February 7, 2011 -Stanley

Who Owns It All? 1 Chronicles 29:10-14

A serious error has made its way into the church. Some Christians think that their beliefs and their wallet belong in separate spheres. The truth is, financial health and obedience to God are inseparable. He owns everything (Hag. 2:8; Ps. 24:1). Cash, possessions, and ways to earn more are gifts from the Lord; we are simply stewards.

A steward oversees the use and care of someone else’s riches. A wise steward bases financial decisions upon the owner’s rules for using and multiplying material goods. In our case, God has woven financial principles into the fabric of Scripture. Since money touches nearly every aspect of life, it is mentioned 2,300 times in many different contexts. For example, God urged the Israelites to stay faithful to His teachings and to avoid the trap of self-reliance (Deut. 8:18). He reminded them that the power to make wealth resides with Him rather than in their own hands.

The minute a steward presumes that he owns the money he manages, mistakes are made. He stops consulting the Owner and spends as he sees fit. Even in trying to do good, the wayward steward is ruled by his shortsighted perspective rather than God’s omnipotent view and gentle guidance. He will suffer the consequences of violating Scripture’s financial principles.

Faith and finances are permanently intertwined. The bottom line is that we cannot keep our money out of God’s hand, because He holds it all—we simply manage it. And we are to do so in wise and biblical ways. A maturing believer follows the Lord’s principles for using and growing wealth.

February 7, 2011 – Begg

Our Final Journey

Arise and go.

Micah 2:10

The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all, “Arise, and leave the home in which you lived, from the city in which you have done your business, from your family, from your friends. Arise, and take your final journey.”

And what do we know of the journey? And what do we know of the country to which we are going? We have read a little about it, and part has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called Death. God bids us cross it, promising to be with us.

And after death, what comes? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveler has ever returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons there with joy and gladness.

The journey of death may be dark, but we may face it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father’s house–to our Father’s home, where Jesus is–to that royal “city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”1 This will be our last relocation, to live forever with Him we love, in the midst of His people, in the presence of God.

Christian, meditate much on heaven; it will help you to press on and to forget the difficulty of the journey. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: This world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.
Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,
For Thy bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise, and join
The chorus of the sky.
1Hebrews 11:10