Friday, July 24, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 26, 2015

Over 82,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

GOD SHOWS CLEMENCY
(Misery turned to hope)
(Micah 7)

While Israel was busy growing in sin, and living out her own worldly fantasies, GOD was busy shaping her enemy, Assyria, into a world power that HE would use to crush those sinful fantasies into the dust, once and for all. But first, GOD would send into their midst, several prophets with messages that would, hopefully, turn HIS beloved nation around, and propel them back to serving HIM.
Each of those prophets condemned the sinful choices of northern Israel and Judah, and each offered a much more grander vision from GOD, that was composed of, both, discipline, and, a “spiritual road map” of the best route to preserving the future welfare of HIS “chosen people”. Through their messages, each prophet showed us a GOD WHO is committed to both judgment of sin, and, to keeping HIS covenant promises.
In Micah chapter 7, the prophet Micah can sense the misery of Israel’s spiritual defeat, and here he expresses his disappointment due to the moral and spiritual decline of this eighth century Hebrew society, in which he himself lived. And while most of that generation sat in the darkness of their own hedonistic lifestyles, Micah, along with a small remnant, all shared hope in GOD that HE would redeem those who were committed to obedience to HIS laws.
In verses 1 and 2, Micah imagines himself, analogically, being in an orchard, or a vineyard, and feeling the misery of one who looks around and sees no harvest to satisfy his hunger, after working the crops all year long. Here he is saying that he can now look around GOD’s chosen community and see, or at least, readily find no one with whom he could fellowship. He feels almost totally isolated and alone, much in the way that Elijah felt (1 kings 19:14). In verse 2 he says that the GODly people have all disappeared, and not one fair-minded person remained, throughout all of Israel.
Then, in verses 3-4 he describes a scene of total evil gone amok in the community of GOD, as people had began to sin with all their might. Here he says people were sinning with both hands, and what’s worse, they had become very adept at their evil practices. The people with money were paying others to sin with, and for them, and together they twisted justice as far as they possibly could.     
The depiction of this sinful atmosphere is escalated in verses 5-6 where Micah sends a warning not to trust anyone, not a best friend, or even a spouse. Here he even says that the son despises the father, the daughter strongly defies her mother, and so certainly, the daughter-in-law openly defies her mother-in-law.
In verse 7 Micah gives us his solution, and we can see that it is one that is actually quite practical. Here he states, “As for me, I look to the LORD for HIS help. I wait confidently for GOD to save me, and my GOD will certainly hear me”. And so Micah is urging the few people left who have a heart for GOD (the remnant) to put their hope in HIM, and not in changing their own situations by trusting in their own “human ingenuity”. They should look to what GOD will do for those who trust in HIM, and don’t focus on what people were doing around them. The word “hope” implies a willingness to wait, and, a confidence that GOD has a future stored with great blessings, for those who believe on HIM when times are tough.
In verses 14-20 Micah begins to pray for the LORD’s compassion on Israel, which will certainly come after judgment, and, after giving the sins of HIS people a chance to run its course in Assyria. HE pleads that the LORD will, once again, come and rule over HIS people, leading them as “a great shepherd” leads his sheep into greener pastures, and then, protects them from the enemies of the wilds around them.
Then hopefully, GOD’s powerful intervention will humble, not only the Israelites, but also, all the other nations of the world who aspire to attack and conquer GOD’s chosen people. Micah says the enemy nations will one day be embarrassed that their power is so insignificant, and they will stand in awe, and realize how lowly they are compared to GOD. And then ultimately, they too will come out to meet the LORD in fear and trembling (Vs.16-17).
In verses 18-20 the prophet ends his book praising the Almighty GOD. What sets the FATHER of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST apart from all the “false gods” is HIS willingness, despite HIS sovereign power, to pardon the sins of HIS greatest creation, mankind. Even when we fail HIM, HE remains faithful to us. And in HIS faithfulness, HE cleanses us through HIS discipline, and uses that same discipline to transform us into individuals who are more pleasing to HIM. And all the while, at one and the same time, HE keeps every promise HE ever made to “the faithful people” (Noah, Abraham, David, etc.) who came before us.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website






Friday, July 17, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 19, 2015

Over 82,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

JUSTICE, LOVE, AND HUMILITY
(What GOD requires)
(Micah 6)

In Micah 6 we find the prophet’s third message to Israel. Here he reminds GOD’s people, then and now, just what the LORD requires from those who profess to be HIS children. First the LORD asks the people to state their case against HIM, and, to let all creation testify on their behalf. Knowing that they had no case against HIM, the LORD then begins to present HIS case against Israel, and in verse 2, the LORD says that HE will prosecute Israel to the full extent of the law.
In verse 3, the LORD begins HIS case by asking Israel “What have I done to make you turn from ME? Tell ME why your patience is exhausted! Answer ME!” Then, without actually waiting for an answer (for HE knew they had no excuse for their abandonment of HIS laws) the LORD reminds Israel of how HE redeemed them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus), using Moses, Aaron, and even Miriam (because of her role as a prophetess - Exodus 15:20-21), to deliver them into a state of freedom (v.4). Moses represented GOD to man, while Aaron represented man to GOD.  
In verse 5, the Israelites are reminded by GOD of how King Balak of Moab tried to have them cursed through the prophet Balaam, and how HE caused Balaam to bless them instead (Numbers 22-24). GOD also reminded them of how, on their journey from Acacia to Gilgal (Joshua 3:1 & 4:18-24), HE tried desperately to teach them about HIS OWN faithfulness to them as HIS chosen people, by drying up the Jordan River, just as HE had done with the Red Sea, so that they could cross over into the “promised land” without getting their feet wet.
And so, in this third message from the prophet Micah (Vs.6-8), he reminds GOD’s people, then and now, just what the LORD requires from those who profess to be HIS children. Here in this passage, the people ask what they can bring to the LORD that would serve as an acceptable sacrifice of atonement for their evil deeds. They then suggest everything from yearling calves, to their own children.
Child sacrifice is one of the things that their, newly found, idol god Mollech requires. GOD would never require a child sacrifice. They had become so spiritually confused, that they were actually suggesting to GOD, the same kind of worship that they provided for their idols, instead of worshiping GOD “HIS way”, which is how we are all supposed to worship HIM. Micah reminds the people at this point, that, the LORD has already told them what is good, and, what HE requires from each of us. HE requires us to “do what is right”, “to love mercy”, and to “walk humbly with HIM”.
GOD does not wish for us to only be related to HIM in a ritualistic way, but rather, HE wants us to possess an inward desire to obey HIM, and relate to HIM in a “personal” way. HE does not want us to look at obedience as a burden, or a mental task, because, when we take on that attitude, over time, we will begin to loathe HIS standards, instead of seeking to learn and incorporate them into our lives.
Micah 6:8 is a powerful statement. It is one of the many great “pure statements” that can be found in the annals of Old Testament literature. It sums up the very heart and make-up of the Christian Walk with GOD. It is an ethical injunction that is not intended to be a way of salvation, but rather, it is simply meant to express the way “the saved person” should walk, not in the world, but rather, the way he or she should walk with GOD.
The word “good”, in this passage, is defined as “practical” and “moral”, not “speculative” or “philosophical”. GOD’s definition of “good” contains three elements, and they are;

·         To act justly
·         To love mercy
·         To walk humbly with HIM

And when we desire and act upon obtaining those qualities, and then, begin to live by them, we are doing that which GOD requires of us. We show through our behavior that we have gained a desire in our heart to please GOD, and we no longer embody, or exhibit, the desire to please the world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website






  

Friday, July 10, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 12, 2015

Over 81,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

NO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPT LEADERSHIP
(GOD’s justice cleans out corruption)
(Micah 3)

In Micah chapter three the prophet delivers three oracles, or prophesies, to the rebellious leaders of Israel. Like Isaiah and Amos, who prophesied alongside him in that same era, Micah knew, saw, and experienced the underlying moral and spiritual decay that had corroded, and eroded, the very foundation of a once-faithful GOD fearing society.
Little is known about Micah, other than the fact that he lived and prophesied in the eighth century B.C. during the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, however his resounding book contains a total of three messages, or warnings for the wayward children of Israel, and, for the Christian community today. They come to us from across the spans of time, regarding theirs, and our corrupt leadership in the church, and, in the Christian community at large (Micah 1:2-2:13, Micah 3-5, and Micah 6-7).
The name “Micah” is short for “Micaiah” and it means, in the Hebrew, “Who is like Yahweh?” The name stood as an eerie reminder to Israel, and, to us, who seemed to have forgotten where their blessings came from. Just like in all other prophetic messages, here GOD is reminding the people of their abandonment of the Mosaic Laws that were intended to hold man to the lofty standards of “moral and spiritual behavior” that is commanded by GOD.
GOD made us in HIS OWN “image” (“tselem”) (Genesis 1:26-27), which means we are HIS “figurative representatives” here on earth”, and so we are to act accordingly. The word “image” (tselem) does not mean that we look like GOD, GOD is Spirit (John 4:24), and therefore, does not have a physical image for us to look like. If we are to resemble GOD, then, the only way to do that is to act like HIM, or reflect the same human examples that CHRIST JESUS exhibited to us through HIS behavior while HE lived here on earth.   
As northern Israel and Judah continued to pursue and live out their worldly fantasies (acting like their earthly fathers), the ALMIGHTY GOD was hard at work building their enemy, Assyria, into a formidable world power. In time, HE would allow the great Assyrian king, Tiglath-Pileser III to gain control of the northern kingdom of Israel, and then use his son Shalmaneser to complete the conquest by laying siege on Samaria in 722 B.C.
Through Micah, the LORD had already denounced Israel’s oppression of its own people. HE had also denounced their pride, arrogance, greed, corruption, and religious hypocrisy (Micah chapters 1 and 2), and now here in chapter three, verses 1-4, we see GOD’s faithful prophet pointing out to the leadership, their special responsibility, because they, of all people, were supposed to know and recognize good from evil. However, through their actions, they had only shown a desire to disobey the edicts of GOD by embracing evil, and rejecting that which is good, the total opposite of a people who were to represent GOD, here on earth.
In this passage, Micah likens them to a pack of wild carnivores, who, thrive on the very flesh of their own kind, and then, in their time of need, they brazenly turn to GOD for HIS righteous support. He warns them that, not only will HE, not listen to them, HE, in fact, couldn’t even stand to look at them. They would now have to live with the consequences of their actions against GOD, and endure the judgment for the evil deeds perpetrated against their own brothers and sisters in the LORD.
In the Hebrew the word used most often for “peace” is “shalom” (shaw-lome) and it means more than just “the absence of war”. It is also expanded to include “the presence of health, wholeness, and security. In verse 5 the LORD says that false prophets promised a peace that they themselves could not possibly deliver. Only GOD, WHO controls all things, can deliver true peace. And while the false prophets lied to Israel about its “spiritual condition”, Micah spoke out boldly for justice, and continued to hold up the sins of the people to accountability under GOD.  
Even in today’s Church, false religious leaders who turn a blind eye to corruption in the Church, declaring the foolish demonic statement that “they can’t judge”, will be held accountable to GOD in the end, as being partially responsible for all sin in the Church, not just their own sin. GOD expects HIS Church leaders to use “diakrino judgment” toward HIS people, rebuking them for their bad behavior, using HIS Word as their standard for judgment, not their own opinions.
When Church leaders allow, and participate in, sinful behavior, especially in the Church, they show GOD plainly that they hate justice and twist all that is right (v.9). They build their churches on lies and deceit, and murder and corruption. They accept bribes from wealthy members who want to get their demonic agenda across, and they teach only because they’re getting paid to do so. And then finally, despite their incorrect teachings, which they are paid to do, they boldly proclaim that they are working for the LORD, and that no harm will come to them. They have actually learned to deceive so well, that they have actually deceived themselves into thinking that GOD is actually with them in their satanic actions (Vs.10-11).
If the Church doesn’t get things right with GOD, and begin to “seal up the spiritual cracks” that dominate the ceilings of our so-called Christian Churches, HE says, that HE will plow them under and reduce them to rubble. And if you don’t believe it, we can take a trip down memory lane to, first, Shiloh (1 Samuel 4), then the temple that Solomon built (586 B.C.), then the temple that Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel built, then to the temple that Herod the Great built, without instructions, or permission from GOD (A.D. 70).
If the history of the bible tells us anything, it tells us that GOD will not hesitate to tear down a religious system gone bad, and start all over again using fresh new people who have a proven heart for HIM, and desire very badly to do things HIS way, not theirs. GOD’s justice will always clean out corruption in the Church, and HE has absolutely no tolerance, for corrupt leadership in any church that calls itself by HIS name, and in today’s society, that name is of course, “Christian”.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website





Friday, July 3, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 5, 2015

Over 81,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

NO REST FOR THE WICKED
(GOD’s truth may hurt, but it leads us to goodness)
(Micah 2:1-11)

The prophet Micah was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Like Isaiah, he prophesied and preached to both northern Israel and Judah in the eight century B.C. He lived in the small town of Moresheth, just south of Jerusalem, and his messages soundly denounced the oppressive ways of the wealthy in Jerusalem and Samaria. He called for the leaders in these capital cities of Israel to set aside their pride, arrogance, greed, corruption, and religious hypocrisy, and begin setting a better example of holy and right living among the people that they were called to shepherd.
In the years leading up to the Assyrian invasion of Israel in 722 B.C., the social injustices of the wealthy, who defrauded the poor, and robbed widows and children of their homes, spread like a disease in a community that sorely lacked medical assistance. As families were driven from the lands of their inheritance, a “poverty class” was created, and as it took shape, an economic blight began to characterize large sections of the nation.
Peter C. Craigie once wrote, “When people cease to care, then, religion, morally, social customs, and values, all cease to function as mortar that holds together a society, and maintains ancient faith”. Here in Micah 2, we see being described by the prophet, a wealthy class of people who are, quite literally, driven by materialism, and, who gained their wealth by oppressing the poor, orphans, and widows, and robbing them of their inherited possessions. In verse 1 Micah warns of how terrible it will be for those who lay awake late at night devising ungodly, evil schemes, and then, rise up early in the morning to carry out their evil ideas.
These wealthy individuals, who were sorely destitute of morality, and bankrupt of any GODly character, were not satisfied with their financial overflow, but rather, they still greatly coveted the possessions of those who were far less prosperous than them. Their sin, apart from that of materialistic greed and theft, was their blatant disregard for the rights of their fellowman.
When GOD freed the ancestors of these same Israelites from Egypt, HE had strongly admonished them not to turn around and enslave one another, nor to violate the boundary markers that HE had set for each tribe in their new, promised land of Canaan. To take control of each other’s financial holdings would be to directly disregard the Law of GOD. Micah was sent by GOD to announce his disappointment with HIS chosen people, and to forecast the punishment that they would receive for their blatant disobedience. GOD would now replace their “pride and arrogance” with a “debased condition” that they would have to suffer through, and, that they would be unable to use their wealth to extricate themselves from.
In verses 6-11 Micah addresses the false prophets who were livid at him for prophesying coming disasters on Israel, even though his oracles were true. Throughout biblical history, we see depicted, both, true and false prophets. True prophets spoke for GOD to HIS people, and warned them to return to the moral and ethical values that were put in place by the delivery of HIS laws through HIS servant Moses. False prophets, on the other hand, often delivered a message from satan that GOD would not harm HIS people so long as they were involved in the ceremonial aspects of the law (basically “playing church”).
The true prophet’s messages have always been more “ethical” than they were “eschatological”, and they often relay GOD’s promises as being “conditional”. Man has always needed to perform at a high level in order to realize the maximum returns that can be gained through obedience. Deuteronomy 27-28 spells out the conditions by which man, through his “choices” can receive either “blessings”, or “curses”. How we fare in life is left strictly up to us. GOD gives us “wills that are free”, and HE also makes available to us, through the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, great spiritual discernment that we can use in the decision-making process.
There is no rest for the wicked, as they desire greatly to control us, abuse us, and indeed, ultimately destroy us. We must strive hard as individuals to stay away from their gravitational pull and influence, desiring not their ways, but rather, by learning, and then keeping our minds focused on the Word and ways of GOD. These ways were clearly demonstrated to us by JESUS CHRIST, in person, here on earth, and while GOD’s truth may sometimes be painful to accept, it always, without fail, leads us to goodness.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website



Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 28, 2015

Over 80,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

GOD WILL NEVER FORGET
(GOD judges our unholy priorities, practices, and activities)
(Amos 8)

In Amos chapter 8 we find the prophet’s, now famous, “Vision of the ripe fruit”. Here GOD describes to Amos, in very grim details, of how HIS once beloved Israel was now “ripe for judgment” because of her many continued miscarriages of justice against the poor and down-trodden people in her community. Yes, Israel’s social injustices and economic disparity against the weak, had severely stretched, even the patience of GOD, to dangerous and, perhaps unchartered limits.    
In this passage GOD paints a picture of a terrible irony where worshipers are singing songs of praise in the temple (entertaining themselves by playing church) while the poor and needy of the community (the real church work) were suffering greatly just outside the church house doors. Here GOD says that such insincere worship in the temple will be turned to wailing as, in that day, we will see dead bodies scattered everywhere, even within, and outside the church house doors (Vs.1-3).
In verses 4-6 the LORD says that the church worshipers so enjoyed robbing the poor and trampling over the needy that they actually couldn’t wait until the Sabbath days, and the religious festivals were over, so that they could get back to their dishonest activities and dealings. They even went as far as to, in many instances, enslave poor people who owed them as little as a piece of silver, or a pair of sandals.
To be GOD’s elect does not give one a license to sin and mistreat others. The Israelites assumed that since they were the “descendants of Abraham” they were guaranteed GOD’s blessings no matter how deep their sin ran from generation to generation. In verse 7 GOD calls such an attitude “the pride of Israel”. Here the LORD swears an oath that HE will not forget the wicked things that they had done, and that the whole earth (even their enemies) would tremble and mourn in the wake of the punishment that HE would hang on HIS chosen people. All of their joyful celebrations would turn into mourning, and all of their joyous songs would be reduced to dirges (funeral songs), and the intensity of their grief would rival that of one who had lost their only begotten son, and all of their hope had been cut off  for the family’s future (Vs. 8-10).
In verses 11-14 GOD said that HE would bring a famine on the land, not from “a lack of bread and water”, but rather, from “the hearing of HIS Word”. Since Israel had refused to hear HIS Words any longer, GOD would fall silent for an undisclosed period of time. And in those days, while under duress from GOD’s punishment, the people would, to no avail, begin to inquire desperately for HIS help, hope, and explanation.  However, GOD will refuse them, just as they refused HIM, by rejecting the messages of HIS prophets, until after the time when the consequences of their sins have run its course.
Furthermore, GOD says that even the young and strong in those days, who, are physically able to endure and persist the longest, will grow weary in their search to hear the Word of GOD, and not find satisfaction in their search. And all those who have made idols of their possessions, and worship and swear by their wealth, will lose their lives to eternal damnation, just as they had lost their hearts to the people and things of this world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website




      


Friday, June 19, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 21, 2015

Over 80,000 readers worldwide
larrydalexander.blogspot.com

REBUKED FOR SELFISHNESS
(GOD abhors selfishness)
(Amos 6)

In Amos chapter 6 we find the prophet’s fifth and final message. It is a message that is totally dedicated as a warning to a certain number of people who wielded great power in Israel, by way of their worldly success and wealth. Amos lived in a time when Israel lavished in great material and financial prosperity. The lengthy reigns of King Jeroboam II in the north, and King Uzziah in the southern kingdom of Judah, had greatly stabilized and expanded the divided territories of Israel as a whole.
Judah, under the leadership of King Uzziah, had conquered the Philistines, who were situated to their north, the Ammonites, who dwelled to the east, and all of the Arabic states, who dwelled beyond their southern borders. In northern Israel, Jeroboam II was able to extend his borders northward into Aram and reclaim Israel’s land that had been lost earlier in Transjordan.
Through their expansions, Israel was able to gain control over the lucrative trade routes triggering a boon for many of her cities, and as a new upper class of citizenry emerged, the poor became targets of governmental and economic exploitation. Just like in today’s society, luciferic laws and ordinances were put in place for the express purpose of generating monies from an already financially oppressed segment of the population.  
This message from GOD, through the lips of the prophet Amos, tells us plainly that HE will not hold blameless, those who have become selfish, prideful and complacent in their own luxury. Here GOD sends a stern warning that such people will suffer the same fate as the powerful surrounding nations whom Israel strove to imitate, and, who had been brought down to a state of humbleness before them. Their “pride” will be crushed into “humility” by an enemy that GOD would raise up against them (Assyria in 722 B.C.), and there would be no safe place of refuge that could be obtained or bought by their power and wealth. In fact, GOD says, the rich and powerful who were self-oriented will be the first to feel the pinch and effects of HIS wrath (v.7). 
Wealth itself is not intrinsically evil, but, too often, wealth promotes self-indulgence, and makes us indifferent towards others. It is “the love of money” that is the root of all evil, not the money itself. We fall away from GOD when we fall in love with the things of this world, and so it will bode us well to remember that, the more we gain in life, the more we need GOD, and not, the opposite.
When the Israelites were poor, they were humble, unselfish, and full of worship. However, the fuller their pockets became, the emptier their worship became. To go with everything in life, we need GOD, and with wealth and prosperity we need HIM all the more.  It is very possible, however, to be wealthy, and also have a heart for GOD, but history tells us that most people refuse to pursue both, and indeed, most choose “empty worship (playing church) and prosperity”, over GOD.
Even though both Samaria and Jerusalem are mentioned in the opening line of this passage, Jerusalem, the capital city of the southern kingdom of Israel had only just began to awaken GOD’s terrible wrath. However, northern Israel (Samaria was its capital) were well along their way, as far as trying the patience of GOD. And so the remainder of this passage serves as a warning to them and their prideful, selfish, sinful lifestyles which was also leading all of the other people of Israel, both north and south, into disobedience to GOD.
In verse 2 GOD advises the rich and affluent of Israel to go and pay a visit to the former great pagan cities of Calneh and Gath and see how HE had brought them down because of their selfish pride and arrogance, and their hedonistic lifestyles. They had put away every thought of GOD’s warnings of coming disasters believing that their wealth could extricate them from any dangers or troubles. They sprawled around in their luxurious lifestyles, fancying themselves to be great musicians as King David was, drinking wine by the bowl-full, wearing sweet perfumes, and caring nothing about the nation they were sucking dry, both spiritually and physically. GOD had also warned them too, that they would be the first to go into captivity, and, they were (Vs.3-4).
No one ever understood the dangers of prosperity and materials things as clearly as JESUS did. Because of HIS unprecedented closer walk with GOD the FATHER, HE learned very early in HIS “human life” that, money and material things could fix a person’s heart very firmly to this world. In fact, a person can gain such a large stake in it, or have such a huge interest in it, that they will find it very difficult to even contemplate leaving it. In truth, if it were not for our “love of the things we have”, most of us wouldn’t find it that difficult to die.
Even for professed Christians, who should understand clearly that this life is immediately followed by “eternal life” in Heaven, still struggle with the idea of having to leave the wealth we’ve acquired in this world behind. It is said that, out of every one hundred people that can withstand adversity, only one of that hundred is able to handle prosperity humbly. A person is usually judged by two standards when it comes to prosperity; one is “how we came about it”, and two is “how we use it”. Will we use it as if we have undisputed possession of it? Or, will we remember that we hold it only in stewardship to GOD?
And so, in the final analysis, it all boils down to this question, “How bad do we want salvation? Do we want it bad enough to relinquish the people and things of this world? To many of us, just like the rich young ruler in Mark chapter 10, the answer to that question is, “I want it, but I don’t think I want it as much as all that (as we point to our things)”.
It’s really, in the end, all about “salvation”, and JESUS sums up the whole doctrine of salvation in a nutshell when HE states, in effect, if a person is to depend upon his or her own efforts to achieve salvation, then, it is impossible for anyone. Salvation is a gift from GOD, and with GOD, all things are possible. If a person relies totally upon his or her possessions, they can never be “saved”. However, if they can bring themselves to rely upon the “saving power” and “redeeming love” of GOD, they can enter “for free” into the Kingdom of Heaven.
That’s the thought that JESUS stated then, and that’s the thought that the Apostle Paul and all the New Testament writers wrote about in all of their doctrinal letters, and that’s the thought that, still, for us today, is the very foundation of the Christian Faith.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander  





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website