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The Scriptures on Finances - Only treasures in Heaven last forever

 


This week we continue to look at material from the book “Managing God’s Money” by Randy Alcorn.

When Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthians he said, “I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Earlier in the letter he said, “We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

I certainly don’t encounter this kind of talk in most of my conversations and interactions with other believers. Many of us tend to complain or become angry when we are insulted. We avoid hardships and run from persecution. If there is an easy way out of a particularly tough situation we choose the easy way.

But Paul is one who paid the price for following Jesus. We know about his beatings, shipwreck, stoning, and suffering for Whom he believed in.

I remember preaching when I was seriously sick. God’s power and might are awesome. When I recognize my weakness then I am strong in Him.

Sometimes when we have implemented all of the prior Biblical financial principles that we have looked at over the past months we just need to wait on God. I enjoyed the television movie Vegas Vacation. When the dad Clark is asking his son how he won so many vehicles his son replies, “I put a dollar in and won a car” over and over again.

We often expect God to work the same way in our personal finances. We need to remember the principle of seed, time, and harvest taught in Genesis. I like harvest but I don’t like to wait. I am learning that God makes all things beautiful in His time. Patience, suffering, persecutions, and trouble are not my favorite topics.

I like blessings, healings, provision, faithfulness, and rewards. Job asks his wife, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

If we are going to grow up to be mature men and women of God we are going to have to submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all areas of our lives. Paying tithes and giving offerings should be a large part of our growing up with God. Trusting God to meet our needs is important because without faith it is impossible to please Him. Disciplining ourselves to live within our budget or spending plan will produce character in our lives.

Many Christians live their lives on earth as if this is all they have. They seem to forget that we are eternal beings. On this earth we sometimes act as owners rather than as stewards. We take the wide path rather than the narrow path.

What would happen in our community if we remembered, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others”? What if the believers in Jesus were always generous? What if we accepted Augustine’s directive when he said, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” What would happen if Christians embraced the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”?

Wise people think ahead not just to their retirement years but also to eternity. Treasures in heaven last forever but treasures on Earth last for a short time. We should consider investing in His Kingdom.

Missionary Jim Elliott said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

This week let’s remember that we should devote our brief lives on this Earth to pursuing eternal treasure. The business of this life is preparing for the next.

May God bless you big.

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This is the 23rd column in a series by Kevin Barsotti, pastor at Ark Church in Havre, about financial matters and their treatment in the Christian faith.

 

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