Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘money’ Category

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

– Proverbs 22:7 (KJV)

I am in bondage.

Well, at least it seems that way.Ben Franklin100

I have a car payment.  At one
point, I finally resolved to never again buy a car on long term credit.  IT IS JUST TOO MUCH.  I am actually going to pay it off early, but I know that the loan company doesn’t mind the extra money but hates losing out on the interest payments.

Did I say feel like I am in bondage?

guess

I have to start paying off my student loans.  These account for enough of a percentage of my debt that I have considered teaching in a low income school or serving as an AmeriCorps member in order to defer some of the payments on the loans.  I think that you can feel in bondage to the federal government because I do.

I feel that I have to make a major decision on the debt, especially as I consider a teaching credential and a MBAprogram within the next year.  Both of these will equate to some amount of incurred debt as well as the possible impact on a home purchase within 3 years.  My debt to income ratio and credit score can make a difference between a mortgage that I can live with or mortgage that I would be living to pay for.

even mickey

Money matters can get you down sometimes.

So, why do I say this on a blog that has Christian principles throughout it time after time?

Spine of a Bible

God does not want us living in bondage.  God has not designed us for this type of lifestyle that depends more on the paycheck than upon God’s providence.  God expects us to lean and depend on Him for our daily sufficiency, not rely upon the economy of the world’s system to so-called “make it.”

burglar

I recommend some of these items to help with financial matters:

bodybuilding

I am getting out of it, but it requires sacrifice.  I have to supplement my income with other sources such as freelance writing online.  I am getting there, but it takes time.

10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

– Luke 16:10-12 (KJV)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

do not trust your own cleverness.

– Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)

Riches are fleeting.

If you don’t believe me, just look at how this preceding verse is followed up.

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,

for they will surely sprout wings

and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

-Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)

The very money that you worked yourself into an early grave to obtain can “sprout wings” and “fly off.” That doesn’t sound like a solid and prudent investment of anyone’s time and other resources like energy and thought.  It sounds like a waste.  In fact, the Scriptures are not saying that wealth is a waste.  The words relate to the effort that other versions and translations of the Bible consider to be an effort to “overwork.” It gives a connotation and warning not to overwork to become rich.

The Book of Proverbs advises a different approach in chapter 13;  “. . . but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

Ask yourself which way you are going about obtaining wealth and riches.

Are you doing yourself a favor by gathering it “little by little?” Or, are you doing yourself a disservice by seeking to “overwork” to get there?

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  You can work yourself into a frenzy and have little to show for it except for a bunch of stress and agony to go along with an ulcer or panic attacks of anxiety.  You can also see all of what you have saved to go away right out of your own hands and into the hands of another.

 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.     – Ecclesiastes 6:2 (NKJV)

Read Full Post »

“Jesus asks for everything.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love

How absurd does it sound to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

Let me rephrase that.

How absurd does it sound to an atheist to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

How absurd does it sound to someone who does not even know Jesus to give up everything and give it over to Jesus?

Should that also apply to Christians, though?

David did not think so.  In preparation for the building of the temple, David oversaw the collection of an abundance of resources.  In response, David acknowledged that all of it already belonged to God.

LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. – 1 Chronicles 29:16 (NIV)

Jesus simply answered the question with simplicity.  One of His responses is captured in the Gospel of Matthew.  Look at His words, then look at how you handle the Lord’s resources.

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

 

Read Full Post »

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those  who  are  wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! – Isaiah 5:20-21, NKJV

Some folks see preaching as a means to an end.  In fact, they rarely see visions full of prophecy.  These are the ones who seek to profit from the unlearned and naive within local flocks.

No, you may not detect their underlying motives because they offer sweet serenades rather than sermons.  You may not discern their diabolical schemes or plots to pilfer and plunder, for many have mastered the art of discourses of deception and trickery of the tongue.  They can rattle off verses of the Holy Scriptures to justify nearly any ploy.  Yet, their is uncovered beyond the naked eye.  God sees and knows all.

So what are we to do as defenders of the gospel and truth in His name?

We are to forge ahead despite their lies and treachery.  We are to profess and preach truth, never approaching this life in blind faith.  We are to continue as ambassadors of Christ and extend His love with our ministry of reconciliation. 

Jesus called out the religious leaders of His time.  The prophets spoke out against the ones who went against God’s Word and violated their covenant with Him.  Was Malachi talking to the common man about robbing God? Or, by reading it in context, do you discover that God is speaking to a different audience? Look at it and see for yourself.

Just know that Jesus warned us about such voices of violation.  Paul shared about such wolves among the flock.  Jude said such men had come into our midst.

There are men and women who speak with authority but not of God.  They preach for profit.  They seek your savings as much as your service.  They desire your abundance as much as they want you to worship God with your whole heart. 

Know that they exist.  Know that you have been warned.

Read Full Post »

Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the LORD; thus says the LORD, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'” – 2 Kings 7:1 (NASB)

Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. 
– 2 Kings 7:16 (NIV)

It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 
– 2 Kings 7:18 (NIV)

The man of God in the Old Testament was more than priestly.  He usually stood out as a messenger of God, a prophet.  Elisha was such a messenger.  He was an advisor to the Hebrew kings of his generation and times.  He provided spiritual insight and interpretation for the benefit and blessing of the entire kingdom based on the word of the LORD.  

A severe famine had struck the land due to invaders surrounding the city and placing it under siege.  This same famine caused the market rates to go sky high.  During this famine, a  donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver and quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels ( 2 Kings 6:25, NIV).  Eighty shekels of silver was the equivalent of approximately two pounds, while a quarter of a cab represented about 1/2 pint of seed pods.  In such an economic crisis, no one can get much for their money due to the limited supply and a high demand.  When did donkey heads become listed commodities on the open market? That’s when you know things have gotten real bad.

Things had gotten so bad that a woman had agreed to cook her son and eat him with another woman. Upon hearing of this, the king becomes distraught and tears his robe as a sign of mourning.  He vows to have the head of Elisha, God’s messenger.  Obviously, Elisha quickly fell out of favor with the king at this point due to the dire conditions of the kingdom in that day. God’s messenger is His representative among the people, too.  That also makes him the perfect target for outrage and criticism when things go awry.

Elisha offers a prophecy of coming profitability.  God shared that the famine would end soon and things would turn around.  He prophesied that by the next day  a “seah” of flour and two of barley would both sell for only one shekel.  When it comes true, the people are overjoyed and elated.  They readily grab hold of  all that they could and lived on during the economic recovery.

Keep in mind that the head of God’s messenger was sought by high ranking officials just hours before things turned for the better.  Even though he believed it to be so, others did not readily believe it until they saw it for themselves. 

Today’s financial conditions will not remain the same always.  Hear where God is directing you and see where He is making swift changes and movements that impact our global economy right before our eyes.  You may need to prepare for today’s prophecy becoming tomorrow’s reality quick and soon.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: 
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 
– Matthew 5:12

Check out Elance for your content and graphic design needs.

Read Full Post »

If you want to give, your gift will be accepted.
It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.
– 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NCV)

Usually, back when I was starting out in church, I would always hear the deacon say a prayer for the offering that somehow included the Lord’s love for a “cheerful giver.”  That always seemed to hit home in its own way.  The Lord, as shared by Paul to the believers at Corinth, does indeed love cheerful givers.  Yet, we may miss the mark if we fail to see the principles that Paul shared within the context of his message in 2 Corinthians.

Giving is noble.  The Christian is expected to give to worthy causes and unmet needs.  However, we should not be left feeling guilty when we hear someone else quote Malachi as if we are in the midst of robbing God.  We may have it in hearts to give, but we may not have it in possession to give like we desire.  In essence, Paul clarifies the matter by stating: It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.  That means that you cannot worry about what you do not have to give.  Your concern should be about what you have to give and your willingness to give it.  Jesus shared so when He pointed out the faith of the widow who gave two mites.  It was not the quantity of her gift that was impressive.  It was the depths to which she dug into what she did have in possession that caught Jesus’ attention and caused Him to call attention to her act of willingness.

God wants us willing to give.  We may have big hearts with small budgets.  God can bless us beyond where we are today.  We are not looking for the blessing out of giving since we are already blessed with “true riches” (Luke 16:11).  We have to be willing to give of what we have without seeking to gain what we desire.  We should give with no strings attached.  We should give to God’s glory, not seeking approval or kudos from others.  When we give according to the right principles, God is pleased and we can be assured that our gifts are accepted by Him.

Give with a willing heart.  Give out of what you have.  Give that God may be glorified through your gifts.

Read Full Post »

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

7Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites.There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.- Genesis 25:7-10 (NIV)
In the end, “Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac’ according to Genesis 25:5 (NIV).  This same chapters says that he gave other gifts to his other sons, the sons of his concubines, but he left his personal possessions to the son of promise, Isaac.  The other sons received something from Abraham, but the one son received everything that was considered Abraham.
Think about it like this: Abraham had an estate, including herds, property, and servants.  Before he died, he had already given gifts to his sons and sent them away from the son of promise.  When he died, he left everything that he had in his possession to Isaac.  It is peculiar because Ishmael, the firstborn son, is not mentioned by name until the burial of Abraham.  It may be assumed that Ishmael was included in the earlier verse where Abraham’s other sons were given “gifts.” However, he is not mentioned by name prior to the burial of his father.
It is Issac, “the beloved son” as called by J. Vernon McGee, who gains all of his father’s possessions.  imagine the uproar that could have started if Abraham had not blessed the other brothers before his death.  Think of all of the ruckus that would have gone down if each brother sat around the house after laying Daddy to rest, only to find out that every single thing went to Isaac.  I can just picture the depths of discontent and the wealth of woeful feelings that would emerge as every sheep and goat, every acre of land, and every single slave went to Issac.
Parents need to make provisions for their passing on to the next life.  Be sure to deal with your children accordingly in the case of your death.  Let them know what provisions have been made for them and their children.  Do all that you can to leave a legacy that lives on beyond you.  Don’t let your burial become a battle of Daddy’s favorites versus the black sheep flock.  Be sure to handle your business and order your affairs while you have time and a sound mind.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »