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Religion


God's Money and You: Part Two


By Pastor Philip Howle
web posted August 22, 2012

RELIGION –I started investing money at a pretty young age. My dad made me take tax returns from what I earned in high school and invest them in a mutual fund.  I put a few hundred bucks a year in a blue-chip conservative fund. Though it did not make much money, slowly it went up in value. I had a pretty decent ring fund going. Until my dad called me and gave me some advise. He was sort of managing my money. He was making money investing in the “.coms” back in 2000-2002 and so he asked me to put my money in a “tech” fund. He was truly looking out for me and wanted me to make money.

Well, about the time I went to graduate from college and needed to cash out money to buy a diamond for my then girlfriend and now present wife, the bubble burst. My fund had devalued by over half. I was pretty ticked, but I learned be careful who you take advice from on how you manage your money.

Imagine how you would feel if you trusted your wealth to a financial manager who squandered all your money. You worked hard for years, you trusted this man, and then it was all gone. You would do as Jesus said in Matt 5:44 and love your enemy and pray for them right? No, you would storm in and demand to know why this guy has wasted all your money! The financial manager might reply “but you gave me the money, I thought you just wanted me to use it to have fun with.” You would then say “No, it was not yours to blow as you wish, but to manage for me the best you could!”

The following above illustrates how the Bible desires for you to view your wealth. It is all God’s money. It is given to you not to blow as you please, but to manage on behalf of God, the true owner of all there is. Money matters to God. Thousands of verses of Scripture talk directly or indirectly about God’s money and how people should use it. The volume of the Bible’s teaching on this subject demands for our attention

·    “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
·    “To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14).
·    “The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants” (Leviticus 25:23).
·    “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)
·    “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11).
·    “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (Psalm 50:10-12).
·    “‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Haggai 2:8).

Why did Jesus say more about how we are to view and handle money and possessions than about any other topic—including both Heaven and Hell, and prayer and faith? Why, because God wants us to recognize the powerful relationship between our true spiritual condition and our attitude and actions concerning money and possessions. Take a look at the chart below as it compares and contrasts two views on wealth and possessions (Jamie Munson, Money).

 

Gratitude

Greed

Attitude

Humility (Phil. 2:3)

Grumbling (Phil. 2:15)

Perspective

Grace: “I am a sinner who deserves death, but Jesus paid the price and gave me his perfect righteousness.”

Entitlement: “I am a good person who deserves heaven—plus a comfortable, pain-free existence in the  meantime.”

Desire

Jesus is enough to satisfy my life.

Jesus is not enough. I want wealth / fame / comfort / power as well.

Money

God gives. Therefore my money is his, and I use it to glorify him.

I earn. Therefore my money is mine, and I use it however I please.

Possessions

Contentment: I have enough

Covetous: I never  have enough

Church

Serve as a member of  God’s family

Be served as  a consumer

Job

Work heartily for the Lord, cultivating thanks for God’s provision (Deut. 8:17; Col. 3:23)

Work begrudgingly for the man, becoming bitter and jealous against others (James 3:16)

Family

A blessing to embrace

A burden to escape

Future

Eternal: optimistic/hopeful (2 Cor. 4:7–9)

Temporal: pessimistic/anxious

 

Notice how different a life is lived from a thankful recognition of God’s gift of wealth to you vs. selfishly clinging to what you have and always desiring more. Desire a life of gratitude, accept nothing less and seek God’s grace to manage His money for your good and His glory.

One more thing, in spite of my dad’s wrong investment advice, he is a hard working man who is crazy frugal, gives generously to his church, and taught me to manage God’s money well. Thanks Bud!

Pastor Phillip




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