May 18, 2013

MinistryCPA Special Topic: The Rewards for Obedience Are Greater Than Any Material Blessings

Question: 

A 16-year old Christian becomes concerned that the violent and suggestive video games he owns and plays are damaging his relationship with Christ. Many are in the Mature category according to the ESRB rating system. But his collection includes some rare and valuable games that might be worth a good amount of money someday. Plus, a lot of his earnings from his part-time job has been “invested” (his word) in them. What are his alternatives? What could he do?

Answer:

Of course, our young man could simply ignore the conviction God has brought to him. But because he values his relationship with Him, he knows that he must make a God-honoring choice. Selling the games to someone else only shifts the temptation to others. Putting them away, out-of-sight, does not remove the temptation. He must accept the reality that the rewards for obedience are greater than any material blessings, even if it means discarding something that others would value.

One pastor has said, "Our delight must be more in God’s presence than in His provision."

In II Chronicles, King Amaziah had spent 100 talents of silver to hire additional troops who were not from the God-fearing tribe of Judah. When a man of God brought him God’s message that he was to send the mercenaries back to their homes, King Amaziah agonized with the prophet about the money that would be lost. The man of God’s response demonstrates God’s priority of obedience over possessions: “The LORD is able to give they much more than this” (verse 9).

Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it; be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this (II Chronicles 25.5-9).

The man of God’s response demonstrates God’s priority of obedience over possessions. The rewards of obedience are much greater than any material blessing. When it comes to giving and receiving, God’s people must never think that they have a small God.

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