Archive for April, 2012

April 16, 2012

Dress Down?! Nope!!

by Lester Young

There’s still a view, even today, among many that ‘true’ Christians should not have much money, nor be concerned at all about money. What’s more, I’ve heard people (some seemingly otherwise reasonable and level-headed people) say that Christian preachers should not be dapperly-attired. One even went so far as to say that they thought a well-known and particularly well-dressed preacher was going to Hell because, and I quote, “His suits are too nice.” As the world-famous actor and philosopher Bugs Bunny would say, and I quote again: “Wha…???????”

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April 14, 2012

Stop Worrying, Already!

by Lester Young

Ever wonder where money’s gonna come from?  And how it’s gonna to get to you, especially when up till now it seems to have made a conscious decision to stay away from you in droves?  If you’re exercising faith toward God in the area of finances – and you definitely should be – it’s pretty normal to contemplate just how it’s going to (or could ever) happen.

But, normal or not, I’d like to pass on a little piece of advice to you, if I may: just stop worrying about it, because it ain’t none of our business where the Lord gets the money from to prosper His people.  Just know that it’ll be legal and ethical, because He’s a legal and ethical God (Leviticus 19:35-37; Deuteronomy 25:14-16; Job 8:3) – and just and faithful and righteous, too (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 98:9).  So, if someone comes to you with an ‘opportunity’ that seems a little, shall we say, shady, you can be sure that isn’t coming from God.

I wouldn’t give you any advice that wasn’t based squarely on God’s Word (because He’d hold me personally accountable for that – and that’s one little question-and-answer session I’d just as soon pass on).  1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all of your cares, worries and anxieties over onto Him – and ‘all’ actually does mean all.  Besides, all the silver and gold (and all the other riches of the world) are His anyway, right? (Psalm 50:10-12, 104:24; Haggai 2:8)  So, there’s no great need for us to concern ourselves with how it will happen.

What, then, should we be doing with our attention, our main focus?  Placing it on God, by spending time in His Word and in prayer – daily.  The Lord Jesus said (basically), “Why bother to worry about your life, what you’re going to eat or drink or wear?  There are much more important things going on than just that.  Worry changes nothing anyway.  Besides, God already knows about all your needs, so there’s absolutely no reason for you to even think about them like the rest of the world does.  Instead, first and foremost, you go after the Kingdom of God – His wisdom, His knowledge and how He operates, and learning and conforming to what He says is right.  You do that, and He’ll make sure that you get all the rest of those ‘things'” (Matthew 6:25-33).

We should be busying ourselves seeking and studying the Lord’s Wisdom.  After all, it’s the first and most important thing we should attempt to grab hold of (Proverbs 4:7).  God, through the wisdom of His Word, will lead us in the way that we should personally go in our lives (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 21:29).  That’s why the Lord is our Shepherd; He leads, guides and provides for us (Psalm 23: 1-3).  And, on top of that, when we make it a point to put His wisdom to use, it will also bring us riches, honor and a long, healthy life (Proverbs 3:16).  What A Bargain!  Remember King Solomon? (1 Kings 3:5-14)  It’s right there in black and white.

Actually, though, the Lord does give us a broad overview of where our money will come from.  Isaiah 45:3 says that He’ll give His anointed ones the treasures of darkness.  Ecclesiastes 2:26 states that the sinner’s lot in life – from God – is to gather and heap up riches in order to give them to the person who’s good in God’s sight.  And, Proverbs 28:8 declares that money gained by unlawful and unjust means is ultimately gathered for and given to those who’ll use it compassionately to help the poor.  Recall that Israel, when delivered from Egypt, as their last official act before bouncing out the door, snatched up all the money and riches in the country – by God’s order! (Exodus 3:21-22, 12:35-36).  So you see, the money’s coming from the Dark Side over to the children of Light (Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5) – “it is written!”  What’s actually none of our concern are the details.  But that’s okay; it’s coming anyway.  If we make it a point to take care of His business, He’ll make it a point to take care of ours (Matthew 6:33; Luke 2:49; John 9:4).

 

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April 11, 2012

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise?? Really?

by Lester Young

Absolutely! God wants and needs you strong in every area of life, including your wallet. Oh yeah, that’s entirely true – whether you believe it or not, regardless of what you may have been taught in the past. He plainly says so in His Word. You’ve probably read or heard 3 John 2 at least a dozen times: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” In the original text, that Greek word (euodoo) translated as prosper means ‘to succeed in reaching [a destination or goal],’ and also ‘to succeed in business affairs.’ It’s the Holy Spirit’s (and thus, God’s) desire above anything else that His children not only be healthy, but financially successful, too. And you know that God (if He has His way) doesn’t do anything small-scale (1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:20). If you don’t think so, just go outside on a clear night and look up!

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