God's Exquisite Garden
The word unsearchable means that which cannot be investigated or fully understood.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Our riches (material wealth) might have come from accomplishments. We will speak of spiritual riches in this lesson.
And He said to them," Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life
does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
..attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God,
both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
When we were children, we wanted to receive gifts, so we were good and not bad. Most of us have read a book or have seen or heard some form of show about good versus evil. Now we are grown, and we see the necessity to obey God's will.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child;
but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11
Many need to check their priorities. So often, people want to continue adding to their material possessions. Our spiritual welfare could be in jeopardy as we labor at attaining the 'finer' things in life.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1 Timothy 6:9
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
We can easily allow financial wealth to take the place of our Lord. People in this world are inclined to appreciate certain features in others . These four features are compassion, might, orderly conduct, and possessions. Separately, they are regarded highly. Our Lord places a much higher precedence on living a life reflective of His teachings and genuinely knowing Him.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith
in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The Biblical example used in this lesson is that of the rich young ruler. His story is inMatthew 19:16-22
Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. "
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
We can view this in comparison with a filled treasure chest. Each of the spiritual riches we need to incorporate into our lives is figuratively represented by a treasure that has been found. Christ Jesus demonstrated them in His life.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things,
and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
I traverse the way of righteousness,
in the midst of the paths of justice,
that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
that I may fill their treasuries.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our habits should be good and gracious ones. The good habits we have should exemplify the Lord's teachings. The conduct in our lives should be in harmony with the Lord's teachings. If need be, we might need to conform our values so they will be in accordance with the Lord's will.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
For if these things are yours and abound,
you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8
The Lord tells us of the works of the flesh and the forms of conduct that He does not want in a Christian.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, envy,murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand,
just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
All these evil things come from within and defile a man.
These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, A lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies,
and one who sows discord among brethren.
Here are a few of the characteristics our Lord desires us to have. How certain we need to be that the qualities we place in our lives are in accordance with God and His word.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12: 2
Discussion and Study Questions:
1. What is 'genuine' wealth?
2. What do you want people to highly regard in your life and why?
How can wealth separate us from God?
Name the forms of behavior the Lord forbids.
What are the attributes that are in accordance with the Bible?
Why would it benefit someone to conform their ways to Gods' way?
Copyright 2008 Linda Lawrence
Lessons in this Series
||Joyfully Following, Satisfied Heart Topical Bible Study
By Aletha Hinthorn / Beacon Hill Press
Ready to take the next step in your spiritual formation, one-on-one mentoring, or group study, this series offers refreshing insights that dare to "dig a little deeper.' An instruction guide for small-group leaders is included. Finding God's will and following it - nothing has the potential of bringing more long-term joy and depth to the Christian walk. The believer who desires above all else to love, obey, and please God has discovered life's supreme relationship. Author Aletha Hinthorn describes the joy - and absolute necessity - of following the Lord in wholehearted obedience in order to know the power and freedom He desires for all his children. Through personal illustrations and a probing examination of scripture, she helps the reader realize the limitless riches of God that can be enjoyed by a simple commitment to "trust & obey".