God Promises Financial Freedom Through Wise Money Management
In God We Trust
God Provides as Much Wealth as We Can Manage Well
God says that all the money and wealth that we have is his. He has made us managers of the material wealth he has entrusted with us for the time that we live here on earth. Jesus reminds us of the temporary nature of worldly wealth and teaches us how to use our riches for his Kingdom.
And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?
We Rely on God Not Our Wealth
A man may be rich in worldly goods and be thankful and generous, and may do much good with his wealth. It is not being rich that makes a person worldly, it is the trusting in wealth, the concentration of one's thoughts on wealth, for security and happiness that makes a person worldly.
Money is not the "root of all evil", craving money, having to have more money, relying on money to solve all your problems, relying on money to bring happiness and contentment, that is the root of all evil.
if your wealth increases, do not make it the center of your life.
The poor are affected by wealth as much as the rich. The poor may crave wealth, believing it to be the answer to their prayers, wants and needs. The rich may idolize wealth, making it the center of their thoughts and life. David, in Psalm 49, urges us to understand and not fall prey to, the folly of a carnal security.
Psalm 49:5-7, 18-20
Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success, but they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. People who boast of their wealth don't understand, they will die, just like animals.
Our Wealth Is Not for Personal Indulgences
King David's son Solomon became king after David's death. When God asked Solomon what, in all the world, did he want, Solomon responded by saying he wanted wisdom to rule God's kingdom. God was pleased with Solomon's answer and, because he had answered so well, so unselfishly, God granted him extreme wealth as well as great wisdom. King Solomon spent much time trying to learn what had value in life. His conclusions are written in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Among King Solomon's findings were the following:
Solomon with all his wisdom and wealth could find no value in self-indulgence. We are not here to pamper ourselves!
I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good". But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly -- my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Our Wealth Is Not for Wasting. God Insists We Use Money Wisely
Solomon warns us that someone who wastes his money is a fool and he will end up doing all the work for the wealthy who please God.
To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
With me (Wisdom) are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold, what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
Our Wealth Is Not for Hoarding
God brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt with all their assets intact and, through Moses, led them to their own land “flowing with milk and honey.” God performed a number of extraordinary miracles while helping the Jews escape Egypt (parting the Red Sea) and survive in the desert (made water flow from rocks). He did this to prove to the Israelites that they could trust him to provide them with everything they needed while traveling to their new land.
The Lord said to Moses, I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, “At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”
But the Israelites believed in scarcity; they did not believe there were enough resources to go around. So they greedily hoarded the food (meat and manna) that God sent to them, not believing that he would provide enough for them tomorrow.
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it (the meat) until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
The Israelites thought they had to look after themselves in any way they could to survive. They were wrong: the food they hoarded went bad and, as he promised, God provided them with fresh food the next day, and the next day, and the next.
A Rich Man Plans to Build New Barns to Hoard His Surplus Grain Rather than Help His Needy Neighbors - But, that Night He Dies.
Jesus tells the story of a very rich man who had an excess of grain following his latest harvest. Although he was rich and could afford to help those who were not as prosperous as he and needed some help to survive, he decided he would build new, larger barns to hoard his surplus grain. He said to himself, “I can now retire. I can now relax and have a good time. After all, I deserve it.” That night, as he was proudly counting all his profit and commending himself for his shrewd future planning, God came to him and said, "Fool! Tonight you die.”
God does not fault the rich man for being industrious or for his shrewd financial planning. God does condemn him for his selfishness and his all-consuming thoughts about how his riches could serve him and only him.
Revenues and Expenses, Profit and Loss
Greed is frequently a selfish desire to obtain money, wealth, and material possessions in order to feel important and successful. If longing to be rich is a driving force with me I may be willing to do some things in earning money or investing money that are deceitful or downright dishonest. But, as a Christian, if I am willing to participate in dishonest dealings, it will boomerang back and defeat me. The law of "what I sow, I reap" always applies.
Ill gotten treasures are of no value.
Those who sow trouble reap it.
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?
The Great Gatsby is a story of a young, wealthy man who was willing to do anything to become rich enough to attract and hold the woman he desires. He has a reputation of secrecy and intrigue, possibly involving reprehensible dealings to enhance his wealth.
1 Timothy 6:9
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.
Because it is too easy to fall into and justify small matters of dishonesty, we must guard against such temptations: taking office supplies home, falsely completing travel expenses, receiving cash for small services so as not to pay tax, or, not saying anything when a cashier gives too much change. We have to watch the small stuff because the consequences are so small it is easier to get away with them. It is not everyone who will commit major crimes to enhance their portfolio or increase their bank account. But those who do will eventually face ruin.
Mark 8:36 (KJV)
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Financial Freedom or Financial Enslavement - The Choice is Ours
A rich young man comes to Jesus and his disciples and falling on his knees he asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ response was to remind the young man that he knew the commandments. When the young man said he had kept all the commandments since he had been a youth, Jesus knew this was not so because he was still very much imprisoned by his wealth.
“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
So Jesus told him that if he really did love God with all his heart (First Commandment) to give all his wealth, all his possessions to the poor and come and follow him.
The rich young man’s face fell and he went away sad because he could never part with his great wealth, not even in exchange for eternal life. In truth, this rich young man idolized his wealth and loved it more than he loved God.
Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
The disciples were shocked by this statement because they thought that great wealth was a sign that a man had been truly blessed by God. Jesus demonstrated by this encounter that, had the rich young man loved God more than his wealth he would have been willing to give it up for salvation.
This love of one’s wealth is what makes it hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
We Make the Choice
In God We Trust for Wise Money Management