Friday, January 18, 2013

The Camel and the Eye of the Needle

So, I’ve heard about Trent Culver for awhile—especially about his knack for fly fishing and deep insights on life with Jesus…which he like to write down and share with his friends. Trent and I met over coffee a few weeks back and talked about life, fly fishing and his writing. It was good coffee... and great conversation. Trent’s a guy like any other guy who’s chasing after Jesus. He’s got all the struggles and ups and downs that we all go through…except he works out a lot of his stuff on paper…and we get to benefit. Trent’s been kind enough to share some of his thoughts with us.

It’s REALLY, REALLY good stuff. Enjoy!


“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:23-26

This verse is really scary if you stop reading too early. To gain perspective, we need to understand the context of the whole verse. This verse corresponds to the questions of a rich young man who wants to know how HE can gain access to heaven. Jesus tells His disciples, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Isn't that the whole essence of Christianity…God doing for us what we are unable to do for ourselves?

Thank God for this because we live in the most affluent society that this world has ever known. If it were otherwise, I'd be doomed to hell.

I'm rich. I've never known hunger. I've always had a roof over my head and a comfortable bed. I take these seemingly simple items for granted. The fact that I've never even questioned them is ridiculous when you consider the economic condition of humanity now—and throughout history. I don't consider things like proper healthcare, a solid retirement plan or braces and college education for my kids as luxuries. I consider them necessities. This considered…I fall into the top 1% of all the people that have ever lived on this planet. Thank you, Jesus, that despite my comfort in this life, you haven't denied me heaven. Forgive me for forgetting to acknowledge your abundant blessings.

Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, David, Joseph, and Job. These were all rich and powerful men. Despite their human flaws, God used them in incredible ways. Wealth isn't wrong, Money is neutral; neither good nor evil. It can however be used by Satan in very damaging ways.

What is the biggest lie in money? It promises self sufficiency. We are led to believe that we don't need God. We become greedy and selfish. Wealth frequently brings out the ugly in people.

Without exception, all of the wealthy men of the bible wrestled with demons; pride being the biggest one. Here's what Nebuchadnezzar had to say after spending 7 years in the wilderness being humbled by God:

“’At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.’” Daniel 4:36-37

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