Friday, July 28, 2006

Gems from Bible Study

Last night I led a Bible study from James 5, where he 1. gets pretty direct with those who are rich (us) and 2. encourages his readers to live in the awareness that Jesus is coming. So this morning let me share a couple of quotes.

In relation to wealth, Andrew Carnegie, one of the great industrialists of the 19th century, once said: "I was born in poverty and would not exchange its sacred memories with the richest millionaire's son who ever breathed . . . Some men think that poverty is a dreadful burden and that wealth leads to happiness. What do they know about it? They know only one side. They imagine the other. I have lived both, and I know there is very little in wealth that can add to human happiness beyond the small comforts of life. Millionaires who laugh are rare."

And on the subject of Jesus' return, C. S. Lewis wrote: "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this."

Have a great weekend!

3 comments:

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

Great quotes. At lunch yesterday, we were discussing how material we truly are and trying to determine where a healthy balance might be. It was in that conversation that I realized at any point I'm trying to figure out where the balance is, I'm losing focus on Christ and putting focus on me.
Whether I want to admit it or not, I am too caught up in keeping up appearances and lost to the idea of giving. I keep and spend when I need to give. It is a hard change but one I pray God will keep helping me with and pushing me towards.

Josh Ross said...

Some people would argue that abortion and same-sex relationships are the greatest threats to our churches today.

I would argue that materialism and greed are by far the greatest hindrance to receiving, embracing, and welcoming the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. Individuals suffer from it. We are scared to death of hanging around those that don't look like us or smell like us, yet for fun we walk around in shopping malls where materialism and greed lure us into thinking that only if we had ____ than we would be better off. However, Jesus tends to always be with those of different social classes (and occasionally with those from other races), yet he has a plethora of words and warnings about getting caught up in materialism and greed--such as shopping malls. (Not that malls are always bad.)

Churches struggle too. We have often believed that "if we build it, they will come." So we invest in bigger buildings, fellowship halls, kitchens, etc. We find ourselves neck deep in dept. However, again, Jesus has a few warnings for people that want to invest in "bigger barns."

Some people argue that Luke-Acts needs to be read in light of Luke 4:18-21. I would agree.
If we took this passage seriously, how would it change the way we live? How would change what we as individuals and churches invest in?

Are we okay with that portrayal?