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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

True wealth, the riches of full assurance

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2).

Assurance, the certainty of receiving God’s love, is the bedrock of salvation and of prosperity in this world. Assurance that comes from knowing that the alienated sinner is now the Father’s reconciled child gives the soul a power that puts him head and shoulders above the people around him. He is “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6)!

“I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2). “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” (Heb. 6:14). Serving the Creator as His beloved children brings the people of God an abiding joy, hope, and freedom of mind and heart that exalts them in the earth. They have the happiness and power of Daniel that sanctified him, and that continually exuded from his character as a blessing to all. “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.” (Dan. 5:14).

Assurance replaces hopelessness; the two are polar opposites. True power and riches come out of receiving God’s assurance. Assurance does not come from power and riches. Assurance is the gift of God. And it comes with bowing to His goodness and righteousness, and receiving Him into our trust.

“[God] hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised…from the dead [that Man whom He hath ordained].” (Acts 17:31).

Assurance and peace, the soul, is all about having hope. “Thou didst make me hope.” (Ps. 22:9). When the human is hopeless his mind and heart are unsettled. He has no power; his defense is departed. He has no soul. And if the human has no soul and yet has wealth, wealth will mean nothing to him. This is because true riches come from within. True riches are in the soul, not in the bank account. True riches are “full assurance” in the heart that Jesus makes new.

There are people who commit suicide because of their wealth. For them the life of self-indulgence and pretense sucked all meaning from life. They encouraged themselves in their social status and friendships among other celebrities, until life no longer had purpose. Pretending to be happy from financial security was a big lie. Their prestige made them hopeless because there is no love in prestige. They had no confidants, and received no love that forgives them and opens its arms to the most wretched untouchables.

The prestigious life is a very lonely life. The life of applause and recognition by men is a curse. Everyone who goes there will not know peace.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” (Jer. 17:5-8).

All who depart from the God of love and the God of confidences love death. “They [love] the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43) and the wages for that bondage is death. Neither money, nor the love of it, make the world go around. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1Jn. 2:15). God and the love of God are the power that makes the world go around. Only by leaning on Him and the assurances of His love can we be kept from the trap of leaning safely and securely on money and worldly prosperity.

“Thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” (Deut. 8:18,19).

Our Father in heaven gives us the health-giving, genuine love that we need to enjoy prosperity and to safely hold wealth. Through His covenant with our hearts and bodies He will keep us happy and well. This was always a hard lesson for Israel to learn from “the only true God” (John 17:3) who wanted their love. Idolatry, worshiping this world kept their focus. Their full attention constantly turned away from the God of heaven, and toward self-made, worldly wealth, sometimes referred to as “unrighteous” wealth.

“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:11).

The people of Israel kept forgetting where worldly wealth really comes from. It comes from a heart made Jesus has made new, and that loves the word of God and obeys Him.

“Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways….
 Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.” (Jer. 2:32,33,36,37).

They forgot the true fountain of life—the only true God and His sure mercy. The god of this world had no mercy for them, and taught them to treat each other without mercy.

“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:2,3).

The loving kindness and tender mercies of Jesus, what else really is there to this life? Without His sure mercies existence loses all purpose. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).

Christ is the only true foundation with His building blocks of faith and love. It has ever been His voice crying out to the multitudes focused on simply making a living. They have had no time to serve their Maker and Provider for every need.

“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built.
Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes….
Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.” (Hag. 1:2-6,9).

The Jews had no time to serve their King. This is why He took away the northern kingdom of Israel. They forgot their LORD days without number. Now the Jews also were forgetting Him. But, when He would take away from them all the good life, they would turn to Him again. Again they would receive His blessing to Abraham.

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isa. 32:17).

Wealth doesn’t bring peace. Peace—the true riches, brings health and wealth. “The love of Christ” (Eph. 3:19) in the soul brings the soul “the faith of Christ” (Gal. 2:16). The faith of Christ brings to the soul “My peace” (John 14:27); and Christ’s peace brings “His rest” (Heb. 4:1, cf Ex. 33:14). Finally, His rest brings healing and health to nerve and brain.

“If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Ex. 15:26).

According to Isaiah 32:17 the product of righteousness is peace, which is quiet assurance. And righteousness is love. All the Law of righteousness hangs on love. When His love heals us we can heal others like Jesus healed many even before He was baptized. We may heal them through love and faith, which brings peace, and that peace which brings rest, and that rest which brings healing and health.

“Jesus was the healer of the body as well as of the soul. He was interested in every phase of suffering that came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words having a soothing balm. None could say that He had worked a miracle; but virtue—the healing power of love—went out from Him to the sick and distressed. Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from His very childhood. And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him gladly.” Desire of Ages, p. 92.
    
True righteousness brings quietness and assurance. It brings life. All of this speaks of Christ the King of righteousness. When He comes into the soul righteousness comes in with Him, and deadly self-indulgence leaves. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10). “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” There’s not enough room in our soul temple for both Jesus and the devil. If we have sought Jesus in repentance and He has heard our cry, then the devil has to get out of town before sundown.

Rather than coveting earthly wealth, we must “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1Cor. 12:31), “faith, hope, charity”, “the greatest of these…charity.” (1Cor. 13:13). Jesus does offer worldly wealth, but not before His heavenly wealth of faith, hope, and charity. He knows how mischievous our fallen nature is. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10). So for our sakes, before offering us earthly riches He settles us into holiness and godliness as He did with Abraham, lest we settle into selfishness and greediness. “That, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Heb. 10:36).

Jesus has been the Voice of wisdom who has sought to reason with us, first laying the foundation of redemption: the assurance of His warm heart toward us and our abiding under His wings. And then the new life of faithful stewardship automatically follows. Jesus is the Spirit who has ever offered us true riches. What a mistake we have made to wonder after the wealth of this wicked world!

“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
Unto you, O men, I call; and My voice is to the sons of man.
O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of My lips shall be right things.
For My mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to My lips.
All the words of My mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Receive My instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
By Me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
By Me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.
Riches and honour are with Me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and My revenue than choice silver.
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” (Prov. 8:1-21).

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