Money Principle #: Dont Let Prosperity Blind You
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.Revelation 3:17
Throughout the Old Testament, gain is tied to the blessings of God. In the New Testament, its reframed as a potential calamity. It can be both. The scariest place to be is in a position of security that blinds you to your need for the goodness and grace of God in our lives. Inwardly we all come to God as a beggar. When we have what we need, its easy to mistake our outward comfort for our inward condition.
Money Principle #: Be Diligent In Paying Your Workers
You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.Leviticus 19:13
The first five books in the Old Testament tell the story of Gods creation of a nation who would serve him and worship himand through whom he could bless the rest of the world. A lot of the Pentateuch is full of expectations and laws about how Israelites would treat each other and those outside of their community.
These passages can often feel laborious, but its nice to see how seriously God takes treating each other with dignity and respect. Here the Lord instructs them on how to treat their fellow Israelite.
Were told that Israelites shouldnt oppress their neighbor or help themselves to each others property. As an example, were told that a boss shouldnt withhold the wages of an employee. This advice comes from a time when daily wages were needed to meet daily expenses.
The important thing to notice here is that the boss is only holding the wages overnight. Its not as if hes trying to keep them from the worker. It could be that he simply forgot. The point is that the worker needs to be paid for work in a way that allows him to look after his personal needs. And more importantly, God is paying attention to these kinds of details.
What The Bible Says About Abstinence
Some people believe and strongly teach that abstinence is the godly way to practice birth control. Complete abstinence outside the bounds of marriage is scripturally commanded, because it is Gods intent that sexual relations only exist between a husband and his wife. But is abstinence the right way for a married couple to practice birth control?
The Bible counsels husbands and wives to express their love to each other through sexual intimacy . It is not acceptable for either mate to deprive the other of sexual relationsunless it is by agreement for a short period that would allow for special spiritual focus .
As pointed out above, all biblical instruction concerning sexual love is given to husbands and wives. Sex outside of marriage, although commonly called making love, is not an act of love at all. It is sin, and it is inherently harmful. God condemns sin, because sin always hurts us!
After their wedding, a husband and wife should have many years in which they can share the special sexual intimacy reserved only for each other.
We must conclude that abstinence as a method of birth control is not scripturally acceptable. It interferes with the normal, loving sexual expression a husband and wife should have with each other, a relationship that binds them mentally and emotionally together.
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How Do You Know That God Is With You
Because its Gods word, which never expires.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You His Word.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You Audibly.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You Other People.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You Visions And Dreams.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You An Inner Knowing.
- Sign God Is Speaking To You Clear Or Blocked Paths.
Money Principle #: Be Honest In Transactions
You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.Deuteronomy 25:1315
In the ancient world, a lot of trading was done using scales for goods like spices or gold. It was possible for crooked merchants to use different scales and measures for both sides of the arrangement. If a merchant used one scale for the sale, he was expected to use the same weight for the payment.
God does not take kindly to the little ways that we might give ourselves an advantage over others in our exchanges.
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God’s Sovereignty And Human Suffering
I am learning that there is a large gap between studying truth intellectually and knowing that truth by personal experience. This fact was made real to me as I reviewed what the Bible teaches about the sovereignty of God. Quite frankly, I confess to having had a bit of a problem on the day of April 14, 1982.
This was my problem: How does a child of God reconcile God’s sovereignty with human suffering and affliction? How does a Christian apply the sovereignty of God when his wife, whom he loves more than he loves his own life, lies helpless and suffering before him?
If someone had come to me on that day in April and said, “I would like to help you. What are your needs?” I wouldn’t have had any answer. My mind was too boggled. I was hurting. I needed time for in-depth study and personal application of the truth of God’s sovereignty.
Is it wrong for a minister and teacher of God’s Word to be perplexed? Although most of us don’t admit it, all of us at some time have been tempted to walk away from God. But when a hurting person takes his view of life from what he is experiencing, from what he sees and feels, that’s one time when he needs to draw near to God. As the apostle James put it, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” . Asaph was perplexed by what he saw in life, but he came to the right conclusion when he said, “But it is good for me to draw near to God” .
He Maketh No Mistake
For I Know The Plans I Have For You
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
When it comes to God’s will, people often quote a portion of this promise: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
It’s critical to see this within the context of the prophet’s statement. This promise was made to the entire nation of Israel who was in captivity, and it wouldn’t be fulfilled until seventy years after Jeremiah had spoken. That means that an entire generation of Israelites would die in Babylon before this promise came to pass.
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Money Principle #: Protect Your Reputation
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.Proverbs 22:1
A verse like this is going to make more sense in some cultures than others. In modern western cultures, were not necessarily at the mercy of our family name. But in honor-bound cultures, nothing can ruin you faster than having a name that was associated with criminal or disreputable behavior.
A good reputation is better than riches, and the former should never be sacrificed to gain the latter.
Married Couples Should Have It Often
Queen Victoria famously instructed the Christian ladies in her realm to Lie back and think of the Empire a view of sex that seems pessimistic and pragmatic in the extreme. Thankfully the Bible presents a very different view. In addition to the goodness, generosity, and reciprocity mentioned above, the Scriptures also recommend a level of frequency that many modern Bible readers find quite surprising.
The Apostle Paul told his people:
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
At most, married couples could set aside a few days for dedicated prayer and spiritual observance only if both parties were in agreement but then they must come together quickly lest they be tempted to sexual immorality.
As in the Old Testament, so in the New, frequent marital intercourse is prescribed as a guard against a wandering eye and a lustful heart. The assumption is that if we drink deeply from our own cisterns we will be less tempted to draw from our neighbours well. There is great wisdom and great joy in following this inspired instruction.
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God Cares For His Creation
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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
God cares for His creation. He cares for animals and plants , but this verse tells us that He is especially concerned with providing us with what we need. Worrying about your needs is not the answer to meeting them. Trusting in a God who cares about the details of your life is the better strategy.
What Does It Mean That God Is In Control
When a well-meaning Christian says God is in control, what they usually mean is God makes things happen or stops them from happening as he pleases. God designs, ordains, and governs, says theologian and pastor John Piper. That means nothing happens outside what God knows will happen and wants to happen.
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Husbands Owe It To Wives
Many historians think that the most surprising thing the Bible says about sex is found in 1 Corinthians 7:3-4:
the husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
One scholar, for example, puts it this way:
The marked mutuality of Pauls comments was, however, revolutionary in the ancient world where patriarchy was the norm. For the husband to have authority over his wifes body was nothing special. Pauls following statement affirming the reverse, that the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does, clearly pointed to a radical and unprecedented restriction on the husbands sexual freedom. It communicates, negatively, his obligation to refrain from engaging in sexual relations with anyone other than his wife and, positively, his obligation to fulfill his marital duty to provide her with sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
The idea that sex was to be mutual and that the husband owed it to his wife and that the wife had a right to claim it from the husband was revolutionary! It was unprecedented! No one had ever said anything like this, anywhere else in the ancient world.
Surprising Things That The Bible Says About Sex
The Bible is a book about God, about us, and about how God saves us through the person and work of Jesus Christ therefore, it isnt terribly surprising to discover that the Bible has a great deal to say about sex. Human beings are sexual creatures God made us male and female therefore the story of creation, fall, and redemption is necessarily, at least in part, a story about human sexuality.
Parts of that story are relatively well known, but other parts can be quite unexpected even shocking to the first time Bible reader. Among the most surprising revelations would be the following:
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Trust In God Brings Blessing
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.
The verses before this one describe what it is like for those who trust in people. The result is not prosperity but difficulty. Humans are prone to mistakes and failures, just like you. A human is an unstable being to put your trust in.
With God, you can have confidence in His trustworthiness. He has never let you down, even if it felt like it for a time. He has been faithful and consistent since before time began. He is worthy of confidence because He has never made a mistake. He has never lost sight of His plan for you.
Keep Your Focus On God
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD Himself, is the Rock eternal.
To be steadfast is to be firm and unwavering. If you keep your mind steadfastly on the Lord, you can have peace in knowing He is in control. He is a steady rock. He does not change or falter. You can have peace in knowing you are cared for by a trustworthy God.
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What Does Putting God First Really Mean
To truly put God first you have to let go of what others think and follow your heart. This means letting go of what your parents, spouse, kids, boss, and friends think. When you put God first, you give yourself a voice. You express yourself in a way that is true to you. You set boundaries and respect yourself.
Seek First His Kingdom
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It might seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to discover God’s will is to focus instead on pursuing Him and learning what it means to live as a citizen of God’s kingdom. The more we press in to Jesus, the clearer the path before us becomes.
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Other Scripture Verses Assuring That God Is In Control
Proverbs 21:1 In the Lords hand the kings heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him. Joseph Benson wrote that the kings very inward purposes and inclinations, which seem to be most in a mans own power, and out of the reach of all other beings and much more his tongue, and hand, and all his outward actions are in the hand of the Lord Subject to the influence, control, and government of the great Lord of all.
Ephesians 4:1 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. God turns the heart towards or away from Himself. He gives the gift of faith to whomever He desires. Christians are freed from imagining we can somehow convert a person or prevent a person from coming to Christ.
Isaiah 14:24 The Lord Almighty has sworn, Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
Nothing will stop God from fulfilling His plans.
What Does The Bible Say About God Being Able
Here are 9 ways that God is able.
He is able to make you stand: Romans 14:4. Hes able to establish you: Romans 16:25. Hes able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before His glory: Jude 24. Hes able to make all grace abound toward you: 2 Corinthians 9:8.
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Money Principle #1: Grow What Youre Given
Heres another example of a financial parable that Jesus uses to communicate a spiritual truth. Here he wants to teach us stewarding the gifts he has entrusted to us. These could be talents and abilities or they might be the very message of grace that he has entrusted us with. We dont all receive the same gifts, but were all expected to return our masters investment.
This parables point rests on a real-world example of stewardship. High-level slaves in the first century would be responsible for the stewardship of the masters resources. Moneylending was a fairly ubiquitous way for people of means to help others while increasing their own wealth. If they didnt have enough money to lend, they could at least keep it in temple banks where it would be secure and earn a small amount of interest.
Jesus use of the parable helps us understand a spiritual principle while giving us a peek into the financial practices of the dayand the wisdom of wisely investing your capital.