Friday, March 27, 2009

Are you Insured?

Times are tough, no doubt about it. There is no guarantee than any of us, who are still employed, will retain our employment. Those on unemployment know that those funds have a time limit. We've already seen that many folks who thought that they were well prepared for their retirement years are having to start over. And, yet another concern in this economically disastrous climate is whether we have enough insurance to cover various catastrophes.

Let's face it, we have become accustomed to the luxury of security, and we've seen what a false security it is! We, as Christians, have taken on the trappings of our modern cultural thinking, and are finding ourselves overcome by insecurities and fears because of misplaced faith!

While it's good to prepare for the future---even the Scripture admonishes us to do that---our trust and faith must not be in temporal fixes, but in our L-rd to care and provide for us! We do what we can.....and trust the L-rd.

Isn't it true that whenever we run into trouble, we turn to the promises of G-d? Sadly, for most Christians, trusting the L-rd is not part of their daily walk with Him. If we're honest, our trust, on a day-to-day basis, often has been and is in our paychecks, bank and savings accounts, and insurance policies. If there is a breach in any of these walls we've erected for our own security and protection, then we run to G-d, and attempt to cash in on some spiritual insurance!

Well, please allow me to continue with the insurance analogy, for lack of a better illustration, OK?

In order to have insurance, you have to first be approved and accepted, right?
Once you pass muster, then you are required to pay a premium in order to receive coverage---OK so far?
When a catastrophe or need occurs, as long as we've maintained coverage, we can file a claim on that insurance policy, and receive benefit to cover that situation.
As long as we are covered by this insurance, we can have peace of we're told.

Now---for the spiritual application-----you knew I'd be going there! :-)

First, we need to examine our hearts---whether we be in the faith! II Cor. 13:5 We first must be sure we belong to the L-rd and are part of His family in order to be covered! John 1:12

Do we pay a premium, though? Not for our salvation----that is paid for, in full, by the Blood of Jesus Christ---Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8,9; I John 1:7

However, there are conditions in Scripture that must be met to receive various blessings. For instance---David said that if he regarded iniquity in his heart, the L-rd would not hear him--Ps. 66:18. If we want fellowship with the L-rd, then we must come to Him with a clean heart. We are admonished to delight ourselves also in the L-rd and He shall give us the desires of our heart ---Ps. 37:4. Then vs. 5 goes on to say further that we should commit our way unto the L-rd and trust in Him, and He will bring it to pass.

G-d's promises have conditions! I think that, as Christians, we get very lackadaisical and ride along in life thinking that just because we're Christians, the L-rd is going to take care of everything for us. Then when trials come---we panic! But that is for another blog!

We are also told in Scripture that we must seek first the Kingdom of G-d and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto us---Matt. 6:25-34. What things is this passage talking about? The things we depend upon to live in this earthly life---food, clothing, a means to live and survive. there is a condition to G-d supplying these needs!

You see.....we do have insurance, but we have to be paying our premium, so to speak, in order to realize the benefits we have! If you want to file a claim on G-d's promises, you must fulfill the requirements G-d has!

Those who know the L-rd in an intimate way----who walk daily with Him, and see His care and provision through life, know He is faithful, have peace of mind and heart that He will take care of them. And that, dear friend, is the key!

Please carefully read Matt. 6:25-34. What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of G-d and His righteousness? What does it mean in Psa. 37:4 to delight thyself also in the L-rd? We must, dear friend----we must---focus on knowing G-d! We must seek after Him and let Him change our hearts and lives to be conformed to the image of His Son! This will change our priorities, our outlook, our behaviors! In order to know G-d, we must be in His Word---not just a verse or two a day---but we must immerse ourselves in the Word---it is what washes us, instructs us, reproves and rebukes us, cleanses us. When we know the Word, we will know how to please the L-rd, and our lives and actions will reflect that.

One last thing that applies to the current uncertain atmosphere we find in our world. We all love to quote and rest in the promise of Philippians 4:19----"But my G-d shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." But, you know, we take this verse out of context and then we wonder why G-d doesn't meet all our needs when we run into trouble!

Let's go back up a few verses in this passage. In verse 10, Paul alludes to this Philippian church helping him during a time of great need. In verses 14 and 15 Paul further commends them, telling them that they've done well in caring for him in his affliction, and that they were the only church who met the needs of his ministry at that time. Paul makes it clear in verse 16 that these Christians in Philippi took care of his needs over and over again.....they were consistent and faithful in their giving!

So, who was Paul in relation to the Christians in Philippi that they should care for Paul as they did? Paul, along with Silas, established this church on his second missionary journey. This church consisted of believers who had been won to the L-rd by the ministry of Paul and Silas and Timothy. Once this church was established, they left this work in the hands of Luke. The Philippians loved Paul as their pastor and father in the faith. They communicated their love for this faithful servant of G-d by sacrificially supplying his needs.

Notice that Paul did not rebuke them for it; nor did he refuse their gifts of love. Paul recognized that the L-rd used these believers to supply his needs, and he was most grateful for it. Even further, Paul commended them for their giving to him, saying that they had "done well". And, lest there be any misunderstanding, Paul gives this disclaimer in verse 17---"Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."

What is the Scriptural principle that Paul is teaching here? That those who give to meet the needs of G-d's servants will have fruit deposited in their account that they can draw upon for the L-rd to supply in their own time of need!

What is the status of your account?

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