Tag Archives: christianity

The best business advice

As Jesus was teaching/preaching, a man was churning something over and over in his mind that had nothing to do with the sermon at hand, much like some do during modern church services.

“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.””

Luke 12:13-21

Jesus takes the opportunity to make what was a disruption into a famous teaching moment. This is the best advice I can think of for all business persons.

Materialism distracts us from recognizing that God gives us the increases we receive in life, yet somehow this businessman/farmer was able to look past all that God had done to bring about his abundant crops, and could only see himself and his security in that wealth. Yet the bigger problem was not his lack of space to hold it all, or really that he had to come up with a plan to resolve his storage problem. His biggest issue was that in all his life’s work and planning, he never took time to make God a part of his plans.

It’s the thought that you can always get to God later in life once you’ve taken care of your material needs. The Devil rarely tries to convince people that God’s not real or that there is not pending judgement day. The Devil’s best tactic is to convince people that there is always room to get right with God, tomorrow. Business people have so much going on, that if you could poll all of them in one day, I bet there would be a majority that would similarly say they can always accept God tomorrow. But just like the parable, and the population being what it is, the odds are that a few of those same business people will not make it to tomorrow. Worse still are those materialistic people that business people feed into and off of, stats say there are more of those who are betting on tomorrow but will not see the next sunrise. Further in the New Testament, James hits the nail on the head in the advice he is giving:

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

James 4:13-17

To bet on tomorrow is and will be a losing bet for someone today. Don’t let that person be you, work to be rich toward God and seek the Lord while he may be found.

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Filed under New Testament, Theology

Pascal’s Wager

Simply stated, the wager is that if eternal life and death are contingent on believing or not believing in God, then it’s logical to believe, Even if “just to be safe” because the risk of eternal damnation is too great.
To me it seems the wager is not an apologetic, appealing to natural reason in a fear/risk model as most cite. This then suspends (denies) the basic reformed position that in sinful depravity you could just logically convince someone to believe in God. Pascal does not attempt this tact in his other writings, so contextually as a writer, why would he start and even contradict other things he had written?
Now within the context of his other writings he maintains great descriptions of man’s depravity and its impact and cause of illogical reasoning’s of man. A famous quote of his places the motions of the heart against logic when it comes to love. This fits the moral rational view he holds that as man makes decisions there are calculations being made. You go to cross the street, and you mentally calculate your ability to accelerate against the speed and distance of on coming traffic. In anger you may ignore the calculation and just gun it and take your “chances”. I think this the observation being made in Pascal’s wager. He is not looking to apologetically convince someone to believe, but instead makes an acute observation that men make such an irrational choice with so much in the balance, that sin and depravity could be the only reason to not believe in God. It’s a proof observation that belief in God is a moral rational belief. One that man actively suppresses. If man approached the God question as he does other choices, the rational/logical conclusion would be to believe, because of everything at stake. I think this matches well with his “thoughts”, especially those on distractions and diversions.

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Leviticus and the Church, Part 2 – Setting

The setting of Leviticus is an interesting one. Israel, as a nation, just spent about 400 years in bondage to Egypt. Their cries and prayers for deliverance are finally heard by God and so through the providential use of miracles and Moses the people are set free to go worship their God in the wilderness. God takes care of His people throughout their journey. He provides protection as in the Red Sea event and other military victories. God provides guidance and direction as He manifests His presence in the form of a cloud by day and a fire by night. He even provides provisions for them as in the manna and quail to eat and the occasional water from a rock. Aside from their need for food we are told that even their clothing is preserved by God so that it did not wear out during their travels. Yet in all these things God is still somewhat removed from the picture. He still seems distant somehow.

Exodus ends with the Tabernacle, mobile temple and/or house of God reaching completion. The book of Leviticus is the very next event. As the tent is completed God is said to rest upon it in forms of cloud and fire. Moses is then called to enter and be God’s first guest within it’s now occupied walls of fabric. The God who delivers just moved in. Think about how different it would be for you if a house for sale in your neighborhood, maybe right next door to you, was purchased and now occupied by Jesus. God almighty is now your neighbor. It is an awful and terrible situation. Should you clean up your yard to match His? Do you put up a fence? What If He does not approve of fences? What if he sees you pulling out of the driveway and stops to ask where you’re going? What if He hears you and how you interact with your family? There would be a lot of pressure to act or be right with Him, and that’s the point. This is God’s method from the beginning. He walked with Adam in the garden of Eden, He dwelt among His people in the Old Testament, in Jesus He is called Emanuel which is God with us, and now into the New Testament God resides within the hearts and minds of His people by the Holy Spirit. The only difference to us is that we have a fully fleshed out testimony where God is currently not visible, and they had a visible manifestation and home for God where the revelation was still covered to a point in types and shadows.

The average Israelite would have been somewhat concerned, to say the least, that the Holy God of all creation was moving in next door. This is where Leviticus comes in. The rules or laws are brought to bear as to how the covenant community will function. It sets out just how a holy God can and will reside among a People called His own and yet a sinful people. The same theme the church faces now.

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