Monday, September 5, 2016

Using Money Wisely

                Happy Labor Day :: Fox&Hounds                        
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Chuckle: A player was explaining to his coach why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."
Quote: "Theirs is an endless road, a hopeless maze, who seek goods before they seek God." -- Bernard of Clairvaux
"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you" (James 5:1 NIV).
Three questions emerge from our James passage: (1) How should we get our money? (2) How should we protect our money? and (3) How should we use our money? The last three devotionals have dealt with these important questions. Hopefully, each of us has learned more about how to handle money wisely in a Godly way.
How did you react to today’s verse. When you first read it? "Now listen, you rich people." Did you say to yourself: "whew -- thank goodness he's not talking about me!" When we think of the rich, our minds turn to the Donald Trumps and Bill Gates of the world. How could this passage possibly be about me? What is rich anyway? Simply stated, I think It's when you have more than enough. Most Americans are rich in the eyes of many people in the world because we have so much more than they. Being rich is a relative term.
The issue is not how much money we have, but how much does our money have us? Many of Jesus' sermons and parables dealt with the subject of money and possessions. Jesus said: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21). Jesus knew that if we could get our attitude right toward money and material things, every other aspect of our lives would likely fall into place. The Bible never condemns a person for being wealthy, but it does condemn those who are caught up in their riches and are using them only for selfish purposes rather than the good of others.
James tells us that the rich face ruin. Why? Because wealth is a sin? No! It's because some allow wealth to become their god, the expected source of security for eternity. Sadly, commitment to amassing wealth often breeds uncaring treatment of the poor for whom God has special concern. To place priority on wealth is sin. To gain wealth at the expense of other people is sin. To trust in wealth instead of God is sin.
James makes the point about the worthlessness of riches, not the rich. Abraham was rich; Job was rich; David was rich; and they all were great men of faith. It's what we do with our worldly possessions that's important. The Bible doesn't say money is the root of all evil but rather it's the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). There's nothing inherently wrong with money -- money is neutral. It's how we get it, relate to it, and depend on it that makes the difference.
An old Jack Benny skit illustrates how money can become more important to us than anything else. Jack was walking along, when suddenly an armed robber approached him and ordered, "Your money or you life!" There was a long pause, and Jack did nothing. The robber impatiently queried, "Well?" Jack replied, "Don't rush me -- I'm thinking about it."
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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