Richie rich

September 19, 2015

Treasure after

Financial advice comes from everywhere. At the bookstore in the mall we can find plenty of books telling us how to earn more or how to invest or save better. We also get abundant advice from those who tell us how to spend our money. It’s called advertising. Or the pressure to spend comes from what our peers have. And if we are involved in the religious world of churches and ministry organizations we also hear a plethora of voices telling us where we should give our money.

 

But the most persuasive financial advice we get is the voice in our own head. Somewhere in the process of growing up we develop our own private financial philosophy. Our personal values are shaped by parents perhaps, but also learned by experience. Our financial mistakes made life unpleasant or maybe we experienced financial windfalls or had doting benefactors. But each experience marked our thinking. Altogether that brought us to what we now believe and value about money and material possessions.

 

Unfortunately there’s a universal flaw usually lurking in our well tuned and often defended ideas. The flaw is that our ideas about money usually boil down to “what I think is best for me.” Selfishness hides in every financial decision we make. I take a certain job because I think it’s the best for me in my situation. I buy what I buy because I want to enjoy it. I refrain from buying other things because it leaves me more money to do what I value more or gives me more security later. Even the money I give away is usually selfishly motivated. Giving either makes me either feel good or look good or a combination of both plus a tax benefit.

 

Could it be that our view of money is all about me? If there is another way to live, it will mean another way to think.

 

How God thinks about money

 

Before Larry Burkett became a leading voice in the Christian world on the subject of money and material things, he was a Christian businessman who happened to lead a Bible study. One night he stated at the study that he had found over 100 verses about money. Someone responded by arguing that God was not that interested in the subject of our money. So Larry dug into the Bible and came back armed with over 700 verses highlighted about money in the Bible and started to organize them. Crown Financial Ministries now says that there are actually about 2,350 verses on finances and possessions in the Bible. That is more verses – more material – than all 13 letters in the New Testament that Paul wrote! God obviously cares about our view of possessions to instruct us that much about it.

 

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). He is saying that what we do with our money and our possessions reveals our real priorities. It’s that simple. So what we study in these pages is not secular or non-spiritual. God is talking to us about a spiritual thermometer – a way to measure what is really going on in our heart with God.

A good place to begin a study of the subject of money and material things is Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” We learn here as the Bible opens that God owns everything because He created everything

 

David wrote, (Psalms 24:1-2) “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; {2} for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” If God made it, He owns it.

 

God made the whole earth so it’s all his. He then put man in it and gave Adam the first job – to rule over the animals and to tend the garden. As their salary Adam and Eve could eat of anything in the garden – except one tree of course.

 

Like Adam and Eve, we were also created by God. We have been given food by God. We have been given a place to live by God. We belong to God along with everything we think is ours. It’s all God’s stuff!

 

It was a great garden residence that God gave Adam and Eve. The garden even had gold and other valuables (Genesis 2:10-12). But anything they “had” really must not have been theirs. We know that because when they sinned, they were driven from the garden and didn’t take anything with them (Genesis 3:24).

 

They lived in God’s garden and enjoyed God’s food gifts and everything else, but it was all God’s. Because of sin, they lost access to it all.

 

If we have ever lost our job, gone bankrupt, watched our portfolio shrink, had something repossessed, or ever been forced to down-size or sell off, we should have learned that everything belongs to God. He creates wealth and anything else He gives us to use, but none of it is really our possession. If it can be taken away, it’s not ours.

Job 1:21English Standard Version (ESV)

21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Do you want to know if you are maturing as a Christian? One simple test is when things are taken from you, you immediately think of that verse and you praise God instead of whine.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Lindsay L. heart problems, and pray that he slows down and learns to relax.

 

Pray for Joann F, her cataract surgery did not go well and now she has to wait several week and then go through the surgery again.

 

Pray for Lisa, 16 and pregnant, and is going to have the baby, she has very little support and needs our prayers.

 

 

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