In this Issue
Feature Article: Uncovering Godly Perspectives on Wealth and Money
Inspirational Women's Garden Club, Wednesday, July 30, 7 pm EST
- Uncovering Godly Perspectives on Wealth and Money, Wed, July 30, 7 pm EST
Uncovering Godly Perspectives on Wealth and Money
Money and wealth are issues that affect each of us and are critical tools necessary for living our lives. Yet you may struggle with money - finding enough to meet expenses, paying for special things you or your family enjoys - often worrying about having enough for the present or your future.
With recent increases in food and gas expenses, and our US economy slowing, it's easy for you and me to begin to worry about our financial provisions and needs being met.
As I've reflected on this challenge you face, I want to share some biblical principles and wisdom regarding money and wealth to help you with this very important topic.
First, wisdom is more valuable than money or wealth.
This may seem surprising but Scripture teaches us in various places that as helpful as money can be, wisdom is much more so. Ecc. 7:12 has a very interesting perspective for us: "Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor." This teaches us that although both wisdom and money can provide "shelters" of sorts for us, wisdom is far more valuable, because it preserves our very lives, helping us make wise choices throughout our lives.
There's a very interesting story in 1 Kings 5:3-15. Solomon has been established as king of Israel subsequent to his father, King David's, death. Verse 5 records: "At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, 'Ask for whatever you want me to give you.'
Solomon, rather than asking for riches, long life or protection from his enemies, asked for wisdom. God was so pleased with Solomon's request that He not only granted it, but gave him everything else, too! Here was His answer to Solomon:
"Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
You can use your money as a tool to do good, caring for the needs of yourself, your family and the poor and needy, and additionally funding kingdom work.
Scripture has clear instructions for us on providing for our families. In 1 Tim 5:4 and 8, we learn the following: "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (v8). But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God" (v4).
You'll also learn from the Old Testament in Exodus 22:25, Deut. 23:19 and Lev. 25:37 that you and I are not to charge the poor and needy, our brothers, or family members interest on that which you loan to them.
Scripture also speaks of giving generously and of even planning to give to fund kingdom work. In 1 Cor. 16:2, Paul encourages the Corinthians to set aside a certain amount to be given to the Lord, saying, "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made."
The entire ninth chapter of 2 Corinthians is related to the New Testament principles of giving generously.
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Cor. 9:6-8).
While money is a tool you can use for good, it can just as easily be used for evil. Rather, we are to act with integrity and faithfulness surrounding financial matters.
Many have betrayed friends and family for money or have used money for dishonest
gain, taking advantage of others. In Acts 5, Acts 8 and Acts 16, you and I learn that various people acted without integrity surrounding financial matters. Ananias and Sapphira lied about how much money they gave to the church regarding the sale of a property they owned, Simon the sorcerer attempted to "buy" the ability to gift the Holy Spirit to others, and businessmen used a possessed girl to fortune-tell and earn a profit for themselves.
Prov. 13:11 highlights for us that it doesn't pay to take this route: "Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."
Scripture provides extensive warnings against the love of money and the obsession it can become in our lives.
1 Tim. 6:9-10 warns that "people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
Leaders are especially warned against the character qualities of greed or of being eager for money, as it discolors their perspectives and abilities to lead well (1 Pet. 5:2; 2 Tim 3:2; 1 Tim. 3:3).
Money can become an obsession for you and me. Matt. 6:24 reveals this to us and warns that: "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." And Ecc. 5:10 teaches that: Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless."
Keys to Victory along the Journey
The key is found in Heb. 13:5 - our security is not based in money or wealth, but in God. He has promised those of us who are believers in Him that He will never leave or forsake us and that He will provide for our needs.
In this passage, God assures those who are His children of His love and faithful presence. He exhorts us to avoid loving and trusting money as security. The passage goes like this: " Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
He goes on in Matt. 6:25-34 to promise to provide for your needs: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? 'For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
- First, wisdom is more valuable than money or wealth.
- You can use your money as a tool to do good, caring for the needs of yourself, your family and the poor and needy, and additionally funding kingdom work.
If you're temporarily struggling with worry or concern over financial matters at this time, I want to offer you encouragement from the Feb 1 entry from Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman:
"This thing is from me" (1 Kings 12:24).
Life's disappointments are veiled love's appointments (Rev. C.A. Fox)
"My child, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the tough places upon which you may have to tread. It is short, only five words, but let them sink into your inmost soul; use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head. This thing is from ME...
Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This thing is from Me, for I am your purse-bearer and would have you draw from and depend upon Me. My supplies are limitless (Phil. 4:19) I would have you prove my promises. Let it not be said of you, 'In this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God' (Deut. 1:32)"....
(Laura A. Barter Snow)
"This is from Me," the Savior said,
As bending low He kissed my brow,
"For One who loves you thus has led,
Just rest in Me, be patient now,
Your Father knows you have need of this,
Tho', why perchance you cannot see - Grieve not for things you've seemed to miss,
The thing I send is best for thee."
Then looking through my tears, I plead,
"Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know,
'Twill not be hard since Thou dost tread,
Each path before me here below.
And for my good this thing must be,
His grace sufficient for each test.
So still I'll sing, 'Whatever be
God's way for me is always best. ' "
If you would like to hear more topics like these, please join us for the July "Inspirational Women's Garden Club" event on Wednesday, July 30, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Suzanne at email@example.com. We'd love to have you join us and bring a friend, too!
July Coaching Special
With enrollment this month in the Inspirational Women's Garden Club, you’ll receive a complimentary 30-minute personal or church coaching consult. Just contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you.
Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.
Many prayers and blessings to you all,
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Developing Patience through Your Difficulties (April 2007)
Celebrating the Goodness of God in your Life (May 2007)
Dealing with Stress and Anxiety (June 2007)
Finding Rest for Your Soul (July 2007)
Conquering Bitterness through the Power of Forgiveness (August 2007)
Resolving Conflict and Healing Patterns from the Past (September 2007)
Pink & Blue: Secrets to Translating Male/Female Communication to Achieve Meaningful Love and Work
Depending on God to Live Victoriously Despite our Circumstances (November 2007)
Persevering Prayer that Leads to Hope and a Victorious Life (December 2007)
Mastering and Sustaining Personal Change (January 2008)
Servant Leadership Lessons Jesus Modeled for Our Leadership and Our Lives (Feb 2008)
How to Choose and Be a True Friend for Life (March 2008)
How to Find a Healthy Balance between Your Work, Ministry and Personal Life (April 2008)
Leading and Managing through Change with Grace (May 2008)
Dealing with Anger, Hurt and Resentment in a Healthy Way (June 2008)
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Wed, July 30, 2008, 7 pm EST
Uncovering Godly Perspectives on Wealth and Money
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Suzanne France Martinez
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During the last 20 years as Suzanne served in the marketplace and in ministry, she learned to excel amidst the pressing demands and challenges of leadership in each setting.
Suzanne's passion is to help leaders develop healthy leadership and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
Suzanne desires to help leaders renew and refresh their vision, attain new levels of leadership excellence, and build healthy and strong leadership organizations.
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