On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lesson From Crown Financial Ministries

Therefore if you have not been faithful

in the use of worldly wealth, who will

entrust the true riches to you?

Luke 16:11

Our time of being involved with leading the Crown Financial Ministries study reminded us that our lives, if lived in the light of Christ, should prove in the end for us to be but visitors here on earth while being good stewards of what God has provided us, as we look forward to spending eternity with Him. For truly, God created everything, owns everything, and controls everything. We have been blessed with having our needs met. Our TRUE needs consist of food, clothing, and shelter.

God promises to provide our (true) needs. Matthew 6:25-34 ... 25"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' 32"For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Everything else are WANTS. If only we could stop blindly pursuing WANTS... our path should always be pointed to striving for holiness... “for without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Some concepts we have come across which have impacted us greatly follow below:

As Ashley Hodge, our 1st Crown Class leader & good friend used to say, “Everyday choices have eternal consequences.” When we live with our limited human, sinful, shortsighted, earthly vision, our final destination is hell. With an eternal perspective for Heaven, our everyday choices will lay up treasures and rewards in heaven. Perspective is what is wrong with many of us living in today’s society. If we persist in holding a short-sighted earthly perspective of seeking heaven on this earth, then our final destination will be Hell. If instead, we hold an eternal perspective, then our final destination is Heaven.

The theologian Jonathan Edwards in the 1700’s said, “Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die… Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.”

So how do we get there? JC Ryle, another influential theologian in the 1800’s said Jesus’ death and resurrection secured our salvation, and we can do nothing to add to that, Christianity has been preached in too one-sided a way many times. We preach on believing in Jesus and that is that, but don’t forget to warn people what it will cost them. Matthew 7:13-14... 13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Luke 13:23-25... 23 And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.'

In his sermon titled “Holiness”, there is a chapter called, “The Cost” – Ryle asks, What does it cost to be a true Christian? What does it cost to be a really holy man? …It will cost man his PRIDE, his SINS, his EASE, his POPULARITY. A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing. A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown. Would you be willing to give up Heaven, to give up God all because you were unwilling to count the cost?

In addition, in John Bunyan’s, “The Pilgrim’s Progress” written in the 1600’s, He (Pilgrim) answered, "Sir, I perceive, by the book in my hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment, and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second." Then said Evangelist, "Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?"... Then said Evangelist, "If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?" He answered, "Because I know not whither to go." Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, "Fly from the wrath to come." The man therefore read it... So I saw in my dream that the man began to run... and ran on crying, “Life! life! eternal life!”.

Furthermore since this life is but a preparation for Heaven to share in etenity, the prize as only CS Lewis can so put it is well described in his great work written in the last book of “The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe” series, “...When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow of the copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here, just as our own world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world… It is hard to explain how this sunlit land was so different from the old Narnia… The reason why we loved old Narnia is that it sometimes looked like this…the further up and further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside… like an onion: except that as you continue to go in, each circle is larger than the last… It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right hoof on the ground and neighed and cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now... Come further up, come further in!... For them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

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