Last week in God is Rich Because He Has Nothing we discovered that God has given us forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation freely. But what good does that do us today? It doesn’t pay our bills and it does not help us get a more comfortable lifestyle. So what good does God do for us here and now?
Last time I said we would start going over the Apostle’s Creed. Today we are going to look at the first of the three sections:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth
It is short, sweet, and to the point. But there is a lot more to it than just another debate on the origins of the universe.
Debt & Taxes
There was once a woman in court because she had failed to pay her debts. Over time she had racked up thousands of dollars on various credit cards. The judge, surprised by how extensive the debt was, asked the woman “Can’t you live within your means?”. The woman, in all seriousness, replied, “No your honor. In fact, it is all I can do to live within my credit”.
Isn’t that the way? Every day there is a letter from someone wanting money for some service. When there isn’t, the government is knocking at our doors for their ‘fair share’. It seems like no matter how hard we try there is never enough to go around.
But that is not how God wants it to be.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
Psalm 104:14-15 (NASB)
You see, when we confess that we believe that God created everything, it goes much further. We profess that God also sustains His creation with everything they need. He gives us our clothes, food, and drink (Gen. 3:21, Deut. 10:18). He gives us a home to live in (Ps. 68:6) and most of all a family (Pr. 18:22, Ps. 127:3).
What is more, we believe He does this freely out of His own goodness, not based on our performance (Acts 14:16-17). Have you ever been told that if you aren’t good enough you will not be blessed by God? There is a kernel of truth to that but it is often carried too far. God does not remove the basic blessings of life as a punishment for not being perfect. This is the teaching of Jesus: “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45)
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NASB)
Now, this is the part where I am supposed to tell you not to be like the woman in the story above and live within your means. I am not going to tell you that though. I am going to say, live without your means.
That’s right, if you are hungry, give your food to someone who is even more hungry. Are you tired? Give rest to someone who is even more tired than you. God does not give us the blessings of this life so that we can be comfortable. He gives them so that we can be a blessing to others. By so blessing others we will receive the blessing, “Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Ecc. 11:1)
Paul learned to be content, not because he learned to do without (an important lesson in itself), but because he learned our goal is not to accumulate blessing to have enough, it is to give away blessing to have a superabundance (Prov. 11:25).
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
Philippians 4:11-14 (NASB)
Believe You are a Blessing
So look around you and see the blessings God has given you. Then go out and be a blessing to others. If you can’t see the blessings you have (go find a homeless person and they will point them out to you) but also go to church and swear. Show those stuffed shirts your freedom in Christ! If that is not a blessing, nothing is.
Today we learned just how good God is to His creatures in this life. Next time we will go more into our freedom in Christ in the second part of the Apostle’s Creed. For now, I would love to hear from you. Have you lived believing God will smite you if you put one toe out of line? Do you have the guts to swear in church? Has this helped you in any way? Feel free to comment down below or send me a message through my Contact Page.
Until then, “be a sinner and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger”. God love you and keep you. Amen.