Archive for the ‘Giving’ Category

When Christmas rolled around, my children used to ask me, “Dad, what do you want for Christmas?” I’d usually respond by saying that I just wanted obedient children (Ephesians 6:1). After all, how many ties, socks, and handkerchiefs does a man really need? It’s much better to have children who love and obey God and who do His will (3 John 1:4). Do you know the difference between the “New Commandment” and the “Old Commandment” (John 13:34, 35; Leviticus 19:18)?

Blessed. Buying gifts for others can be difficult when most of us in this country have so much and other people have so little. Instead of thinking what we can get from others, perhaps we should think about what we can give to others. Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Treasures. Sometimes when we worship and serve the creature or material things rather than the Creator, God either takes or allows to be taken from us those things which have come between us and God (Romans 1:25). We must keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). “One by one He took them from me, / All the things I valued most. / Until I was empty-handed; / Every glittering toy was lost. / Then I walked earth’s highway grieving, / In my rags and poverty; / ‘Til I heard His voice inviting: / Lift your empty hands to me. / So I held my hands toward Heaven, / And He filled them with a store / Of His own transcendent riches, / ‘Til they could contain no more. / Then at last I comprehended / With my stupid mind and dull, / That God could not pour out His riches / Into hands already full.” – William Cowper

Promised. The Old Testament Jews were promised physical blessings in return for their obedience to God. This included their mandatory giving of 23% in tithes (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29; 28:1-14; Malachi 3:10-12) plus other offerings.  In addition to these things they had to pay their taxes to support the king and the government (1 Samuel 8:10-18). Today Christians can/should give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7) to the work of the Lord because they have been blessed with both spiritual (Ephesians 1:3) and material blessings (James 1:17). God promised to supply all the Christian’s needs, not all his greed and wants (Philippians 4:19). With food and clothing (covering) we can/should be content (1 Timothy 6:8). Consider what you have that you didn’t receive (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Giving. “God [the Father] so loved the world [all mankind] that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting [eternal] life” (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again [bodily] the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [exclusively], and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “For by grace [unmerited favor] you [Christians in Ephesus] have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9. See Philippians 1:29).

Sharing. So no one will believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2), we’d like to encourage you to take/make time to read very carefully the “Clear Gospel” and evaluate your personal life so you can have assurance of your salvation and know that you have eternal life (God’s quality of life) right now (1 John 5:13). Click on http://www.cleargospel.org. (It’s in 30 languages.) If you know you’re saved (1 John 5:13), can God count on you to pass this information on to others who may be unsure of their own salvation? Would you share your intent to do this with us? The gift of eternal life is the greatest gift we can offer to other people here at home and around the world. Many people have heard sermons without ever hearing the unadulterated Gospel message. Don’t delay! Do it today! Don’t believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2) by adding “but” or “and” to the Gospel message.  Read Christ’s words in Matthew 7:21-23; 25:30, 41, 46.  The wicked dead don’t get annihilated and they aren’t given a second chance to be saved once they’re dead (Hebrews 9:27).

Suggestion. At the bottom of your e-mail or other correspondence, add the above website and ask others to read it and then pass it on to others. God’s Word won’t return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). But God counts on us Christians to deliver the message to others (Acts 1:8). We are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). Discover how you can have beautiful feet in God’s sight (Romans 10:13-17).

Crown. To show His appreciation to Christians who have a part in the salvation of other people, Jesus Christ will give the “Crown of Rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20) at the Bema Seat Judgment (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Will you receive it from Him? Do you know what you’ll do with it if you receive it (Revelation 4:10)? Why not put on your “Gospel Shoes” (Ephesians 6:15) and take the Good News to others as the Holy Spirit leads you (Romans 8:14)? Having them on will keep you from yielding to the devil’s temptation to be spiritually lazy (1 Timothy 5:11-15). Who are in your circle of influence?

Help. If you have questions/comments about spiritual matters, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We thank God for those of you who are reading these articles and telling others where to find spiritual food.

Click to access English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 

This is what each of us can and should have at all times. Thanksgiving should result in “thanks living” or in a continual “attitude of gratitude” and a life that is given in service to God and others after we’ve received God’s gift of eternal life (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6 :10). Jesus said, It’s more blessed to give than it is to receive” (Acts 20:35). Most of you who are parents and grandparents know this to be true. We enjoy giving gifts to our children and grandchildren and watching their responses when they open up their packages at Christmas time or on their birthdays.

Good Gifts. God has given and continues to give good gifts to us all the time. We’re told that Every good and perfect gift comes from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God gives us physical life and health. He heals us of all our diseases (Psalm 103:3) except the last one which causes us to die physically (Hebrews 9:27). But, believe it or not, some day He will raise everyone from the dead, believers and unbelievers, each one in his or her own order (1 Corinthians 15 ). Do you know in which of the five resurrections you will be raised?

Nature. God has given to most of us the ability to enjoy the beauties of nature that are all around us. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handwork” (Psalm 19:1). Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered about the universe in which we live and how it all came into being? The Scriptures tell us that In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Not only did He create them, He also holds together the molecules that naturally want to push away from each other (Colossians 1:17). God’s handiwork can be seen in the beautiful sunsets, in the painted deserts, in the purple mountains, or in the rolling hills around us here in Paso Robles. As I look at them, I’m reminded of the words of the Psalmist who said, I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2).

Food. He sends the sunshine and the rain (once in awhile around here) on the just and the unjust ones (Matthew 5:45). He is the One who causes the crops to grow so we can sustain our lives. Question: Do you pause to thank God for your food before you eat it? I’m impressed when I see a few people doing this even in restaurants.

Thankful. Quite often I thank God for allowing my wife and me to live in such a beautiful city and country. We’ve traveled to many countries, but for me, there’s no place like home and the country in which we live. Do tears ever well up in your eyes as you sing “America The Beautiful” or our national anthem? I confess, it happens to me quite often. I love my country and I want it to be a great country where truth and justice prevail. I want the United States to be a model nation for others to follow. Is that your desire too?

Strength. Jesus said, Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The Apostle Paul wrote, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:23). To his fellow Jews, Moses said, As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25). To the philosophers in Athens the Apostle Paul said, In [God] we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Greatest Gift. But the greatest gift that God the Father gave to humanity was the gift of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you can quote the words of John 3:16 which says, For God [the Father] so loved the world [you and me] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul wrote, Thanks be to God [the Father] for His indescribable gift” which is the Lord Jesus Christ ( 2 Corinthians 9:15). The greatest gift that Jesus Christ gave to us humans was Himself. As Someone who had never sinned (Hebrews 4:15), He voluntarily laid  down His life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins (acts of lawlessness).

Gospel. The Good News is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). The Apostle Paul said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). He also wrote to the believers in Ephesus, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”(Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Eternal Life. God’s quality of life (eternal life) is made available to all mankind right now (1 John 5:11-13). Will you accept it by faith? Once you get it, you can’t lose it. Jesus said, I give them [My sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand…or My Father’s hand” (John 10:28, 29). If you haven’t received it yet, will you accept it right now? The Apostle John wrote, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). If you have received God’s gift of eternal life by faith, will you share the Good News concerning Christ with others who need Him so desperately?

Help. If you’re not sure about your eternal destiny, and would like additional help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We enjoy receiving comments from people all around the world as one person tells others about this site or they come across it “by accident” or “providentially.”

Read Part 1 –  https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/an-attitude-of-gratitude/

Prayer is nothing but a powerful placebo. We’d all be better off accepting that.” So says one man who claims to be an atheist. If he were an honest man, he’d claim to be an agnostic, not an atheist. Do you know what the Scriptures call atheists (Psalm 14:1)? What two things can we learn by observing nature that makes everyone without excuse (Romans 1:20)?

Was Christ’s half brother James wrong when he wrote these words that are a part of the Scriptures: The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16)? Was he merely giving people a placebo?

Jesus. When Jesus Christ, as the God-man, prayed all night to His Father (Luke 6:12), was it a waste of His time? Why did He pray if He Himself was indeed God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18)? In what realm was He operating – His human or divine consciousness (Matthew 24:36; John 2:24. 25)? How many natures did/does He still have? How is He different from the other two persons in the Godhead and from us? What bodily form does He have in heaven today (Luke 24:33-43; 1 Timothy 6:16)? What kind of bodies will the believers in heaven have (1 Corinthians 15:49-54; 1 John 3:2) and what kind of bodies will the believers on earth have in the future (Daniel 12:2, 3)? How are they different? Will all the unbelievers be annihilated or suffer forever in a real body in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Luke 16:22-31; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8)? Is reincarnation Scriptural (Hebrews 9:27)?

You. Do you ever engage in prayer? When? Where? Why? How? To whom? What do you say when you pray? How important is it for families to pray together? Does prayer change things? Are your prayers limited to asking and receiving? Have you been disappointed when you didn’t get what you asked God for? Is God your Father or is the Devil your real father (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10)? Unbelievers shouldn’t be asking God for favors. Satan has attractive offers that he makes (Matthew 4:9). Does God answer your prayers with a yes, no, or wait?

Prayer. This word (proseuche) in the Greek language (in which the New Testament was written) is often inappropriately used by many people to cover all eight forms of communication with God. But it has the primary idea of worship. True worship of God (John 4:24) involves the use of the believer’s spirit (that belongs to the mind – Ephesians 4:23) and truth about God that is found in the Scriptures (John 17:17). We don’t truly worship God without thinking about His attributes. How many of them do you know? We can/should engage in true worship at all times in all places (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It seems that most people who attend church these days have the idea that worship primarily involves the soul (emotions). They don’t think that they have worshiped God unless they come away with a “good feeling.” Did you know that the soul of the believer is the last thing to be saved (1 Peter 1:9)? When will this happen (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)? When will the believer’s body be saved (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:23)?

Effective. Obviously, not everyone’s prayers to God are effective. Many requests are denied because they aren’t according to the will and plan of God. God has a “determinative will” that will be carried out no matter what anyone else tries to do to oppose it (Acts 2:23; 4:28; Ephesians 1:11). It involves, among other things, God the Father’s determination to make God the Son (The Lord Jesus Christ) King of kings and Lord of lords (Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 19:16). Do you know when this will happen? The Scriptures also identify 12 things that are said to be God’s “desirous will” for us that we may or may not carry out. This involves the use of our wills. When our prayers line up with God’s plan, He says “Yes.” We’re told to Ask [as though Christ were standing in our place asking for us] , and [we] will receive, that [our] joy may be full” (John 16:24). Sometimes [We] ask and do not receive, because  [we] ask amiss, that [we] may spend it on our pleasures” (James 4:2). What do you want and why do you want it (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

Fervent. Are you easily dissuaded by the colorful attractions of this world (1 John 2:15-17). Is God your refuge and strength, your very present help in trouble? Do you know that He alone is God and that He (Jesus Christ) will be exalted in the earth one of these days? Do you know that He is with/in you if you’re a Christian (Psalm 46:1, 10; John 14:17)? Do you believe that He is able to do far above all that you ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)? Are you willing to ask God for favors from a humble heart (James 4:6)?

Elijah. This prophet of God was used to bring on a drought that lasted for 3 ½ years during the days of wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel (1 Kings 17, 18). God had made it clear to the Jews that if they obeyed His laws they would be blessed but if they disobeyed them, they would be cursed (Deuteronomy 28). Elijah simply asked God to keep His word and bring judgment on the wicked king and Israelites of that day. Later God prompted him to pray for rain (1 Kings 18:1; James 5:18). But first he had to challenge the 450 prophets of Baal and demonstrate to them and the Israelites that there was only one true and living God. The prophets of Baal called on their god to bring down fire on their sacrifice but to no avail. But when Elijah prayed, God answered by sending fire from heaven to consume his water soaked sacrifice. Then the false prophets were put to death for misleading God’s people (Deuteronomy 13:5). Beware of the false prophets and teachers of our time (2 Peter 2:1).

Righteous. Obviously, only God is totally righteous. God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) is righteous (2 Timothy 4:8). He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).  We, unlike God, are unrighteous and sinners (Romans 3:10-23). We deserve to be separated from God forever in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46). So, how can we be forgiven and become righteous people. God puts to a believer’s account Christ’s righteousness (Romans 4:22; James 2:23) when we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). In other words, God says we did the right thing by dying for our own sins in the person of our Substitute, Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). This is known as “positional truth” or what God considers to be true in His mind. But “practical righteousness” is displayed when we act right by doing the things that God wants us to do as revealed in His Word. While all the Bible is to be believed, not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:15). Without a clear understanding of “Dispensational Truth” a believer can easily end up trying to do what God may not have intended for him/her to do. Example: God doesn’t expect Christians to live by the Mosaic code of conduct today (Romans 6:14; Galatians 2:11-14; 5:1ff). We are to live by grace principles. Do you know where they can be found? If not, ask. We don’t bring bloody animal sacrifices to God today (Hebrews 10:4) nor are we required to give a 23% tithe today as the Jews did under the Mosaic Law (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29). They gave to be blessed (Malachi 3:8-12); we give because we have been blessed (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Are you a Christian who is living by the wrong set of rules that are found in the Bible? Would you like to receive our FREE “Dispensational Chart” that can help clarify this? If so, ask for one.

Faith/Works. To the believers in the church at Ephesus the Apostle Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). Ask us about “Spiritual Gifts” (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16). Which were temporary and which are extant gifts?

Formula.  Correct: Grace + Faith = Salvation + Works. Incorrect: Grace + Faith + Works = Salvation. Whatever you do, don’t get this wrong or you will regret it forever. Don’t believe in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2; Matthew 7:21-23).  Believe on Christ through the Gospel.*

Help! If you have questions/comments about this article, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  If you’ve been helped or encouraged by reading this article, pass it on to someone else. Thanks for helping us get God’s Word out to people who need it. 

*Gospel in 30 languages:  http://www.cleargospel.org/    http://www.davidpietsch.com/the-gospel/ 

“God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages: http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

(Pass these links on to others so they can be saved.)

               Christmas is the time of the year when people give gifts to each other as they celebrate a birthday – the birthday of Jesus Christ, the God-man, and the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; 27:11).  Unfortunately, He is the One who is often left out of the festivities.  There was no room for Him in the inn when He came the first time, and there is no room for Him today in many people’s lives (Luke 2:7).

                First Coming.  When He arrived on earth 2,000 years ago, He was rejected by His own people (John 1:11).  So He postponed the setting up of His kingdom on earth (Matthew 16:20; 23:37-39).  But He will return to establish a literal kingdom here on the refurbished earth that will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7; aniel 2:44, 45; Isaiah 2:4; 35:1; Zechariah 14:9-21).  Then after the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) He will destroy the present heavens and earth and create a new heavens and earth where righteousness will finally settle down and feel at home (2 Peter 3:11; Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17).  The righteous, believing Jews will inhabit the new earth (Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13).  Where will you be in eternity future – with God and His people, or suffering forever with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 45)?

                Quote.  While Jesus was here on earth He is reported to have said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  He demonstrated this for us when He left the ivory palaces in heaven (Psalm 45:8) and came down to this sin cursed world to live among us and then die for our sins and rise again bodily from the dead (John 1:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  His resurrection guarantees our resurrection, each one in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  Do you know in which one you will participate?

                Giving.  Christians can/should demonstrate Godly living and giving, not just during Christmas or for birthdays, but throughout the year as an expression of their gratitude to God the Father for His indescribable gift of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15).  Unlike the Jews in the Old Testament, Christians today can/should give cheerfully because we have been blessed, not because we want to be blessed (2 Corinthians 8, 9; Ephesians 1:3). 

                List.  Perhaps, in addition to the gifts that you may give to your family and friends, may we suggest that you put these things on your list of things that you could do to brighten someone’s day? Why not mend a quarrel and forgive an enemy (Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:32)?  What about releasing a grudge or apologizing if you’ve been wrong (James 5:9, 16)?  Seek out a forgotten friend (Acts 11:25).  Dismiss your suspicious attitude (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  Send a note of encouragement to someone who may be hurting,  an orphan, or a widow in need (1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:27; Matthew 25:34-40).  Be gentle and patient with an angry person (Proverbs 15:1; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Express your genuine appreciation to others (Philippians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4).  Smile and speak kind words to strangers (Proverbs 17:22; Hebrews 13:2; Luke 10:33).  Enter into someone’s sorrows and joys (Romans 12:15; Micah 7:8; Romans 12:8).  Listen attentively to others (James 1:19).  Take a walk with a friend (Genesis 5:22, 24).  Be a servant like Jesus was (Galatians 5:13; John 13:14).  – Adapted from Chuck Swindoll, “Growing In The Seasons Of Life

                Paradigm Shift.  Rather than focusing on what you can get, why not see if you don’t derive more joy from giving than receiving?  A maturing Christian is learning how to be content in whatever state he may be, with what he has, knowing that God is with Him, and will never forsake him (Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5).

                A Free Gift?  Have you received the gift of eternal life from God yet?  If not, why not accept it now?  Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Yes, it’s that simple and yet people won’t believe God’s Word because they are led to believe that they must do something to earn their way to heaven.  No, it’s a free gift from God.  Our deliverance from hell to heaven is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

                Help.  If you aren’t absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’d like to help you see from God’s Word how you can be certain that you will have a home in heaven some day (1 John 5:13).  Call us at 805-238-7665 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com

               If this article has helped you, would you pass it on to someone else who may be in need?  Click on “Follow” to receive these articles as they come out.

“Discontent makes rich men poor, while contentment makes poor men rich.”

Covetousness.  The covetousness, lust, envy, the “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side” syndrome can bring a man to ruin.  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10). NKJV

King Solomon.  He was wise and yet foolish.  Some Bible commentators have suggested that he may have died with a STD.  With 700 wives and 300 concubines it could easily have happened (1 Kings 11:3).  But he gave some wise counsel toward the end of his life after it had been spent foolishly in vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'”   (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  NKJV.  Contentment, not covetousness, should mark the Christian’s lifestyle.

“CQ”  What is your “Contentment Quotient”?  What purchases have you made in the last 30 days that were prompted by covetousness rather than by a genuine need?  Has a desire for material things diverted funds that should be going to the Lord’s work?  If so, what needs to change about your spending habits and attitudes?  Do you think of yourself as an owner or as a manager of God’s resources?  “Moreover it is required in stewards [managers] that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). NKJV

Promise.  “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).  You can claim this if you are a Christian.  Otherwise you’ll have to depend on your father the devil and/or his children (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10).

Portions adapted from “Your Daily Walk” p. 90 by Walk Thru The Bible Ministries.  I’m using this helpful tool in my personal “Devoted Time.”

For additional spiritual help rearding your finances, go to www.kelseypeach.com. Under the section on “Finances” read “A Christian’s Giving.”  Make sure your Christian giving is done God’s way, not by man’s standards.

  “The most sensitive nerve in the human body is the one that reaches from a person’s hand to his checkbook.” Do you agree or disagree? Some people refer to the checkbook as a “spiritual journal.”  What could other people learn about you if they were allowed to look into your check book? On what kind of things did you spend your money? Which things are absolutely essential and which are discretionary things? With what should Christians be content (1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5)?

Counselor. Suppose you were having money problems and decided to visit a financial advisor. He might ask you to keep a journal of all the money you receive and spend in a month. That might be hard for some people. Can you “window shop” without buying something?  Do you abuse your credit card? Do you pay just the minimum balance each month or do you pay off the whole amount? Did you know that compounding interest can work for or against you?

Needs. Are you a young adult weighed down with car payments, a big mortgage or high rent, credit card bills, or paying off a college debt? Would you like some advice from God’s Word to help you make wise decisions? Are you an older adult in your retirement years with your home paid off and a steady retirement income? Would you like to do something that could bring you greater joy during the rest of your life? If so, read on.

Evil. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the “love of money” that is (1 Timothy 6:10). It is a part of this present world system over which Satan himself rules (Matthew 4:8, 9; Ephesians 2:2). It is something that a Christian can use on earth but we aren’t supposed to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). It’s possible for maturing Christians to misdirect their “agape” love away from God to the things of this world that are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:10-12). But we who are Christians can/should glorify God by the way we earn, save, give, and spend money. Believe it or not, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Jesus

Stewards. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a manager of someone else’s things? “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17). Think about this, “What do you have that you did not receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)? Most people are proud of something. It might be their race, face, or place in life. Don’t boast about it; you could lose some things in a flash.

Communism. The Apostle Peter warned us against those who would twist the Scriptures for their own advantage (2 Peter 3:16). There are many teachers and preachers within Christendom who misuse the words of Jesus (Red Letter Christians). They try to tell us that socialism or communism is what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and what the early church practiced (Acts 4:32-37). Not so! What happened in the early days of the church was a temporary situation that gave the richer Christians an opportunity to share with those in need. Barnabas gave willingly, he wasn’t forced to sell his land and give it to others.

Sermon. The Sermon on the Mount was addressed to Jews (not Christians) who were anticipating Christ’s earthly kingdom (Daniel 2:44, 45) when things will be dramatically different. They rejected Him (John 1:11) and had Him crucified by the Romans.  When He returns to this earth to set up His kingdom, all of man’s needs will be met (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1ff; 35:1ff), the devil will be bound in the Abyss for a 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the sin nature of man will be curbed though not eradicated (Jeremiah 31:34). By the way, all Christians still have a sin nature (1 John 1:8), but they also have a nature from above (2 Peter 1:3, 4). This is why Christians are sometimes doing sinful things they shouldn’t be doing.

Poor People. Jesus said, “For the poor you have with you always…” (John 12:8). He was chiding those who were condemning the woman who anointed His feet with costly oil. Judas and the others thought she was wasting money that should have been given to the poor.

Government. The government’s stealing from the rich and giving to the poor doesn’t help matters. Socialism or communism hasn’t worked in the past and can’t work today while man still has a sin nature.  It tempts him to be jealous, covetous, or envious of what others have. These attitudes can even lead Christians to commit murder (1 John 3:15; 4:20; James 4:1ff). A Christian can overcome these lusts by learning how to filled with the Spirit and to walk by means of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-25). Are you yielding to sinful lusts or living victoriously over your sin nature?

Capitalism. Even though many people abuse this system, it’s not condemned in the Scriptures. (Do you know what the best form of government is?  Any form of government is better than anarchy.)  Before you can honestly give something to another person in need, you must own it as your own. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something [i. e. own something] to give to him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).

Tithing Or Tipping? Did you know that in the Old Testament times, the Jews were required to tithe 23% of their gross income (Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 14:23-29)? They gave to be blessed (Malachi 3:8). Christians shouldn’t give “to be blessed” but can/should give because “we have been blessed” with spiritual and material blessings that God gives to us (Ephesians 1:3; James 1:17). Do you “give to get,” or “get to give?” If you attend church, what kind of a “tip” do you give? Why?  Do you give more to the waitress when you eat out?  Do you give grudgingly or cheerfully?

Thanks. The Christian’s giving is called a spiritual sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15, 16). When we give, we should be expressing our gratitude to God for an income (Ephesians 5:20), and expressing our faith in Him to keep on supplying all our needs while we are here on earth (Philippians 4:19).

Humor? A church member refused to participate in an offering for missions. When an usher passed the offering plate to him the miserly member muttered gruffly, “I’m not going to put anything in; I don’t believe in missions.” “Then take something out,” replied the usher, “it’s for the heathen.”

Motive. If you give to charity or to a church, why do you do it? Is it to gain favor with God or to earn your way to heaven? Maybe it makes you feel good or gets you notoriety so people will refer to you as a great philanthropist (Matthew 6:1). Jesus denounced the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. He said, “You devour widows’ houses, and for pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14). Yes, there are degrees of suffering in hell as there are degrees of pleasure in heaven. Where will you spend eternity?

Principles. The Apostle Paul gave Christians some guide lines to help us in our decisions concerning the use of money and our giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). It should be systematic, an individual matter, consistent, proportionate, and private.

Quote. Someone has said, “Under grace, God doesn’t look at the amount on the face of the check, but on the balance left on the tab. The man who makes $50,000 and gives 50% to the Lord still has far more left than the widow who gives 10% out of her meager allowance of $800 a month.”  Grace teaches us that our giving is not a legal obligation, but is a blessed privilege and becomes a measure of our love for God.

Question. Do you think of yourself as an owner or a steward (manager) of the resources that God has entrusted into your hands? How do you spend your time, your talents, and your treasures? It’s been said, “Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ shall last.” Are you doing all things for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)? “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?

Help?  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com. These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet.  If you’ve been helped by this article, will you let someone else know about it?