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One of the most interesting developments in the world today is the extremely rapid growth of the church in developing nations — and the lack of church growth in wealthy countries. One can only ask if there is a correlation between the West’s prosperity and the lack of substantial growth in the church. If the Western church has all the resources to reach people with the message of the gospel, what has kept it from accomplishing its task?
Wealth doesn’t ensure that the kingdom of God will come to a community, church, or nation. God’s kingdom isn’t built on a foundation of material possessions. That kingdom is built on righteousness. That’s why Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you ” (Matthew 6:33 nasb). As I travel throughout developing nations, I’ve found a church that seeks first God’s kingdom. They don’t always have nice buildings. But they have peace, joy, and love in God’s Spirit — more valuable than all the material possessions anyone could ever acquire.
Let me be clear: Being wealthy is not necessarily sinful. Money isn’t the “root of all evil.” It’s the love of money that produces all kinds of evil. I’ve met some poor people who are extremely materialistic. It’s not the amount of wealth that makes someone materialistic; it’s a person’s heart attitude toward material possessions. Materialism is one of the most subtle temptations any Christian will ever face.
How do we overcome such subtlety? First, we must keep our focus on Jesus. Seek Christ first. Our attitude toward wealth must say, “I want God more than I desire anything else. I want to know Him and walk in sweet fellowship with Christ.” The real test of that attitude is whether we can be content with or without possessions. The apostle Paul could know such contentment because his contentment was in Christ alone. It didn’t matter whether he had much or little. He knew a contentment that came from the intimate knowledge of God.
Not only must Christ be first in our lives, but our hearts must seek after His kingdom. One reason God required the tithe of the children of Israel was to remind them Who had provided for them. God gave them everything they possessed. He met their every need. But they were to always keep His kingdom first. They were to first take care of those things that pertained to His kingdom. As long as they did that, God would bless and provide for them.
Often the test if we’ve gotten caught in the trap of materialism is how we view giving to God’s kingdom. If we simply tip our hats to God and flip him the leftovers of our wealth, we’ve probably been snared by a spirit of materialism. But if we have kept our priorities straight, putting Him before our own desires, He will meet our every need and keep us from any spirit of materialism.
A final safeguard against a materialistic spirit is seeking God’s righteousness. What would it take for you to compromise God’s commandments? How much money would it take for you to tell a “little white lie?” What biblical principle would you violate to have more things? We can overcome materialism only by a rock-solid commitment to Christ’s righteousness. We must seek Christ first and His kingdom, and maintain an unwavering commitment to living in a righteous and Christlike manner. Only then will we know victory over materialism.

1 Timothy : Chapter 6
6)  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7)  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8)  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9)  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10)  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Final Charge to Timothy

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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