Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saving Money the Right Way

Chuckle: Doctor: "Well, your leg is swollen, but I wouldn't worry about it." Patient: "No, and if your leg was swollen, I wouldn't worry about it either!"
Quote: "Money is an article that may be used as a universal provider of everything -- except happiness." --Unknown source

"You have hoarded your wealth in the last days" (James 5:3c NIV).
What should be our attitude toward the money with which God has blessed us? Here, James is not talking about modest savings, but the obsessive stockpiling of money and other possessions -- never being satisfied -- always wanting more and more. If they stockpiled metals, they rusted; clothing was eaten by moths; food spoiled, etc. Jesus said "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where none of these things can happen" (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV).
No, prudent saving is different. Everyone ought to save, but what should our motives be? We should save: (1) for emergencies; and (2) so we can meet the needs of our families and others. Using what God has given us to help a friend or family member should give us great joy. "The wise man saves for the future - the foolish man spends whatever he gets"  (Proverbs 21:20). Money should never be hoarded out of greed or self-indulgence. The purpose of saving should be to meet the needs of those we love. Hoarding money cannot buy us happiness or make us secure.
I'm reminded of the Parable of the Rich Fool and Jesus' words to the rich man who said to himself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry." Jesus told him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:19-21 NIV).
Bunker Hunt (of the millionaire Hunt family) lost millions of dollars in investments. In the midst of all that he said: "in order to have security, you must put your trust in something that cannot be taken away - my security is my relationship with Jesus Christ." Many wealthy people took their own lives after the stock market crash in 1929 -- their security was their money. If your security is in money and material things, it's not in Christ. But if your trust is in Christ you will save and use your money wisely to honor Him.
One day a certain old, rich man of miserable disposition visited a rabbi, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said. The rich man looked into the street. "What do you see?" asked the rabbi. "I see men, women, and children," answered the rich man. Again the rabbi took him by the hand and this time led him to a mirror. "Now what do you see?" "Now I see myself," the rich man replied. Then the rabbi said, "Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, but you see only yourself. –Illustrations for Biblical Preaching; Edited by Michael P. Green
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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