Guest Blog by Tony Evans – “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Dr. Tony Evans is the pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas.  He also is the founder of The Urban Alternative.  Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American.  His radio broadcast, The Alternative, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries.  His sermons are Biblically sound and he “walks the walk,” not just talks the talk.  Here is a man of God worth noting for how Father has used him to teach thousands of believers how to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  This is a sharing of a recent email he sent to his contacts, which is adapted from one of his more than 100 books.

2021-06-19 Dr. Tony Evans

Dear Friends,

Most people think money is the secret to satisfaction.  They think that happiness equates to how much money you’ve got at your disposal.  But happiness has nothing to do with money.  Money isn’t about to solve your problems.  In fact, sometimes our problems escalate as our money increases — not the other way around.

That’s why Paul wrote, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10).

There are so many things money can’t buy.  Money can’t buy health.  It can’t buy relational harmony.  It can’t buy respect, honor, character or esteem.  When things go south in any of those areas, if money is all you’ve got working for you, you’ll discover the actual value of money.  You’ll learn that money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  There’s so much that matters more than how much money you have in your wallet or your bank account.  But it’s very easy to forget that.

As a result, people frequently spend their energy praying for stuff when God wants to give them more than stuff.  He wants to give significance, strength, stability and identity.  All the stuff in the world doesn’t amount to much if you are so broken, empty or alone that you cannot enjoy it, and you don’t have anyone with whom to share it.  Stuff never made anyone smile the way that satisfaction, purpose and even service can.  Our world focuses on stuff, while Jesus reminds us what matters most.

For His kingdom,
2021-06-19 Tony Evans Signature
This content has been adapted from Tony Evans, Kingdom Men Rising, Bethany House Publishers, 2021.
See also the DVD, Kingdom Men Rising.  Good stuff!
If you are visiting here before June 19 is over, check out the free No More Excuses teleconference at https://www.ocbfchurch.org/ministries/mens-fellowship/mens-conference/.

It’s not what you do; it’s Who you know.

“I want to be as one with Him. I could not be right with God by what the Law said I must do. I was made right with God by faith in Christ. I want to know Him.”   Paul, Philippians 3:9-10

Recalling a friend in high school who began reading in Genesis, he came to a couple of us with a blush and said, “Man, all those guys in the Bible sure got to know their wives!”  In the mid-60s this was as close as we got to describing the sex act.  He was referring, of course, to such passages as Genesis 4:1 and 4:25, where “Adam knew his wife and she conceived” and bore children.  We almost considered it Biblical porn, but the point was that to “know” someone had an effect.

This was more than just recognizing Eve across the forest and realizing she was not another animal; more than just mental assent to her identity.  This “knowledge” was experiential; a “knowing” like no other, an intimate intertwining of their lives in joy and ecstasy, and a feeling of completion.  This is how Father in Heaven wants us to know Him.

From the evening conversations Adam and Eve had with God in the cool of the day, men drifted away from knowledge of the Holy One so that by the seventh generation, “people began to call on the name of Yahweh.” (Genesis 4:26)   In other words, they did not know Him anymore, and had to seek Him.  They had to look for ways to interact with Him, because we were withdrawn from Him.

But the recognition of the value of knowing God, more than just a theology about Him, was never completely lost.  David, many centuries later, would challenge his son, Solomon with these words, And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you . . .”  (1 Chronicles 28:9)

The prophets knew this God intimately.  For example, Isaiah spoke on God’s behalf when he said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)   This along with many other statements by the prophets revealed a relationship much deeper than mere religious practice, much more personal than a set of liturgical instructions.

Fast forward another thousand years and Jesus declared, This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)  Note He did not say, “This is eternal life, to get a seminary degree . . .” nor “. . .to live a clean and moral life.” nor “. . .to attend a church and do missionary work.”  Now if you interact with Him, He may tell you to do some of these things, but these are the results of knowing Him, not the other way around.  We do not get to know Him by doing good things, rather we do good things because He is living in us, and we know Him.

How do we get to know Him?  The same way you get to know a husband or wife; the same way you know your sibling or parent, the same way you know your best friend.  Once the introduction is made, you spend time together; you compare interests; you share with each other what you are doing. (see August 20, 2016 and August 28, 2016

Of course, you can read about Him, look at how He behaves in certain situations and what He has done with others, but that only tells you about Him.  I highly recommend that you inform your relationship with Him by reading the Bible, but never mistake reading an ocean chart for sailing on the ocean!  Read all about Him and those who knew Him while He was physically present on Earth; read and talk with others who know Him and share together what He and all of you talk about.  Get to know Him as Paul was desiring to do.

“Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now you have come to know God.” (Galatians 4:8-9)

“It is one thing to understand a theology of God. It is quite another to experience God in real life.” Bruce Smith