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Weekly Bible Verse – Why is it Important to Handle our Finances Well?

June 7, 2010 · Filed Under Weekly Bible Verse · 1 Comment 

And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?  Luke 13:11 (NLT)

I spend too much time thinking about, writing about, and discussing my finances.  You might have the same problem (it’s likely since you are reading a personal finance blog at this very moment!).  My wife often correctly tells me what I should worry less about our finances and trust God more in that area of our life.  Of course, she is correct but I do think that a healthy balance is needed in this area.  In fact, I think this week’s verse underscores the need to be proactive about being a good steward and taking care of your finances.

As it states, if we are “untrustworthy” with our worldly wealth, then we will never be trusted with heavenly riches.  It is therefore not appropriate to simply put our heads in the sand, ignore our finances, spend whatever we want, and then rely on God to make it all balance out at the end of the month (Reminds me of a Tim Hawkins routine: “Father, change the molecular structure of this food, this complete trash we’re about to shove in our gullet.  Change the cheeto into a carrot stick on the way down!”).  Remember that this is Jesus talking in this verse – Jesus Himself is reminding us that we need to be active in managing our finances to prove that we are capable of being entrusted with the “true riches of heaven.”

I would simply caution you not to go overboard and get so focused on money and your finances that they replace God as most important in your life.  Yes, be a good steward and manage your money faithfully, but your main purpose in life should still be to glorify God, not to spend every waking moment reading blogs, fretting about the stock market, and clicking on tweets that contain “get-rich-quick” schemes (oooh, maybe this one is legit)!  Again, accumulating wealth on earth should not be our end goal here;  our main goal is to be faithful to God with our finances to prove we are worthy of being entrusted with the true riches.

God bless and have a great week…

Weekly Bible Verse – Can you be Trusted with Little (and Much)?

September 21, 2009 · Filed Under Weekly Bible Verse · 6 Comments 

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  Luke 16:10 (NIV)

This week’s verse is a nice follow-on to last week’s.  This week we further expound on some of the characteristics of being a good steward.  In this verse Jesus himself discusses the Biblical concept of how being faithful when we are given only a little shows how we will behave when we are given much.

Be a conduit

This verse also explains how God continues to bless those who are faithful more and more.  Think about it this way: I believe that God wants to use those who are faithful to Him in order to further His kingdom.  If every time he blesses you with more, you turn around and give more and more away, you are then a useful conduit of His blessing.  As a result, I feel that He is more likely to continue to bless you more and more as you’ve shown that you are faithful with a little and that you can be “trusted with much.”

Hoarding cuts off your blessing to others and eventually God’s blessing to you

Conversely, if you are wondering why you are not being blessed financially, maybe this verse explains that as well.  Maybe you are not being an effective conduit of God’s blessings.  If you hoard your blessings and as you get more, hoard even more of them, then what point is there for God to continue to bless you.  You are not accomplishing His work and the increased blessing might just stop at some point.  Remember, if you have not been faithful with a little, you are most likely not going to get the opportunity to be faithful with a lot.

Remember, more money does not solve money problems

On a slightly different topic, I think this verse also exposes the fallacy that having more money will solve any money problems you might have.  I firmly believe that if you have money problems when you have very little of it, then having a lot of it will not solve any of those money problems.  In fact, according to this verse, it will just multiply them.  Here’s an example: If you can’t control your spending when you have a little, you won’t be able to when you have a lot either (Don’t believe me?  Check this out).

In summary, don’t worry about all these possibilities of whether you have a little or a lot or whether you will get more or get less in the future.  Instead, focus on being faithful with what you have.  Glorify God through your financial decisions and use your resources, whatever they may be, to advance His kingdom.  God will take care of you and everything else.

God bless and have a great week…

Weekly Bible Verse – Honoring God with Your Wealth

September 14, 2009 · Filed Under Weekly Bible Verse · 4 Comments 

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV)

If you’ve read any Christian personal finance blogs or books lately, you’ve probably heard the term “steward” bandied about quite often (usually with the qualifier “good” in front of it).  So, what does it mean to be a “good steward” of your finances?  Well, there are a number of characteristics that go into being a good steward and I won’t touch on all of them here.  I do feel that today’s verse touches on one very important aspect of being a good steward, allow me to explain…

As the verse states, we are to “honor the Lord” with our financial resources.  In fact, we are to honor Him with the “firstfruits” of our crops (ok, if you’re not a farmer, substitute “income” there).  How can we use our finances to honor God?  What are firstfruits (and why does spell check tell me that’s not really a word?)?

Dedicating money to God’s Kingdom

Well, I think there are a number of ways that we can honor God with our resources.  The most obvious way would be to give some of those resources to organizations or people that are furthering God’s kingdom – like your local church or missionaries or organizations like World Vision, etc.  I do feel there are other things to consider as well such as not squandering your resources, especially on destructive items that certainly do not honor God.

Firstfruits?  But I don’t have an orchard

So, how does the concept of “firstfruits” apply in our current day and age?  I feel that the application lies in the concept of deciding beforehand how much of your income you are dedicating to God and then following through to cheerfully give that money away to support His kingdom.  You’ve probably heard the team “pay yourself first,” well, I think this verse is actually telling us to “give to God first” instead of waiting around and seeing if you have a few bucks left at the end of the month to drop in the offering plate.

Is this a “Prosperity Gospel” thing?

I admit that I have not exhaustively studied the Prosperity Gospel – my understanding is that it purports the mantra that one should give to God so that God is obligated to provide financial blessing back to them.  You can certainly use this verse to bolster your prosperity gospel argument, but I don’t fall into that camp so I’m not going to say that your motivation in giving should be to receive financial blessing back from God.

We are told here to honor God with our wealth and I feel that our motivation for doing so should be to simply support the church and provide means to spread Jesus’ gospel to more and more people.  I think that the reason the second part of this verse is here isn’t to entice you to give money to get more back like some cosmic pyramid scheme.  Rather, I feel it is God speaking to His people about their trust issues – if you are faithful to follow His directives and honor Him with your finances, there is no need to worry for He will take care of you.  I’ve heard numerous stories about people putting their faith forward by giving money to God and then having that money replaced almost miraculously through unexpected means.  God is good, you can trust Him.

God bless and have a great week…

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