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Archive for the tag “The Rich Fool”

Kingdom Purpose

Over the years, I have listened to many speakers on health-related topics as well as biblical-based teachings. Every once in a while, I will run across a webinar or series of talks on a particular subject that interests me that has nothing to do with health or the Bible. I listened to a series a couple of weeks ago on money. I let this message marinate since that time to discern what should be shared on this blog site.

Usually I post my health-related articles on my newsletter, which I post on my Denise4Health Facebook page (you can “like” my page to get my articles). The biblical-based articles I post on this site. I have chosen to write this article for this site because it does have a spiritual application. Jesus taught quite a bit about money – usually the relationship we have with it. We all know how to spend it really well. But do we really have God’s perspective on it? After all, the money we receive comes from Him. It’s all His – we’re just managers of His resources.

The series started out with a talk on debt. I have often heard how debt was bad, but one of the speakers talked about how the wealthy use debt to increase their wealth. Let me give you a bit of my back story. One of my previous jobs was with a real estate company who purchased or built buildings for leasing purposes. They would get so excited when the banks would raise their debt ceilings to increase the loan potential and thus buy or build more buildings. I would get perplexed when that would happen. I thought debt was a bad thing so why would they want more of it?

I had a bit of a light bulb moment when the speakers revealed the reasoning behind the debt. Money is supposed to work for us. Apparently my former employer understood this concept and it made good business sense. They used the banks money to make them money and fulfill their vision of why they were in business – to provide quality buildings for businesses and to make some money for their shareholders (or that was my concept of their vision).

Debt was interesting from that perspective but I don’t foresee going into debt to make money for myself – just not going to happen. However, there were other speakers on different aspects of investing to create wealth. We might have a bad concept of wealth – money is the root of evil. However, wealth isn’t really a bad thing. Yes, the love of money is – the Bible tells us so. But wealth can be used to God’s advantage. God is looking for someone to fund His vision.

In Joel 2:28, we are told in the last days old men will dream dreams and young men will see visions. Totally out of context; but maybe in the last days, the old ones will be funding the visions of the young ones. Just a thought.

I believe in divine connections – old and young alike, we are called to help one another fulfill God’s vision. I also believe God calls all His people to be investors. But most of us don’t know how to invest. And most of us don’t have additional money to invest. Most of us live from paycheck to paycheck barely making ends meet. We survive rather than thrive. I believe God wants us to thrive; it’s better for His Kingdom. We just have to learn how to manage money wisely. Like Jesus’ disciples, we have to be taught the skills to help the Kingdom.

We have many teachings from Jesus on money. One story concerned three managers (Luke 19 and Matthew 25) who were left in charge of the business (gold) while the master was away. Another story concerned the rich man building bigger barns (found in Luke 12). The first story was about increasing what the master gave the servants (investors for the Kingdom) and the second story was about sharing the increase God gives us and not storing it up in bigger barns (bank accounts) for the future.

This is not about socialism – take from the rich to give to the poor; but giving in response to what has been done for us. The first century Christians shared with those in need. It’s what made them different from the rest of the world. We are to learn how to put God’s money to work for His Kingdom purpose. I believe this is the true definition of wealth. We all need to learn how to be wealthy and it might be we have to take a risk or two to get there.

We can all be risk adverse; I know I avoid it, if possible. However, I believe someone is going to be called to fund someone else’s vision for God’s purpose. It will take a step of faith to be that someone. In order to be that someone, we need to get our finances under control. We need the resources to be able to fund the vision.

Like any skill, we have to learn how to master the skill of building wealth to build His Kingdom. It means surrendering to God – everything is His – and let Him direct our steps to financial freedom and wealth investing. Just saying “yes” to His vision means He gets the glory and we get the blessings. That’s a pretty sweet deal.

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:29-34

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The Dash

A few weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on life and death. This topic keeps coming up for me. I was listening to a sermon series from Pastor James MacDonald on Psalm 90. In one of the sermons he asked those listening to count the number of days we have remaining. In Psalm 90, it states in verse ten about “the length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have strength.” So if I calculate my age now until mid range of seventy-five years, I have a little over eight thousand days remaining if I make it to seventy-five. I don’t know the actual days remaining, but God has already set my end date. We all have an end date, whether we like to think about it or not. One hundred percent of us will die one day. Our hearts all began to beat in our mother’s womb and one day it will stop. If we should have a tombstone on our grave, we might have the dates stamped on there with a dash in between.

In Psalm 90:12, the writer asks God to teach us to number our days. The writer goes on to say in verse 14 to satisfy us in the morning with His unfailing love so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Wouldn’t that be nice to have joy every morning? What if we started each day with joy in our hearts; how would our day change? How would our life change? How would we impact those around us? These are the things I am contemplating as I have considered the rest of my days on this earth. The dash on the tombstone is our life on earth. The dash determines our destiny for eternal life. The dash matters.

The “dash” was another message I heard a couple of weeks ago from Pastor Louie Giglio (yes, I listen to many preachers). His message was from Luke 12:13-21 concerning the parable of the Rich Fool. The rich man had many riches – he didn’t have enough room to store his goods. Right now, I am picturing garages filled to the brim with junk; the one thing that should be in the garage doesn’t even fit amongst the junk! Our most expensive possession (outside of the house itself) has to sit outside in the weather. (This is not to mention that many people in the world live in a garage-sized space!) The rich man built bigger barns to hold his goods. He believed that he could then relax and take life easy. He had enough to last him the rest of his days. He just didn’t know how long his days were. In verse 20, God called the man a fool. The stuff the rich man gathered would do nothing for him in his eternal life.

We will all give an account to God one day. I would much rather hear from God “well done, good and faithful servant” rather than “you fool!” Each day matters. Each day I have a choice to make. I want to be wise in choosing things that bring God honor and glory. I want those treasures in heaven to be piled high, don’t you? The garage piled high will get me nowhere. It will only cause a lot of heart ache for the one who ultimately has to clean the garage (and house) out after I am gone. Someone will have all my possessions here on earth one day. Does this sound morbid to you? To me, it’s a reality check to make sure that I count my days wisely. There is more to this life than stuff. Life is a precious gift that is given to us by God for His glory and for our joy. Jesus came to give us abundant life, not abundant possessions! The dash matters.

Then he (Jesus) said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

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