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1- A Biblical Perspective on Money

G. Edward Reid

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G. Edward Reid

Former Stewardship Director, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

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him the welcome too it's your money a practical guide for managing the financial resources God has provided your host is a Christian attorney and financial counselor G Edward three hello and welcome to it your money these audio recordings are provided for those who want to gain more information from the biblical principles of money management and every twelve sessions and this is number one rep power first of all about the spiritual implications of money management some people ask why all the fuss about money one of the interesting things is that we all have lives to live in we all have money to manage some people recognize that you can go through elementary school Academy in college and never actually take a course or root required to take one that would teach you how to balance a checkbook or to buy an insurance policy or by car or whatever just general management data people learn these things will typically is just trial and error and lots of both so what were going to do is to look at this from a spiritual perspective because God understood that we would need to have this and he wants us to have an abundant life it's an interesting also that the second Timothy the third chapter in the first five verses there describe our day and now those of us who are of a Christian perspective recognize that based on Bible prophecy they were living in the end times in the Bible says there but know this that in the last days perilous times will come from and will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money and then follows a great long list of awful things that people do without self-control brutal and so on but it's interesting that the first to actually talk about money management one is actually lovers of money or lovers of themselves and so what were going to look at us to see if we can get out of this list of bad things and understand how God wants us to our great so we're going to look at our own workbook those of you that the seminar you will have a workbook and if you don't you will tell you how to get one at the end of the program today were going to be on page three and I hope this will help you I'm sure it will be a good backup to have the material from the edge of my book and workbook were talking about escalating bankruptcies it's fascinating to understand today that yet in spite of the fact that we live in one of the most prosperous nations in the world for two thousand and one the statistics that we have indicate that twenty nine thousand American families declared bankruptcy every week last year that's one four million families could not make it and you understand that that we would have been having prosperous times until the last few months and we'll talk more about investments in a later session but I want you to contemplate the idea is bankruptcy really an alternative for the Christian will talk more about it when we discussed death but the Bible indicates that in Proverbs thirty seven twenty one that the wicked borrow and do not repay we like to understand that the bankruptcy should be avoided if possible from a Christian perspective today we see all kinds of interesting things in the news about us and in the publications I recently noticed a Forbes magazine cover that showed that the CEOs of large companies now are making up to a hundred million dollars a year in many sports figures make huge salaries and of course so you want to become a millionaire and other programs like that attract a lot of attention to people but what should a Christian do what all of this wealth than concerned about finances I have found something that I call living in the land of the Philistines to remember in the Bible judges chapter two verses two and three that God said you shall not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land you shall not tear down their altars but you shall you not obeyed my voice but he says if you serve their gods they will be a snare to you so I'm going to give you little illustration you understand that in the Bible 's predicted in the Old Testament there is a place called the land of the Philistines and of course the camp of Israel the land of Israel and when Sampson became involved with the Philistine woman she was not the girl next door he actually had gone some distance to become involved with her so I want to ask you a question today just to contemplate and that is from a spiritual perspective say good guys and bad guys where is the land of the Philistines today while I live in Washington DC area frequent people say what must be where it is some people are concerned about those of the escalating crime and violence and so on but I will tell you that it's not some town that you think of with violence and crime record in all of that but from mild the biblical perspective especially from the New Testament God says where the light of the world where the salt of your summer carnival mixed in together people have access to television and just about anything they might want to get involved in today but it's not all bad that were mixed in there because we are the salt of the earth but in money management frequently the world assaulting us more than we are salting in now I give you an illustration so that you can understand that frequently the Bible indicates that the debt is bad but today many many people are getting involved in debt and that's why we have such a high incidence of bankruptcy as I mentioned earlier now we live today in a society where we want things bigger probably and see him we would be four millimeters give you housing industry as an example of how in some countries of the world and do not have mortgages I have a friend from Zambia Africa attend one of my seminars he couldn't understand the session number eight on housing because the whole thing was on how to finance a house and he said in Zambia there is no such thing as a mortgage you just don't build and live in it as you can at any rate down from a biblical perspective I will try to give you a little insight right now so what we'll talk about in session number eight as well but because of the availability of money and credit today housing prices have really really shot up so like the median house price in the United States now is a hundred and forty seven thousand dollars best just across the board the average obviously in the Midwest you can find them a lot cheaper or a smaller home or in a rural setting but in large cities of course it's much much more than that so the average person doesn't have the money to buy a house and what do they do want to make a trip or two to the bank and they get qualified may find a house that they want and they borrowed the money and let's speak first about the Philistines if they want to buy or build a house in the have the money they'll borrow the money and what is the typical time that they will take to pay it back well anyone who is generally familiar with house financing those best thirty year mortgage in the United States best and only typical here because some countries as I mentioned do not have mortgages but some places like in Japan if you lived in Tokyo are one of the large cities there may have a hundred year mortgage and it takes three generations of people to pay it back but typically it's thirty years so let's just say that a Christian person decides that he wants to buy or build a house what will he do well typically they will do exactly the same thing and get a thirty year mortgage and that may be the way to set we understand housing costs so much because credit is available think about this how much would the average house sell for your file money was not available to borrow him to pay back at any rate what should a Christian do well the Bible indicates that Christians or bootable Bible believer should not be in debt longer than seven years and you have that principle from Deuteronomy fifteen verse one and other places like that so what will you try to do is to help people to put their mortgage in perspective and to pay it off in a suit quicker time that is to accelerate the mortgage and I've done this personally twice and it really helps and a lot of people come to me and felt that it was a benefit so credit cards many other things we take our cues more from the world than we do from mild the Bible perspective so sick of Bibles now rushing to go to the six chapter of Matthew and this is kind of an interesting setting because it is in the middle of the sermon on the Mount and most of you are aware of the best Matthew chapters five six and seven and when you look at Matthew from this perspective my Bible is a red letter editions of all the words of Jesus are in red right in the middle of this famous and longest recorded sermon of Jesus we find these words in Matthew six nineteen do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth worm often rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal now this is going the fascinating thing because we actually see here that the were talking about concerned politicians other people today but people are wondering should I save up money but the Bible says don't store it up on the serve him to me that's quite a fascinating thing to see because it seems like the logical thing to do but do store up treasures in heaven now this to me is pretty interesting and I will try to make it the plane for you here when we look at Matthew six nineteen and twenty if you buy the way the Bible is not telling us not to store up treasures is just saying store NetWare will be safe so how do you store up treasures in heaven when you look through the Bible there is actually a number of ways that you can answer that question but there's only two answers that you get over and over again and I'll try to give you a perspective on that one of them was the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and he probably was in the category of a group of people today that we called dinks that's dual income no kids he is coming up in his fancy car and says to Jesus what can I do that I could inherit eternal life one Jesus didn't tell him to sell everything to begin with what he said his son keep the Commandments and he said Woolwich Commandments so Jesus actually started quoting some of the ten Commandments and what actually happened in this case is he said when you can stop I've been doing that since I was little what do I like yet in Jesus told him to sell what he had and give to the poor and follow him now a lot of people missed the next phrase in Matthew Mark and Luke all of the mentioned the story he says there would buy you will store up treasures in heaven so helping others is one of the ways that we store up treasures in heaven it's fascinating also to understand today that there is another way and that is by helping to advance the cause of God I will talk about this a little bit later but I will share with you this general principle we know that we can't take anything with us from earth to heaven but we can send it on ahead and we can do that by helping others in helping advance as the economy is of such importance to people today that actually elections turn on whether the economy is doing well or not and of course politicians are always interested in this and they spend a great deal of time with that we're going to look at another passage in that's first John in this particular passage is pretty fascinating at first John two fifteen to seventeen I use the new King James version in my study and speaking and I'll just read that so you'll get the picture there this is beginning with chapter to a first job will epistle of John and verse fifteen do not love the world or the things in the world if anyone loves the world the love of the father is not in him for all that is in the world the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father but as of the world now this verse seventeen is the real critical one this other part just sets the stage and it says the world is passing away and the less of it yet but he who does the will of God abides forever now I'm I'm a believer in ecology and recycling trash and keep your place is clean and so on but we're not going to save the planet the Bible says it is passing away and the less of the but he who does the will of God abides forever and I believe this is very very important for Christians to understand that that what we see here today is actually going to pass away and we actually want to work with God in the such a way that we have an abundant life in a positive experience here with him but that we also follow along to know the Lord and to know his will in this area sometimes people wonder well is money management really that interesting to do to God or is it that big a deal with him and them the real answer is yes indeed it is in fact there are more than two thousand reference him money in our attitude toward money and possessions is one of the most prominent topics in the Bible and were not talk in our next session more about the biblical stories of people just as an illustration for us but suffice it to say that the parables of Jesus two thirds of them deal with money management and possessions or attitude toward them and many of the kingdom parables do all give you just a little illustration so you can understand one of them is Matthew thirteen forty four and when you look at this particular parable is just one first parable and there's really not an explanation given but because of the context we can understand what Jesus means here he said again the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which a man found and he had and for joy over it he sells all that he has and buys the field now you understand that Jesus taking something and that the people understood in new in his day and he tries to make an application of it so that we can properly judge the value of things today in the days of Jesus it was common for people to walk across the property of another there wasn't there weren't very many roads actually in those days and that's their work bring stances either because the people had animals would either hire someone are themselves be the shepherd to keep them all together and to take them to pasture and water and so on so when Jesus illustration a man is walking across a field maybe he's actually tending the field maybe it's a sharecropper at any rate he finds this treasure and immediately he recognizes that someone probably put it there in an attempt to save it for later use you understand back in those days we didn't they didn't have banks as we know them today are federal deposit insurance and so on so people that really wanted to to save their money him someplace the big question of course is who would you tell if you did that and if someone told no one and then lost his life some way in battle or sickness or whatever who would know where it was and so was not uncommon to find such things in the man who found this treasure new that the present owner probably didn't even know that it was there and so he decided that he would buy the field because the treasurer would go with it but the Bible says something interesting it says that for joy he was actually happy to do this he went and sold all that he had and that buys the field sometimes we would feel sorry for this guy because it cost him everything but you really don't feel sorry for them because what he got was in his mind much better than what he actually got so what I'll tell you is in this particular story we need to actually understand the value of what God has for us as compared to what we have down here now I have used the illustration of the great span of time even the time that we know about six thousand years of this earth how would our life compare and of course when you can't contemplate eternity it's really even different the map but let's just say that your life is about a quarter inch long compared to all of time but the if you recognize your life that has a daughter just think about eternity is alignment goes on from that and has no and it will just go and go and go whether north south east or west there's no end to it it will break off from the earth and just go on and on and on so if you're smart would you concentrate on the dot or the line well it's really kind of a no-brainer but many people including the rich young ruler and I think that's why God put that or allowed it to be inspired in Matthew Mark and Luke all the Gospels have that story because we don't realize that so much but this man traded this earth and all its problems for all of eternity and not is incredible when you understand it from that perspective so we want to see as we go through these particular stories were to look at a number of them what happens in the world that you can listen to the radio stations non-Christian radio stations that have all kinds of money management things on them and I want to give you just a little illustration after that you have the workbook were on page four and looking at number three I wanted talking about worldly finance gurus this is an interesting number of years ago two or three different families came to me and wanted me to is an attorney to take a gentleman to court for them his name was Charles Givens he was the man who wrote the book wealth without risk now you understand of course that it is neither possible to get wealth or keep it without risk but he wrote this book wealth without risk and it became a number one seller on the New York Times bestseller list and it was there for weeks and weeks the man's name was Charles Givens in a way that he would go around hotels motels where they had a conference room would rent the place and and I have new seminars for people telling them how to get rich and frequently people would buy the materials that he had in those days it cost four hundred and seventy five dollars for the videos and the tapes in the workbook and all that so you could become a millionaire and that what he actually had was a little perspective skull personal prosperity and I have one here in my hand and and reads from the cover if you've got twenty minutes a month I guarantee the work of financial miracle in your life now miracle gives you the idea that it might be Christian but you would look in vain through the material to try to find any biblical references to money may him or you think about either offerings and the also called himself the profit of profit and of course when you read through the perspective of the perspective seer there's lots of things you'd like to know the answer to whether or not given there you have to buy the materials now is kind of an interesting thing that these people who contacted me wanted me to sue to get their money back is fascinating however that all I had to do was say read the fine print there's no guarantee so you just learned your lesson for four hundred seventy five dollars it is fascinating however that the I had a little sticky note that I put on this that Charles Givens was convicted of thirty five counts of fraud in the state of Iowa in that case in Cedar Rapids Iowa went to the federal district court there he had encourage people to drop their uninsured motorist and invest the difference there the money that they would save but as it turned out some people got in trouble and needed that insurance and when the investigation was done they found the Charles Givens didn't drop he has but he was encouraging other people to do that but the fascinating thing to me about all of this is that I read the national newsmagazines and I found on map in U.S. News & World Report magazine July twenty seven nineteen ninety eight something really really fascinating and it's sad in a way and it's very sad anytime anyone passes away but if enough people in the news section there's a picture of Charles Givens author of wealth without risk now I should tell you that in the prospectus that the dog gave to people that encourage them to buy the materials it showed him there on the television with Larry King and speaking to the present and then one of them shows and buys Learjet with his coat slung over his shoulder and then there's a picture of him with his car collection and his were savings and Bentley and Porsches and other things like that and then the fascinating thing about it though is the index so US news call it says this author wealth without risk in other books amassed millions in the eighties but in the nineties he faced lawsuits and fraud investigations in nineteen ninety six a California jury ordered him to refund fourteen million dollars to customers there now here's the final end of all this it says his company filed for bankruptcy protection he later lost control event and on July twelve fifty Givens age fifty seven died of cancer now the point I'm going to make his he died without any money and apparently didn't send any on ahead it's a sad situation when you look at it from that perspective now the reason I mentioned that is because the Bible already had told us what to do and the answer is in Psalm one one and two and so here you have it blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night well it to me you can understand there's a lot of good things you can learn from people even from a worldly perspective of how to take the proper tax deductions or encouragement to save and so on but a lot of these people tell you to pay yourself first but when you look at the biblical principles that were to be looking after the series you understand that God says in everything we do put him first and then he'll direct our paths and bless us and give us wisdom and insights so I want to share with you a little statement that is in volume four of the testimonies page three hundred ninety one many are going directly contrary to the light which God has given to his people because they do not read the books which contain the light and knowledge in cautions reproofs and warnings well we go now is actually a biblical foundation that God wants us not just to be concerned about the mission work and that the tithes and offerings that we give to the Lord but to recognize that he's the owner of everything and that he is the one who has blessed us and will continue to bless us there are great insights that we can gain from God 's word to have a more stress-free life to live debt-free and in harmony with the biblical principles that will indeed help us to understand more carefully and more surely what God has done for us so I'm going to share with you that if we live in the world we can be here and manage as we should but do so with biblical principles then you will understand that your family will be properly taken care of you have the insights for training your children properly and we're going to look at many of these principles as we go through the sessions and I encourage you to try to practice these things in your own life and recognize that eternity and eternal life is actually in the balance and it is actually worth everything that we have here and we can store up treasures in heaven by the way Satan also has a plan for our money and he would like us to think all the time about spending for ourselves are spending more than we have and so on but of course his idea is not to have happy families but to bring families up and so on so what I want to encourage you as we look at these principles is to make God 's word your companion and to recognize as you study through it that you can see that those who follow God 's will are blessed but those who go off on their own I call this like a frolicking banter Maryland and not really planning and not organized but they are looking for principles that will make them rich in this world him this rich standard only look at eternity we recognize that eventually all that we have here is good be burned out so the most important thing is to be ready when the Lord comes and to have stored up treasures in heaven look forward to talking with you in the following sessions and please have your Bibles handy when you listen to these and if you have the itch in my seminar that will be a better benefit to you to look at the workbook during this time as well until next time God bless you and I hope these principles will benefit your family as you contact biblical principles and look at the biblical principles of money management and we're hoping that they get your money book in the sessions will be a benefit to each one who listens and I thank you for taking the time to be concerned about God 's plan for managing your money all of you will is a and him and I you been listening to it's your money is an attorney and financial counselor to be if you'd like to learn more about developing financial strategies from a Christian perspective call one eight hundred three two eight zero five two five and asked with a companion it's your money book and workbook written by Mister Reed you can also order individual it's your money CDs by name or topic one eight hundred three two eight zero five two five or visit online at www. Advent source .org is

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