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HUNGERING AND THIRSTING FOR GOD

Contents
Topic                                                         

Introduction                                                        
Spiritual Drought          Ch.1                    
Spiritual Hunger           Ch.2

Poem: A Friend In Deed  #836                            

Spiritual Rain               Ch.3                    
Spiritual Abundance      Ch.4                    
Spiritual Fullness          Ch.5                    
Spiritual Emptiness       Ch.6                    
Perils of Riches            Ch.7                    
Closing Comments                                              

Scripture verses taken from: [KJV] King James Version
Red bold italics is Jesus’ Words.
John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
[KJV]

Written and Compiled by:
His servant, Connie Kramer
Revised from original 10-2015

THIS BOOK IS NOT COPYRIGHTED,
AND IS NEVER TO BE COPYRIGHTED.
This book is free and not to be sold.

IT MAY BE USED BY “WHOSOEVER”
TO EDIFY THE CHURCH, AND TO
HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD.

I always try to make understanding God’s Word as easy as I possibly can for all. God will truly bless your efforts as you strive to learn more about Him. All praise and glory be to the One and Only, Almighty God!

Hungering and Thirsting for God
Introduction
         

What does it mean to “hunger for God”? Or to “thirst for God”? It means that you have submitted to the Holy Spirit and have allowed Jesus to come into your heart and life. It means that you opened the door of your heart to Him, and now you can’t seem to get enough of Him in your life. You desire to know more about Him, you actually crave it.
The door to your heart is a strange thing. It has only one door knob, and that is on the inside!
Only you can open it, only you can give Jesus access to your life. Jesus will NEVER force Himself on you or anyone else. He stands out in the cold, knocking, knocking; but He will walk away if after a while you don’t invite Him in. Genesis 6:3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, - - - - - (KJV) . . . The Lord will put up with just so much from stubborn and willful humans, then He will turn away. Just as in the days of Noah, God will punish mankind for their unbelief and wrongdoing. We must give in to the beck and call of the Holy Spirit. He tries to convince people of their sin, tries to turn them to Jesus, but most reject His urging (Mat.7:13-14).
The world’s sin is unbelief. They simply do not believe what God has to say about His Son (John 16:8-9). IF you feel this strange tugging at your heart, it is the Holy Spirit tenderly reaching out to you, wanting you to accept Jesus into your heart.

SPIRITUAL DROUGHT
Chapter 1

         

The wicked live in a miserable condition. They try to hide their sin, but by doing so, they are simply making excuses and concealing their beloved lusts from themselves and others . . . but NOT from God! God knows what is in our heart, and knows the words that are under our tongue, before we speak them. We cannot hide anything from God (Eze.11:5).
         
Love of the world; loving the wealth, power, fame, treasures and possessions of it, this too is wickedness (idolatry); yet mankind sets his heart upon them. And too, violence and injustice are sins that bring God’s judgment upon nations and families.
         
Sin will be just like poison to the wicked ones (unbelievers), as will all unlawful gains. Anxiety and stress shall be the condition in the minds of these individuals.
         
But, those who open the door of their heart to Jesus (believers), strive to do right and good to those around them. Too, they strive to learn more about Jesus with each passing day. It becomes a natural part of their lives. Their hunger and thirst can only be filled by the Lord Jesus and His Holy Word.
Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (KJV) . . . When David was hiding from his enemies in the barren desert of Judah, he was very lonely. He longed for a true friend. Do you ever get lonely or thirsty for something lasting in your life? Only God alone can satisfy your deepest longings! Isaiah 1:30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. (KJV) 
The oak tree is a symbol of strength, but the people back then were worshipping “sacred oaks.” Groves of oak trees were used as places for idol worship (Ezekiel 6:13). Are you devoted to symbols of strength and power that take God’s place in your life? If so, you are like an oak tree with faded leaves and a garden without water. God should be your first loyalty; everything else will fade in time and burn away.
Isaiah 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. (KJV) . . God condemned these sins: (1.) exploiting others (Isaiah 5:8-10); (2.) drunkenness (Isaiah 5:11-12); (3.) taking sarcastic pride in sin (Isaiah 5:18-19); (4.) confusing moral standards (Isaiah 5:20); (5.) being conceited (Isaiah 5:21); (6.) perverting justice (Isaiah 5:22-24). Because of these particular sins, God punished Israel with destruction by Assyria (Isaiah 5:25-30). These people spent many hours drinking and partying, but Isaiah predicted that eventually many would die of hunger and thirst. If our pleasures do not have God’s blessing, they may destroy us. When you leave God out of your life, it leaves a huge empty spot, which is filled by sin. God wants His children to enjoy life (1 Tim. 6:17) but we should avoid any activities that could lead us away from Him. 
Isaiah 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. (KJV) . . . God’s Word is designed to humble man’s pride, and to make him appear little in his own eyes. The Lord will always help us for He is our Redeemer. God has provided comforts to supply all our needs and to answer all our prayers. Our way to Heaven lies through the small and narrow road in the wilderness of this world. The soul of man is in need, and desperately seeks to be satisfied, but we become weary of seeking things in the world, which cannot satisfy the soul. My friend, there is a constant supply to fill this need, where one would least expect it. Jesus can open the rivers of grace, rivers of living water for you.
John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (KJV) . . . Your soul does not have to suffer in the agony of spiritual drought. A wondrous gift and blessing of spiritual water is abundantly available for all those poor in spirit (Mat.5:3), all those who yearn for Divine pardon, enlightening,and holiness. For God will make their barren souls fruitful with the amazing grace of His Spirit.

So, what is being poor in spirit?  It is the exact opposite being haughty, proud, self-assertive and self-sufficient. It is opposite of someone always looking for those around them to admire and praise them. It is the opposite of someone who refuses to bow before God. Someone like Pharaoh who said “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” (Ex.5:2). To be poor in spirit is to admit you are absolutely helpless before God. It is being humble and meek, like Jesus. http://www.godcannotlie.org/matthew_ch5.html

Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6  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. 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8  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. (KJV) . . . There are only two groups of people in the world, and they are contrasted in this Passage: (1.) unbelievers, those who trust in human beings and the world, and (2.) believers, those who trust only in the Lord. The people of Judah were trusting in false gods and military alliances instead of God; they were barren and unfruitful. But, those who trust in the Lord flourish like trees planted by water (Psalm 1). In times of trouble, unbelievers will be poverty-stricken and spiritually weak; they will have no strength on which to draw. But believers will have abundant strength (John 15:1-9). Are you like a scrubby shrub in the salt flats, or are you like a tree planted alongside a river?
Ezekiel 19:13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. (KJV) . . .   
Jerusalem was a flourishing and fruitful vine, then God’s wrath fell on her because of her evil ways. She was in a spiritual drought, as if she were planted in a desert with sparse rainfall. Many people today fit this description because they refuse to turn to Jesus. They do not have His love or strength in their lives. They are thirsty for God, yet they refuse to admit it. I so well remember that hopeless feeling, deep within my soul. Something was wrong, but I didn’t know what it was, or maybe I didn’t want to know what it was! There was this awful void, a big hole in my life that I  now know, only God can fill.
Amos 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. (KJV) . . . The people in the prophet’s time had no appetite (or thirst) for God’s Word, so much like it is today! Because of their indifference, God said He would take away even the opportunity to even hear His Word. Today, we have God’s Word, the Bible, yet so many people still look every where else for answers to this life’s problems; everywhere except the Bible! The Bible has answers to our every need and question, and God’s Word is readily available to us. Let us help people understand this before the time comes when they will NOT be able find it. 
         
At any time, but most often in a time of trouble, a famine of God’s Word is His stiffest judgment. Many will perish for want (spiritual thirst) of the water of life, which only Christ can give. Let us weigh our advantages, striving to profit by them, and fear sinning against them and God. 
Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: (KJV) . . . Only those who believe God, and serve Him, (trust and obey) will He own as His (John 1:12-13). He will help these through any and all their difficulties, and with their services to Him. Water is the symbol for the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39, above). Just as water or rain refreshes, cleanses, and makes the earth fruitful; the Holy Spirit does for our soul. This Gift of the Holy Spirit is a tremendous blessing. On “whosoever” God gives His Spirit, He will give ALL other blessings as well, because the Holy Spirit will come to you ONLY when you accept Christ as your Saviour and Lord (1 Cor.12:13; Acts 2:38; Rom.8:9). Christ, the only begotten of the Father is the most important Gift God could possibly give us. Why then, would God hold back any less important gift from His children?
Ezekiel 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (KJV) . . . .  
It should be our constant and earnest desire and prayer that there be “showers of blessings” in every place where the Truth of Christ is preached; and that all who speak the Gospel of Christ may be filled with fruits of righteousness.  
Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (KJV) . . . Many people do not understand the depth of their sins. They do not turn from idols (anything you place above God), they do not regret their sins but just keep on in them, they do not even attempt to make changes in their lives. God’s wrath will come down on ALL who do not have a hunger or thirst for Him. People do not consider the eternal benefits that come from worshiping Him. Do you need to make some changes in your life? Just as sure as the Redeemer was raised from the grave, so too will He revive the hearts and hopes of all that trust in Him. Hope in Christ and His Word is a sure way of quenching your spiritual thirst and hunger.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (KJV) . . . IF you plant good seeds of righteousness, you will harvest a crop of God’s love. IF we break up the fallow (hard) ground of our hearts and “plant seeds of righteousness” we will reap incredible blessings for our devotion to God. IF we turn our hearts to God, He will shower us with the righteousness of Christ. IF we carefully prepare our hearts, God is ready and willing to work there. We break up the hard ground of our heart by admitting our sins and humbly receiving God’s forgiveness and guidance, and when we do, He will cleanse our hearts from all corrupt affections and lusts, and give us a broken and contrite spirit. We must be dedicated to God, and love one another.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (KJV) . . . Many people say they are Christians, but will not obey Christ nor turn from their sins. To receive forgiveness, we must confess our sin and turn away from it, go the other way! When we truly repent, God promises not only to wipe away our sins, but to bring spiritual refreshment to our hearts and lives. But we must acknowledge the Lord and press on to know Him. Just as the sun rises every morning, He will come to us like the refreshing rains that water the dry thirsty land. Are you thirsty? Do you feel a need to be refreshed? 

Psalm 42:1-4 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. [2] My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? [3] My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? [4] When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. (KJV) . . . This Passage is a prayer for rescue, a call to worship, a confession of sin and encouragement to trust God. Just as the life of a deer depends upon water to survive, so too, our lives depend on God. All those who thirst for Him, will seek Him and have a strong desire to understand Him; and it is these souls who shall find eternal life in His Home. David felt separated from God, and he could not rest until he restored his relationship with God, because he knew that his very life depended on it. David looked to the Lord and set his heart upon Him. He was casting out the anchor so he could ride out the storm. A grateful soul will have little satisfaction in God’s courts, if God Himself is not there. We could never be happy outside the goodness of a loving God. Any time an unbeliever rests on itself, it sinks and is lost. We must catch hold of the power and Promise of God, if we expect to keep our head above the angry waves of life. Unbelief and a rebellious will is hated by God. We should strive and pray against it, and seek the comfort and peace found only in our Saviour and Lord.
Psalm 143:6  I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. (KJV)  . . . We have no righteousness of our own. If we want to be right in God’s eyes, we must go to Jesus (1 Cor.1:30). David prays for the pardon of his sin, and depends upon God’s mercy alone for it. He grieves over the weight upon his mind from outward troubles. But as he looks back, he remembers God’s help in times past. The more we consider the great power of God, the less we have to fear. David looked to God with earnest desires to receive His favor. That was the best course David could take, and the best one we can take any time we are overwhelmed by circumstances. Prayer will recover us from our distress, as we reach out to God, and He will refresh our soul as the rain refreshes the dry thirsty land. Believers thirst for God’s comfort as the parched ground thirsts for a refreshing rain.  
Psalm 32:3-7 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. [4] For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. [5] I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. [6] For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. [7] Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. (KJV) . . . It is difficult for a proud sinner to humble themselves before Almighty God, and accept His free mercy. But when a believer has unconfessed sins, he or she should bring a full confession of their sins and self-condemnation before God. It is the only way to peace with God and our conscience. Unconfessed sins brings God’s heavy hand of discipline down on us. It’s as though our strength evaporates like water in the summer heat.
         
Confession of sins brings full forgiveness. 
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [KJV] . . . Seek the Lord in earnest prayer. It will prove to be a time of finding, for your heart is softened with grief, and burdened by the guilt you feel. When all human refuges fail; when no rest can be found for your troubled mind, it will be then that God will send showers of blessings your way.
         
Failure to confess your sins brings horrendous spiritual drought. Mourning for your sin (James 4:8-10) and confession place you in good standing with the Lord. He will be your refuge in ALL the troubles that will come your way. He will be your Hiding Place, your Refuge, and He will keep your soul safe from all its enemies. 

SPIRITUAL HUNGER
Chapter 2

Proverbs 2:3-5 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; [4] If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; [5] Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. (KJV) . . . First off, let me say that we are NOT speaking of worldly knowledge and wisdom. I have seen some extremely well educated people (scholars) who did not have an ounce of common sense. TRUE wisdom comes only in two ways: (1.) a God-given gift and (2.) the result of a tireless and steadfast search for it. So, just what exactly is wisdom? It is knowing God! This being the case, we must start with God and His revealed Word to us, which is the ONLY source of TRUE “knowledge and understanding.” 
Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (KJV) . . . Considering this, we see that wisdom is God’s gift to us. But He will give it only to those who earnestly and diligently seek it. IF we are really serious and persistent, God will give us wisdom. But God’s wisdom is hidden from the rebellious and foolish (unbelievers), for it takes effort to find it and use it. The pathway to wisdom is not easy, but then, little about being a true and dedicated disciple of Christ is easy. When we are hungry for God and His Word, we see that true wisdom is God’s and that He will guide us on our path to it, and reward our persistent search. Only God can give us wisdom and victory for this life.  If we are faithful and keep our God-given purpose in life clearly in mind, He will keep us from pride and greed. All those who earnestly seek heavenly wisdom, will never complain that it’s too much work.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (KJV) . . . IF we seek, we shall find. IF we ask, it shall be given to us (Luke 11:9). IF we depend on God, and look to Him for wisdom, He will enable us to keep on the right paths.  
Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (KJV) . . . In ancient times, at a banquet it was common practice to anoint a person with fragrant oil. The host was also expected to protect their guests at all costs. God offers us the protection of a Host even when enemies surround us. The Lord’s children feast on the provisions of His love at His table. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy our comforts, for we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is always full. Past experience of God’s goodness teaches believers to believe Him and trust that His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. Our happiness comes from serving God, and our hope is eternal life in Heaven (Titus 1:2).
Psalm 81:10  I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. (KJV) . . . The Lord God delivered the nation Israel out of its bondage to Egypt, and even when they refused to enter the Promised Land, He fed and cared for them 40 years in the wilderness, even in all their rebellion.
         
All the wickedness of the world is due to man’s pride and willfulness. People are not believers in Christ, because they choose not be. God is not the Author of any sin, but He lets people to their lusts. The blame is not God’s, it is theirs. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish (2 Pet.3:9). Unbelievers are such enemies to themselves! Sin is what makes our troubles hard and long. Christ is the Bread of life (John 6:35); He is the Rock of salvation (Ps.95:1), and His promises are as honey to devout minds. But ALL those who reject Him as their Lord and Master, must also lose Him as their Saviour and their Reward.
         
Any time we “open our mouth wide” as we hunger for God, He will “fill it.”  It’s a Promise! Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV) . . . Many of Jesus’ sermons had words that seem to contradict each other. But the Truth is, God’s way of living usually always contradicts the world’s way. If you truly want to live for God you must be ready to say and do what seems crazy to the world. You must be willing to give when nearly everyone else takes, to love when so many hate, to work when others are relaxing in pleasure, to help people when others mistreat and oppress them. You will have to give up some of your ‘rights’ when you live for Jesus, but one day you will get everything God has in store for you.  Our faith must be deep and true rather than the superficial (shallow, all for show) faith of the Pharisees. Blessed” means so much more than happiness. It implies the fortunate or enviable state of those who are in God’s Kingdom. To be “blessed” does not promise laughter, pleasure, or earthly prosperity. “Blessed” means to experience hope and joy, separate of outward circumstances. IF we really want to find hope and joy and the deepest form of happiness, we must follow Jesus no matter what! God’s children seek different blessings and benefits, and they have different attitudes. Do your attitudes copy of the world’s selfishness, pride, and lust for power, or do they reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, your King?
         
IF we “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (God), Jesus promises we shall be filled! Jesus NEVER lies to us! Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (KJV) . . . As we continue to know God and Christ, and grow in their wondrous love, we will be completely filled with the very nature of God Himself. We will know this love in our lives, but it can never be fully understood by any created being. God’s love is total and true. It reaches into every hidden corner of our experiences. It is wide enough to reach out to the whole world. God’s love is long, and it will continue the length of our lives. It is high for it soars to the heights of our delight. His love is deep for it reaches to the depths of our discouragement, depression, despair, and even death. When you feel lonely, shut out or isolated, remember that you can never be lost to God’s endless and bountiful love. The words that follow are a tremendous comfort to me.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [KJV] . . . There is NOTHING in all Creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (KJV) . . . The “fullness of God” is expressed only in Christ, and when we accept Christ as Saviour and Lord, we are in union with Him and through His empowering Spirit, thus making us complete. We have all the fullness of God available to us. But we must adopt and adapt that fullness through faith and prayer as we live for Him daily. When you hunger for God and a right relationship with Him, ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit (Eph.5:18), and you will be filled in every aspect of your life to the fullest. The full content of our divine nature lives in Christ. To be complete, is to be equipped with all things necessary for salvation. To be “complete” is to have whatever is required. We are “in Christ” when we have faith in our hearts, and we are united to our blessed Lord by the Holy Spirit. 
Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! (KJV) . . . Have you ever thought . . . I wish I knew where to find him, where to go to find Him? Where is  God? He is in Christ (John 14:9-10)!  He is reconciling the world to Himself, waiting to be gracious to people, waiting to show them His mercy. How can a sinner go where He is? Only through Jesus, God’s one and only begotten Son. Sinners, both unbelievers who go to Him for the first time, and believers (1 John 1:9), may freely go to Christ to receive forgiveness and complete pardon.
Isaiah 26:8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. (KJV) . . . There may be times when the path of the righteous is not smooth or easy, and God’s will seems an impossible task; but He will never leave us alone when we face tough times (Heb.13:5). God is always there to help us through our troubles; comforting, encouraging and leading us.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (KJV) . . . The Lord will give perfect peace to those who keep their mind on Him, for these people  trust Him in everything they do.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV) . . . God's peace is far beyond our understanding. It will keep our hearts and minds secure and stable because of our union with Christ. Our Spiritual hunger can be satisfied!

A FRIEND IN DEED

A Friend in deed, is what Christ is to me,
Always there to help, and always lovingly!
In times of trouble, He always comes thru’,
At any hour, His friendship rings so true!

I’m Jesus’ friend; and I’m always in need,
And when trouble looms, my pray’r He will heed.
His great comfort is only a pray’r away,
For He will answer, any time of the day.

This Friend is what my soul needs, all the time,
And that’s what Christ is, with His love so fine!
He will never forsake; nor will He leave,
He’s there all the time; my soul need not grieve!

The love of earthly friends, may fly away,
Not like the love of Christ, that’s here to stay.
The warmth and cheer of friends, we fondly treasure,
Can let us down; a loss we can’t measure.

Jesus is a Friend, not in word, but in deed,
And all my spiritual hunger, He does feed.
He’s not here today, then gone tomorrow,
But a true Friend, in all my joy or sorrow.
************************
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Oct. 10, 2001 #836

What a Friend we have in Jesus, like that beautiful hymn so truthfully states! He has done so much for us already; always ready and willing to help us, and we will spend eternity with awesome, amazing Person!

SPIRITUAL RAIN
Chapter 3

***** Rain is a symbol of God’s Word. 
Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: [11] So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (KJV) . . . God’s Word is like the rain and the snow that He so graciously sends to water and nourish the Earth, making crops grow to feed us. It will not fail to do what God has intended for it to do. It will do everything God sent it to do, no matter who the messenger is.
         
We will never seek in vain when we hungrily seek God. His Word is actually calling to us, and His Spirit is trying to reach us. Since we all are sinners (Rom.3:10, 23), there must be a change in our ways and a change of our hearts and minds. It is NOT enough to break off from evil things we did, we must stop thinking evil thoughts. “Impossible” you say. No, it is possible with the Lord’s help. Our thoughts concerning sin, Christ, and holiness are so much different from God’s (Is.55:8-9), especially in matters of forgiveness. We forgive, but we can’t forget. When God forgives sin, He remembers it no more (Heb.8:12; 10:17).
         
God’s Sacred Truth produces a spiritual change in the hearts and minds of mankind. His Word will not return to the Lord without producing significant results. The Gospel will make a great change in people, delivering us from the wrath to come, converted sinners finds peace in their conscience and with God (Rom.5:1-10). Then the love of God compels us to devote ourselves to His service. Instead of our being vulgar, argumentative, selfish, hateful or lusting for pleasure; we become patient, humble, kind, loving, and peaceable. In other words, we take on the characteristics of our precious Lord. Any time we hunger and thirst for God, He fills us and changes us and we become more like Him.

*****Rain is symbolic of the doctrine taught by faithful messengers. 
Deuteronomy 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (KJV) . . . God’s Word will fall like rain; the words will settle like dew; like rain falling on tender grass, like gentle showers on tender, young plants. Literal rain washes the leaves on the trees and shrubs, making everything clean and bright. This is what God desires for His Word. He wants it to come down on our hearts and lives like this, cleansing and purifying us. My prayer is that more and more people will hunger and thirst for God.  

 *****Rain is symbolic of Christ and His graces. 
Psalm 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (KJV) . . . God Word comes to us like a soft, gentle rain upon the Earth; nourishing, cleansing, purifying, comforting, and quenching thirst. But, I think this verse speaks of Christ as well. Jesus did “come down like rain” to the Earth. He came, remarkably and quietly, like a well needed, soft, gentle rain. He came to His own and they received Him not (John 1:11). Instead they stayed in a condition of spiritual drought. They ran from the Rain that could have quenched their thirst. 
         
The law of Christ will be written in our hearts when we hunger for Him, and it motivates us to be honest and just, and prepares us to live in love, which produces an abundance of peace within us. Holiness and love are needed for us to be in Christ’s Kingdom. Christ shall, by the grace and comfort of His Spirit, come down like rain upon us. To the end of time, and to eternity, His Name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM Blessed (Psalm 72:17).  

• Rain is symbolic of spiritual blessings. 
Psalm 68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. (KJV) . . . Just as God causes abundant rain to fall and restore dried-out land, He can send blessings from above to bring to life an unbelieving heart, or restore a weary and worried soul. God’s rains are always plentiful, and we shall never be wanting for anything when we run to Him in hunger and thirst.
Psalm 84:6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. (KJV)  . . . Freshly received mercies should remind us of former mercies. Any time God brings His people into a wilderness, He will go ahead, leading us out of it. God provided for Israel, both in the wilderness and in Canaan. God took care of Israel, and He will look after His children (John 1:12-13). The Holy Spirit and the Gospel are the plentiful rain. Christ comes as showers that water the Earth, and when the slaves of Satan are converted to servants of Christ, we are justified and sanctified by Him. The righteousness of Christ will render us white as snow, even though we were once evil and disgusting through the guilt and defilement of sin (1 Cor.1:30; Is.1:18).  
         
There will be times of struggles and sorrows as we travel onward in life. It is these times that it seems God’s children are starving for God. We just can’t seem to get enough of Him. Our hunger will make us strong in the Lord, for He will fill us with His love, mercy and power. But please remember, that growing strong in God’s Presence is most often preceded by a journey through barren places in our lives. IF we love God, and want to spend time with Him, God will reward us for our faithfulness. Are you walking through your Valley of Weeping today? Make sure you stay on the narrow road that leads TO God, and not AWAY from Him! Those who are truly happy go forth in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:1-5; Phil.4:13). On your journey to Heaven, you may have to pass through many valleys of weeping, and many thirsty deserts. But if you are a child of God, the wells of salvation are always open for you. IF we hunger and thirst for God, we shall be filled!

*****Rain is symbolic of righteousness. 
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (KJV) . . . The prophet uses illustrations about fields and crops. Here it is a plowed field, ready to receive seeds. The ground is no longer stony and hard, for it has been carefully worked and prepared. Are you ready for God to work in you? To break up the idle, hard unplowed ground of your heart, you must admit your sins and receive God’s forgiveness and guidance. In other words, you must admit God is right, and you have been wrong. God does not want people to go to Hell. He prepared Hell for the devil and his angels (Mat.25:41), but IF a person insists on following the devil, that person will follow him right into Hell, and once you are there, there are NO exit doors, NO pardon, NO escape, NO second chance (Heb.9:27; Is.38:18). We must cleanse our hearts from all lusts  and corruption, and be devoted to God. We must treat people with justice and love. As we hunger for God, we must seek Him every day in all we do, then He will gladly shower us with blessings.

*****Rain is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. 
Isaiah 44:3-4 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: [4] And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. (KJV) . . . Water is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Just as water will refresh, cleanse, and makes the earth fruitful, so does the Holy Spirit influence our soul. The Gift of the Holy Spirit is a tremendous blessing, to say the least. To whomever God gives His Spirit, He will give all other blessings.
Isaiah 32:15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. (KJV) . . . Only when the Holy Spirit is poured down upon us from above, can the wastelands of our lives become fertile fields. Only when God acts from above, can our condition here on Earth change. Only when God’s Spirit is with us can we achieve true peace and fruitfulness.
Ezekiel 36:25-26 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. [26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (KJV) . . . No matter what you have done in the past, God can (and will) forgive you, IF you repent. You can have all your sins washed away, receive a new heart from God, and have His Spirit within you, IF you accept Jesus and become God’s child (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; Rom.8:9).

SPIRITUAL ABUNDANCE
Chapter 4

Psalm 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. (KJV) . . . God feeds His children from the abundance of His house, and we drink from rivers of His delight. This verse is NOT a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want all the time. This is David’s praise for God’s goodness. All those who hunger for God and cry out to Him in their need, will be answered, but sometimes in unexpected ways. Always remember that God knows what we need, and that our deepest needs are always spiritual. Many true Christians, even though they face poverty and hardship, have abundant spiritual nourishment to live for God. David was saying here, that IF we have God, He is all we really need. God is enough. His grace is sufficient (1 Cor.12:9). If you feel you don’t have everything you need, ask yourself: (1.) Do I really need this? (2.) Is this really good for me?
         
IF you say you are a TRUE Christian, you must fear (reverence) Him, showing deep respect and honor to Him. True reverence is shown by a humble attitude and true, sincere worship. We should deeply respect God for Who He is and what He is capable of.
Psalm 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. (KJV) . . . Our soul can rest, for the Lord is so good to us. We have many reasons for loving the Lord, His loving-kindness relieves us out of deep distress so often. Let those who labor and are heavy laden come to Him, that they may find rest for their souls (Mat.11:28-30). Any time we are pulled away from our rest, let us rush to return to Him. Let us remember how good the Lord has been to us. It is by the great mercy of God that He watches over us and holds us by the hand, so that we are not overcome by temptation. Let us walk in His Presence with great delight, for we are indeed very privileged to be His children (1 John 3:1).
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (KJV) . . . God is well able to make His grace abound towards us, and in us. He can give us an increase of spiritual and of temporal things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and He can cause us to be content with what we have (Phil.4:11; Heb.13:5). God gives us not only enough for ourselves, but also enough that we may help others. This does not only mean money, but our love, gifts, talents and our time as well.   
         
Many people tithe. I do not believe in tithing (Num.18:20-32; Heb.7:5; Mal.3:7-8; Col.2:14; Acts 11:29; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor.8:12; Mark 12:41-44). I think tithing is a loophole for many so-called Christians. They give 10% but could well afford to give much more. Tithing was a Jewish Law, and Jesus abolished the Law on the cross (Col.2:14). We are not under the Law, we are under grace!  Let us attempt to imitate the example of Christ, never tiring in doing good, and believing it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (KJV) . . .  Grace is God’s voluntary and loving favor given to those He saves. We CANNOT earn or buy salvation. NO religious, intellectual, or moral effort on our part can ever gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love that we do not deserve. Without God’s grace, NO person can be saved. How do we receive salvation? By admitting that we cannot save ourselves, that only God can save us, and that our only way to receive God’s amazing grace is through faith in Christ. 

We, as pardoned sinners are reconciled and are adopted children of God, and must give ALL the praise of our salvation to our gracious Father in Heaven. God planned this one and only method of redemption, and spared not His own Son in doing so. If you admit that there is a thirst and hunger within you that you do not understand, admit that you cannot fill it with temporal, worldly things; God can and will satisfy that emptiness, if you will just turn to Jesus today (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). He will give you spiritual abundance beyond your wildest dreams.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (KJV) . . . Only God has the power to work within us, and is able to do so much more than we can ever expect or ask for, or even think of. It is always a good idea to begin and end all your prayers with praises to God.

Any time you are hungry for God, ask to be fed, for we can be encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls. We can be assured that the conversion of sinners, and the comfort of all believers, will be to His glory, for ever and ever.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV) . . . A thief (false Christs) takes life, but Jesus gives life, and the life He gives us is abundantly rich and full. The life Jesus gives is eternal (forever, never ending, everlasting), yet it begins immediately upon our belief and acceptance of Christ Jesus.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. [KJV] . . .  “Hath” (has), we have eternal life NOW!
         
Life “in Christ” is so much different than the old life without Him. We are either “in Christ” (a believer, a child of God) OR ‘out of Christ’ (an unbeliever, a child of the devil). There is NO gray area, NO straddling the fence. We are either FOR Christ or AGAINST Him! His overflowing and abundant love, forgiveness, mercy and guidance is there for ALL believers! IF we hunger for God, all we need to do is go to Him and our appetite shall be filled to the fullest. Have you accepted the Gift of life that Christ so graciously offers? It is abundant joy for believers to know that Heaven awaits us when we leave this Earth (John 14:2-3). One day we will live in that “mansion” He has promised.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  (KJV) . . . We can trust that God will always meet our needs, both physical and much more importantly, spiritually! What a lot of people do not understand is that our wants are not always our needs! Most people just want to feel good and avoid any discomfort, pain or sorrow. Whatever we need on Earth God will always supply, even if it is the courage to face death like Paul did. And, whatever we need in Heaven He will also supply. We most likely will never get all that we want; but by trusting Christ, our attitudes and appetites will change drastically, from wanting everything to humbly accepting what He provides (Phil.4:11; Heb.13:5) and the power to live for Him (Phil.4:13; John 15:4-5). 
         
Our prayer should be for patient submission and hope when we are depressed, for humility and the mind of Christ (Phil.2:5) when we are exalted or proud. When we feel low, we should not lose our comfort in God, nor ever distrust or doubt His Divine guidance. When things are going well, we should not feel proud, secure, or worldly. This is hard, for we are more apt to give in to temptations of abundance and prosperity, than to poverty. Because all we have is by and through Christ, let us do all things for Him, and to His glory.  
Psalm 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (KJV) Again, this seems backward from the world’s view on things. Meekness hardly seems like a proper weapon to deal with enemies; but God’s warfare must be carried out with calm faith, humility before God and hope that He will deliver us. Jesus also makes the same Promise.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (KJV) . . . We should be at peace and satisfied that God will make all things work together for good to those who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Rom.8:28). A fretful, discontent spirit is open to many temptations. We as God’s children should be calm and content, no matter what the circumstance (Phil.4:11; 1 Tim.6:8; Heb.13:5).
         
God is very generous and He provides abundantly and well for His children, not only for His working servants, but for His waiting servants. I remember so well my life before Christ! I was His ‘waiting’ servant, although I did not know it at the time! But as I look back on my life, I see He was working even when I was a child. He took care of me, and did it well! He knew, even if I didn’t, that one day I would serve Him.
         
As children of God, we have things that are far, far better than worldly riches, fame, power, etc. We have peace of mind, peace with God and peace in God. This is peace that the world simply cannot give, and peace that the world simply cannot have. God knows the number of our days. Earthly days are numbered but heavenly happiness will last for ever. This should be a tremendous comfort and encouragement to us. Let us rest on the Rock that is higher than I (Ps.61:2), for only He can give us peace! If you do not have this awesome peace, it is freely available to “whosoever.” If you thirst for peace and contentment, God can quench that thirst.

Psalm 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. (KJV) . . . David was hiding from Saul in caves that seemed like prisons to him. We can be confined to many different kinds of “prisons.” Prisons could be: a job you hate, an unhappy marriage, a handicap, a disease, loneliness, depression, a mountain of debt, or literally being incarcerated in a prison, etc.

Spiritual prison is much worse. It is being ensnared by the devil, and allowing yourself to be his slave. You feel as if traps are laid for you on every side. You have this huge void, this God-shaped hole within you. You go along with the world, but in your heart, you know it’s wrong. You do drugs, you steal, you may even kill (1 John 3:15). Hatred and envy is just a part of life. You feel that there has to be a better way. There is!
 If you are hungering for something, and are at a loss to know what it is; it is God. If you sincerity take the Lord for your God, you will find Him all-sufficient in all things. He can be your Refuge (Ps.62:7; 94:22), a place where you can go to be refreshed, comforted, encouraged and empowered.

David prayed earnestly to God. The souls of believers are often plagued by doubts and fears, but we can go to God and beg Him to set us free.  Just as the Lord delivered David from his troubles and persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him, He can do the same for you. When a convinced sinner cries for help, God will hear! It’s a Promise!

SPIRITUAL FULLNESS
Chapter 5

Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (KJV) . . . God prepares a banquet for us, and we, His children are honored guests. He fills our cups to the brim. God is our Perfect Shepherd and Host. He promises to guide and protect us through life to bring us into His house forever. Could it get any better than this?
Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. (KJV) . . . Greed causes hate, envy, bitterness and fights; but trusting the Lord leads to spiritual prosperity. It’s always a much easier life if we live constantly depending upon God and His grace, and live by faith in Him, not by our sight (2 Cor.5:7).
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (KJV) . . . What is spiritual fullness? It is knowing and feeling the love of Christ, even though it is so wonderful we can never fully understand it. There are not enough words in any language to tell us of Christ’s love for us. His wondrous love fills us with the fullness of life and power that comes only from God.
John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (KJV) . . . We all have benefited from the rich blessings brought to us by Christ. It is never ending, day after day, one gracious blessing after another. We are indeed privileged to have been chosen to be God’s children (Eph.1:4-7; 1 John 3:1).

Ephesians 1:22-23 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (KJV) . . .  God has put ALL things under the authority of Christ. He gave Him this authority for the benefit of the church (TRUE believers). The church is His body; it is filled by Christ; and He fills it and everything everywhere with His Presence. It is indeed a privilege to be filled with His awesome Presence.
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (KJV) . . . To be anywhere near perfect, we must come to a unique unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son, so we will be mature and fully grown in the Lord. God has given His children a great responsibility; to make disciples in every nation (Mat 28:18-20).  The church must declare the “fullness of Christ.”
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (KJV) . . . For it was God’s own decision that His Son has in Himself the full nature of God.
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [KJV] . . . God is in Christ, Christ is in God and believers are in Christ! When we have Christ, we have God in human form. This is reconciliation, this is unity! 
It pleased God to reconcile fallen man to Himself by His Son. We were enemies of God by sin but now we are reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ. God’s love is so great to us. We cannot possibly comprehend the magnitude of His love, His grace! We should simply accept it and live in the luxury of it. We should abound in holy duties and good works. We should no longer live for self, but live for Christ. Because all fullness dwells in Christ, and Christ dwells in believers, we will never, ever, be empty!
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (KJV) . . . It is in Christ that the fullness of God lives in a human body. This means that God was (and is) in Christ’s Human Body. And when believers have Christ, we have absolutely everything we need for salvation, and everything we need to live the way God intends for us to live.
Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (KJV) . . . Jesus is not only equal to God (Phil. 2:6), He IS God (John 10:30, 38; 12:45; 14:1-11). He is the image of the invisible God, He is the exact portrayal of God. He not only reflects God, but He reveals God to us (John 1:18; 14:9). As the Firstborn over all creation, He has the priority and authority of the firstborn prince in a king’s household. Jesus came from Heaven, not from the dust of the Earth, like we did (1 Cor. 15:47), and He is Lord of all (Rom. 9:5; 10:11-13; Rev. 1:5; 17:14).

Our Lord Jesus is completely holy (Heb. 7:26-28; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5), and He has been given authority to judge the entire world (Rom. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1). Christ is supreme over all Creation, including the spirit world. He is much more powerful than the devil (1 John 4:4). We as TRUE believers, must believe in the deity of Christ Jesus (that Jesus is God) or our Christian faith leaves a lot to be desired. NOT believing in the deity of Christ Jesus leaves us people’s lives misdirected, misguided and meaningless. God’s TRUE children must vehemently and enthusiastically OPPOSE all those who say that Jesus was merely a prophet or a good teacher. Jesus was God, Jesus IS God!

TRUE children of God: http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
Jesus IS God: http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god.htm
 
Our Lord is “full of grace and truth.” In His Person is grace and truth and mercy, which He passes on to those who believe and accept Him and His Work on the cross. He fills us when we go to Him in our hunger and thirst for Him   
         
By Jesus’ Incarnation (John 1:14), grace and truth came to the family of God, as we beheld His glory, not by our actual eye, but spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:7-15; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Cor. 4:4, 6). His is the glory of incomparable grace, love, tenderness, goodness, gentleness, wisdom, purity, justice, majesty and meekness. No matter if we are rich or poor, powerful or weak, we can be filled with all the blessed characteristics of Jesus, IF we have the need, the want and the hunger. At times we are starving babes, who follow Him, forsaking all for Him. Christ Jesus can fill our famished souls completely, that we be completely at peace; with confident hope for our eternal future (Titus 1:2). 

SPIRITUAL EMPTINESS
Chapter 6

Psalm 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? (KJV) . . . So many people insult God, loving worldly things that are worthless in a spiritual and eternal sense. They lust after everything that is false, never once considering the everlasting God (Isa. 40:28) and their eternal future (Dan.12:2; Mat.25:46; Rev.20:15).
         
Lord, have mercy on me” should be our plea. If we will not ask for blessings such as mercy, pardon, justifying righteousness and eternal life, we will perish for lack of them. We are warned by God against sin. We are to reverence the glory and majesty of God. We must examine ourselves (1 Cor.11:31); allowing our thoughts to delight on what is good, and stay close to it. We should examine our past day, particularly what we have done wrong, that we may repent of it. When you awake in the night, meditate upon God. And don’t ever try to make excuses for your sin, any sin. That simply will not work with God.
Meditating: http://www.hisservants.org/conditions_meditation_on_what_things_h_s.html

Proverbs 21:6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. (KJV) . . . Any riches you get by dishonesty will soon disappear, but not before they lead you into a deadly trap. Many use honor, power, wealth or prestige to measure people. We may even think that these people are really getting ahead in life. But on God’s scales, they are but a puff of air.
         
So, what can tilt the scales in our favor when God weighs us? Believing Him, trusting and obeying God, and serving Him faithfully (Psalm 62:12). Wealth, honor, power or fame add NOTHING to our value in God’s eyes. It is ONLY the faithful work we do for Him that has eternal value.
Proverbs 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail. (KJV) . . . Many of those who do wrong, think they will never be caught. And, it is true, some do get away with their wrongdoing in this world, BUT, they will never “get away with it” in God’s eyes. Just because He does not come down on them in this life, does not mean He has forgotten about what they have done. ALL people will one day stand before the Judge, and they will be judged for EVERYTHING they have ever done (Is.59:18; Jer.17:10-11; 32:19; John 12:48; Rom.2:5-6; Rev.20:12-13). All believers will either receive rewards or lose them, and all believers will go to Heaven but all unbelievers will be punished for all sins they ever committed, and will go to Hell (John 3:18). Believers, although sinners too, have been forgiven by God because of faith in Christ.
Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. (KJV) . . . Human cravings and desires are like the world of the dead, there is always room for more. Two things are never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of unbelievers, for profit or pleasure are always lusting for more. But those whose eyes are stayed on the Lord, are fully satisfied in Him, and it shall be for ever so.
Isaiah 55:2 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. (KJV) . . . Spending money on something that does not satisfy is foolishness. People spend their money on worldly things and are still starving spiritually. God says: “Listen to me and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul.” The food and water that God provides fills and satisfies our souls.
         
Food costs money, lasts only a short time, and it meets only our physical needs. God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul. How do we get it? We come to God in our need, we listen to Him, we seek Him, and we cry out to God. God’s salvation is free, but in order for it to nourish our souls, we must eagerly receive it. We will starve spiritually without God’s food as surely as we will starve physically without our daily bread.
Micah 6:14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. (KJV) . . . God tells us over and over again in the Bible that it is necessary that we should do right. Here it shows that these had done wrong. The Lord tries to tell everyone that He is in charge, and if we are smart, we will hear what He counsels, and be cautious when He speaks. Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be judged pure, no matter what kind of hypocritical shows of devotion they may make. What is gotten by fraud and oppression is wrong, it cannot be kept and cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. Sin is a root of bitterness, and the longer it is within a person, the deeper its roots of destruction go. You will eat and drink physically but still have an emptiness within; an emptiness only God can fill.
Habakkuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: (KJV) . . .  Wealth is extremely deceitful. Greedy people are proud and restless, and like death itself they are never satisfied. They always want more! The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (1 John 2:16), all are entangling snares, under the control of Satan.
         
No wealth is to be considered ours, unless we come honestly by it. Riches are like thick clay; and those who travel through thick clay, are delayed and dirtied by their journey. The accumulation of sticky clay on your boots or shoes weigh you down. It is like this with those who go through the world in the midst of abundance of wealth, for their wanting more and more, never being satisfied with what they have, is like a deadly disease. They are fools that burden themselves with constant worry; and with guilt in getting, keeping, saving and spending it. They overload themselves with this thick clay, thus sinking down into destruction and perdition. They worship their money, their possessions; that is their god. The one and only true God never enters their minds.
         
Anything that is gotten from others by violence, may well be taken away from you by violence. Covetousness (greed) brings trouble and anxiety into a family; anyone who is greedy of gain does not have a happy home; and what is worse, it brings the curse of God down on them. Let us be content with lawful gain, which, by the blessing of God, is a comfort to a house and family.
         
Those who wrong their neighbors, do much greater wrong to their own souls. Their soul has a vacancy, an emptiness that they can never fill, no matter what they do. There is only one Remedy, and that is to turn from sin and run to God! Only God can fill an empty soul! 
Haggai 1:6 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. (KJV) . . . You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your money disappears as though you were putting it in pockets that had holes!
         
If people do not give God first place in their lives, their work will not be fruitful or productive, their material possessions will not satisfy. You can concentrate on building and beautifying your home, but God’s blessing will be withheld because He is not first place in your life.
James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (KJV) . . . People want what they don’t have, so they scheme and kill to get it. They are jealous of what others have, so they fight and quarrel and take it away from them. The real reason they don’t have what they want is that they don’t ask God for it.
         
Some common problems in prayer: (1.) not asking, (2.) asking for the wrong things, (3.) asking for the wrong reasons.

Do you talk to God at all? Do you pray? When you do, what do you talk to Him about? Do you ask Him only to satisfy your desires? Do you ask God’s approval for something you already had planned to do, instead of asking that His will be done in your life? Can you pray: “Thy will be done.”? God can change your desires so they agree to His will for you, IF you allow Him to do so. Ask God to help you.
Revelation 18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. (KJV) . . . We should not live for money, because money will be worthless in eternity. The city and street in Heaven will be made of pure gold. We should be constantly on guard  against greed, a sin that is always ready to take over our lives. Remember, spiritual needs are much more important than physical ones.

PERILS OF RICHES
Chapter 7

Riches Make Us Forget God.

Deuteronomy 8:13-14 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; [14] Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; (KJV) . . . Just as Israel forgot all God had done for them, we too, tend to forget what all He has done for us. In times of plenty, we often have a tendency to take credit for our prosperity and become proud that our own hard work and intelligence have made us rich. It is easy to get carried away with our wealth that we push God out of our lives. We need to remember that it is God who gives us everything we have. We are simply care takers of His things for Him.

Riches Generates Greed.

Psalm 62:10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. (KJV) . . . Don’t try to get rich by extortion or robbery. And should your wealth increase, don't make it the center of your life. We should trust completely in God. We must trust Him at all times, all places and in all circumstances. That way, we never at any time put that trust in ourselves, or in any human. Trust God to guide you when doubt arises, to protect you when in danger looms, to supply your needs when in want, to strengthen you for every good word and work. We must cry out to Him, and then patiently submit our wills to His. Pour out your heart to Him. God is a refuge for all; all those who are wise enough to know they need Him, and will gladly take shelter in Him.

Riches Endangers Our Honesty. 

Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. (KJV) . . . Honest people will lead a full, happy life. But if you are in a hurry to get rich, trouble looms ahead. In God’s eyes, the true way to be happy, is to be holy and honest, NOT greedy. Consider carefully what is right, and do it; and all that is wrong, stay away from it.

Riches Can Block Our Way To Heaven.

Matthew 19:23-24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. [24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV) . . . It is very difficult for rich people to enter Heaven. WHY? Because to most wealthy people, their riches and possessions come first. God may fit in somewhere, but He certainly is not first! There are very few people that have riches who do not put their trust in them instead of God. Christ’s words show that it is hard, very hard, for a rich man to be a TRUE Christian, to be saved. The way to Heaven is a narrow way to all, and the gate that leads into it, a strait gate; difficult, especially to rich people.
         
It is utterly impossible for anyone who sets their heart upon their riches, to get to Heaven. Not
all rich people will go to Hell, but most of them will. Only the grace of God will enable a rich man to get over the difficulty of putting his riches first. It is not only riches that hinder rich people, but pride and sinful lusts as well. We should be interested in spiritual riches (Mat.6:19-21) and God’s blessing, NOT in fleeting worldly riches that bring down God’s wrath on us. Don’t ever trust in promising appearances, and remember that an outward profession of Christ (saying you are a Christian) is NOT possessing Christ in your heart. Put God first!

Riches Block Our View Of God.

Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (KJV) . . .  A person is a fool to keep storing up earthly riches and not have a rich relationship with God. The rich man in this story died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement is wise, but neglecting life after death (your eternal future) is disastrous. Why do you save money? To retire? To buy more expensive cars or toys? To be secure? Think beyond this life on Earth, to eternity. Love, caring, compassion for others, faith, service, and obedience is how we become rich toward God. Don’t let this Earth’s riches and possessions block your view of God and His riches.

Riches Choke Out The Word Of God.

Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (KJV) . . . If you worry about your money and possessions, all too quickly the Word of God will be crowded out by the cares of this life. The lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things quickly puts God in the back seat! Satan is extremely deceitful, don’t let him draw you away from God by something that could be ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’
         
There is a false sense of security brought on by prosperity. A life packed with temporary worldly pursuits deafens us to God’s Word. We need to be free of these concerns so we can hear God when He speaks. There are many that hear the Gospel, but only a “few” (Mat.7:13-14) receive it, and bring forth fruit worthy of God’s praise. God expects and requires fruit from those who are His children.

Riches Can Mislead You.  

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (KJV) . . . Many say: “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need anything!” God states here that they don't realize that they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked in His eyes. There are some believers who falsely assume that because they have numerous material possessions, this is a sign of God’s spiritual blessing. Not always so, my friend! Laodicea was a very wealthy city, the church was also wealthy. But what these people could see and buy had become more valuable to them than what is unseen and eternal. Wealth, luxury, and ease can make people feel self-confident, self-contented and indifferent to God. But no matter how much you possess or how much money you make, you have nothing IF you do not have a vital and personal relationship with Jesus. Just how does your wealth affect your spiritual desire? Don’t center your life basically on comfort and luxury, for all TRUE riches are found only in Christ Jesus.

You Can’t Take Worldly Riches With You.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (KJV) . . . We came into the world with nothing, and we will leave the same way! Our goal in life should be to honor and reverence God and center our desires on Him. We should be content with what He has given us, and never be covetous of what others have. We should also be content with what God is doing in our lives (Phil. 4:11-13). Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, most people still believe that money can bring happiness. I have known some extremely wealthy people, and have seen their heartaches: bad health, unhappy homes, divorce after divorce, some have even ended up in prison. Their money CANNOT buy happiness or good health or good friends. The saying: ‘A friend you buy isn’t worth anything’ is so true.
         
Rich people who crave more and more riches are caught up in an endless cycle that can only end in ruin and destruction. Actually, it’s a disease! Can we keep away from the love of money? YES!!! Consider the following: (1.) realize that one day riches will all be gone (1 Tim. 6:7, 17); (2.) be content with what you have (1 Tim. 6:8); (3.) consider just what you are willing to do to get more money (1 Tim. 6:9-10); (4.) love God and people more than money (1 Tim. 6:11); (5.) love God’s work more than money (1 Tim. 6:11); (6.) freely share what you have with others (1 Tim. 6:18).
         
It is very helpful to see the difference between needs and wants. God has promised to supply ALL our needs (Phil.4:19), and God never lies (Titus 1:2). We have all we need to live but sometimes we allow ourselves to become anxious and discontented over what we want. Our greed can lead us to all kinds of evil and trouble. Please beware! 

Riches Fleeting. Stay With God.

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [KJV] . . . Christ counsels us here to make our best things the joys and glories of the other world, eternal things! We should place our happiness in the treasures of Heaven. IF we are wise, we will give all diligence to make sure of eternal life through Christ Jesus, and to look at ALL things here below, as not worthy to be compared with it! It is the happiness above and beyond this life that are an incorruptible inheritance. Are you spiritually thirsty and hungry?

CLOSING COMMENTS

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (KJV) . . . We eat bread (food) to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain physical life. But, our soul is eternal, not like our decaying body that is here on Earth just a few short years. We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life only by a right relationship with Christ Jesus. That is why He called Himself the bread of life (eternal life). Just as bread must be eaten to sustain life, Christ must be invited into our daily walk to sustain spiritual life. 
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (KJV) 
John 7:37-B - - - - - - - - If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (KJV) . . . As our bodies thirst, so do our souls. But our souls need spiritual water. We would not deprive our bodies of food and water when they hunger or thirst. Why do people deprive their souls, which is so much more important? The Living Word, Christ Jesus (John 1:1), and the written Word, the Bible, can satisfy hungry and thirsty souls. Jesus’ words, “come to me and drink,” refers to many Bible passages that talk about the Messiah’s life-giving blessings (Is.12:2-3; 44:3-4; 58:11). In promising to give the Holy Spirit to all who believed, Jesus was clearly stating that HE was the Messiah, for that was something only the Messiah could do. Jesus can satisfy your spiritual thirst! 

Books You Should Read

A Gift

Amazing Grace of God, The

Apostacy

Atonement of Jesus Christ

Believe, What does it Mean to Believe?

Born Again

But I Say To You

Characteristics of Christ

Christ Is The DOOR

Come Unto Me

Crucial and Important Doctrines in Romans

Do You Want To Go To Heaven?

Eternal Security . . . Once Saved, Always Saved!

Faith in the Bible

False Teachers

God's Kind of Love

God's Will, What Is It?

God Controls His Creation

Heaven vs Hell

Hungering and Thirsting for God

Idolatry

Living With ETERNITY in Mind

Our Awesome Triune God

Parables of Jesus

Pride, Violence, Sexual Lust

Privileges of Believers

Resisting Temptation

Security of Believers

Sin and Forgiveness

Sovereignty of God

The Great Tribulation

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

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http://www.judgmentcoming.org

http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org

http://www.worldlychaos.org

 

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