Posts Tagged ‘Wealth’

excessive luxuries

I am really showing extremes these past two days…maybe its time to look at what wrong with excessive luxuries as opposed to being prosperous.

When I was being mentored for the ministry, my very first word of instruction was to beware of the three sins – power, money sex.

I have watched others who have not regarded these instruction or took them lightly – fall.

Basically, the instructions include this simple rule – fall for one, fall for all.

This is where excessive luxuries come in.  It’s not the wealth that ruins a soul. it’s the sense of power that does.

The sense of influence that is gained because of wealth.

That power and ability and opportunity to influence, changes people, it will change you and I.

You begin to see signs of rudeness, insolence and pride and maybe in its right connotation, proud voluptuousness, found in frivolous luxury.  Frivolous luxury is the spending of money that makes those you do business with, wealthy.  It may even mean that when you cease with spending, the people who do business with you, and are so dependent on you, and have become wealthy themselves for their association with you, go into mourning and depression, doomed, bankruptcy to follow.

I still remember the day a friend came to me to show his statement of investments.  It was at $900,000.  He said in three more months he would be a millionaire.  Something called Black Monday took place one month later, and I saw him shortly afterwards.  We talked a bit about investments and he showed me his investment statement – valued at $100,000.  I could only imagine the sense of loss of so much money, money that could have been used to save lives, possibly given to him in order that he might engage in the business of saving lives – in our world, it was all lost.

The desire for excessive luxuries causes one to do things that one would never even have contemplated in times past.  With me being such a part of the Church – and I love the Church – we have all seen some incredible things take place in the name of pursuing incredibly excessive luxuries – pretending to sell heaven.  We have seen the selling of pardons and indulgences, selling of special services to fetch souls out of purgatory, television evangelists who make more money in one year than Michael Jackson and Madonna put together.  We could all name names.

The answer is the same as with any other discussion on prosperity or never lacking – it is taking on one of the characteristics  of God – give when He has given to you – you will never have excessive luxuries to worry about, to take time away from God and your family, or to protect and maintain.  I know it is an extreme, but have you heard of individuals, especially those with incredible salaries making decisions to live on 10% and give away 90% of their income each year?  It is a shame that we do not hear of this in our papers as much as the negative publicity of our Christian friends who have fallen to the desire of excessive luxuries.  These men and women are those who very well may know that there could be a risk of losing their eternal riches being stored in heaven if they allow their earthly possessions rule them.

May we all stay as humble in our walk on this earth as Christ did, may we all take what God has asked us to be stewards of and hold them in our hands, palms open, so that God can use those very same gifts for His glory, and His purposes and may the New Year be filled with adventure as we watch God changes hearts and lives through His Word and through us.

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Great treasure comes with right living

God sometimes blesses the righteous with great riches, as he did Abraham; or, however, if they have but little, it is better than the riches of many wicked; because they have what they have with a blessing, and they are content with it: and they have abundance of spiritual treasure; they have God for their portion; Christ, and all good things along with him; the rich graces of the Spirit; a rich experience of the grace of God; and all this is but a pledge and earnest of what they shall possess hereafter;

but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble; they have much trouble in getting their riches, by which they pierce themselves through with many sorrows; they have much trouble in keeping them; cannot rest nor sleep because of their abundance, lest it should be taken away from them; and they have much trouble in parting with them, when they are, by one providence or another, stripped of them; and, besides, they have them with a curse, and are ever attended with uneasiness, on one account or another.” – Gill’s Exposition

I found this blog that was cheeky enough to share with you – loved the attitude and hope that it will practical enough too.

http://digrowth.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/proverbs-156/

My skeptic friends think this is a contradiction.

Is wealth a sign of righteousness or wickedness?

I think that both of these readings I have opened with indicate that wealth is not the indicator at all – the indicator comes as to how we handle wealth – in other words – our attitude towards wealth.

John Gill suggests that the righteous can live with or without wealth whereas the wicked will do whatever it takes to keep it and our blog friend suggests that we try to move our wealth over from believing that it belongs to us to understanding that it belongs to God and He is sharing it with us.

Of course, my skeptic friends ask – who is righteous?  Love when they say that because they are actually quoting Jesus in the parable of the rich young ruler and think they are cute when they do that – but the  open door to explain the plan of salvation and our journey towards being holy is always a favourite path to engage a conversation on – so keep on asking the question.

 

 

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Do you have wealth because you believe the end justifies the means?

Maybe I should identify the kind of wealth I am talking about as having a large abundance of riches in general and which are being used for abusive purposes and the affluence of wealth comes from fraud or oppression.

The possessors of such wealth, if they hang to all that they have obtain, will find that this will not profit them, for it will hurt them in the long run and in their course of travel, they will perish along with their money.

I know that this is the opposite of what one may think, but understand that no one can by their riches either redeem themselves or their family from destruction, or give to God a ransom for themselves; nor can they through their ill-received wealth save themselves from a corporeal death one year, one month, one day, one hour, one moment; nor will their wealth be of any service to them in the day of judgment, when they meet face to face with God.

Ask any family of how much wealth their loved one took with them as they passed from this life to the next – for we know that in the day of death, all of one’s worldly goods are left behind.  What do you think happens to all your wealth obtained in such a ill-favoured manner?

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Since you trust in your deeds and riches….

The greatest concern of all is when God prospers us and we,without even knowing it, begin to trust our works and our wealth and God becomes part of the program instead of the program.

You have a great home, live comfortably in a nice community and you feel safe.  For those reasons and not because you trust in God to keep you safe.

You have a good, maybe even a great job, you have a nice car, maybe two, your home is furnished and upon entry, is pleasant to the eye and you feel fulfilled.  For those reasons and not because you met with God in the morning and were refreshed by Him with words of purpose for the day.

The television received first attention, stock markets next, gardening thereafter, kids stuff, wife stuff, gym time – just no time for God – creaky hinge gets the attention.

Since it is all your money, you plan your holidays, next major purchases, day to day activity does not require a budget becasue you do not need one, God gets some as part of your “deed” package but not the portion required and life goes on – eating , drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.

Soon there is unrepented iniquity, but with enjoyment over a lengthy time of outward prosperity – no worries.  Secure and sensual in prosperity there are no changes in peace or prosperity, hearts and lives are unchanged.

How do we get back to God from here?

 

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