Category Archives: Greed

To Walk in Righteousness Is Better Than Chests of Gold

There is often a misconception that the righteous necessarily suffer in this world while evil and wicked men flourish. This is not so. It is good to pause and reflect that living righteously according to the Lord’s instruction also carries much blessing for the current life and not just for eternal life after we die. It is no guarantee for an easy life… that is not guaranteed for any. Quite the opposite. Trials and struggles are promised in this life. But how we navigate these challenges and our attitudes and values for what is important have much influence on whether we experience life with joy and peace or constant striving and struggle. In fact, attitude and values are a much better indicator of someone who will do well in life than just simply possession of wealth. Those who are filled with greed never have enough, never cease striving and find contentment and peace and joy.

It is far better for us to walk in righteousness than to have great monetary treasure.

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

     1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.

      2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.

      3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

      4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

      5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

      6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

      7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of strong men perishes.

      8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.

      9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

      10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.

      11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

      12He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.

      13He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

      14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

      15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

      16A gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.

      17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

      18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

      19He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.

      20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

      21Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.

      22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

      23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

      24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.

      25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

      26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

      27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

      28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

      29He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.

      30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.

      31If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

Read slowly and digest each verse for its full meaning and applicability to your life. Reread it once or twice. Pray for insight from the Spirit. Which path will you choose… righteousness or worldliness and wickedness? How will you let this validate your life choices or lead you to change some?

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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.

Financial Lessons from Jacob?

Sometimes I am amazed where I find insight in God’s word for a given topic. I was reading about Jacob in Genesis. We get insight to see Jacob from beginning to end in his relationship with God. It struck me that like so many of us, as he lives out his life and grew more and more committed to God, He did so quite imperfectly… like all of us who try to serve God.  Genesis 30 documents many mistakes, and the consequences of those mistakes on Jacob and his family. God, however, has not removed His blessing or promise from Jacob and Jacob prospers financially. There are a few important nuggets to consider in his attitude during a tough spot in his life.

Genesis 30:25-43

   25Now it came about when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my own country. 26“Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me depart; for you yourself know my service which I have rendered you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If now it pleases you, stay with me; I have divined that the LORD has blessed me on your account.” 28He continued, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” 29But he said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your cattle have fared with me. 30“For you had little before I came and it has increased to a multitude, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33“So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34Laban said, “Good, let it be according to your word.” 35So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons. 36And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41Moreover, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might mate by the rods; 42but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43So the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys.

Laban realized that he was blessed because of association with Jacob, who serves God. Jacob, despite his mistakes, has been a witness to Laban and Laban wishes him to stay. Before we give Laban too much credit, though, his reason for wanting Jacob to stay is selfish and greedy. He has financially prospered with Jacob. Laban shows no interest in worshipping or serving God or even thanking God.

Jacob, however also realized that he needed to begin investing not only in Laban’s flock but also in preparing for his own household for the future.  Jacob was willing to leave without pay other than the wives (and children) he had agreed to previously… even though Laban’s flocks have clearly prospered under Jacob’s care. Jacob demanded nothing extra, and was willing to leave with only his agreed upon wages (e.g. his wives and children) and God’s promise. He did not demand more than he agreed to just because Laban had prospered. He did not resent Laban and wish him ill because of his success.

However, God made a way for Jacob to prosper from his hard work helping with Laban’s flocks for those fourteen years. When Laban suggests Jacob name his price, Jacob finds wisdom in a solution that meets both his need and Laban’s, so he stays. Jacob tends the flocks and prospers exceedingly.

Each of us should consider…

  • Am I planning responsibly for my future needs and those of my family similar to Jacob?
  • Do I trust God to provide for me, adhering to His principles and values?
  • Do I keep my word and live up to my agreements? or do I demand more from someone just because they prosper from the work I agreed to do?
  • Do I resent someone else’s success or am I satisfied with the wages I agreed to?
  • Of course it is also acceptable when our agreements have concluded to negotiate for better terms in the future based on the quality of our work. If all parties agree, we have a new agreement. If not, we should not resent the other, but just make a different choice to pursue our goals… just as Jacob was willing to leave. At no point did Jacob think of Laban as an enemy.
  • Do I recognize that if / when God blesses his people in financial matters it seldom comes overnight or without hard work, faith, and planning? Jacob, like Abraham before him, trusted God and worked hard over many years to generate his wealth. God blessed his hard work and it was fruitful. God does not reward laziness or lack of faith.

Yes, we can still get much wisdom to apply for our lives by reading and studying the Bible, all of it. I encourage you to spend time every day in God’s word. I have found it to be very fulfilling in my life and my relationship with Jehovah.

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

Consider The Effects of Your Choices on Others

As we read Matthew 17:24-27 we see Jesus’ response when confronted by others to pay a tax (to the temple, not Caesar) from which He is actually exempt. Jesus is very aware of creating a stumbling block for others and puts less emphasis on claiming His right to not pay.

24 On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax[e] came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house.

But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter?[f] Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?[g]

26 “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! 27 However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin.[h] Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

My first observation is that it appears the collectors of the temple tax wasted no time in coming to find new visitors and ask them to pay the tax. There is no record here of a welcome or greeting of any kind but rather the focus is clearly on collecting their money.

Peter is caught off guard and appears to fib when confronted with the situation, as he was not sure how to respond.  It is worth noting, that if the Bible were a false record made up just to convince people Jesus was God then the disciples and followers would not honestly document so many times when they responded in the wrong way and made mistakes. These parts of scripture actually proclaim loudly the truth of the Biblical text.

When he approaches Jesus, likely trying to figure out how to broach the subject, Jesus already knows what happened and brings up the subject Himself. Just one more example indicating He is God and not just man.

At this point it is worth noting that the temple tax was deemed a measure of atonement for sin. As Jesus was free from sin, He could have rightly refused to pay it. Additionally, Jesus makes the point that God does not tax Himself anymore than a King taxes himself and thus Jesus would again be exempt.

However, Jesus was aware that refusing to pay the temple tax may stumble some and discourage them from following Him. The greater purpose directed Him to pay the tax even though He was exempt.

We also see that Jesus could have easily paid the tax without having this discussion with Peter. We see at the end how easily Jesus provided money when needed… and in such a memorable way.  It was not about the money. Jesus wanted to use this as a teachable moment for Peter and His other disciples and eventually all who read the Bible for generations to follow.

Each of us should reflect… when we decide whether or not to do something, do we only consider what is best for us or do we also consider how it may affect others? (e.g. Jesus paid the tax not because He was required to but because He did not want to stumble others.)

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

Are You Digging a Hole, Investing, or Gambling?

There are always a lot of uncertainties in the world. Some may be global political conflict or wars or terrorism. Others may include domestic conflict between political parties with very different views. The world is still recovering from a recession with a lot of interference from central banks keeping interest rates lower than they should remain. You do not hear about it much anymore, but banks are not really back to historical interest rates, which indicates they are still manipulating the markets to the extend they can.

How do you handle your finances in a situation like this? Are you digging a hole, gambling, or investing with your finances?

Digging a hole refers to constantly spending more money than you earn. Even if you are not accumulating debt, if you are not saving money for future emergencies or future planned expenses (e.g. car, house, retirement, etc.) you are actually digging a hole for yourself that gets harder and harder to climb out of as you get older. This principle applies whether world events are volatile or calm. Remember, that if you want to retire someday or even if you have to retire due to medical issues… you may not always be able to continue bringing in new income.  That means that over the long range, you need to save ahead, not dig a hole or even break even paycheck to paycheck.

Gambling reflects those who, often driven by greed, make disproportionately large investments, or bets, on things like oil or a particular stock that they think will make them “rich” if it moves in a particular direction. This approach may be acceptable as a speculative diversification in part of an investment portfolio but the typical investor should never assume any particular investment is “fool proof” and go “all in” on it. Sometimes it will work out, but it may also result in disaster.

A wise investor instead diversifies across multiple investments. He or she is prepared for unexpected moves in value of the investments in short term and long term. The wise investor does not always make the highest return on any one investment, but instead makes a steady and predictable return on investment regardless of circumstances.

So each of us should periodically reflect… “Am I digging a hole? gambling? or investing?”

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

Responding to Hostility and Jealousy

Human nature has not changed in thousands of years. When we experience God’s blessing and succeed, fools will look to  harm to us out of jealousy. The wise will instead seek to understand how we have prospered so they can learn and replicate it. In Genesis 26:12-25, Abimelech becomes concerned by Isaac’s great wealth and commands him to leave. While the situations we may face are likely to be different, the concepts are still similar.

Genesis 26:12-25

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.

Isaac respected Abimelech’s authority and relocated to where Abraham had previously settled. When he dug wells he was met with more adversity and hostility from those nearby who challenged his rights to the water there. Isaac avoided conflict again… and again… and eventually found open space. He gave glory to God. He was not complaining about all the hostility he faced but rather thanking God for providing space for him to occupy.

Later God revealed Himself to Isaac at Beersheba and affirmed the promise to Isaac that was first given to Abraham. Isaac responded by building an altar and worshiping God.

I have a lot of respect for Isaac in that He did not try to react in this situation to hostility with violence. He sought open space to peacefully flourish and God granted it to him. While there are times when it is appropriate to fight, as Abraham demonstrated in Genesis 14,  Isaac demonstrates that there are times when the best response is a peaceful one. In this case Isaac was in someone else’s land under Abimelech and then moving into land near where others already occupied. He avoided a conqueror mentality in both cases. With his great wealth it is reasonable to conclude he could have mustered a significant fighting force. Else, why would Abimelech have been concerned?

God provides many examples in scripture where fighting is appropriate and others where a peaceful solution is best. We should be careful not to gravitate to easily toward a one-size-fits-all  solution of violence or peace and try to fit it to every situation. Instead, we should study God’s word and seek Him in prayer for wisdom in how to respond to adversity and threats in our lives as individuals, families, and nations.

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

Take A Lesson From The Ants

Many times, Biblical wisdom regarding finances is wrapped up and integrated in scripture that speaks broadly to how we should (and should not) live our lives. I like to review and share these passages as they are in that it is very reflective of real life experiences. Often the issues associated with finances are integrated and inseparable from other issues which influence them. For example, earning money is tied to not being lazy. Similarly, treating people the right way, God’s way, may be a part of your financial decisions as opposed to “get more money at all cost” such as taking advantage of others or lying to them.

The wisdom in Proverbs 6 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Please read it slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid reading so fast you can not dwell on the message contained here. Allow God to speak to you for your life and the lives of those you may be able to help.

Proverbs 6

My child,[a] if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
    or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
    and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
    for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
    go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
    Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
    like a bird fleeing from a net.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
    Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
    or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
    gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
    When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
    scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
    no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
    feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
    a person who sows discord in a family.

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
    and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
    Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
    When you sleep, they will protect you.
    When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
    and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
    is the way to life.
24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
    from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
    Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,[b]
    but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
    and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
    and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
    He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief
    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Such a clear and relevant passage, rather than add to it, I encourage you each to read it again, slowly… thinking about each line and how it may apply to you or those you may be able to help.

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

Righteous Attitude Toward Money And Possessions

Jesus speaks to us in Matthew 6:19-34 about a righteous attitude toward money and possessions and also reminds us how important it is that we ensure we are following God’s instruction, God’s light,  to guide our path.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Jesus reminds us that if we focus our time and energy on generating money and possessions in this world, we are focusing on the wrong things. Money and possessions are temporary. They will not last. We can not serve both money and God. One or the other may be our master, but not both.

While it is right to plan for the future, worrying about tomorrow is not helpful. It can not add a single moment to our lives, and if you study the adverse health impacts of stress you come to realize that worry may actually shorten our lives or negatively impact our health. We must put our trust in God… the creator of the universe who loves each of us individually us as a father loves a child.

Jesus reminds us also that those who think they see the light clearly… understand right and wrong… understand God and His will… but do not truly know Him are in trouble. They are in utter darkness, but not even searching for the true light to guide their path for they think they already have it. To ensure we stay connected to God’s will we must anchor our understanding of His character and will in the Bible and have an active, personal prayer life to come humbly before our lord and savior on a regular basis.

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

Strive for God, Not Earthly Rewards

In Genesis 14:17-24 Abram returns from a significant military victory in which he saved his nephew Lot along with other captives and many possessions that were taken as plunder of war. He takes nothing of the plunder for himself. He gives a tithe to Melchizedek, identified as both king and priest, returns the captives and the plunder asking only for the food his troops already ate and a share of the goods recovered for his allies.

17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High,[d] brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
    who has defeated your enemies for you.”

Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.”

22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Abram makes a point to show that he did not fight to get riches. He fought because it was right to do so. It was a righteous battle. He gives to God through the tithe to Melchizedek and asks for some of the goods for his allies. Melchizedek gives praise and honor to God for the victory.

God wants us to follow Abram’s example… to fight righteous battles not for personal gain but to live in accordance with God’s instruction. The battles we are called to fight are not always literal. Many times we are not called to raise sword or spear but rather to speak the truth and stand up for our faith and resist those who wish to silence Christians through fear or persecution. Sometimes it may be choosing those we do business with or vote into political office based on their public demonstration of faith and honoring God instead of someone who is selfish and greedy for power… and helping convince others to do the same.

For those who may be struggling to apply to their lives, consider that often we will have an opportunity to strive for or fight for what God declares to be good and holy. We should do so. We should not look upon every situation as if the prime consideration is “How can I make money in this situation?” but rather “How can I honor God most in this situation?”

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

In God We Trust Indeed… Not In Money

It is far to common that we trust more in our money than in our Creator. Money in the bank helps us feel secure. High salaries help us feel confident and self sufficient. We must be cautious to use money righteously, as a tool, but to trust only in our Father in heaven.

Psalm 49

The Folly of Trusting in Riches.

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

     1Hear this, all peoples;
Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,

      2Both low and high,
Rich and poor together.

      3My mouth will speak wisdom,
And the meditation of my heart will be understanding.

      4I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will express my riddle on the harp.

      5Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,

      6Even those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?

      7No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—

      8For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—

      9That he should live on eternally,
That he should not undergo decay.

      10For he sees that even wise men die;
The stupid and the senseless alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.

      11Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have called their lands after their own names.

      12But man in his pomp will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish.

      13This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words.

Selah.

      14As sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for Sheol to consume
So that they have no habitation.

      15But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me.

Selah.

      16Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;

      17For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
His glory will not descend after him.

      18Though while he lives he congratulates himself—
And though men praise you when you do well for yourself—

      19He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They will never see the light.

      20Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
Is like the beasts that perish.

We all perish. Money will then be worthless, even if we managed to accumulate a bunch of it. Money can not help us enter into the kingdom of heaven. Put your trust in Jehovah, money is but a tool He can use to bless us or a trap Satan can use to tempt us.

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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 .

Prosperity and the Love of Money

Many today preach a false gospel about prosperity. They teach that if you have enough faith  you can command God and use His power to give you a bigger house or more money. For those who study the Bible for themselves this can quickly be recognized as foolishness.

There are plentiful examples of wealthy people who served God such as Abraham, Solomon, and David. As a matter of fact, wealth used to honor God can be a great resource. Great wealth was used to build God’s temple. Wealth can be used to help people around the world and of course to share God’s word.

However, there are even more abundant examples of poor people who served God with great faith, such as the prophets and disciples… and even Jesus Christ Himself.

Luke 9:58

58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

Wealth is not an indicator of someone’s relationship with God.

The love of money on the other hand, when it replaces the love of God, leads many to ruin.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Matthew 6:24 reminds us of the following:

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

It is easy to give lip service and say that we serve God and not money. If you truly reflect on how you live and where you spend your time… would it tell a different answer?

Want to look at it more objectively? Take on a challenge for a week. Without doing anything out of the ordinary in your schedule, keep track of where you spend your time. You can, of course, do this for more than a week. At the end sum up by category where you spent your time putting the most time at the top and the least at the bottom. You will likely see things like “sleeping” near the top and that is ok. You will have “eating” and “TV or internet or online  entertainment” and such. You may have a hobby. Many of us will have jobs to include. Mom’s who take care of their children full time should absolutely give them self credit for the category “taking care of children” for this is one of their most important responsibilities before God. Where in the list does “prayer” show up? Where in the list does “Bible study” show up? How about “rest”, as God commanded us to observe the Sabbath? What about “helping others”?

Do not exclude work from the analysis as a “must do”. How much we do and what job we do are choices and they do compete with the time we can devote toward God. If your work is pleasing to God and honoring His kingdom (e.g. ministry outreach formally or informally in your workplace or mom’s taking care of their kids, etc.) do not feel bad that you spend a significant portion of your time there. If, however, work is only a means to gain an income it may have a different consideration. Ultimately you are the “judge” and you should prayerfully consider what changes you should make rather than get defensive and just rationalize why you are already doing everything right. Consider involving an accountability partner whom you trust and who shares a true faith in Jesus Christ.

You can of course complete a similar activity tracking over the course of a month where you spend your money.

For most of us, the results will make us think and more objectively challenge ourselves on how much time we really devote to what we serve. Do we serve money, our own selfish desires, or God?

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