John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
***This is a drifting away from the knowledge of God.
10“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 13“Don't collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. 14Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
Jesus didn’t tell the tax collectors to stop or the solders to stop but to continue in their careers with honesty. It takes a while to change a life, so as long as it’s not a career that is destroying lives, God will lead us away from it to greener pastures. Some things in our minds take some time to understand, so don’t judge those you think are wrong because it depends and we don’t really know the circumstances.
1 Timothy 6
7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
The draw of career success and the financial reward that goes with it are substantial. In contrast, the draw of being an underachiever and never challenging the potential of your God given abilities are real and can be a dilemma. How much is too much? How much is enough and at what point am I just being lazy? What does God expect from me? Perhaps you will spend your years helping homeless people at a local mission and never become financially stable or you are led by the wisdom of God to earn and finance the Kingdom of God. Both are in God’s plan.
10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
14Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
God allows need and surplus. He allows some to give and some to receive. He places us in position to bless or be blessed and if we have not learned how to be content, we might respond poorly and not from a heart of love. After all, creation was designed to separate the wheat from the tears; those who are His and those who are destined for the fire.
Lord heal our hearts to choose right.
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