By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
James 5:3 (ESV): Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.
The thought-provoking element about this verse is the fact that gold and silver do not actually corrode. The alloys or impure materials mixed with gold are what corrodes and are susceptible to rust. That is why rusted or corroded gold will be evidence used against us. Christians are to remain pure and unblemished from the world; so if our gold can rust, it must be impure and mixed with some tainted minerals.
Ephesians 5:27 (NKJV): that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
On the last day, our judgment will be based on the word of God found in the Bible.
John 12:48 (NIV): There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
There is nothing more pure than God’s word, yet we find Christians frequently speaking where the Bible does not speak. With the best intentions we change concepts from the Bible to become less confrontational and more acceptable to the masses. In actuality, the road to destruction is the wide road that many will walk, while the narrow road is the path that leads to salvation. When we are entertaining to the masses, we are likely mixing what is pure with what is impure. Our focus should not be on the treasures of luxury found on earth, but on the treasures of righteousness found in heaven. Remember, those who store their treasures on earth will be susceptible to rust and corrosion, while those who store their treasures in heaven will remain pure and incorruptible.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV): “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We cannot please both man and God. Every time we focus on the word of God, our treasures are being stored in heaven; every time we focus on the traditions of man, our treasures are being stored here on earth. Rusting is a slow process that happens over time – be ever vigilant and aware of where your treasures are being stored.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
After Jesus found out John the Baptizer had been murdered, He was concerned. Not in the way most of us would be concerned, but He was concerned about the void John’s death left. John had been preparing the world for His coming, and he had been baptizing those who believed. His teachings were the inspired word of God, and Jesus was focused on saving souls.
Mark 6:30-34 (ESV): The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
Immediately seeing a need, Jesus began to teach the lost people the word of God. In Matthew’s account (Matthew 14:14), he highlights the fact Jesus began to heal the people who were there. Jesus was worried about their physical and spiritual body. He taught the word of God to deal with the soul, and he healed their body to handle the physical.
Mark 6:35-37 (ESV): And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”
His disciples were not filled with the same amount of compassion and mercy for the lost. They understood they were not obligated to help anyone more than they already had. As a result, the disciples were ready to send the people on their way to fend for themselves. Can we find ourselves in similar situations where we teach someone the word, and if they do not come to Jesus, we send them on their way? The word for compassion in Scripture is defined as mercy. To show compassion requires us to go beyond the call of duty. The disciplines felt they met the requirement of teaching the word of God to the people, so they did not see the need to go any further. Jesus showed us the effort He put in was more than what anyone would expect. No one would expect someone to feed five thousand people, yet Jesus fed them. The amount of time it took Jesus to heal each sick person was likely exhausting and cumbersome, yet He did it. Jesus showed mercy to the lost because He was focused on savings souls and He wants us to do the same thing. Be patient, show compassion, and forgive those who sin against you; because God affords the same mercy to you.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Identical to us, Jesus Christ had the freedom to live a life of His choosing. Jesus could have lived a life seeking peace and prosperity, but instead, He chose to live a life of service. He focused on spreading the Gospel and making sure His disciples were prepared for a life without Him. His goal was to make sure each of us had the opportunity to join Him in heaven one day. Jesus endured suffering, ridicule, and torture because our sin. He lived a life of humility as a pattern for us to understand how we should live.
John 13:12-17 (ESV): When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Jesus withstood anguish because He wanted us to know how we ought to handle ourselves in similar situations. He wanted us to know how to interact with people we do not like, even those who wish ill on us. Jesus wanted to make certain we lived a life appreciating others more than ourselves. This sometimes requires us to be more patient than we would prefer, or it may require us being more forgiving than justified. Jesus asked Jehovah to forgive those who put Him on the cross, while He was hanging on the cross (Luke 24:14). Jesus was not concerned with being right or justified; He was concerned about the well-being of others.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV): For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Through His actions, we lose the ability to mistakenly live a self-centered life. Through His life, we are able to understand what it means to serve each other in love. Our service should be honest, patient, kind, and of a gentle heart. Our actions should be thoughtful, forgiving, and understanding of each other’s differences. We do not have to sacrifice our life on a cross, but we do have to sacrifice our time in service to each other. The most precious item we have at our disposal is our time. It cannot be replenished once it is exhausted, and how we use it speaks volumes about who we are. Let us be mindful our time on this earth is not promised, and live each day in service to each other.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Jesus warns His disciples of a time when they will be worried, anxious, and in fear of their life. He tells them their fear will be triggered by his departure. While they do not completely understand what Jesus is saying at the beginning, they eventually come to the correct understanding. Like a bird having to learn to fly by being pushed out of a nest, Jesus’ disciples were about to be pushed out of the nest.
John 16:16-17 (ESV): “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”
They would be fearful as they witnessed the death of their Savior on Calvary’s cross. So fearful, Peter would deny he knew Jesus and Judas would commit suicide at the thought of Christ’s death. The disciples would worship in private, for they feared what would happen if they were caught acknowledging Christ as the son of God in public. Those three days would have likely been the worst three days of the disciple’s life. They had no guide, no direction, and they did not know what to do next.
John 16:22-24 (ESV): So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
After the third day, Jesus raised from the grave and rejoined His disciples; turning the worst three days of their lives into the best. Could you imagine the moment they realized Jesus conquered death? When Jesus returned, the disciples had new direction, new confidence, and a new zeal to share the Gospel. Though they would endure much suffering from that day forward, as Christ prophesied, they would never allow their joy to be stolen. The resurrection of Jesus Christ should instill an everlasting belief; we can overcome all the world has to offer because our Savior accomplished it first.