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01 Neither Poverty Nor Riches: Redefining Wealth and Prosperity

Alistair Huong
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The first part of this seminar discusses some foundational ideas and Bible principles of personal finance. In addition to laying the groundwork for the rest of the series, it also defines the Biblical definition of wealth and prosperity, helping to recalibrate our entire perspective on money.


Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse



  • June 20, 2021
    3:30 PM
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Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


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In you are about to enjoy a presentation recorded at the 2021 michigan conference camp meeting held at cedar lake michigan. We pray that the Lord will bless you as you listen father in heaven. We thank you for bringing us together to this beautiful camp site during these warm summer days and a time of peace. Lord, I pray that you will guide our minds in our thoughts heavenward. And also, as we tried to discover your principles for how to manage some of the more practical things in our lives, such as our money, help us to be faithful to your word and the principles they have given to us guide us this hour. And this coming week, as we learn and discuss and study together, we pray in jesus' name, a man. So you've come to the seminar titled end time finance. And we are going to be talking about personal finance. We're going to be dealing with actual numbers and dollars and cents and practical things all couch within biblical principles, and also within the greater context of our avenues, prophetic understanding. So the 1st half of the week, we're going to be dealing with more of the basics. We're going to cover personal finance and biblical principles, and then the last half of the week, we're going to be looking more prophetically. And so to time the things together and are tied the title bar seminar this afternoon is neither poverty nor riches redefining waltham prosperity. And this is going to give us the introduction to the week. It will give us some of the ideas that we're going to be discussing more in depth later on. And also covering some principles, at least in a broad context, that we may not be able to dive really deep into, but at least we will have given you a broad overview. So let's begin. And you must be wondering who I am. My name is Alice wong and my official title is I am the executive director of audio verse. But beyond that, I am also a chartered financial consultant. That is the professional, one of the professional designation for financial planning. And I am currently in the process of starting a registered investment advisory firm in the state of tennessee. And so I do have some training in that regard. But beyond that, I am a business major. I have a degree in business, but that's not as important as the fact that I was also a math teacher in high school. And I like to tell people personal finance. You do not need a business degree to manage your personal finances. But you do need to know how to do math, you need to know how to add and subtract and divide and know how to do percents and those types of things. Now about the business degree of a master's degree in business from southern avenues university. That's not the interesting part. What's interesting is that I was able to graduate debt free and we're going to be talking about debt and student loan a little bit. I think it's in our 3rd session and if we have time, then I'll tell you the story of how I I was able to get my education there with no debt. My wife and I also paid off her house in 2 years. And this was in, we bought our house in 2013, and we paid off our house in 2015, exactly the month when we became parents for the 1st time in 2015. And we recently had our 2nd daughter. You can see them in the picture here just 3 months ago, so you'll see my wife and my 2 girls on the camp grounds here. And you will, if you're wondering what we are thinking, bringing a 3 year old here, or 3 months old on this trip, we are wondering the same thing ourself. But it is certainly a blessing to have them. They are a blessing from lord. Now as far as the financial side, one thing that I was warned about when we had our 1st child is that be prepared that children will nuke your budget. Well, what happens for us in the year? 2016, the very 1st full year that we were parents. We spent 25 percent of our take on pay. We gave 26 percent away and we were able to save 49 percent. And I didn't give you all the numbers, my wife and I are are rather frugal people. This was an increase from when we were before we had children, but in 2020, this was last year. We managed to spend only 16 percent and we gave 27 percent away and we were able to save 57 percent. And of course I had increase in salary during that time, which meant we kept our lifestyle the same and we did it inflate our lifestyle. And that's how these numbers work out. And you must be wondering, what did you say you do again? What kind of job you have? You must be rolling, right? You must have money flowing out of your ear. Well, I actually work a ministry salary. And you understand, when we say ministry salary, that the code word, right? Code word for very much. That's what ministry salary meek. I work for. Supporting ministry of the Avenue church. Audi versus nonprofit organization. And my wife, she doesn't work. He's a stay at home mom, and so Oh, you got to have a rich uncle or something, right? bank rolling you. Well we, we actually don't praise lord my parents and my wife parents are alive. We have never received an inheritance. So all of this is just through crunching the numbers, living by a budget. And some of you must be wondering, do you have like some information, more information about how you did this. My wife and I actually started a blog called saving the crumb. And you can find a saving the crumbs dot com, where we have documented maybe not as much recently, but for a number of years. They're very, very minute details of our personal financial situation or budget, how much we made, how much respect for different things are food budget, things of that nature. So you can and as, as saving the crumbs dot com and I also have some previous financial seminars that have already been recorded. They are available at audio verse dot org, which as I told you, that's where I work, that's the ministry i represent. So you can look me up there and find some of my other presentation. So now for the balance of our time together, just to let our appetite to get us warmed up for the rest of the week, we're going to have a quiz. All right, so the rest of our presentation is structured in the form of a true and false quiz. 10 questions true or false, and I want to get your involvement. OK, so get you get your arms ready. I'll be asking true or false, and you tell me what you think the answers are. The question number one. We should not talk about money because it is the root of all evil. Who thinks this is true? Ok. All right. Who think there's a fall? Yeah, that's what I thought based on the the audio feedback i'm getting. Ok good. Because we know the bible verse is not the, is not the money is the root of evil, right. What is it 1st? timothy $610.00 for the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some coveted, after they have err from the faith and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. The issue is not with the green pieces of paper themselves. It's with the person holding them. Right. And there's one thing about personal finance. It is 80 percent personal and only 20 percent financial. The issue of money is so important, not because of the dollars and cents and our net worth and our income. It's about a heart of the person, right? That's the issue. It reveals us to us who we are. So we look at our life today. Have you been to the gas pump recently? You remember how much you pay for gas last year? Has it been up or down? Yes. See everybody know? Because every time we go by the gas pump, we notice, oh gas is down $0.05 this week or it's up $0.50 from 5 months ago. Money permeates every aspect of our life. Let me give you a few more examples. We've got these little devices right in our, in our pockets. And I like to call them little vampires. They suck money out of our bank accounts dry, right? I mean, you buy the phone and the phones, you notice they just get more and more expensive and they try to get us to get the subscription plans or else to replace them or to have warranties on them. And then not only that, they want you to put your credit cards on there and you're buying stuff online and there's these things got app stores and it's like, oh, it's just $0.99. Bye bye, bye bye bye bye bye. And so all of a sudden this thing's like a vacuum cleaners, sucking us drive our money. And guess what? It can do it all wirelessly. Isn't that amazing? We have money flowing digitally now. And then of course, in the age of cove id, why not to tell you that even sickness and physical health has very clear financial dimensions? Not just not being able to go to work the cost of medicine or seeing the doctor and health insurance. Yeah, all of those things, but just think of economic worldwide economic impact of an invisible virus. Money permeates all of aspects of life. And we all have heard proverbially how relationship frequently have friction because of money issues. We know that education, especially private education. Any of you go to Abilene School, you were actually out of the school, so maybe any, watch what I say. But education has far exceeded the rate of inflation by something by 4 to 5 times over the past few decades. Education is expensive. And then even in conventions and convocation, like where we are right now. When you see a big cap like this, every camp site, every chair, all the light, every meal, it costs something, there's money involved and then within even the church and we think about money, we hear about school shutting down and, and ministry is shutting down and almost without fail, there is some financial dimension to why that is the case. So our question initially was should we talk about money or not? And I think it would be irresponsible not to. In fact the bible has over 2000 texts on money. I think god actually wants us to know a few things about personal finance. So let's go to question number 2. Now. True or false to save money is to be faithless in god ability to provide for us. And in parentheses, sometimes we particularly as avenues, we'd like to interject what jesus is coming soon is coming so soon. We don't need to worry about the future, right. And it's being faithless. It's like saying my lord delays is coming if we're saving money. Now that I sort of, I might a poison the well here, a little bit with the, with all my ad living. But how do you think this is a true statement that we saving money is faithless. All right. How about how many thing is false? How many of you are like? I don't want to answer this question, I think is it your question or some of you some of your like that. Okay, so let's take a look at the bible verse. I think we've all heard before, matthew chapter 6 versus 31 to 34. Therefore, take no thought saying where, what shall we eat or what shall we drink or wherewithal shall we be? clothes for. After all these things to the gentile, seek for your heavenly father's know that you have need of all these things. But what does it say? Why should we do see 1st the kingdom of god and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Take, therefore, no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Looking at this passage at 1st glance, it sure seems like jesus, who is the one speaking in this passage is saying don't plan for the future. Just worry about the day, god will take care of you. You get that catch that vibe like it could be interpreted that way, right? But let's be a little bit more diligent in our bible study here. What does it actually say? What should we do 1st? What must we do 1st before god will provide all these things, added these things to us? What do we do? seek 1st, the kingdom of god and his righteousness. So that begs the question, how do we seek the kingdom of god? Is there anything that is there any active part we have to play in? This exchange is not just imaginary, right? It's not just magical thinking that Oh, I'm just going to wish that god will provide and he will. There's an active part. I heard prayer, i think that's certainly a part of it. But as good avenue I was my my daughters children class. What do we do every day? Read our bible, pray every day and will grow, grow, grow, right? That's the song. So really to seek 1st the kingdom of god. If I could put it as distinctly as I can, we need to study god's word identify his will for us. And we need to obey the word of god. Would you agree that sensible for what christians ought to do? So how do we seek 1st the king of god? Let's take a look at what the bible actually has to say in this area of financial management. Proverb, 6 verse 6 and 8. Particularly saving money. I should say, go to the at thou sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise, which having no guide, overseer or ruler, provided for meat in the summer and gather at her food. And the harvest to the bible recommends go learn something from the smallest creature of the earth, the ant. What do they do? They make pro vision and the time of plenty for time of need. Right? The and shows us to save prover $21.00 verse 20. I'm going to show you this verse in 2 versions and says the wise store up choice, food and olive oil, but fools gulf, there is down. The king james version says there is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise. But the foolish man spends it up, you put them together. Very simple. In proverbs, were told, the wise are the ones to save and the fool is the one who spends everything. Right. And here you tell me it is the average american wise or foolish. 60, this is according to for the magazine, 63 percent of americans don't have enough savings to cover a $500.00 emergency. I don't mean to be rude, but I must say that $500.00 should not actually be considered an emergency with the way that a currency and the cost of living is concerned. Emergencies i'm thinking is like, you know, you get in a car accident, you go to the hospital, but a $500.00 savings is a pretty low bar. If I could say, from a financial planning perspective. But what we're told is that almost 2 thirds of americans cannot meet a $500.00 emergency. If that were to arise. The bible makes it even more a bit sharper than that. First timothy 58 paul writes. But if any provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Those are some very strong were so as a believer of the bible, one who is seeking 1st the kingdom of god. I have a responsibility to provide for my family. And if I don't were told, i'm worse than an infidel. So saving in provision for the needs of our family. Certainly, I think it is a biblical thing to do. All right, question number 3. True or false? God wants us to live a comfortable life. All right, this one might be a little trickier. All right. How many of you think this is a true statement? True. Ok. Some they're going to take the bait. All right, thanks says false. And who thinks it's a trick question. You guys are thinking okay, now what do you mean by comfortable, right? Like, what does that word mean? I know you guys are smart. Counselors are stewardship page 250. It says this had you and your wife understood it to be a duty. Remember that word a duty that god enjoined upon you to deny your taste and your desires and make pro vision for the future. So it's a sidebar making provision for the future back to the previous question mean saving, right? That's what I mean. Instead of living merely for the present, you could now have had a competency and your family have had the comfort of life. So whatever the word comfort means, ela white was comfortable using that word and describing how the believer's life ought to be. Now let's you know, let's give a balancing statement, avenue, home, page 379. It says, god does not require that his people should deprive themselves of that which is really necessary for their health and comfort. There's that word again, but, but he does not approve of wantonness and extravagance and display. So you see the balance fair? Is it ok to have conveniences for the health and comfort of our family? Yes. Sometimes we get this idea. The work of god is going to be finished with greater sacrifice and it was begun. That's a true statement. But does that mean we have to live in a cardboard box? Do we have to live in the dead of Michigan winters with no heat or an attend outside? Of course not. God is not asking us to become monks in a monastery. You understand. But the balance is not to be extravagant. Or to be wanting in our display. Now, I will have to say, this means that this is a, there's a lot of grey area. A family with 6 children. Right, is going to have a very different type of lifestyle than a single person who might be an M D, or dentist or something like that. Right. But there is enough room for variance in these principles. So here's a statement, leo. Ralston and um you can american humourous money, can't buy happiness, but neither can poverty think that might be worth chewing on that one a little bit. All right, question number 4, this is an interesting one. Ok, true or false? All being in debt is a sin who thinks this is true. Send to be in debt. Ok. I always have a divided crowd on this one. Ok. Who thinks this is false? Alright, there's still some of you who I think is a trick question. This was not a trick question. Ok. Publishing ministry page 2, o 9. Sister white rights this I now right to ask you if you will let me have the use of $2000.00. She's asking to borrow $2000.00 to help me in bringing out books that the people need. If I should fall in the conflict before the lord's appearing, my sons would carry for the work of circulating my books according to my plan. When the expense of issuing my books is lessened, the sails will soon pay up all my debts. So, is it a sin to be in debt? sister, why it is not our example, right? Must be very clear. She was a sinner, needs to be say, by grace, just like all. But if it were a thin on the order of violating one of the 10 commandments, i don't think she would have said this. You understand what I'm saying. I don't think she would have gone as a hey, can I borrow $2000.00 to print my books? And if I were to die before I paid off, my son will take care of it. I don't think he would have said that. So let's see how, how does this jive right, was some of the discomfort because we know is like that, are you sure? Well, the bible says the borrow is, serve it to the lender, and that word is by better translated slave and advocates home page 393 says be determined never to incur another debt, deny yourself a 1000 things rather than run in debt. This has been the curse of your life, getting into debt avoided as you would the smallpox. Now if I could update this statement, she would my say today avoided as you would coven 19. Right. And so on one hand, sister white asked to borrow $2000.00 to print her book, but on the other hand, she says avoided like the smallpox, and bible says it is like being a slave to the lender. So now let me ask you the question, is it a sin to be as late? It's not. Is it a sin to have small pock? No, but would you should we aspire to either condition? No. So you see that's the, that's the perspective that we have on debt. Debt is bad, bad like slavery, bad, like a play like ballpark than cobra. 1900. But it's not a sin. Ok. And so on our 3rd session later this week, we're going to dive deeper into debt and actually discuss when is it appropriate to have debt and how do we figure those type of things out. All right, so question number 5. Hopefully this one's a little bit easier. A budget is a cornerstone of sound personal finance, true or false? Who thinks this is true? Are a lot more hands on this one who thinks this fall. All the people who don't like the budget. They're like, I want to raise my hand on this one. But we have council about this council is stewardship, page 294. In the study of figures, the work should be made practical. Let every youth and every child be taught, not merely to solve imaginary problem, but to keep an accurate account of his own incoming outgoing. Let him learn the right use of money by using it. Let me tell you something in a math, theoretical math problem where you're adding and subtracting, getting the numbers wrong, as inconsequential, but all of a sudden, oh I have to keep my budget. Oh, I have to find my taxes. If I add or subtract incorrectly, it has actual financial ramifications. And all of a sudden everybody wants to make sure their math is double checked, right. Make sure everything is accurate. This is what she's talking about. Keep a budget because you'll learn better when you actually look at what's going on with your money. Avenue, home page 374, all should learn how to keep account. Some neglect this work is non essential, but this is wrong. All expenses should be accurately stated. Having a written budget, a plan for your money, right? I think dave ramsay's one that says a budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went. So a budget is an important tool in our personal financial journey. All right, question number 6, true or false? Giving a 10 percent type is the extent of my financial obligation to God who things is a true and we think this is all I heard some very vociferous responses on this one. That's very good. So malika chapter 3, verse 8. Will a man rob god, yet we have rob me. But you say, wherein have we robbed the entire lives and offerings? I think sometimes we have this misconception. We say that 510 percent and then we say offering it is a free will, right? It is as the Lord has prospered you and we kind of think sometimes we might get leave the wrong impression that the offerings that somehow optional optional lease. According to this passage, and we're not going to be spending too much time this week talking about stewardship topics in particular michigan conference as a great stewardship department. There are plenty of resources out there and I have some messages on audio verse on the subject already. So I'm just going to summit up with this next statement. This is really the foundational principle of, of biblical financial stewardship. Christ object lessons, page 351. Some think that only a portion of their means is Delores, when they have set apart a portion for religious and charitable purposes, they regard the remainder as their own to be used as they see fit. But in this they mistake. How much of our possession all we possess is the lords and we are accountable to him for the youth we make of it. God is the creator, and the owner of all things were merely the manager. And I like to make this analogy. When we think about the corporations of the world, they have owners called shareholders. The shareholders get a cut of the profits that's called the dividend, but the dividends is not the only thing that they get. It's simply the representative of that they are the owner of the whole enterprise. And this is the same way with god are life enterprise god. As the owner, he owns 100 percent. We might be the CEO of this firm and the 10 percent is merely god's dividend. It is merely a representation that he owns 100 percent of everything else. All right, so that's the way I like to think about it in business terms. God is the owner of everything that we have. We're merely the managers hired to manage it in our life. All right, let's get to some of the fun stuff. Question number 7, True or false investing is gambling is not biblical and is only for the rich. I mean, if you think this is true, that investing is a game of gambling. True. Anyone? You think this is all some of you don't really want to participate in this, but okay, that's fine. That's ok. We read this in matthew chapter 25 or 27. You ought to have invested my money with the bankers and at my coming i should have received what was my own with interest. Jesus here is telling the parable of the talents, and we know that it is a parable and that it has. It has many applications about all of the talents, meaning the gift that god has given to us to improve for the investment of the kingdom of heaven. And so we talk about our speech and our time and our strength and our intellect and our influence. And all of these things is all chapter in the book. Christ object, lessons about it. And guess what, one of those talents are, well, it has to be money. Now when we interpret scripture, we tried to take the literal meaning when we take the bible, as it reads, we don't disregard the literal meaning of the text unless it is necessary. And so sometimes I wonder why people say this passage talking about the talents it represents every possible gift that god has given to us, except the one thing that's the actual symbol that jesus was using. You know, I'm saying money is one of the talents is not the only talent that he's talking about is, but it certainly is one of them. And God expects a return. He says, when I come, I should receive what was my own with interest. Now here's an interesting passage, sister white and select messages volume to pitch $330.00. She's writing to her nephew, f. E belden. And I think we've seen his name in our hymnals. He was a young man at this time when ella was writing him. She says this, you might have had, even from your limited wage, means in reserve for any demand. It might have been invested in a lot of land which would be increasing in value. But for a young man to live up to the last dollar he showed he earned shows a great lack of calculation and discernment. So sister white give counsel to a young man, even one without a huge income. You should be putting something away. You should be doing something with your money so that you have something in case of an emergency and also in something that is increasing in value. So sister white based on this passage here, she is not anti investing. Ok, but on the other hand, we need to be careful to understand this is not license then to just merely speculate and everything that causes our pat. This is not a blanket, you know, justification to just jump into any ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme or things like that. That's not what she's talking about. But why's careful, conservative investing. In this case, she's talking about land or real Estate. We'll talk more about that later in this week as well. I just want to share the principal here that it's not merely for the rich, and she doesn't view it as merely something that is inappropriate for the believer. Something a bit more nuts and bolts now. Evidence home page 396. She gives us advice. Every week to a family in her day. She says, every week you should lay by in some secure place 5 or $10.00 not to be used up unless in case of sickness this may also be called an emergency fund, which she, herself, there are stories of her actually having one herself with economy she adds, you may place something at interest with wise management. You can see something after paying your debt. How many of you think it's you can, you can put away 5 or $10.00 a week. That's pretty reasonable. I. It's not no big deal. $510.00 is almost like, you know, lose change in the couch, cushions almost. But you notice at the end of this statement, i have the day $884.00. That's when the statement was, were written. And if you know where I'm headed with this $5.00 in $1884.00 is not worth $5.00 today because of this little thing called inflation. So I ran the numbers and you can see there $88045.05 or $10.00 per week, amounts to $20.00 to $40.00 per month, or $260.00 or $520.00 per year. Now we look at those numbers and we think, oh yeah, no problem. I can do that. But let's adjust for inflation to 2021. What are we looking at? We're looking at $135.00 to $270.00 per week. 542-1080 per month, and roughly $7000.00 to $14000.00 per year now. Okay, so weird. Okay, this is a little bit more uncomfortable now. And it's interesting also, I'll just note for those of us here in the United States, $7000.00 is right at the annual contribution limit for an I R A or roth irie for those about the age of 50. This is including the $1000.00 ketchup contribution for those under $56000.00. So she's talking roughly that range of numbers just to give you a comparison. So when we think about ellen, white giving counsel on saving the 5 or $10.00 in her day is equivalent to a $135.00 to $270.00 in our day. So she's not just saying just some totally wink, you know, a few quarters here and there. She says, you need to be pretty diligent about having some savings stored away. And she says, also you remember the statement with economy, you can place something at interest. But don't just hide in the, in the mattress, put it and earn something with it. So here's the graph, and I use 8 percent interest and everybody asked this question, where do you get a percent interest? So let me just tell you where I'm getting this number 8 percent is over the past century or so. This is the average return of the S and p 500 index. And in most employer sponsored for one k or for 3 b program, there will be a fund that has this type of investment in it. It sometimes is called the total market index fund, or s A P $500.00 index fund or an e T f. As certainly every i array would have this available to you. And so I use 8 percent because it is widely accessible to most people in America. So this is not some impossible type of investment that is super exotic. You need to be in a hedge fund or something to get know, it's not like that. Even in most employer sponsored retirement plans, this is something that is achievable. And so this graph shows us over a 30 year career if we just followed this advice, $714000.00 per year. This is the adjusted for inflation of $5.00 to $10.00 per week idea. Over 30 years, 7000 dollars per year would turn into $800000.00, whereas $14000.00 would be $1600000.00. So you see it doesn't really take an exorbitant amount of income to accomplish some of these numbers. So, investing is not just for the fact cats on wall Street and the rich people, it is not just gambling. In fact, we have good evidence from inspired pan that we ought to be thinking along those terms. All right, so along the see this theme, question number a true or false. It is better to save small amounts, regularly, wild young than to save a lot later when we are and more. Hey, how many of you think this is true? A how many you think this is all alright, because good. You guys actually are pretty unanimous on this one because there are sometimes those people who think I'm still in school or I just started my career. I am just starting out. I need to buy the house. I need to get married, get the car, have the kids. Once I pay off my student loans and I get my car, the nice car hours wanted the big house, whatever. Then I'll start saving retirement. I've got time for that. Well, let's take a look at some math. I'm going to give you this example through the eyes of thrifty tiffany and spend the salad. These 2 young ladies are the same age and tiffany. The size to save $2000.00 per year from age 20 to age 30 and she invest at the 8 percent rate of return. What we talked about just now. And so over 10 year she invested $20000.00 of her own money over these 10 years. And the year that she stopped saving when she turned 30, sally start saving. So sally wants to start a career, have a family, do all those things in her twenties and that 30 she says, okay, I'm ready to do the adult thing. Now I'm going to settle in, I'm going to start saving. She saves $2000.00 per year from age 30 to $65.00 invested in the same investment, 8 percent rate of returns or she's invest the $70000.00 in total of her own cash over a 35 year period. So when they turn $65.00, which is no longer the full retirement age for social security, I understand that. But just for the sake of the comparison here, who has more at age 65, when they retire, who do you think is a tiffany or salad? Just because of the name I gave them, you probably know where this is headed, but let's take a look at what the numbers actually are. So the final count, tiffany will have half a $1000000.00, whereas sally will have $380000.00. But how could this be? How could this be one lady invested far less of her own money ever far shorter period of time than the other. But she ended up way ahead. The secret is simply the combination of compound interest and time, frequently even famous investors like warren buffett, tell us that the secret ingredient investing is time. It is not some exotic investment that you have to reach out and hire some, you know, fancy wall Street broker and set up a hedge fund and all of these weird, you know, tax shelter type, you know, strategies. That's not where it it the earlier you start, the better off you'll be. And so looking at a graph of the journey that tiffany and sally went on, you see the blue graph? tiffany had a 10 year head Start, she was running unopposed and she just started stacking the investments and compounding interest if you remember. And your algebra is interest earning interest on itself. So that's why you see it's not a linear growth path. That would be simple interest, compound interest becomes a hockey stick, exponential growth. And eventually it picks up so much steam that even though saudi is just adding or more and more of her own money every year. She just can't catch up. And so the lesson is based on this chinese proverb, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time. Now. Pine is the secret, sought to invest. Alright. Question number 9. Sure. Fall, the better way to reach financial independence is to earn more, rather than to save more. And this is financial independence. However, you define it most of the financial world to find financial independence as being able to provide for your income through your own investments without needing another source of income. But financial intended to be getting out a debt for you, or having a home paid off or something to that effect. So in any of these cases, which is better to say more or to earn more. So is this a true statement or false to good things? This is true. Who thinks this is all? OK, so we have a little bit of divide here. So the question is, is it better to earn more or to save more? And just to all, obviously it's the best to do both. If you earn more and you said more than you get ahead the fastest, but this is if you had to choose one or the other. So let's take a look at this example. We have saver, sam, and consumer car sam over here earned $50000.00 a year, which is just under the median household income in the United States today. And he spends $20000.00 to live per year. And so he managed to save $30000.00 of his income or 60 percent of his income coral. On the other hand, he makes it 3 times as much. He makes $150000.00. He spends $120000.00 on his watch style, and he said the same $30000.00 per year, which is 20 percent of his income. Which of these 2 individuals has greater financial independence? You know, that's a tricky question because it depends how you define financial independence. Because if you think of financial independence as being able to buy more stuff, have a bigger house, have the nicer car go on fancier vacations. And in that case, who would, who would be in a better position? It would be carl, because he has a bigger income. But think of it another way. For each year that sam works. He can take one and a half years off. Whereas carl has to work for years before he can take one year. Ok. So we just had a flip of perspective who has more financial independence that sap because he has what is literally what we call freedom. He doesn't have to work as much because he doesn't need as much as so there is a double benefit of living unless mathematically, by living, unless we are able to save a greater percentage of our income immediately. Okay, that is the key percentage because based on actual numbers $30000.00, that's how much both of them said. And I also want to be kind to our friend carl. In this fictional example, he was saving 20 percent, which is still far in excess of the average american savings rate. So he's actually doing, he's still doing quite well. I don't want to throw him under the bus if any of you relate with him. Ok. But the double benefit of living, unless the other reason besides saving a greater percentage of our income immediately is that our total amount of savings required in the future is permanently decreased. Meaning our standard of living has decreased, so we need less. That's the secret here. And so the best path to get ahead, depending on whether financial independence is really the goal, is actually spend less. All right. Question number 10. This is our last question for the day. True or false? God wants us to prosper and to build well, true or false. Let's see our hands who think god wants us to prosper and build well. Ok, who thinks this is fall? How many of you who feel uncomfortable with this question like, feels like kind of skin mix mix i skin crawl, because let's take a look at a few statements that might be the reason why we feel that cognitive dissonance. Matthew 19 verse 24 says this, and again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the IVR needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of god. We've all heard this passage before, haven't we? Jane 5 versus 133. Now go to now you rich men weed, and how for your misery shall come upon your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten your gold and silver is canker, and the rest of them shall be a witness against you. And show your flesh as it were, fire ye have heap treasure together for the last day. Does it sound like a good time for the rich folk at the end of time? According to this passage? The val i get to me. And so that begs the question, well, there's bad, right? That's what it sounds like. If we were to take those versus an isolation. Are there other statements though in scripture that says something to balance out our view. 3rd, john, in the new testament. 3rd, john verse to beloved. I wish above all things that vowed man, do I prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prosper and duty on me. 8 verse 18. This one is interesting, but thou shalt remember the Lord, thy god for it is he that give us the power to get? Well, there are other statements to this effect that god gave us promise to the israelites. You shall be the head and not the tale. You shall lend too many nations and shall not borrow right there are statements to this effect. Ravine harold, march 1884. Ellen white writes, the desire to accumulate. Wealth is an original affection of our nature implanted there by our heavenly father. For noble ends. Wow. Mister white actually wrote that. It sounds a little off. Brant councils are stewardship. Look at what this says, page 113. This is the balancing statement here. The followers of christ are not to despise wealth. They are to look upon wealth as the lords intrusted talent there that word again, the parable of the talents destroyed applies it here too well as well by a wise use of his gift. They may be eternally benefited by, but we are to bear in mind or bear the fact in mind that god has not given us riches to use, just as we shall fancied, to indulge impulse to bestow or withhold as we shall please to see the key here it's not too just enrich ourselves and have a grand old time like the richer ritual. Right. Let's bill barnes and bigger barn to fill them up and, you know, take your ease, sol, eat, drink, and be married. That's not where she's talking about. God owns all. Think we are to be diligence stewards, increase the town that has been given to us for the purpose of what he calls us to serve him with. So the paradox of wealth that we see in the bible and the spirit of prophecy is that the bible condemns greed and excessive riches. And you might say it is dealing with the 10 commandment covetousness. But the bible on the flip side encourages prosperity. I think we've seen the tension between both of these statements well within the church even has become sort of this weird, weird concept where it is aspirational and sinister all at the same time you understand what I'm saying. Like there's this tension where when we think about riches, we think, oh, I don't know about that. But yet what do we wish for our children? We wish them to have a successful career. When we go and, you know, we raise money, we are thankful that there are a wealthy individuals that can write the big checks to help with the building project for the mission project. So whatever else there might be, riches are, are, are like we view it in disdain, out of one side. But then it is almost wistful and, you know, aspirational on the other. I guess lack of faith is greedy, but yet it's the blessing of the Lord. At the same time we have this tension we aspire to riches. We want our children to be successful. But yeah, we're worried that it's going to lead us down a path of greed and corruption. So really we need to ask the question, what does the bible mean when it says prosper? What does it mean for the believer to be prosper? And so we're about to read the key statement in this presentation today. This is in proverbs chapter 30 versus 8. And not notice the sweet balance of the state. Remove far from me. Falsehood and line. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest i be full and deny you and say who is the Lord or last I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. You notice here in proverbs, neither poverty nor riches. The bible here also gives us the pitfall of both extremes. When we are so full and we are able to just, you know, we feel like, oh is this not great babylon that I have built? And we, we get hubris and we get pride for, we say, who is this god and we forget who got it. That's the danger of excessive riches. And that's what the bible is. Warning again, it is easier for or easier for a camel to go through the IVR needle than a richman to enter the kingdom of heaven. That's what I'm talking about. You know, so used to forget god in our affluence. But then on the flip side, the bible's also clear poverty is not a virtue. In fact, they are tempted as well to send to steal, and to profane the name of the Lord and to be covered just and to be looking wistfully and covering what other people have. And then for some, they actually take the action of stealing. So the beautiful balance is give me the food that is needful for me. So what does it mean to be prosperous? It means simply to have our needs met and to have enough. When we have enough to meet our needs, we are prosperous in accordance to the definition of the bible. We have crossed that threshold into prosperity. And so if that's true, and this is the secret secret to prosperity, i guess you can say the secret formula to prosper. The less i need, the easier it is for me to prosper. That is, that's the math. The less i need, the easier it is for me to prosper and in fact, to morrow is presentation session. Number 2, we are going to talk all about that. Gather up the fragments, the secret to prosperity. That's the title, and that's the topic of our day tomorrow. But in conclusion, to quote one is from the greek philosopher. Epic pitas wealth consists not in having great possessions. But in having few one, I believe he was merely saying something that we find an inspiration 1st, some of these 6 or 6. But godliness with contentment is great again and I pray that that is the state for which to which we aspire to the day that brings us to the conclusion of our 1st session today. Neither poverty nor riches. I hope that we have covered some ground, shared some biblical principles, and have a clear understanding of how the bible defines wealth and prosperity. Not the world defines it, but as had gone as how god sees it. So let's bow our heads together as we conclude here, our 1st session for the day father heaven, we thank you for the clarity of your word and also the inspired pan of just white counsel that you give us not just high flying principals, but also booth on the ground principles that we can apply in our daily life. As we deal with the personal finances in our day to day experience, we pray you give us wisdom, help us to have the proper mindset and perspective not of the world but of your work. To think of wealth, not as some means of aggrandizing ourselves, but as a tool to help advance the work of god. I pray, lord, that we might not go to either extreme, but to think as we have just disgust to prosper. As the bible says, neither poverty and riches to be satisfied and content with what you are giving to us. And we also be faithful and returning to you. What is your own guide us today? The remainder of this day and the remainder of this week count me as we continue to study, apply your word one lot. We thank you on the crazy thing, jesus. To listen to more of these presentations, you may visit the audio archives at M. I S T A dot org slash audio 2021 or search for michigan conference camp meeting wherever you get your podcast.


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