Posts Tagged ‘Wealth’

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INHERITANCE

July 13, 2020

I will give you a treasure. It will be your inheritance.

These words, inheritance and treasure, receive their significance in the reality of the allocations. The mind can rationalize throughout the period of promise while treasure remains intangible.

All inheritors hope in the promise while all remains a promise. What happens on the day the promise is fulfilled, when hope becomes reality; when deeds are issued and seekers become the bequeathed?

Allocated assets enter balance sheets. Future net earnings are calulated. Improvements determine based upon their return on investments. Fortunes are made in these declarations of allocations. Yet, not all land is the same; not all fortunes are equal. The inheritances will be different.

The differences do not matter while they remain a promise. Something is better than nothing lasts until something become something.

The satisfaction of the heart is tested when comparison becomes unavoidable. It seems the greatest test resides with those examined with intangible promises while others are scheduling meetings with their accountants.

The mind can reason that God is better. He is a treasure, a pearl of great price, better than anything the world can offer. The tangible inheritors might even agree.

What does the heart believe when others take up residence in the land you have walked through, the possessions you have fought for, the assets you have suffered for.

The balance sheets will quantify the comparison between tangible and that which is not.

  • What if the Baptists received Wall Street, New York City and all the businesses that call it home;
  • The Episcopals got Google, Apple, and all of Silicon Valley;
  • The Methodists got Amazon, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest;
  • The Lutherans got all the resources of Texas,
  • While the Presbyterians received Alaska?

On and on, the allocations go but you are told that these fortunes are not yours to hold. Your inheritance is God. How would your mind value the allocations as the balance sheets are told?

Would your reasoning, God is a treasure surpassing all earthly wealth, determine that you received the most valuable of all inheritance? How will your contentment weather the reality of others taking possession of their new wealth?

Our eyes are so quick to turn evil to the generosity of God. Our chameleon hearts change rapidly when confronted by God’s unequal gifts.

Has God done us wrong by giving as our gift, Himself?I

Perhaps, we have been set apart, holy into Him; spared from that which God knows will corrupt.

Have you ever considered that prosperity absent holiness is never a gift? Wealth in unrighteousness is always a curse.

Our inheritance does not come in this world. We are like the tribe of Levi, content in the best of inheritance!

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/514827

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Safety Plan for Dollar Bills – Luke 18:24

March 9, 2020

“And Jesus took notice of him and said, “How difficult it is for those who possess wealth to enter into the kingdom of God!”

I was reading this article 25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America .

I know some who work in these jobs.  They wake every morning and prepare for another day of earning a wage, not considering it might be the last. No one expects to get hurt or killed.  Those who work in the most dangerous of jobs have safety plans, safety supervisors, and even a governmental safety agency.  All these elements exist to keep those in the most dangerous of jobs safe from the complacency of normal.

We are at most risk when danger becomes normal and no longer feared.

Yet, do you know what is most dangerous for your soul?

We get up most mornings as Believers, oblivious to the dangerous cares that ensare. I think a case can be made for the dollar (for those in the US) as being the most dangerous tool in the Christian’s  toolbox.  The Bible speaks often to warnings about money.  Yet, I fear that we are at most risk because the danger of money has become normal and no longer feared.

Money, in the hands of a Believer, is like a chainsaw in the hands of a logger.  You can clear away a lot of brush and branches and fall the tallest of obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of losing a limb and bleeding out.

Money, in the proximity of a Believer, is like a trench laborer at the bucket end of an excavator.  You can get to the depth of core needs and dig through the hardest obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of being crushed by the power of a misplaced love.

God knows the risks to residing in a world ruled by money.  It is dangerous to our soul.  Therefore:

  • We need a safety plan.  What are you going to do to make sure you handle money safely? What is your plan?
  • We need a safety supervisor.  Who are you going to be accountable to regarding how you handle money?  Do they have permission to make your money their business?
  • We need a safety agency.  What is your authority regarding your money?  Does the Bible establish the basis of how you are to value and steward your money? Will you obey it?

In my opinion, these are the essential elements for every Christian engaged in activities, which wield the dangerous tools of money.

My meditation for the day is money as a tool, not a purpose.

https://ref.ly/Lk18.24 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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“GIRL WITH THE CROSS TATTOO” – Feb 3

February 3, 2014

“Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.”  Mark 1:6

While worshipping Sunday morning, I noticed the back of a young lady.

Female Cross Back Tattoo

I noticed it because she was making what I presumed to be a statement with her clothing.  She wore a blouse that had a strategic bit of fabric missing in the back.  The  small hole in the blouse revealed an oval of her back between her shoulder blades.  It is a type of shirt that I see many young fashionable ladies wearing. However, the absence of fabric is not what drew my attention.  My attention was caught by what was framed within that oval frame of fabric.  She had framed a tattoo within the center of that oval.

Tattoos are prevalent.  They are a much more commonly accepted mode of expression than when I was growing up.  They are so common that I am now more surprised by the ink-free athlete than by the inked.  A trip to Wal-mart will make one wonder if tattoos have now become adulthood’s right-of-passage.

I find tattoos an interesting case study of expression.  I am fascinated by the images people are willing to associate the remainder of their lives with.

Most images are frivolous and nearly meaningless.
Some images are purely evil.
There are images that appear to have hidden meaning.
Others are just an attempt at being cool and hip.

The choice that caught my attention at this Sunday service was that of a tattooed cross revealed by a fashionable blouse.  It was a statement.  I do not know how many blouses this young lady tried on in order to find one that framed her chosen expression but I assume that it was not mere coincidence.

Wei Tchou / Foter / CC BY

I realize that tattoos elicit strong opinions.  Regardless of the debate on tattoos, I appreciated the statement of this young lady.  She had selected a cross as the image she wanted the world to associate with her person for the remainder of her life; a solitary, simple, beautiful cross.

Ann Althouse / Foter / CC BY-NC

John the Baptist was clearly identified by the clothes that he wore.  Clothes of camel-hair and a leather belt associated John the Baptist as a classic type of Old Testament prophet.  John the Baptist chose the clothing of a prophet and then backed it up with the actions and lifestyle of a true prophet even to his death.  His life confirmed the statement of his chosen clothing.

Tobyotter / Foter / CC BY

I hope that the young lady with the cross tattoo chose it with as much intentionality as John the Baptist selected his garments.  My hope for this young lady is that her actions and lifestyle confirm the statement on her back throughout her life.  May her life be such a statement to the glory of God that when people see the cross on her back that they will know it is more than just a tattoo.

I hope it is a statement.

I hope that we all make similar statements in our lives.
I hope that we all live in such an intentional manner:

That our clothing makes a statement,
That our language makes a statement,
That our joking makes a statement,
That what we value makes a statement,
That our business practice makes a statement, and
That even our tattoos make a statement.

PRAYER: Lord, I lift up the young lady who I saw in church.  Father, I hope that what I saw was a statement of a child of God telling the world that she is yours.  I pray that you have captured the delight of her heart.  Lord, help her to learn to live in the strength of your Spirit to be a woman of God to your glory.  Father, help me to look beyond my own proprieties to see the true statement that my brother or sister is trying to make.  Help me to be gracious to the freedoms in Christ that other may choose.  Help me to be less concerned with other people’s statements and more intentional about the statements that I am making.  Lord, may those statements be consistent with the life I desire to live for your glory.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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“RICHNESS OF TRUST” – Jan 31

February 1, 2014

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you , and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.””  Exodus 16:4

A backwards boy lived in a time not long ago.  DJ was his name and the delight of his eyes was all that wealth could provide.  He dreamed of the comforts that luxury would afford.  He envied the attention women offered to the fashionable.  He coveted the respect granted those who had buildings bearing their names.

DJ desired riches.

0122 Welcome Stranger Gold Mine, Baileston, Vi...

The backwards thinking of this immature boy led him to believe that riches could be had by anyone willing to pursue them.  His world preached to him a strident individualism that he could be anything that he wanted to be.  The resources necessary to fulfill his desires already resided within him.  He merely needed to release his potential.  Therefore, he believed that riches lay in the deposit of potential within his very constitution.

The willingness to prospect those inherent riches from within oneself was the inferred difference between the rich and the poor.

Those who inherit wealth are like the miners who pick nuggets from a stream bed.

Other seekers of wealth must dig a little deeper into their deposits of intelligence, physical ability and/or charisma to sieve out the talents that DJ’s society readily rewards.

Gold-Bearing Quartz Veins

Still others must labor harder through limited potential pay-dirt but the inherent promise, that every person can be anything they want to be, can be claimed through hard work and dedication.

DJ lived in this paradigm of backwards thinking for decades.  It was while digging in the depths of his potential, prospecting for his fortune through hard work and diligence, that his Father joined him in his search.

As he labored in the presence of His Father, he was slowly shown the futility of his search.

DJ discovered that not one of the talents that he had labored to the surface in expectation of reward was ever a natural deposit.  All the riches that he had sieved and sorted were not a result of genetic chance or cosmic circumstance.  They had all been  specifically placed so that they would be discovered and developed for a specific time.

English: The door to the walk-in vault in the ...

DJ’s thinking was backwards.  While he had thought that he had within him vast deposits of unexplored potential, he was actually an empty vault.  An empty chamber filled periodically with treasures from his Father.

During a time long before DJ, his Father had other children who seemed to be treated differently than DJ.  The Father overtly provided for these other children.  They were given food on a daily basis but only enough for a day.  They always had enough and if they took too much it would perish with the rising sun.  The Father’s provision created an equally overt dependency.  Those children had to trust their Father daily for the provision of their food.  It was a trust that was tested by their Father.

That was the relationship the Father wanted – trust.

DJ’s Father corrected his backwards thinking by showing DJ that He still provides completely for His children.  The treasures placed in DJ’s vault are as overtly a gift of the Father as the manna He caused to fall in a desert many years ago.  It may not perish with the breaking of day but it comes from the same source – a loving Father.

DJ still struggles with backwards thinking even though he has been shown the true source of all that he has.  The temptation to store enough for tomorrow is always strong.  It takes a lot of trust to believe that the vault will contain tomorrow’s needs, to give away the security of next season, and to rely upon someone else.

However, DJ’s Father is still working on getting him to that proper relationship – trust.

To get there, DJ’s Father will periodically treat him like His other children by testing DJ as He did those in that long ago wilderness.  It is good for all that DJ values to periodically perish like that manna because it keeps him thinking in the correct direction and trusting his Father.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for all  that you have given me.  Thank you for patiently correcting my thinking.  Father, all that I have is yours.  Forgive me for clinging to the security of your gifts rather than to you.  Forgive me for not trusting you with my future.  You know all that I need.  You have shown yourself loving to me.  I know that you give good gifts.  Teach me to trust you with everything I value in this life.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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“FORGETTING GOD” – Nov 20

November 20, 2013

“It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.”  Hosea 13:5-6

English: Photograph of Sophie TuckerI’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better. ~ Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century.  She had been rich and she had been poor.  I understand that being rich might have been better for her comfort but was it better for her soul?  I understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with money but there are multiple warnings in the Bible about the hazards of prosperity and wealth.

Issues revolving around money or the lack there of are symptoms of our hunger.

Graham Taylor / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

I have seen the homes, cars, vacations, clothes of the wealthy and wanted what they have.

I have seen those in retirement, traveling the world, playing golf, living a life of leisure and wanted what they have.

I’ve known times of full accounts when house budgeting was not necessary.

I’ve known the debate of what can be given while still retaining enough to fund obligations.

I have felt the flush of pride at being well compensated for being good at what I do.

Zachary Davies Detroit, Michigan USA / Foter.com / CC BY

I have felt the despair at watching six-digits of paper net worth burn away like a morning fog.

I’ve experienced the shortened breath when worries steal a room’s oxygen at the implosion of personal finances.

I have done the projections of retirement needs and grimaced at its uncertainty.

I have never known extreme poverty and I have never known extreme wealth.  However, I have known good and bad times.  Within those bounds, I have come to learn that neither wealth nor want has ever satisfied my hunger.

We are all are tempted to satisfy the hunger pain of our flesh.

Those without material comforts are tempted to hope that satisfaction will be found in what they do not have.
Those of moderate wealth are tempted to worry about not having enough.
Those of significant prosperity are tempted to forget the source of all that they have.

My "flavorite" grocery store...

The reality is that money can resolve a lot of physical needs.  I do not know how to function in this world without money but our worlds of physical needs are fraught with temptation.  There are so many sins that can be birthed from the unhealthy cesspool of the love of money; greed, pride, jealously, envy, discontentment, hate, murder, gossip, theft, lying, etc…

A Mazda MPV minivan being donated to a charita...

We would be foolish to disregard the Biblical warnings associated with wealth and prosperity.  The love of money is like a rice cake, it has no nutritional value but it can appease our spiritual hunger for a time.  It can even make us forget God if we feast on it as our souls starve.

We all have a voracious appetite for happiness and money can buy a lot of short-lived happiness.  This reality makes money a strong temptation to snatch the control of our happiness away from God.  I am, like most people, too easily satisfied by material-induced happiness.

I know that I am often too easily satisfied.

I am too easily inclined to embrace the comforts of this world over the rewards of eternity.
I am too resistant to lessons associated with want.

I am too quick to try to appease my appetite for happiness.
I am too slow to trust God to take care of my needs.

I am too content with how my comforts feel, to see joy in loss.
I am too impatient with God’s provisions.

I know how easily I can find myself lost in a love of money.  I don’t think that I am unique to this temptation.

Therefore, we should treat money in the same manner as a glutton treats food; a necessity that must be controlled.  We need clothing, housing and food.  We live in a material world that functions on the basis of money.  Money is a necessity but our appetites for this necessity must always be controlled.

May we never exchange our love of the Creator for a love of the created.  May we never allow a belly full of prosperity cause us to forget our God.

PRAYER: O Lord, you know that I have a deeply rooted love of money.  Father, I need you to kill that unholy love.  Open my eyes to all that draws me away from you.  Remind me that all that is good in my life is a gift from you.  All is yours.  Help me to be a good and faithful steward of all that you have given me, particularly my money.  Help me to be a cheerful and joyful giver.  Help me to glorify you in the times of my want.  Help me to trust you in times of plenty and in times of need.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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