Friday, September 2, 2016

Using Money the Right Way

Chuckle: A boxing trainer, said of the training regimen of a fighter: "He's a guy who gets up at 6 o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."
Quote: "The most grievous kind of destitution is to want money in the midst of wealth." --Seneca

"You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves . . . ." (James 5:5 NIV).
Many of us need plastic surgery - not to fix our faces, but our attitude toward credit cards, debit cards, and other plastic ways to spend money we don't have. We give in to pressure advertising and the temptation to use money for self-indulgence, resulting in excessive unmanageable debt.
Once, I was teaching a class on Christian Financial Management, and I'll never forget one young married couple who attended the class. They had become addicted to uncontrolled use of credit cards and were horribly in debt. During the class, they made a commitment to God to use their money responsibly and according to Biblical standards. As a beginning, they cut up their credit cards right there in class and began a new way of looking at the money God had entrusted to them.
Many couples have disputes over money. However, it's not always that they don't have enough, but rather they have not agreed to adopt the Biblical standards for the use of their money. Many want today what they shouldn't have until later, if at all. They want at 20 what their parents finally got at 50. They want it right now, and somehow they believe they are entitled.
Asking God's guidance in financial matters is a sign of spiritual maturity and faith. Along with living within our means and using money wisely for the good of our families and others, God wants us to be faithful in giving of our means for his work. But many of us have sclerosis of the giver. Think about it. How are you as a giver? The Bible says we ought to invest a portion of our money in that which is eternal.
What kind of eternal investments are you making? When we, as Christians, get to heaven, Jesus will welcome us. Will He commend you for all the people you led to Christ; all those you talked to about Jesus; all those who received the gospel through your investments in missions, feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, and other ministries. Long after our earthly life has ended, these investments will continue to grow and impact lives for Christ.
The Bible says through the Apostle Paul: "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV). The Bible says God's standard is for us to give back a minimum of 10 percent to his work. This is called the tithe. It is a privilege to give to God's work as an act of worship -- as a part of our Christian responsibility. We can't take it with us, but we can send it on ahead to bear fruit for eternity. Many have not yet discovered the joy such an attitude about giving will bring. Our checkbooks and credit card receipts reveal what's really important to us in life.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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