Tag Archives: money

Finding Financial Freedom PART 2

Do you ever find that you have more month than money?
• Would you like to get out of debt?
• Would you like to not have credit card payments hanging over your head and dragging out for months or years?
• Would you like to be able to buy anything you need at any moment?
• Would you like to be able to help others in need ($1000) as soon as you see the need?
• Would you like to be able to retire from “income work” and have time to do “ministry work” in your retirement years?
What is your story concerning finances?
Personal Financial Discipline Honors the Lord.

We need Principles of Stewardship instilled in our financial and living choices.
Principle #1. “It all Belongs to God.”
• Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for ________ the earth is mine:
• Psalm 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Principle #2. “I Am A Steward.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

  • Be Faithful.
    Luke 16:10 He that is ____________ in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
    Steward = oikonomos, oy-kon-om’-os = a house-distributor (i.e. manager), or overseer, i.e. an employee in that capacity; by extension, a fiscal agent, treasurer.” -Strongs

God trusts us to some things in life. He adds more to those who are more trustworthy.

BTW: Not all blessings are measured in tangible physical things.

  • Be Fruitful. Tithe.
    Giving to God first is like planting finances to grow for the future.  This is an Old Testament concept that pre-dates the Law. Malachi 3:10 _____________ ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a _____________________, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

When we believe principle #1 – “it all belongs to God” it is easier to practice.
Malachi 3:8 Will a man ________ God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In _______________ and offerings.

BTW: We still follow the civil law of the OT. The ceremonial law, and the laws indicating salvation, we do not follow. The practical law still works.

  • Tithes are Expanded on in New Testament
    Matthew 5:21. Hate is like murder.
    Matthew 5:28. Lusting is same as adultery.
    The idea is that the “Spirit of the Law” and the attitude with which one follows the Bible teaching is more important than the “letter of the Law.”  That would indicate that 10% is a great place to start with the “spirit of tithing and giving.”

That is why 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a __________________ giver.”

Principle #3. Money is Temporary.
Take a moment to read Matthew 6:19-20.  1 Timothy 6:17 says, Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in __________________ riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

Principle #4. Eternal Investments Can be Made.

God Does Not Need Your Money.  Please read Psalm 50:7-13

You Need the Financial Discipline that Tithes and Offerings Provide. Psalm 50:14-15.

There is a difference between controlling your money or allowing money to control you! God does not reprove His people for bringing the offering, but for thinking that they were doing God a favor, or helping Him out with the offering. God does not want your money – He wants your heart! Love Him more than money!  We bring tithes and give offerings, not because God depends on us – but because we depend on God!

“The story is told of a man who was asked, “Are you a believer in the Christian religion?”
“Oh, certainly!” “You are a member of some church, then, I suppose?”
“Member of a church? No, indeed. Why should I be a member of a church? It is quite unnecessary; the dying thief wasn’t a member of a church, and he went to Heaven.”
“But of course you have been baptized; you know the command—”
“Been baptized? Oh, no; that is another needless ceremony! I am as safe as the dying thief was, and he never was baptized.”
“But surely, since you will not join a church or be baptized, you will do something in acknowledgment of your faith. You will give of your means—you will help the cause in some way?”
“No, sir; I do nothing of the kind. The dying thief—”
“Let me remark, my friend, before you go any further, that you seem to be on pretty intimate terms with the dying thief. You seem to derive a great deal of consolation from his career. But, mind you, there is one important difference between you and him. He was a dying thief—and you are a living thief.”” -Min127

Luke 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Check out Luke 12:13-21.

 

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Finding Financial Freedom PART 1

Finding Financial Freedom.  PART 1
Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. Psalm 62:10

“A father gave his little girl two dollars and said, “You can do anything you want with one of the dollars, but the other dollar belongs to God.” With joy she ran to the candy store. On the way she tripped and one dollar fell into the storm drain. She got up and said, “Well Lord, there goes Your dollar.” -Min127
Last time, we learned in 1 Peter about our inheritance and tremendous wealth we have in Jesus. Sadly, we can be so focused what we do not have (by way of material things) that we lose sight of how the Lord has blessed us.
Others are not good stewards of what God has entrusted. I would like to bring a message today to help you go beyond “scratching out” a living and living “pay check to pay check.”
These Bible principles when faithfully followed will change your financial situation and enable you to use your earthly money for heavenly good.

Making more money is not the issue…
“A very large number (78%) of former NFL players are broke or financially stressed after retirement, and 60% of former NBA players go broke five years after retiring, according to Sports Illustrated.”

They go on to say: “Broke athletes are practically an epidemic.”  The following data is quoted from: http://www.businesspundit.com/25-rich-athletes-who-went-broke/26/

Evander Holyfield
4-time Heavyweight Champion of the World

Estimated lifetime earnings: $250 million
He had a deal with Diet Coke, a video game, the “Real deal” record label, the “Real Deal” grill, and appeared in numerous TV appearances and 3 films. Then, there was the dancing thing. One wonders how Holyfied had time to lose money. The answer: Children. Holyfield fathered 11 of them.
“I’m not broke; I’m just not liquid,” 45-year-old Holyfield claimed when he narrowly avoided charges that he was around $9,000 behind in court-ordered child support payments. The banks foreclosed on his $10 million-dollar home. Even a landscaping firm says the former champ owes them $500k for yard work. Ever since Tyson bit his ear off, it seems everyone wants a piece of the Champ.

 

Johnny Unitas
Hall of Fame quarterback, 3-time MVP, Superbowl champion, 10-time Pro Bowl selection

Estimated lifetime earnings: $4 million

Widely considered one the best pro football QBs of all time, Johnny Unitas set several records that may never be beaten on the football field, like 47 games with a touchdown pass in a row.
He starred in professional football before salaries were measured in millions. His yearly contracts ranged from $7,000, his first in 1956 with the Colts, to $250,000 plus a $175,000 bonus in his last one with the San Diego Chargers in 1973.
After his playing days, he made some money as a TV commentator for CBS. He also invested in tanked business ventures, including a chain of bowling establishments, a prime-rib restaurant, an air-freight company, and Florida real estate investment. He and his wife, Sandra Unitas, filed for personal bankruptcy protection in 1991 after investing in a failed Reisterstown circuit-board manufacturer. He died 11 years later with a lawsuit from his estate hanging over all of his businesses.

Scottie Pippen
All Star, 6 NBA championships

Estimated lifetime earnings: $120 Million
Pippen unsuccessfully sued his former law firm for losing $27 million of his money through poor investments. (He had earned about $110 million in salary alone over a 17-year career.) In February 2007—around the same time as Pippen’s failed NBA comeback attempt—the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that the player owed U.S. Bank more than $5 million in principal, interest and attorneys’ fees from a dispute regarding a Grumman Gulfstream II corporate jet that he had purchased in 2001.

Latrell Spreewell
Four-time NBA All Star; last played for the Timberwolves

Estimated lifetime earnings: $50 million
This 13-year NBA veteran turned down the Timberwolves’ $21 million offer to extend his contract for three years because the sum was too low. A mere three years later, federal agents repossessed Sprewell’s yacht, on which he still owed $1.3 million. That was just the beginning. In early 2008, Sprewell defaulted on a $1.5 million mortgage, lost his home to foreclosure, stopped paying his motorsports’ company’s bills, and then defaulted on another home loan, this one worth $10 million.

Michael Vick
#1 overall pick NFL Draft, 3x Pro Bowl QB for the Atlanta Falcons

Estimated lifetime earnings: More than $130 million

Mike Tyson
Undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world, youngest man to ever win the WBC, WBA and IBF Heavyweight Titles. First man to win 12 of his first 19 fights in the first round by KO.

Estimated lifetime earnings: $300-400 million
At one point, Tyson was worth less that $700 dollars. But his situation has improved. He appears to be doing well in recovery for drug and alcohol problems.

(Data quoted from: http://www.businesspundit.com/25-rich-athletes-who-went-broke/26/)

Financial discipline is needed, no matter how much money you make.

Come back next week for the next article…

 

 

 

 

 

I Missed the Conference

I Missed The Conference

Red face. Swollen brow. My left eye was nearly swollen shut.  It was somewhat difficult to breath. The headache was paralyzing.  “You look terrible.” My doctor said to me Monday morning.  I appreciate it when my medical doctors are straight up with me.  “Take this medicine and you will be better in 3-4 days.”  I would rather be “better” in 20 minutes, but I was grateful.

That night was our Mission Conference.  I fought through the pain the previous day or two, but after several nights of not sleeping well and with the eye still swollen and headache still pounding, I knew I was a “no go” for the conference.

I do not recall ever missing one of our church missions conference.  Never. Ever.  Even as a young person, it was a priority in our home to be at every church service and every church event.  Our parents were faithful to see us be involved in church.

Missions conference holds many special memories in my mind as a young person.  The kid’s conferences, meeting the missionaries from around the world, and seeing the pastor call “all those willing to serve as missionaries” to come to the front so we could have a word of prayer.

As I have been reflecting on the message I heard Dr. Scott Caudill deliver on Tuesday night (I was well enough to attend) I began thinking of a verse he referenced, Matthew 6:21, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Of course, the context of what Jesus is speaking is dealing with money and stuff.  It applies to our time and talent as well.

Because my parents placed their treasure in the things of God; church, missions conference, youth group, etc. they made sure that their sons were at these events and services.  Ball games, piano practice, art class, overtime at work, and other stuff (even school) were not more important than the church stuff.  This made a difference in my life.  Their “Treasure” eventually was where their heart (and where my heart also) ended up – invested in the things of God.

Check out this verse again, “Where your treasure is…”  Before the heart is moved, the treasure is already in it’s place.  The heart catches up to where the treasure is.  It does not say “Love God with your heart and then your treasure will be at the right place.”

No, Jesus is saying, “Put your treasure in the right place and then your heart will be in the right place.”  There is a big difference in this approach.

Where is your treasure today?  I can’t believe I missed a mission conference service!  I feel like the sickness “Providentially Hindered” me from attending on Monday.  That said, most of the time, when my treasure is not in the right place it is my personal choices and my own decisions that hinder me.  Believe me, I know we can’t be at everything the church offers, but shouldn’t I make an attempt?  At least for the Mission of the Gospel?  We have no reason for living were it not for the Gospel.  I don’t expect everyone to be at everything.  But what about your treasure?  Where is it today?  When you find your treasure – you will find where your heart truly is.

Be encouraged today to put your treasure in the right place.  Only then will your heart be in the right place.

 

 

 

 

God’s Desire for Missions

With our annual missions conference starting Saturday, I thought I would search out several Scriptures that indicate God’s Desire for Missions.  God’s heartbeat should be the heart beat of His church.  The most important indicator of any churches vital signs (indicating good or poor health) is it’s pulse for missions and Gospel witness.

Psalm 67:2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

Isaiah 42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.

Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

These 10 Scriptures give us a glimpse of the will of God for the Gospel to go into all the world.  The Lord uses His people to take His Word and Gospel message to other people.  If you are saved, the Lord used a person to either talk to you, preach to you, hand you a tract or Bible, or you found a Bible or Gospel tract that a person printed.

God can use you to give the Gospel in your local community.  The Lord can use you in global missions too.  Prayer for and giving to missionaries through your church will honor the Lord, help Gospel preachers, and will plant the Seed of the Word into the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, all around the world.

Do you have the same heart beat of God?  Are you doing your part to see the Gospel propagated throughout the world?

The “Value Equation”

The “VALUE EQUATION” 

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10

More money and more stuff that money can buy will not satisfy the deepest needs of your heart.  Because we tend to overvalue money and stuff, we can get caught into bad spending habits.  Today, please consider the God given stewardship He has entrusted to you.

How much is money worth to you?  How much are the items you buy worth to you?  What value do you place on the new TV, Phone, Car, etc.???

We can work the math to determine our money and materialistic values.  The “Value Equation” takes into account how much money you make per hour and then divides the total cost of the item you hope to purchase to then tell you how many hours you need to work to buy that item.  For example:

Suppose you make $15 per hour and work 40 hours per week.

Let’s say a new TV will cost $640. You make: $15 an hour.  (Divide cost of item by hourly wage.)

How many hours does it take you to buy the TV?  42.6 hours of work or nearly a full week of work.  That is how you determine value.  Is the TV worth it?  Should you save up a little longer?  Should you wait for the TV to go on sale or consider a different model?  Are discount codes and coupons worth looking for and using this purchase?

Have you ever said “It is only $5?”  That is about 20 minutes of work (at $15/hour).  Looking at money and value this way will help you make better fiscal decisions.

A new iPhone is $800.  800/15 = 53.3.  It will take a person 53.3 hours of work to be able to buy an iPhone.  Factor in all the other real needs you have and the iPhone may not be worth 6 long days of work to.

Remodeling a room in your house? Let’s say a new remodel is $3000.  That is 200 hours of work or 5 weeks of work (at $15/hour and 40 hours per week). Again, the power, gas, and water bill must be paid and you still must eat each day and feed your family.  Consider the insurance bill comes every 6 months and the house payment is a big portion of your budget.  It may be a good idea to save up a little longer to do the remodel.

IF Christians understood the value of money, while learning not to love money, we would become better stewards of the money God has entrusted to us.  “How much is it?” is not the best question to ask.  “How much do I value it?” is better. Greater still, “Is this what God would have me to purchase?” Ask the Lord to help you become better disciplined with His finances.

 

 

 

Selah

Selah

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. Psalm 24:10

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.  Psalm 39:5

Let the following story sink in and may it rearrange the priorities and worries of your mind today:

“A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

The young boy was apologetic. “Please, mister, please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop” With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!”  (min127)

Don’t be so busy with life that you fail to let God have your attention.  The Bible term “Selah” means to “stop and think.”  We need to pause to pray.  We need to stop and read the Bible.  We need to slow down and sit with God a while.

We hustle through life to career and bank account destinations that do not matter.  We miss the joy of the journey to where God is taking us.  We don’t stop to offer help and encouragement like we should.  We may “do” much but are “being” very little in the eyes of the Lord.

May God help us live in such a way that a brick does not have to hit the car of our life so that the Lord could get our attention.  Give God your undivided attention today.  Stop running around after things that matter little and seek to arrange your life with Biblical priorities. It will change your life. Selah.

 

 

 

 

A Godly Mothers Care

A Godly Mothers Care

Thank the Lord for every mother who has fulfilled her God-ordained role to nurture, cherish, and guide her children.  Mothers have the greatest influence on the next generation and an underestimated impact on society as a whole.  One person accurately said: “The hand who rocks the cradle rules the world.”  Mothers have such an important part in the direction and development of the world because of their commitment and sacrifices they make for their children.

Perhaps an unusual reference to cite for Mother’s Day, but please note Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Why would a child be left to himself?  Perhaps “babysat” by Disney or a TV program?  Perhaps dropped off on the lap of other people for convenience reasons?  Perhaps not much discipline due to lack of involvement?  Two people can be in the same house or even the same room and not have interaction. It is a tragedy. This can potentially cause shame later in the life of a mother.

Reading this verse teaches me that time and attention are two motherly needs every small child has.  Every mother would do well to include her child in her life.

“From the ages of 1-4 a child will learn more than they will learn for the rest of their life.”  That is an amazing statement that I heard at an educator’s conference years ago.  Children under 4 learn several key factors for life including: coping skills, how to react or respond, obedience, consequences, discipline, value, purpose, peace, contentment, care, tone of voice, attitude, friendliness, appropriateness, emotional control, and how to share, care, and demonstrate true love.  Much more could be listed.  The point is – the disposition, deportment, and direction of a life is mostly aligned in the youngest years of the human life.

What mom does with those years are of utmost importance.

Here are several ways Godly mothers impact the most formidable years of a young life, from the perspective of talking to a person, once a child and now a grown adult.

Notice Mom’s Care:

  • Mom carried you in her body to delivery.
  • As an infant she nursed you, feeding you many times in the day and night.
  • Mom changed your diaper, changed your diaper, and changed it again.  Every day and night.
  • Mom cared for you, running you to the doctor, checking your temperature, and making sure that you had the finest food she could get.
  • At age 2 your crawling became a stand (against chairs and tables) and then the first few steps came.
  • Mom cheered you on as you began to run around the house.  Then came climbing.  Anything that could be touched became a joyful obstacle course for climbing.

It is funny that after cheering our toddlers on to stand, walk, and run, that as they get older, we say: “sit down!” or “stop running!”

  • She sang songs about Jesus and lullabies that encouraged sleep as she cuddled up with you.
  • She read books and Bible stories to you, praying all the time for you to love Jesus.
  • From ages 1- 4 she did everything with you like walking the mall, and shopping for clothes (because much of her clothes were not fitting right after you came along.)
  • When mom was sick, she took you with her to her doctor visits.
  • She showed you how to shop for food at the grocery store, rolling you up and down each aisle as people commented on how “cute” you were.
  • She told you about her “secret” plans to surprise daddy with a birthday gift or a party.
  • She included you in every car ride, carefully buckling you in and making sure you were safe and comfortable.
  • Mom took you to the park to run and play.
  • She bundled you up in the winter, and made sure you stayed cool in the hot summer.
  • She transported you to church where she learned about God, sang to the Lord, and grew in her Christian life and motherly calling.  You enjoyed the nursery and learned how to trust God’s people by your mom’s example.
  • As she cleaned, you learned about vacuuming, dusting,  and how “Everything has it’s place.”  She even let you let you fold the wash rags while she folded laundry to make you feel important.
  • When mom cooked, you were right there watching and learning about food preparation.  She even let you help “stir stuff up!”
  • From ages 1 to 4, mom was with you almost every moment of every day.  Or better said – you were with mom.

Before Kindergarten you were with mom nearly 24/7.  And it was good.  She had her moments of being tired and discouraged.  She joyfully gave up sleep, money, entertainment, and made other sacrifices to invest everything she could in seeing you grow, develop, and become a person who could find and fulfill the will of God in life.  She included you in every part of her life.  No mother who has invested that much time and effort into a child has regretted it.  While there were moments of struggle, she would do it again.  The time and attention shared was worth it.

The developmental years of ages 1-4 are the most critical to our emotional, relational, and spiritual development.

  • At age 4 or 5 she sent you off to Kindergarten. It was more hard for her, but your thirst to learn academics needed to be met.  You were ready for Kindergarten.  Mom had been reading to you, training you by living life with you, and all those hours and days with mom paid off as you already knew how to interact with people, respect authority, and carry yourself with a good disposition.
  • Each year mom was there.  She helped you adjust to relationship issues, grow up emotionally, physical, relationally, and spiritually. The pains of childhood were lessened because of mom.

By the Way:  If your mother passed into eternity before you reached adulthood, thank the Lord for the time that you did have with her.  Be encouraged in the motherly figures that God placed in your life to influence you.  God had a plan, even if you do not yet understand.  This thought should motivate us to cherish each moment we have with our loved ones today.

We could list so much more, from teenage to college years and beyond.  You can take the idea and run with it for yourself.  The point is – a Godly mother shows consistent care for her children.  She invests time and attention. Especially in the most innocent and precious years of life.   A Godly mother’s care really is – her time and her attention.

So, Mom – thank you for not leaving me alone.  The time spent, the sacrifices made, and the loving care means the world to me.  A Godly mother does not leave her child on his own.  She takes care of those early years so the child will have a lifetime of success in loving Jesus.