In the book of Ruth the first three vers­es are the sad­dest of the entire book.  Nao­mi los­es her hus­band, she los­es her sons; which means that she lost the fam­i­ly name, which means that she los­es any and all inher­i­tance.  Nao­mi was in dan­ger of los­ing her entire fam­i­ly inher­i­tance and her fam­i­ly land allot­ment.  All the males from her fam­i­ly were lost, all was lost.  She had rea­son to give up on God.  She had every rea­son to go into a deep depres­sion and roll up into a small ball.  She did not know what God had in store for her.  Know this that the very worst God can give you is bet­ter than the best the dev­il can give you.  You might think that you know bet­ter, that your cir­cum­stances might be exten­u­at­ing and you might make ungod­ly and unwise choice and deci­sions in you life.  It is bet­ter to accept the the worst that God has for you then the best the Dev­il has for you.  The book of Ruth shows that God not only rules in human affairs but often over­rules in human affairs.  Oh, to have the faith of Nao­mi.

En español:

 

En el libro de Rut los primeros tres ver­sícu­los son los más tristes todo el libro.  Naomí ha per­di­do su esposo, sus hijos han muer­to; esto sig­nifi­ca que ha per­di­do el nom­bre de la famil­ia, y por ende ha per­di­do su heren­cia de famil­ia.  Esta­ba en peli­gro de perder toda la heren­cia y propiedades.  Todos los varones de su famil­ia esta­ban muer­tos, ella esta­ba des pro­te­gi­da-todo esta­ba per­di­do.  Naomí tenía toda razón de aban­donar a Dios.  Tenía toda razón de entrar en una depre­sión emo­cional y dejar de vivir.  Ella no sabia lo que se le esper­a­ba en el futuro, lo que Dios le daría.  Quizás ust­ed pien­sa que sabe mejor que Dios, que sus cir­cun­stan­cias son aten­u­antes and quizás haga deci­siones que no sean sabi­as y anti-bíbli­cas.  Sepa esto: Es mejor acep­tar lo peor que Dios tiene para ust­ed que lo mejor que el dia­blo tiene para ust­ed.  El libro de Rut demues­tra que Dios no solo gob­ier­na en los asun­tos humanas pero lo hace con fre­cuen­cia (prov­i­den­cia).  Oh, que no diera por ten­er la fe de Naomí.

 

 

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Bib­li­cal Finances-The Chris­t­ian and his mon­ey

1 Tim­o­thy 6:10

 There is a Mex­i­can proverb that says, “The dog with mon­ey is called Mr. Dog.”  There is anoth­er Mex­i­can proverb that illus­trates the pow­er and pos­si­ble evil influ­ence of mon­ey, “When mon­ey talks, the truth becomes silent.”  A Russ­ian proverb illus­trates the pow­er mon­ey has in friend­ships, “When you become tired of your friend, lend him mon­ey.”  And then there is the Scot­tish proverb said to illus­trate the pit­falls of mar­ry­ing some­one for mon­ey, “Do not mar­ry for mon­ey, a loan is much cheap­er.”  King James ver­sion ren­ders 1 Tim­o­thy 6:10 as “…the love of mon­ey is the root of all evil…”, while oth­er trans­la­tions ren­der the texts as: “the love of mon­ey is the root of all sorts of evil…”  Any rep­utable trans­la­tion car­ries the same idea and that idea is sim­ply that when a person’s heart and god is mon­ey then the per­son is full of evil.  This is true when we make mon­ey our god and give it first pri­or­i­ty in our lives.  How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to under­stand that mon­ey is not evil in and of itself but that man makes evil uses of it.  Our lives are full of stress.  Stress comes from every direc­tion.  It is no secret that mon­ey issues is the foun­tain of most of our stress.  There are a few points I would like to share with you on the top­ic of Bib­li­cal finances.  These are the points that I will cov­er tonight:

  1. Mon­ey comes from God (James 1:17).
  2. The Lord, not mon­ey, is our shel­ter in the time of storm (Proverbs 23:4–5)- Do not place your trust in mon­ey.
  3. Our wants should not over­ride our needs (Proverbs 21:17).
  4. Work!  Hon­est work!  (Proverbs 6:6ff).
  5. Bud­get God first and bud­get gen­er­ous­ly (Proverbs 3:9–10; 11:24–25).
  6. Bud­get a sav­ings plan (21:20; 31:21 [vir­tu­ous woman]).
  7. Know the finan­cial equa­tion: Out­come should not be more than income, and know how much mon­ey you have (Proverbs 22:7; 27:23).
  1. Mon­ey comes from God (James 1:17).
    1. The rea­son that mon­ey is not evil in and of itself is because it comes from God.  It is like any oth­er bless­ing, if used wrong it can be turned into some­thing evil
    2. Romans 15:27.
  1. The Lord, not mon­ey, is our shel­ter in the time of storm (Proverbs 23:4–5)- Do not place your trust in mon­ey.
    1. If I only had more mon­ey…”  When­ev­er we have prob­lems mon­ey is rarely the answer.  Mon­ey should be con­sid­ered a tool and not our hope in times of need.
    2. Our trust should be in God.  He will take care of our needs.
      1. Do not weary your­self to gain wealth, Cease from your con­sid­er­a­tion of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth cer­tain­ly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heav­ens.” (Proverbs 23:4–5)
      2. He who trusts in his rich­es will fall, But the right­eous will flour­ish like the green leaf.”  (Proverbs 11:28)
    3. Our wants should not over­ride our needs (Proverbs 21:17).
      1. When we are blessed with extra mon­ey, then it is not wrong to enjoy it and pur­chase our toys.  The prob­lem aris­es when we can­not afford to pur­chase our wants but buy them any way.
        1. He who loves plea­sure will become a poor man ; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.”  (Proverbs 21:17).
        2. There can be no oth­er way around this.  If we can­not afford to buy our heart’s desire but we do so any way then we are head­ed to the poor house.  Usu­al­ly we turn to cred­it to pur­chase our wants when we do not have the cash on hand.

III.Work!  Do some hon­est work!  (Proverbs 6:6ff; 21:25).

  1. One extreme leads to anoth­er:  God con­demns being a work-a-holic (mak­ing work our god) and He also con­demns the oth­er extreme, lazi­ness.
    1. The New Tes­ta­ment teach­es that a man who will not work should not eat.  God uses nature to teach His cre­ation the val­ue and impor­tance of work­ing.  Look at the ant and see that it works hard so that when hard times do come it will not suf­fer.
    2. Proverbs 6:6ff, 21:25.
    3. God bless­es us and promis­es to pro­vide us with the essen­tials.  But this does not mean that we are to sit back, extend our arms and wait for God to fill our hands with mon­ey.

IV. Bud­get God first and bud­get gen­er­ous­ly (Proverbs 3:9–10; 11:24–25).

  1. Before we eat up our mon­ey with our per­son­al pur­chas­es we need to con­sid­er God and the fur­ther­ing of the King­dom.
    1. Make it a habit and involve the entire fam­i­ly.  If we make it a habit to bud­get God first and teach our chil­dren to do the same then when times get tough we will not be too tempt­ed to cut God back or com­plete­ly out of our bud­gets.
    2. The priests in Malachi’s day were rebuked for giv­ing God the left overs (Malachi).
    3. We can­not expect God to remem­ber and bless us when we give him the left overs.   “Hon­or the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your pro­duce ; So your barns will be filled with plen­ty And your vats will over­flow with new wine.”  (Proverbs 3:9–10).
  2. Not only does God expect us to give Him the first fruits but He expects us to give lib­er­al­ly.
    1. Every­one knows that God loves a cheer­ful giv­er (I assume every­one likes a gen­er­ous giv­er too).  The New Tes­ta­ment also teach­es that God expects us to give lib­er­al­ly, with­out hold­ing back.  (2 Corinthi­ans 9:6–7).
    2. In addi­tion to giv­ing of our means on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16), we are com­mand­ed to help the poor (Luke 3:11;).  God bless­es the poor, sees to their needs through us.  God bless­es us and we in turn are to bless oth­ers with that bless­ing.  i.e., elec­tri­cal con­duit.
    3. There is one who scat­ters, and yet increas­es all the more, And there is one who with­holds what is just­ly due, and yet it results only in want. The gen­er­ous man will be pros­per­ous, And he who waters will him­self be watered.”  (Proverbs 11:24–25).
    4. Sto­ry of being asked for finan­cial assis­tance but was not able to help because I did not bud­get for help­ing the needy.  (It is true, as some point out, that we already pay tax­es and that should count towards ful­fill­ing God’s com­mand­ment of reliev­ing the poor.  How­ev­er, deep down we know that this is gen­er­al­ly giv­en as a copout and excuse for not help­ing the needy).
    5. Bud­get a sav­ings plan (Proverbs 21:20; 31:21 [vir­tu­ous woman]).
      1. Sav­ing for a rainy day.  Every months seems to bring unex­pect­ed expens­es.
        1. In order for us to be ready for emer­gen­cies we need to bud­get them.  We all know that one day we will have the fur­nace go out, a tire blow-out, a cracked engine-so if we know that one day that is going to hap­pen we should start plan­ning now for it.
        2. Set aside some mon­ey, a few dol­lars every pay-peri­od and when the emer­gency does arise then we can pay for it.
  3. Pre­cious trea­sure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a fool­ish man devours it.”  (Proverbs 21:20).

VI. Know the finan­cial equa­tion: Out­come should not be more than income, and know how much mon­ey you have (Proverbs 22:7; 27:23).

  1. It is quite sim­ple.  If we earn $2000.00/mo then we should not spend more than $2000.00/mo.
    1. The rich rules over the poor, and the bor­row­er is the slave of the lender.”
    2. Proverbs 6:1–5.
  2. Every­one in the fam­i­ly should know what the house­hold bud­get.  You should know where you are finan­cial­ly.  How much you owe.  How long will it take to get out of debt. etc.

The eco­nom­ic future in our coun­try looks bleak.  There are some who say the econ­o­my is get­ting bet­ter (they are the ones who are prob­a­bly tak­ing our mon­ey ), then there are those who say that the econ­o­my is get­ting worse.  I know that my bank account is at the low­est it has ever been.  I know that my spend­ing has had to be cut back.  I know what I am liv­ing.  Hence, I am sure I am not the only one feel­ing the eco­nom­ic pinch.  What­ev­er our eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion might be we are still required to be respon­si­ble, share, save and work.  Let us keep in mind that we should always:

  1. Seek first the King­dom of God and His right­eous­ness (Matthew 6:33).
  2. Wor­ry about today and let tomor­row wor­ry about itself (Matthew 5:34).
  3. Share what we have (Hebrews 13:16).