled with the spirit and, I believe, to live in the spirit. That is, in my mind, true successful living for the believer.
The Futility of Pleasure
1. I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good!”
But it proved to be futile. 2. I said of laughter, “It is folly,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” 3. I sought to cheer my body with wine and to embrace folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom—until I could see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
4. I expanded my pursuits. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5. I made gardens and parks for myself, where I planted all kinds of fruit trees. 6. I built reservoirs to water my groves of flourishing trees. 7. I acquired menservants and maidservants, and servants were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me, 8. and I accumulated for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I gathered to myself male and female singers, and the delights of the sons of men—many concubines.
9. So I became great and surpassed all in Jerusalem who had preceded me; and my wisdom remained with me. 10. Anything my eyes desired, I did not deny myself. I refused my heart no pleasure. For my heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. 11. Yet when I considered all the works that my hands had accomplished and what I had toiled to achieve, I found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind; there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
The Wise and the Foolish
12. Then I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly; for what more can the king’s successor do than what has already been accomplished?
13. And I saw that wisdom exceeds folly, just as light exceeds darkness:
14. The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness.
Yet I also came to realize that one fate overcomes them both.
15. So I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will also befall me. What then have I gained by being wise?” And I said to myself that this too is futile. 16. For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise, just as with the fool, seeing that both will be forgotten in the days to come. Alas, the wise man will die just like the fool!
17. So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
The Futility of Work
18. I hated all for which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who comes after me. 19. And who knows whether that man will be wise or foolish? Yet he will take over all the labor at which I have worked skillfully under the sun. This too is futile. 20. So my heart began to despair over all the labor that I had done under the sun. 21. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great evil. 22. For what does a man get for all the toil and striving with which he labors under the sun? 23. Indeed, all his days are filled with grief, and his task is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.
24. Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work. I have also seen that this is from the hand of God. 25. For apart from Him, a who can eat and who can find enjoyment? 26. To the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He assigns the task of gathering and accumulating that which he will hand over to one who pleases God. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
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