21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness… (1 Corinthians 1:21–23, NKJV)
The message of a crucified king who saves the world continues to be viewed by an unbelieving world as foolish fables. That is not at all how men would write the script. The first-century Jews envisioned their mighty king riding in on a great steed, trampling over their enemies and vanquishing their foes by the sword in mighty battle. But, God’s king and His kingdom is not so inclined. God’s Anointed One rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, humble and lowly. It was not long before they cried out, “crucify him”. Those who elevate human wisdom count the message of the cross to be foolish. Belief in the gospel demands humility. Those who put stock in human wisdom become hardened by pride – an obvious barrier to humble faith. God still saves those believe the gospel. Therefore, we must continue to preach Christ regardless of faithless refusals.
8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:8–9, NKJV)
Cain tried to evade the force of God’s question by lying to God and implying he was not his brother’s guardian. Cain hated his brother and murdered him “because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 Jno. 3:11-15). Hatred destroys life (“whoever hates his brother is a murderer”, 1 Jno. 3:15). Love protects life (“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”, 1 Jno. 3:16). Remember that you are your brother’s keeper. Not only are we to love and protect our fleshly brothers and sisters, but even more so, our brethren in Christ. Guard and protect your brethren, do not hate them. Out of love be a protector of life, not a murderer, because “you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jno. 3:15).
4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:4–5, NKJV)
Wealth is not the panacea many believe it to be. Riches are perishable; they come and go. For example, billionaire Donald Trump has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times since 1991. Solomon (himself vastly wealthy) advises not to work yourself to death trying to be rich because earthly wealth is temporary. The wise person understands money can be used for good or evil, just as one’s attitude toward it can either be thankful and generous, or covetous and miserly. Content with food and clothing, and thankful for much more than that, lay up treasures in heaven. The imperishable riches of eternal life are laid up there for the faithful (1 Pet. 1:4-5).