One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
We live in a world dominated by the keeping up of appearances. Everything is done under the concealment of a mask. Fierce wolves disguise as tender and humble sheep to hide their true intentions. The rich spend their lives complaining that they do not have enough money when in fact they spend huge sums of money to satisfy their carnal desires. Drug traffickers carry out social action works to put the ignorant people on their side so that they facilitate the execution of illegal activities. The corrupt behave as if butter would not melt in their mouths. Politicians, experts in the art of mimicry, camouflage their personal interests for power, fame and wealth under a blanket of sacrifice in defense of popular interests. Pedophiles and perverts move freely in society without being detected because they wear honorable faces full of falsehood. But none of this should be surprising to us since the word of God reveals that the world is under the temporary control of the evil one, who as the father of lies has covered with tinsel all the misery and destruction that are part of his diabolical plan. The enemy’s strategy is successful because most people are naive and cannot tell good from evil and on the few occasions that they can clearly differentiate between good and evil they choose the latter, obeying the impulses of their sinful nature.
It is very easy to get carried away by attractive but adulterated appearances. With little effort, but at high risk it is possible to construct a facade of wealth and prosperity which has no firm foundation since it is based on money that we cannot be sure that we will have in the future as we are not masters of our lives and our destiny. The reality is that we are under the control of unscrupulous lenders who finance our excesses far beyond our real financial capabilities. God does not judge by appearances. God knows very well what is in the heart of man and therefore he cannot be deceived. Make sure, then, that our exterior accurately reflects what we have in our heart so we do not fall into the vice of presumption. Who has Christ, has everything and lacks nothing. To God alone be the glory!
Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor
amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.
One of the worst jobs to which someone could devote to is the job of usurer. Usurers are people who are willing to lend money to others who are experiencing financial need ─in some cases as a result of vice─ at a high cost of financing. The interest rate charged by these ruthless individuals is astronomically high, often exceeding eighty times the interest rate on loans from private banks. The poor victim who is only interested in getting out of a quagmire of insolvency does not object to the cost of debt he is incurring. To his regret, after being caught in the Machiavellian obligation, it is very late to pull back and out of the trap in which he has fallen. He is only left with the resignation to pay every month or every week the high cost of the “help” the usurer provided and having to endure the insults and verbal attacks that the usurer will use to get his money back and his revenue. The financial trap of usury is not a nice place to spend one’s life.
Fortunately, the word of God contains many tips and guidelines to properly manage finances according to God’s plans. God has a very dim view of this detestable species of leeches on legs and has prepared for them severe consequences in this life and in the upcoming judgment. If you have fallen into the clutches of these despicable individuals you must use all your energy and resources to escape from the trap. Confess your financial sins to God and ask for financial freedom from the burden you are carrying now. Stick to the teachings of God and take refuge under the protection that only he can provide. If you follow his footsteps you will find the solution to your financial difficulties and the strength to escape from them.To God alone be the glory!
Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
One of the evils we see in this world is the great number of people who have fallen into the clutches of alcohol. This terrible addiction is present in all socioeconomic levels, but is most noticeable in the poor who do not have the funds necessary for treatment or to hide their misery. If it is hard for the rich to beat addiction, how much more for the poor who do not receive the care that luxurious clinics provide to the wealthy who take refuge in them trying to escape from the bondage of alcohol and drugs? In reading today’s passage George came to mind.
George is a destitute homeless person that roams the streets of the city where I live and who despite being a veteran now has nowhere to live. The first time we try to help him we were able to guide him in prayer to the feet of Jesus and also to provide him with a Bible, clothing, food and money. We do not know what he did with rest but the money he used to buy a bottle of gin and the next day my wife saw him stumbling down the street, barely keeping his feet under the influence of liquor. It was our mistake to give him the cash. In that we were very naive, especially since he told me he had undergone five rehabilitation treatments and rehabilitation and he had failed and relapsed at every opportunity . We continue to pray for George but we will not give him any more cash because we know what he will do with it.
Although nobody can learn from somebody else’s experiences, may this story serve as a warning those who enjoy being with friends who are consummate drinkers. Doing so only exposes them to the demands of their bodies and sinful nature. To continue with this kind of behavior will only take themselves and their family to a state of pain and trouble that can be perfectly avoided if they cater to the instructions of the Word of God. To God alone be the glory!
The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.
Many people blame God for all the evils that happen in this world. They question the presence of war, illness, tragedy, natural disasters, poverty and death. They argue that if God created all things, he also created evil as if evil was something created. Evil is simply the absence of good just as darkness is the absence of light. God created good and light. He did not create evil or darkness. Satan’s pride was what made the good move aside to leave room for wickedness. Later, through one man sin entered the world and from that moment everything was upset and all those evils for which many now blame God found place in creation and now they look unstoppable. They do not realize that evil ─the absence of good─ lies inherently in their nature and humanity as a whole is responsible for what happens in this world. If there is war it is because we give free rein to our natural passions and if poverty prevails it is because we do not to impose restrictions to the selfishness that characterizes us. And to make things worse, we have become insensitive to the suffering that subjugates most of the human race.
Let us help the helpless. We will not be able to eradicate world hunger and poverty but we will make life more tolerable for someone who happens to be a victim in this life. At the same time we will be imitating our Lord Jesus Christ who always showed incomparable compassion for the people who flocked to hear his words, to satisfy their hunger and to receive healing. We do not need to go far to find someone who needs our help and compassion. Let us give generously and share with others the many blessings we have received from God. To God alone be the glory!
Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than the rich whose ways are perverse.
Humanity in general has committed the grave error of equating personal success with the ability to accumulate wealth. The rich are always viewed with admiration and they have become idols and models whose conduct many want to imitate. No one is concerned if the rich happens to be dishonest or lacks values and principles, all that matters is how much money he has been able to accumulate and how one could achieve the same “success” that he has achieved. The problem is not the money or the amount of it that one may have. The problem is that we let ourselves be trapped by the glitter of gold and the illusion of the many things that we could get if we had large amounts of it. The problem comes when our lives are captivated and dominated by the love of money and we lose all scruple and all sense of decency in order to seek and accumulate enough treasure for us to live “the good life.”
The apostle Paul said it very clearly: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 
Let us be aware lest we fall into the subtle trap that the world puts us in our path to have us caught in its nets. As children of God we must trust in God’s providence and the love he has clearly demonstrated to us all. We will never lack anything because God will always supply us with abundance. Let us not focus on money but on the goodness of God and his infinite love. Seek his face and he will honor our attitude of respect and obedience to him with rich blessings.To God alone be the glory!
 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
One has to have a heart of hard stone and little fear of God to mock those who for various reasons are in the lowest level of the financial income scale. Those who have managed to accumulate a certain amount of money usually look down on those who have nothing when they should rather find ways to help them to escape poverty or at least make poverty a little more bearable. Instead, those fat cats look at the dispossessed with arrogance and disdain . Certainly there are many poor people whose poverty is a direct result of their own wrongdoing, but instead of judging them we should find a way to extend a hand to help them overcome the crisis they find themselves into. Let us for a moment put ourselves in the poor man’s shoes. Would we like that somebody would help us to get out of financial hardship? Absolutely! So our attitude should be supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God and in line with the instructions that ou Master left:
So in everything do to others as you would have them do to you. In fact, this is the law and the prophets.
God rewards those who provide for the needy, so let us not neglect this wonderful opportunity to demonstrate that the love of God is in our hearts. Acting like those who rejoice in the misery of others is to do great disservice to the work and message of God. God takes care of the poor, but he uses us to channel his care for them. Let us be instruments of blessing in the hands of our loving Creator. To God alone be the glory!
 Matthew 7:12
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, disaster, gloat, God, life, love, Maker, mock, poor, Proverbs 17, punishment
The rich are wise in their own eyes;
one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
Some people think that wealth comes from cunningly conducted business and that it is a demonstration of the wisdom of those who have become rich this way. Nothing could be farther from reality. While it is true that the word of God speaks of certain financial principles that will help us not to fall into debt and enjoy a healthy economy, these principles by themselves cannot guarantee financial success. The wise man honors God with his wealth and the first fruits of his crops. God knows the hearts of all men, so he knows the spiritual condition of he who presented the offering. The gift that someone “honors” God with may be ineffective if the heart of he who offers it does not act with sincerity and devotion. God gives us wisdom that allows us to make good decisions on any area of our lives, including our finances. Let us remember that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord, which is obedience and reverence to God.
So wealth does not depend on cunning or a supposed “financial wisdom” but on the will of God that is good and pleasing and perfect. While there are many non-believers who “enjoy” the accumulation of money and apparently are happy, in reality they are not. Their alleged joy is only a facade behind which they hide their misery. As the apostle Paul told Timothy, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Let us act wisely and let us follow the teachings of the Word of God with grateful hearts for all the blessings, financial or of any other kind, that we have received from the mighty hand of God . To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, deluded, discerning, God, Jesus, joy, knowledge, love, obedience, poor, Proverbs 28, rich, righteousness, wealth, wisdom, wise
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward them for what they have done.
What a wonderful opportunity we have to serve the Lord by serving the poor! It is a shame that we often look at them with contempt and arrogance. We believe that their poverty is the result of who knows what evil deeds that were done by them in the past. And even if it is so, we act as ruthless judges condemning them with disdain, when we should be giving them a hand if possible (it always is) and giving them another opportunity. Instead of acting with compassion as our Lord Jesus would do, we refuse to lend a hand to help them out of the deep hole they have fallen into. Egocentrism silences any remorse that our consciousness may bring out of our hearts. Instead of seeing it as an excellent opportunity to serve the Lord we see it as a nuisance that gets in our way and makes our life less bearable.
Let us follow the wise guidance of the Holy Spirit so we can serve our poor neighbors the same way that Jesus would do, but taking care not to usurp the rightful place of God as provider. We are mere pawns in the hands of the Universal Grandmaster placed on a cosmic chess board, carrying out God’s strategic moves that will lead us to victory. We don’t have to go too far to find opportunities to serve the poor. We can find them everywhere and just in case we have not noticed, they happen to be a majority, so we can’t say we do not know where to find them. Make sure that our help to them is not something done as a mere formality. Our actions must spring straight from our hearts and they must be at all times carried out for the glory of God and not for our own glory. Let us find where is the need so we can help with our hands and resources (which are ultimately God’s resources) to improve the lives of the dispossessed. Thus, we will be doing what the Lord expects of us. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, faith, God, kindness, obedience, poor, Proverbs 19, reward, righteousness, wisdom, works
The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
Many people desperately seek wealth but are unaware that riches may generate more harm than good. The risk is evident; when one has much it is more likely to depend entirely on what we have at hand and to forget who made sure that such riches were at our disposal. There can be many reasons why God has not endowed us with money to spare. The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s very possible that we are not spiritually prepared to avoid becoming slaves to money. Wealth, like fame and power are the weapons used by the world against our souls. Through them, the world controls humanity.
When a child of God is entrusted with the task of managing the money that belongs to God, he/she becomes a commando. A commando is a soldier that integrates a special operations unit and is trained for operations behind enemy lines. These commandos are selected from among the most able soldiers and they receive special training that allows them to successfully fulfill their mission to infiltrate enemy territory. Not just anyone can serve as a commando. So is wealth, not everyone can act as good stewards of them.
Another reason why God has not given us a lot of money is because he will use us as witnesses. God wants children to depend on him and only on him. God wants us to be examples to the world that we can live without being affected the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Let us learn to live content with what we have because he who has been faithful with little, God will give him much. Many soldiers of God shall carry out this testimony. Chances are that you and I are part of this regular group. Whether we perform as elite commandos or as regular soldiers, we must always rely on God and not on wealth because riches are vain and elusive. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged captive, Christianity, despise, glad, God, heart, hope, humility, Jesus, life, love, needy, people, poor, riches, spirituality, wisdom
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
When we take a close look at humanity we can clearly see that the interest of human beings is focused exclusively on satisfying their own desires. People come up with any number of things to do, in order to quench the need to fill the void they all know exists in their lives. In this area we have become a sort of a corporate Solomon because we can all say with him that “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.” But we stop being the corporate Solomon, when we have to reach a conclusion on the results of our investigation. Here it seems that conclusions ─obvious ones may I add─ are not to our liking and therefore we put them aside and we keep in our quest to find what is the fundamental purpose of all. Here we fail to demonstrate the wisdom and courage of Solomon because we feel a deep terror to meet face to face with spiritual reality. Solomon, very true to himself, did not shy away from this reality and said: “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
All human beings have a free will. We all decide on our own what to do with our lives, which way to go and how to behave. Even when we abstain from deciding, we are making a decision because doing nothing is also a decision. As much as we try to adopt behaviors and facades that will differentiate us from others, deep down we are all equal, cut from the same cloth, with a common sinful nature and with the same need to fill the void in our hearts. Two options are presented in front of us, to ignore the loving offer of salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ or simply surrender to his feet and accept his invitation. In the end of everything, whether or not we accept his invitation, he shall reign forever and ever and his kingdom will never end. Spending eternity with him or staying forever fully separated from his glory will depend wholly on our decision. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged assembly, Christianity, faith, God, heart, life, LORD, love, poor, praise, Psalms, satisfaction, vows, wisdom