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Archive for the ‘stewardship’ Category

I don’t market myself as a financial guru or anything like that. Let’s be clear on that. That’s not me.

Yet, I am clear on my calling to preach and teach the Word of God.

And God’s Word is clear on where He stands on the debate about debt.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

Proverbs 22:7

God Stated His Intent

God stated that He would bless Israel “as he promised” in Deuteronomy 15:6.

God did not stutter. He did not beat around the bush.

He was straightforward and straight up, straight out telling the people how He intended to keep His promise and bless them.

He positioned them, stating that they would “lend to many nations. . . rule over many nations. . .” in Deuteronomy 15:6.

He warned them against debt. He said: “you shall not borrow” in the same verse.

He went so far as to say that other nations “shall not rule over you” in that verse, too.

How Did Things Go Wrong?

The Israelites had strayed from God’s plan for them. They had increased their debts among each other to the point of enslavement of one another. We see it in Jeremiah chapter 34 as God is seeking to fulfill his prophecy among His people. We see it when Nehemiah is seeking to rebuild the destroyed walls. Even the widow from among the “sons of the prophet” pleaded with Elisha to help her for her two sons not be taken away by the creditors. We see how debt, even among one’s own people, caused conflict and corruption among those with the upper hand.

God Wants Better For Us

Rich will rule over the poor. The borrower will serve as slave to the lender. These are the predictable outcomes of indebtedness.

The same God who promised to bless His people also warned His people as He sought to prevent them from the effects of debt. The outcome of debt is enslavement.

Look at how Jesus Ethics posts explore the topic. Consider what God had already said to His people.

Read what Solomon says in Proverbs about becoming a “slave to lender.”

Get Out of Debt

There’s a lot of talk about what Biden has introduced on student loan debt forgiveness. Then, there is plenty to understand about why Christians should not be involved in such matters due to their stewardship.

Don’t get to judging others so quickly.

The words of Paul to the believers in Rome are pretty clear that we all have fallen short and missed the mark of righteousness and holiness.

Get out of the trap of scarcity and see His ability to supply our needs.

Watch the YouTube video I have linked here and use the resources available to you to get out of debt and to be free to enjoy the abundance of God’s blessings.

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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)

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“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

Things are good, but we know that they could be better.

Your ministry might be growing, but there also could be some growing discontent that you have not dealt with inside of your ministry or small group.

You could be experiencing a new sense of direction as your people feel a sense of a lack of leadership from you.

You could be on your way to banner year, but at the same time you could also be watching the bottom fall out from under everything that you have built throughout your career.

Don’t let things going good allow you to mistake the fact that there could be better things out there.  Do not overlook what you have and what you have to do.  Maintain the proper perspective on both your purpose and the task of pioneering new trails and pathways as a leader.  Moses could have gotten out of Egypt and to the Promised Land if he had just left all of those stiff-necked people behind, huh? Right? Imagine that.

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Key question: Have you built a ministry that builds up people to be better servants of the Lord?

Take your time.  Think about all of the people who serve under you.  Let things play back in your mind. 

We need people experiencing edification.  We need people being built up within our midst.  We need to get busy building folks up.

Why?

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people
to do his work and build up the church,
the body of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:12 (NLT)

We are called to do so.  We have been commissioned to do so.  It is our calling.  Let us live up to it.

Give the people who come to you an extreme experience.  Offer an edifying experience.  Take people to the edge by standing on the cutting edge as opposed to the status quo.  Let people experience Christianity beyond the stuffy, Sunday morning sermonized Savior that seems so distant that He could not have possibly walked on earth.  Give them the real deal when you share about the Savior.  Show them the Jesus who saves.  Share the Jesus who sacrificed for the sinful.  Provide an opportunity to experience Jesus in spirit and in truth.
Look at some examples of radical Christianity. . .

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“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” –Duke Ellington

God expects us to do our best.  He desires it of us.  Essentially, we are to do our best to give Him glory.

Have you done your best with what you have been given by God?

  • Marriage?
  • Children?
  • Job?
  • Spiritual gifts?

The list could go on.  We have to answer whether we have truly handled what God has given us to the best of our ability.  We have to do our best and give Him the glory in doing so.  He has entrusted us.  That’s about stewardship.

Do your best and give God the glory.  He did so in saving us.  He did not hold back.  He did not spare anything.  He offered His best, a lamb without spot or blemish.  We should do the same.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof…” – Psalm 24:1

The church of Jesus Christ can go green.  That makes sense.  It may not be easy to shift from traditional methods, but it is certainly worth the work.

Going green can do more than save the environment.  It can prove to be a cost-effective method for environmental stewardship.

Here is a list for going green with God:

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“Don’t wait to fast, read, pray, or to do anything else.” – Charles Finney
Use the Good Book to get back on track.
Let truth show you the way.
You need to pray over some things.  You just need to get into some deep prayer and let loose.  I have one word of advice for you, though.  You do not have to hurry when praying, but you surely need to hurry up and pray.  Allow God to draw you in nearer and nearer, closer and closer.
Spend some time connecting with the Lord.  Go to the Word.  Read and hear the Word of God.  Listen to sermon podcasts and the Bible dramatized on iTunes. 
Take some time to make things work for you, especially as you work towards serving God daily.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – Colossians 3:16 (KJV)

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.- Romans10:17 (NIV)
 
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. -ColossiansNIV)
 
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.- James 5:13 (KJV)

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>God in the Marketplace: 45 Questions Fortune 500 Executives Ask About Faith, Life, and Business
“God is moving in a powerful way in the marketplace”- Henry Blackaby

In this era of multimedia, the Christian entrepreneur has a plethora of information sources.  Many of these are exclusively online, but others are in print, on television, even the radio, and online.  These men and women offer insights and ideas on how the Christian can be a powerful vessel of God in the modern-day marketplace.

John C. Maxwell

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time

Steve Marr

Proverbs for Business 

Zig Ziglar
Great Quotes From Zig Ziglar

Laurie Beth Jones
The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for LifeHenry Blackaby

Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God's AgendaBob Briner

The Management Methods of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business

Larry Burkett 

Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace
Ron Blue

The New Master Your Money

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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.

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