Tag Archives: riches

The “Success Sequence”

The “Success Sequence”

Prophecy News Watch is a website that keeps readers aware of current events of Biblical nature.  I enjoy their weekly emails.

One recent article suggested there is a “Success Sequence” for major life choices that impact whether person avoids poverty or lives in poverty.

The article in part said: “The Brookings Institute ‘demonstrated way back in the early nineties that Americans only need to do three things to avoid living in poverty: graduate from high school, marry before having a child, and have that child after age 20… Sociologists today say that this ‘success sequence’ still works. One study of millennials found that 97 percent of those who earn at least a high-school diploma, work, and get marred before having kids will not be poor as they enter their 30s.”

97 percent of those who followed this “Success Sequence” are not living in poverty today! It is hard to argue with those numbers.  With all the “Do what you want to do” teachings and instant gratification kids are taught; coupled along with homes that have very little discipline or moral expectations – no wonder poverty in America seems to be increasing.  Case in point:

  • 2-3 families living in under the same roof.
  • Cohabitating with several people, not related, is heard of more.
  • Young adults past college age still living at home.
  • Living pay check to pay check with no plan to pay off credit cards.
  • Kids with little education and no aspirations constantly playing on cell phones.
  • A major uptick in drug addictions, marijuana smokers, and the recent opioid epidemic.
  • An increase in screen addictions. Parents who allow cell phones and tablets risk not only the addictions to the pornography industry, but also the distorted development of a mind that is relying on a tablet or cellphone for information.
  • Personal debt is at an all time high.
  • There is an increase in people renting instead of buying homes.

Years ago Solomon taught in Proverbs 24:27 “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”

It could be stated that in different terms, the report is saying the same thing that Solomon said.

  1. Finish High School. Vocational and college training is also a consideration here.  (Prepare)
  2. Have a career and then get married. (Make Fit for Thyself in the Field)
  3. Have children following marriage. (Afterwards Build Thine House)

Perhaps one word to describe this “Success Sequence” is very simply – “Stable.”  Stability ensures you will avoid poverty.

One more warning on those little screens and social media: Couples who maintain separate social accounts many times have a more distant relationship with each other resulting in possible unhealthy choices, conflict, and perhaps even divorce.  This could contribute to a reversal of the “Success Sequence.”  When divorce occurs, no matter the wealth previously accumulated, cycles of decline begin, an estate is divided resulting in wasteful spending patterns and eventual poverty.

Stability will ensure that you do not live in poverty.  Better yet – Biblical stability will ensure you live a “successful life.”   Parents, teach your kids this plan.  The future of their lives and the future of your possible grandchildren depend on knowing this Bible truth.

 

 

 

 

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The Real Fools of April

The Real Fools of April

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.  Proverbs 28:26

Playing a joke on someone or being a good sport when a joke is played on you is one thing; living a life that is based on a joke is another.  The tragedy of many living today is that they have bought into the lies Satan propagates through this world.  Walking in our own, worldly wisdom is a foolish thing to do.

Several years ago, a wonderful Christian couple gave my wife and I a Chevy Impala.  At the time, it was the best vehicle we ever had.  We were blessed and are still thankful for it.  Hundreds of homes have been visited in that vehicle in the course of pastoral ministry.

Recently as I was driving down the interstate in my over decade old Impala, a beautiful, brand new Chevy Corvette sped buy.  I had been watching it in the rearview mirror for a while, and it was a terrific looking car.  The retail value on a brand new Corvette is over $80,000.  Some of us reading this article live in houses that are valued less than that!  The car I was driving is possibly valued at $2,400 and it works just fine.

While I generally prefer the Chevy Camaro from any decade, this Corvette was very nice to see zooming past.  I have driven by the Corvette Museum in Kentucky and have driven Corvettes on several occasions.  One time, my wife and I were late to an appointment while driving one.  I am not sure how we could be late in a car that fast!   Corvettes are nice.  I like them.  The owner and driver of this Corvette liked his Corvette too.

The license plate was special ordered to say: “LUVINIT.”  This driver was proud to show others his crazy fast car and let them know that he had “arrived” and that he was “loving it.”  While we may enjoy, like, and even love our rides, we are instructed to not love the material things of this life.  1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Perhaps all of us have had this sort of “love” at one time or another.  After all, we need “stuff” in order to stay alive.  However, when we choose to “love stuff,” then our desires and dreams will be impacted by that love.  Our love for God is then squeezed out of the top position of our life.  Stuff is nice for a while, but even restored cars will rot away given enough time and neglect.

Easier said than done is a life of contentment.  Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”  Contentment can only be realized in the Christian who actively loves God first, others second, and who decides to not love stuff.  “Some people love stuff and use people, but we are to use stuff to love people.”

Below are 3 wise truths about loving money and stuff…

Prosperity Does Not Equal Peace.  Rich men still have relationship problems.  Wealthy people may have a lot of stuff, but many times that stuff controls them.  Have you read this before: “The more stuff you have, the more your stuff controls you.”  How many well intentioned people have bought a new house far from church and eventually stop coming to church?  How many get that shiny boat or golf course membership only to justify doing those things and are no longer investing in spiritual things such as prayer meeting?

The next big ticket item for the rich man, or the next cigarette or checkout counter candy for the poor person results in the same thing – temporary satisfaction.  Worldly things may give an impression of no more needs, but there is more to life than the tangible things.

Peace with self has nothing to do with financial status.  Once a person “arrives” to a 6 or 7 figure salary their income does not result in real happiness.  Perhaps a false sense of security is found, but money has never lasted for anyone, and we can’t take it with us.

Peace with others is not something that riches ensure.  Sometimes the husband and wife individually devoted to the next personal paycheck end up fighting over finances and purchases.

Peace with God is not something wealth can buy.  Wealth does not mean a person is right with God.  Peace with God is something enjoyed by faith when trusting Jesus alone for salvation.  Jesus can make peace with God the Father for you.  Sin is what makes us at odds with God, not our financial status.

Money Cannot Buy Real Love.  “Will you love me if I buy you a gift?”  “When I give you this box of chocolate, or purchase a diamond studded ring for you, will you love me?”  Many couples are falsely committing love to another when in reality; they love the things that the other can buy.  “As long as you give me a big house, new car, and vacations – then I will love you.”  True love, motivated by selfless giving, not taking, is something that cannot be bought.

When a person is hired for a job, they do not need to love the job, the boss, or the position, to complete the job.  All they have to do is fulfill the expectations and then they receive their pay check.  Money- that is the result of the work is what most people love.  This is a poor way to live in relationships.  God loves us – even though we could never give Him anything.  This is the model our love to others should demonstrate.  Love is real when it is about what I can do for the other person, not what the other person can do for me.

Riches Are Unable to Bring About Eternal Life.   There is no real estate for sale in Heaven.  ReMax, Century 21, or Keller Williams have no offices or agents in Heaven.  The parcels of land, mansions, streets, fields, rivers, places in Heaven have already been purchased.  Nothing there is for sale.  Jesus paid the only price that God the Father would accept – the blood of His perfect Son, Jesus.

Notice how I Peter 1:18-19 says it:  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 

Rich men still get sick, grow old, and die.  All of us have an appointment with death.  It may not be a pleasant thought to you, but if you have Jesus in your heart, He has already bought and paid for your place in Heaven.  He is the only One Who can give to you enteral life.  You can’t buy it.  Trust the Gospel of Jesus for eternal life today.

The real fools of April.  Who are they?  It is not the people that have the best jokes played on them.  The real fools of April are the people who continue to reject Bible truth and remain trusting in their worldly wisdom instead of trusting in Jesus.

I may or may never own a sports car; either way, my life as a Christian is not about accumulating more stuff.  Loving and living for things are a foolish way to live.