All posts by John (Manager)

Navigating Budget Leaks: Benjamin Franklin’s Wisdom 🚢

In the vast sea of budgeting, it’s easy to dismiss the significance of small expenses, letting them slip through the financial cracks. Many of us nonchalantly spend $5-10 here and there without considering the cumulative impact. However, at the end of the month, the revelation of these seemingly inconspicuous expenses can be surprising.

Let’s take a simple example: grabbing a $5-10 meal for breakfast and lunch each weekday. That seemingly modest routine can quickly swell to over $200-400/month, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Benjamin Franklin once shared a timeless piece of wisdom that vividly illustrates this financial phenomenon:

“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

Just as a small leak in a boat can spell disaster for even the mightiest ship, those seemingly insignificant expenses have the potential to sink a budget. While it’s prudent to initially focus on trimming the sails of larger expenditures, it’s equally crucial to scan the financial horizon for where these smaller, consistent leaks may be occurring.

Navigating the Financial Seas: Tools and Techniques

Consider using financial management tools like Quicken to diligently track these small expenses. Monthly reflections can reveal surprising patterns and highlight areas where seemingly trivial habits are creating budgetary holes. If using software feels too intricate, a simple review of credit card statements, categorizing and totaling those minor expenses, can provide a clear snapshot of spending habits.

🔍 Patching the Holes: A Call to Action

  1. Awareness is Key:
    • Acknowledge that small leaks can have a significant impact on your budget. Awareness is the first step towards effective financial management.
  2. Track and Analyze:
    • Use tools or manual methods to track small expenses. Whether it’s your morning coffee or a quick snack, documenting these expenditures can shed light on areas for improvement.
  3. Review and Adjust:
    • Regularly review your spending patterns. Identify categories where small expenses accumulate and assess whether adjustments can be made without sacrificing lifestyle quality.
  4. Embrace Change:
    • Small changes in spending habits can yield substantial results. Consider brewing coffee at home, bringing lunch to work, or exploring cost-effective alternatives without compromising enjoyment.

⚓ Safeguarding Your Financial Ship:

Just as a vigilant captain addresses potential leaks to keep their ship afloat, proactively managing small expenses is integral to financial stability. Let Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom serve as a compass, guiding you through the vast seas of budgeting. As you navigate, patch those holes, and ensure your financial ship sails smoothly towards your desired destination. ⚓💰

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Smart Spending: Prioritize the Big, Save Big

Hey savvy savers! 💰✨ When it comes to cutting expenses, it’s not just about clipping coupons or switching to generic brands. Dive into the bigger picture by focusing on major expense categories first.

This approach, known as Pareto analysis, ensures you tackle the areas with the most significant impact on your budget.

🔍 Message: Begin by identifying your major expenses—housing, transportation, and long-term commitments. Remember, owning assets means not just their cost but also maintenance expenses.

Pare down your list, organizing from largest to smallest, and prioritize slashing costs in the bigger categories. Don’t ignore the small expenses, but don’t let them distract you from significant savings in larger areas.

The key is distinguishing between wants and needs. Set your budget based on income and long-term objectives before deciding what you can afford. Avoid the common pitfall of starting with pricey desires and then fitting them into your budget.

💰 Financial Wisdom: Say no to debt! Saving up for significant purchases like a house or car requires discipline and long-term planning, but it saves you a ton in the end. Patience and contentment are virtues that pay off. This goes for credit card debt too—avoid it like the plague. Remember, all you have belongs to God; manage your money His way.

Here are several common areas where families in the USA tend to have high spending:

Housing Costs:

    • Rent or Mortgage: Housing is often the most significant expense for families. Monthly rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners’ association fees, and maintenance costs can add up quickly.

Transportation:

    • Car Payments: Many families have car payments, and with the desire for newer models and additional vehicles, transportation costs can become substantial.
    • Fuel and Maintenance: Beyond the car payment, fuel, insurance, regular maintenance, and unexpected repairs contribute to high transportation expenses.

Healthcare:

      • Insurance Premiums: Health insurance premiums, whether through an employer or independently, can be a major monthly expense.
      • Out-of-Pocket Costs: Co-pays, deductibles, and expenses not covered by insurance can quickly accumulate, especially for families with frequent healthcare needs. 

Education:

        • Tuition and School Fees: For families with children, private school tuition or higher education costs can be a significant financial burden.
        • Education-Related Expenses: Books, school supplies, extracurricular activities, and other education-related costs contribute to the overall spending.

Debt Payments:

    • Credit Card Debt: Families may accumulate credit card debt, and high-interest rates can result in substantial monthly payments.
    • Student Loans: For those who pursued higher education, student loan repayments can be a long-term financial commitment.

It’s important for families to carefully assess these areas and create a budget that allows for necessary expenses while also planning for savings and unexpected costs.

⚖️ Call to Action: Challenge yourself to reevaluate your expenses. Distinguish wants from needs, prioritize the big-ticket items, and resist the allure of debt.

Share your tips and insights in the comments to inspire others on their journey to financial freedom.

💻 Resource: Explore more about managing money God’s way at GrowGodsMoney.org. Let’s cultivate financial wisdom together!

#SmartSpending #BudgetWisdom #FinancialFreedom #ParetoPrinciples

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Gratitude Unbound: A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Step into the melodic verses of Psalm 138, where the psalmist crafts a symphony of gratitude and unwavering confidence in the Almighty. As we traverse these soul-stirring words, let’s explore the power of thanksgiving and the assurance that comes from placing our trust in God, irrespective of our financial position.

Psalms 138

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Favor.

A Psalm of David.

     1I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.

      2I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

      3On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

      4All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

      5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.

      6For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

      7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

      8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Gratitude in All Financial Landscapes:

As we traverse the Psalm 138, let’s recognize the profound message it carries for our diverse financial positions. Whether we find ourselves on the peaks of prosperity or navigating the valleys of modest means, the heart of the psalmist resonates with timeless gratitude.

1. Thankfulness Beyond Wealth:

  • Gratitude isn’t exclusive to financial abundance; it’s a melody that echoes through the humblest of financial circumstances. The psalmist’s words remind us that thanksgiving is a timeless attitude, transcending the size of our bank accounts.

2. Confidence in Provision:

  • Regardless of our financial stature, Psalm 138 encourages us to find confidence in God’s provision. It’s not about the quantity of wealth but the unwavering assurance that our needs are seen, known, and met by a gracious Provider.

3. A Symphony of Contentment:

  • The exaltation of the Lord in this psalm isn’t dependent on opulence. Instead, it underscores the transformative power of centering our hearts on gratitude, finding contentment in the recognition of God’s provision, no matter the scale.

4. Assurance Amidst Financial Challenges:

  • In the face of financial troubles, Psalm 138 offers a profound assurance. It’s a declaration that even in economic challenges, we can find revival, resilience, and salvation in the unfailing hand of the Lord.

Reflecting on Financial Gratitude:

Let Psalm 138 inspire a symphony of gratitude in your life. Take a moment to consider the richness of thanksgiving, not just when the coffers overflow, but especially when navigating the more modest landscapes.

💬 Join the Conversation: Share your reflections on gratitude for God’s provision by commenting below.

How do you cultivate thankfulness in your financial journey, no matter the peaks or valleys?

Let’s harmonize our hearts in gratitude and inspire one another.

As we navigate Psalm 138, may our hearts resonate with gratitude, confident in the enduring provision of our faithful Provider. 🎶💰

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Life’s Brevity, Eternal Focus: What Truly Matters

As we immerse ourselves in our daily routines and accomplishments, let’s pause to consider the wisdom in prioritizing eternal significance over temporal success.

In the hustle and bustle of our earthly lives, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture—our lives on this earth are but a fleeting moment in the grand scope of eternity.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the eternal impact we can have by helping others find Christ and by focusing our decisions to pursue the things of God, shifting our focus from worldly pursuits to heavenly priorities.

📖 Psalm 39, penned by David, serves as a poignant reminder of life’s brevity. “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be,” he implores, recognizing the fleeting nature of our existence. In a world where we heap up wealth without knowing who will spend it, where our busy rushing often ends in nothing, the psalmist anchors his hope in the Lord.

In the midst of life’s turmoil and the constant pursuit of more, let’s be intentional about seeking contentment and balancing our pursuit of money with God’s call for how we should live. The psalmist echoes this sentiment in verse 7, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

Psalm 39

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of David.

1I said to myself, “I will watch what I do

and not sin in what I say.

I will hold my tongue

when the ungodly are around me.”

2But as I stood there in silence—

not even speaking of good things—

the turmoil within me grew worse.

3The more I thought about it,

the hotter I got,

igniting a fire of words:

4“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.

Remind me that my days are numbered—

how fleeting my life is.

5You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;

at best, each of us is but a breath.”

Interlude

6We are merely moving shadows,

and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.

We heap up wealth,

not knowing who will spend it.

7And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?

My only hope is in you.

8Rescue me from my rebellion.

Do not let fools mock me.

9I am silent before you; I won’t say a word,

for my punishment is from you.

10But please stop striking me!

I am exhausted by the blows from your hand.

11When you discipline us for our sins,

you consume like a moth what is precious to us.

Each of us is but a breath.

Interlude

12Hear my prayer, O Lord!

Listen to my cries for help!

Don’t ignore my tears.

For I am your guest—

a traveler passing through,

as my ancestors were before me.

13Leave me alone so I can smile again

before I am gone and exist no more.

🙏 Take a moment to prayerfully consider your priorities. Reflect on how you spend your time, energy, money, and talent. Is the majority dedicated to honoring God and furthering His kingdom, or is it invested in building your own through work or family? Are you standing firm on God’s unchanging values, or are you swayed by the ever-shifting opinions of the world?

💡Share your reflections in the comments. Let’s encourage each other to align our lives with the eternal priorities that truly matter.

Tag someone who may benefit from this reminder and let’s embark on this journey together!

⚓  As we navigate life’s brief moments, may we not delay in submitting to and obeying God. The only things that will truly matter at the end of our lives are whether we personally submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the impact we had in furthering God’s kingdom on earth. Let’s make every moment count!

#EternalSignificance #KingdomLiving #PrioritiesInChrist #HeavenlyPerspective

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Stewardship: A Divine Perspective on Finances

Hey everyone! 💰✨ We all understand the importance of responsible resource management. We wouldn’t hand over our checkbooks without a second thought, expecting others to spend without aligning with our values and purposes. So, why do we sometimes struggle to grasp that God cares deeply about how we handle the resources He entrusts to us?

💡Just like we manage our businesses and families with purpose, God desires us to steward His blessings in a way that aligns with His will. Let’s dive into the divine perspective on finances.

💼 Whether it’s a company or a family, limited resources require careful management. We appreciate those who use resources wisely and correct those who do not. Consider your own checkbook – would you hand it over without caring how it’s spent? God cares about how we manage all aspects of our lives, including our finances.

God’s ownership of everything is emphasized in Psalm 24:1, stating, “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” Just as a business owner entrusts their possessions to employees, God entrusts us with His resources, expecting us to steward them faithfully.

In Luke 20:21-25, Jesus reminds us to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Our financial decisions are a reflection of our submission to God’s authority. In Proverbs 3:9-10 and Malachi 3:10, we’re encouraged to honor God with our wealth and tithes, experiencing blessings when we do.

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 reinforces the importance of faithful stewardship. The master rewards those who use their talents wisely and rebukes the one who hides his. It’s a powerful reminder that God expects us to invest, not hoard, the resources He provides.

💬 Friends, have you submitted all your finances to be stewarded on behalf of God, or are you holding back for personal purposes? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Share your experiences and reflections on managing your resources to further the kingdom of God.

🌱 Invitation: Take a moment to reflect on your financial decisions. Are they aligned with God’s principles? Share your insights and tag someone who could benefit from this divine perspective on stewardship.

Let’s encourage each other on this journey of responsible and purposeful financial management!

#DivineStewardship #FaithfulFinances #GodsResources #KingdomBuildingWealth

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Vote Wisely: This Decision Could Impact Your Income By 10-20% Or More

What if I told you that a single decision could impact all of your earning potential, savings, and investing by 10-20% or more? A wrong decision moves toward reducing your income, and a good decision moves toward increasing your income. You would immediately want to know what it was and how to learn more about it.

In the United States of America, we have the honor of voting in elections to select who takes many of our public offices at the local, state, and national levels. Elections have consequences and voting matters… a lot!

Our country was founded by Christians who were seeking freedom to worship God freely and Biblically, out from under any tyrannical rule of a king. Freedom was important… and so often not truly achieved.

It is very important to understand that the USA was not founded as a democracy, in which a majority of people can vote for whatever they want, including taking the wealth and possessions of the minority. Instead, God guided our founding fathers to establish a wonderful form of government known as a constitutional republic.

We do in fact participate in voting to elect representatives to the national government, but just as important is the US Constitution, which is in place to limit the power of the national government. The intent was to have a small national government doing the bare minimum (such as providing for the common defense… that’s the military) and not getting involved in impinging on the freedom of the states and the people.

Now we have a huge, stifling, mass of national government bureaucracy that tells us even how much water our toilet can flush and what kind of light bulbs we must use or cannot use.  We have fallen a long way and given up much freedom. The Constitution is constantly under attack from those who wish to redefine it and consider it a “living document”, which means essentially… “as long as we can get judges to say it means something else, then it does”. This approach is wrong.  The founders put in place a management of change process for the Constitution… and it is not simply getting people in black robes to say it means something else today than it did a few hundred years ago. It is called constitutional amendments. The process has been used many times, but not recently. The Constitution means what it says until we follow the process to change it. That is the only way to protect the individual rights of the people and the founding fathers knew it! It is supposed to be hard to change!

Not only does the national government continue to grow and impinge on personal liberty, but it continues to spend money it does not have at an increasingly alarming rate… on things it should not be involved in managing and does not manage well. To pay for this, the national government always says we need to spend more money on more government programs and raise taxes or go so far into debt we will never get out. Even if they print enough money to pay off the debt, the money we have will fall in value because of the extra money printed. Our purchasing power plummets! If a business was run this way, the same government would probably throw the business leader in jail.

America was founded as a land of opportunity! Those who work hard can improve their family’s standard of living over multiple generations or sometimes even in a single generation. This is harder and harder to do as the government gets bigger and taxes more and puts in place more regulations and more burdens like healthcare programs for which they have no constitutional authority, despite what a ruling of the Supreme Court may say.

Elections have consequences.   It all ends up affecting your ability to earn income with liberty, to keep what you earned rather than giving it to a government to waste, to save and invest freely and rely on God and the talents He gave you rather than relying always on the national government.

For those who want to get everything for free with someone else’s money… there is not enough of “someone else’s money” to pay for everything you want you will always be beholden to the national government to get by. You basically make yourself a voluntary dependent (e.g. like a child) of the government. On the other hand, many of us want to keep our freedom and the fruits of our labor. We want a small national government and a return to the protection of our personal liberty provided by the US Constitution. We trust in God and ourselves to work hard and get ahead. If we fail, we own it, and we get back up and try again. We don’t expect someone else to always pay our bills or cover our mistakes. We are accountable to God for how we use what He has given us in this life, whether time, talent, or treasure.

I encourage active participation in elections, not only by voting but also by influencing those around you. Research the truth. Do not trust what politicians say, but rather judge by the fruit of their lives as the Bible instructs us. Do not be lazy and believe what TV network news shows tell you, for they are decidedly leaning toward big national government and less individual freedom. The same is true for most social media sites today. Instead, seek out the truth diligently on the internet. Search out confirmation from multiple time-tested, reliable news sources. (You can’t trust everyone’s blog, either.) We are to test everything and discern truth from lies. If someone is constantly changing positions when it suits them, then you know they have no principle. They are political chameleons, and you cannot trust them except to look out for their own best interests. If they are honest but their plans will bankrupt our country worse than today… you may be able to trust them, but you are voting for disaster and loss of freedom. Look for those whose past actions and accomplishments line up with what they say and line up with what God’s word says. Seek those who strongly support the protection of individual rights provided by the Constitution… for ultimately it is your rights they protect!

How much harder it is to manage your personal finances when the government always takes more and more from what you earn, what you spend, what you invest, and even what you own when you die! What good is it to earn and save and invest if the government can just come and take what they want from whom they want?

Elections have consequences. Get involved today and don’t stop trying to influence your elected officials once they get into office. Remain engaged!

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

A Biblical Approach to Jealousy Around Financial Success

Hey friends! 👋✨ Have you ever felt the sting of jealousy or faced adversity when things started going well in your life? It’s not a new phenomenon, and the Bible has some profound wisdom on how to handle such situations, especially in the realm of personal and business finances.

In Genesis 26:12-25 (included at the end of the article), we find Isaac, a man blessed by God, facing jealousy and hostility for his prosperity. But instead of retaliating, Isaac’s journey holds valuable lessons for us on managing success and financial blessings with grace.

Human nature hasn’t changed over the centuries. When God blesses us, jealousy may stir up adversity. Isaac’s story teaches us that fools may harm us out of envy, but the wise seek to understand and replicate our success.

Isaac, despite facing adversity, respected authority, and relocated peacefully. He encountered challenges when digging wells, yet he avoided conflict and found open space to flourish. Rather than complaining about hostility, he thanked God for providing room for him.

Isaac’s response to adversity was not violent; he sought peaceful solutions, giving glory to God. His example reminds us that while there are times for fighting (as Abraham showed), there are also moments when a peaceful response is the best way forward. Isaac’s posture wasn’t that of a conqueror, despite his wealth, demonstrating the power of seeking peaceful solutions.

Friends, let’s reflect on Isaac’s approach. In managing our personal and business finances, let’s seek God’s wisdom.

Share your thoughts in the comments about how you’ve navigated financial blessings or adversities in your life and share this post with someone who might find it helpful.

Let’s encourage one another on this journey of applying God’s word to our finances! 🌱💰

#BiblicalFinances #ProsperityWithGrace #WisdomInWealth #FaithAndFinances

Genesis 26:12-25 records that Isaac was living in Philistine land. Jealousy of others toward the success of Isaac (due to God’s blessing) drives conflict which ultimately leads to Isaac’s departure from the area.

12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.

16 Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”

17 So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18 He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.

19 Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20 But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21 Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22 Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”

23 From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24 where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

If Anyone Is Not Willing To Work, Then He Is Not To Eat Either

Paul provided clear counsel in 2 Thessalonians 3 to address those who refuse to work and try to live in sloth off the hard work of others. If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. God does not want us to be lazy and be a burden on others, even if they are willing to support us.

      6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

      14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Receiving and giving help in times of emergency or exceptional hardship for those who are genuinely trying to work and provide for themselves, to the extent they are able, is good. However,  it is wrong for people to live in sloth, burdening others indefinitely without being willing to work themselves.

This principle applies today for all those who are taking money from government. The government does not have its own money. It takes money from others who earned it on the basis of their own hard work… and it does so typically against their will. God never intended for people to be dependent on the government, but rather on God. When we filter help through the government, we even take away the premise of thankfulness and voluntary giving in God’s name. Instead people perceive it as their right to receive someone else’s money. It encourages them to continue as a dependent of “free” money. It discourages hard work and self sufficiency.

Work hard and earn your keep. Do not be a burden on others when you are able to work by choosing not to do so.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit

Do You Serve Money or Does It Serve You?

We can learn a lot about someone’s character by observing them in times of grief or opportunity. In Genesis 23, we see the godly character of Abraham as he seeks to bury his wife, Sarah. He serves God rather than money. Money is a tool for him. We should learn from his example.

      1Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4“I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” 5The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6“Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.” 7So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. 8And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site.” 10Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth; even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11“No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” 12And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. 13He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me that I may bury my dead there.” 14Then Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15“My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

      17So Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, which faced Mamre, the field and cave which was in it, and all the trees which were in the field, that were within all the confines of its border, were deeded over 18to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field at Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave that is in it, were deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth.

Reviewing Abraham’s actions at this difficult time reveals some important points to consider that can impact your finances:

  • The Hittites had great respect for Abraham even though He distinguished himself as a man who followed God and was a foreigner in their land. They worshipped other gods.
  • Abraham showed respect for the Hittites despite their different beliefs. This does not mean he agreed with them or participated in their false religion.
  • Abraham was not afraid to openly ask for help.
  • Abraham, though wealthy, was not greedy. He refused the opportunity to take advantage of the offer of receiving the land for free. He did not even haggle. Further, he avoided any possible appearance of wrong by conducting business in the open with witnesses.

As Christians, we can strive to follow Abraham’s example in dealing with non-Christians. For those who are not openly hostile and seeking to kill Christians, we can conduct business with them and show them proper respect. We treat them as someone God loves and someone whom we would love to reach with the good news of the gospel.  However, we do not hide our faith. We openly live so as to show that we follow and serve God. Our behavior and attitudes should differentiate us clearly from those who do not follow God.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Who Is Blessed, and Who Should Take Caution?

To those who do not know the LORD or walk in relationship with Him, this message may seem like foolishness. However, it is based on sound doctrine from the Bible. We should not overlook the importance of God’s blessing on us as His followers, nor His cautions. Whether we are blessed and rich, blessed and poor, or blessed and somewhere in between it is important to seek His blessing. But remember, blessing does not always translate to “rich”, and “rich” does not always translate to happiness and joy and fulfillment.

Luke chapter 6 records some rich and deep teaching from our Lord, Yeshua. While we always want to read in context (e.g. read the whole chapter(s) rather than picking a verse here and there), I want to make sure we don’t breeze over some of this rich teaching by putting too much in one article. Sometimes we get distracted to read through the whole section of scripture for the day and lose the opportunity to pause and prayerfully reflect on what it means and how it applies to us.

Luke 6:20-26

The Beatitudes

     20And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. 24“But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25“Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

Clearly this is an example where God’s ways are not our ways! The logic seems upside down by man’s values. Who wants to be poor? hungry? filled with sorrow? scorned and insulted? Who does not want to be rich and well liked?

Let us first point out that this does not mean you can’t have relationship with the LORD and go to heaven if you are rich. Abraham was rich, as just one quick example. Let us also consider “poor” from the perspective of “poor in spirit”.

Have you considered that those who are poor, hungry, and sorrowful are perhaps not “self-sufficient”. They know they need help. They know they cannot figure it all out on their own.  The poor in spirit know they are not good enough on their own. They need a savior. This attitude can often help set them up to truly submit to the LORD or submit more fully. They “have nothing to lose” and recognize they need help from one who is wiser.

On the other hand, many who are rich and content may focus more and more on being self-sufficient and less on relying on God. This increases risk of not having a deeply connected relationship with the LORD. Additionally, the LORD wants to be first in their life. Many who are rich have at times gotten their wealth through pursuit and prioritization of money over other things (not always! money is not inherently bad, just the love of money). They would have to submit to the LORD and serve Him rather than money. If they are not “poor in spirit”, they may have a hard time to recognize that they are not good enough on their own and that they need a savior.

I wanted to close with what serves as both encouragement and rebuke. We should all ask ourselves… “are we scorned for Jesus?” Do our co-workers, friends, and family even know we submit to Him. Do we put Him first? Do we choose His ways over even popular cultural and family traditions? Have we changed our lives based on our relationship with Him, even though it causes tension with others?

I pose that in most cases if we experience no conflict on behalf of our relationship with Christ, then perhaps we need to evaluate if we are truly representing Him and His teaching to the world. If people around us can’t tell we follow Jesus, then perhaps we are not actually fully submitted to Him… or we are just hanging out with a small group of believers and not bringing the gospel to others… which again comes back to not being fully submitted to Him.  He commands us to share the gospel with the world. Don’t kid yourself about churches being perfect either. Even within a church, if you are living for Christ according to Biblical principles and willing to be different and change, you will find yourself being set apart in some ways from others who are in your church. When you change visibly in the name of God, it is amazing how others come forward to pull you back as if your choice to change your life for God has made them uncomfortable because you are living different from them. They don’t want to change or feel guilty, so they must convince themselves, sometimes others, maybe you that you are wrong.

Pray for the Spirit to lead you. Follow the Spirit and God’s written word in the Bible. Test everything against this. Do not just accept as fact the traditions of men or churches.

22“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.


Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.