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Archive for the ‘tithing’ Category

How rich is God? “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” Psalm 24:1 (NLT). “’The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts” Haggai 2:8 (NASB).

Let the reality of what you just read about God’s unfathomable riches sink in for a minute. It means:

  • He is able to supply for all of our needs.
  • He will never run out, be in debt, go bankrupt, or worry about tomorrow.
  • He is completely unfamiliar with not having enough.
  • He knows how to manage for the long-haul. He has been doing an outstanding job with the entire universe for as long as it has existed.
  • He has better financial wisdom than all those wealthy people listed in Forbes Magazine combined (which doesn’t mean we cannot learn from those who manage well).
  • He owns everything you and I and everyone else has. Which means we are accountable to him for how we manage what we have.
  • The ultimate purpose of wealth is to please and honor its owner – God.

How in the world has the wealthiest nation on earth got itself into an over $19 trillion and counting national debt hole? Take a minute and go to http://www.usdebtclock.org , it will make your head spin. Even more staggering is the over $64,000,000,000,000 (64 trillion) total debt in the USA. That means it’s not just the government, the states, counties, and municipalities that are lousy in managing money, it is also the average citizen (the total personal debt is over $17 trillion). Somewhere along the lines we have forgotten an important truth about managing money, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” Proverbs 22:7 (ESV). When it comes to money and managing wealth we are collectively ignoring God’s wisdom and as a result are missing out on God’s blessing and ability to supply. God is not in the slavery business, but somehow our entire culture thinks that debt and the slavery that comes with it is a good thing.

If you are continually scraping by, never have enough, always borrowing, straining under a load of debt, forever worried, then maybe it’s time to tap into God’s wisdom, learn God’s ways, and seek God’s blessing.

The ancient Israelites needed to get back to God’s financial wisdom, they were limping from one financial crisis to the next. God told them, Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure” Malachi 3:10 (HCSB). They needed to go back and learn what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians who weren’t following God’s financial wisdom either, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT).

If what you have read so far in this pastor’s note is hitting a nerve, if the last two scriptures you read is something you want then here is what you do:

  • Establish or reestablish a real connection with God. It is always about more than money. You get into a right relationship with God trough faith in Christ. Call me, email me, or come to the next church service if you have questions on that (209 852-2029, dergermanshepherd@gmail.com, http://www.ldpbaptistchurch.com ).
  • Come to all of the April church services because God’s ability to provide and his financial wisdom is this month’s topic.
  • Sign up for the seminar that will follow the sermon series, so you can learn the practical application of God’s wisdom. Call or email to get on the seminar sign-up list. (If you don’t live in Don Pedro check out http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/ , or http://www.crown.org/ ).
  • Take a moment right now and ask for God to help you, tell him you need him and his financial wisdom, ask him to forgive you for where you have mismanaged both finances and life, tell him you are interested in his ways and blessing.

The best time to get started is right now. Love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

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Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best (first) part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT, parenthesis mine)

Some of the great dangers of wealth are that it tempts us to declare our independence from God, that we are seduced by its power into crafting our own destinies, that we wallow in its comforts with little thought of accountability, and that we mistake it for security.

I met with Susie and my financial advisor this week. My reason for doing so was to make sure we have a financial plan as we are speeding towards retirement, to make sure we are applying the wisdom of the ant to the autumn and winter of our lives (Proverbs 6:6-8). We also want to live out Proverbs 13:22, “A good man/woman leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, …”  But the most important question, the most important goal in the management of our wealth (however little or much that might be) is whether or not we are honoring God with it.

When it comes to honoring God with our wealth there are two key components: 1. All of it. 2. The first/best of everything. If I want our financial plan and management to be blessed by God then the beginning point is making sure I honor God with all of my wealth and possessions and that God comes first in my use and distributions of wealth. There is no honor if God is an afterthought, if God comes in at the end of my paycheck, my profit, my bonus, my tax-refund, and any other income or increase that comes my way.

This of course is where many people begin to roll their eyes and say, “Told you so, those preachers are all alike, eventually they want your money.” And, you know what; sadly there have been too many who miss-use and miss-preach the Word of God for personal gain. But they are by far not the most, just like a few bad police officers are not a reflection of most law- enforcement officers who deserve our respect. There are also those who want engage in some hair-splitting debate over tithing (giving 10% to support your church and all it does, which you should – Malachi 3:8-10, 1 Corinthians 9:7-14).  If you want to be cynical go ahead, and if you want to split hairs, go head. You can do with your wealth anything you want to (Acts 5:4), but if you want the wisdom and blessing of God to be of first priority in your management of your wealth and income then you cannot let shysters and hairsplitters detract you of the clear advice and directive of God’s written word, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best (first) part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine” Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT, parenthesis mine).

Maybe it is time to revise or revamp your financial plan, to put God first in the management of your earnings, to think about honoring God with all of your wealth.

To God be all glory, love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October 30 2011

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10 (NIV)

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)

We called him Brother Stonebreaker, he was my college basketball coach, he
taught basic accounting classes to aspiring young preachers, he ran the college’s
business office, and he was starting a church in Glendora. I liked him; he was
upbeat, energetic, encouraging, and obviously very busy. I ended up attending
the church Brother Stonebreaker was pastoring because a guy in my dorm invited
me. They were meeting in an old building that used to be a movie theater, then
a bar, and then just sat around vacant for some time. My second Sunday there a
Sunday school teacher snagged me to tell her class about Germany and tell my
story, my testimony, about how I became a follower of Christ, how I got saved.
The good thing about not being able to prepare was that I didn’t have any time to
get nervous either nor was there any chance of backing out. She just thought that
any Christian should be able to give his or her testimony at any time, and she was
right. She did me a great favor.

Stonebreaker was a better coach than he was a preacher, but I loved his passion.
Since he came out of the business and accounting world his favorite subject
to preach on was financial stewardship, how to handle money according to
biblical principles, and especially giving and tithing (giving 10% of your income).
Somehow, if it wasn’t the outright theme, the topic found its way into most of
his sermons. I am sure God put me under his preaching because I was completely
ignorant on the subjects of biblical stewardship, giving, and tithing.

At first I told myself that surely I was exempt because after all I was a poor foreign college student working for less than the minimum wage, and I was already investing most all my money to be trained in doing God’s work. Stonebreaker, however, dismantled my excuses one by one. It was as if he could read my mind from that pulpit. He would quote Malachi stating that withholding the tithe is like robbing God. He would ask, “Does God really have all of you if he is not in charge of your money?” He would challenge us to manage our money according to faith, making the tithe the starting point of trusting God’s principles when it came to money. He would remind us of God’s promises attached to the tithe and giving.

You guessed it, after a few months I started tithing. I didn’t want to rob God. I
wanted to support my church. I wanted to experience God’s promises to givers
and tithers. I wanted to live by faith. I wanted to be obedient to God. I wanted
for God to have all of me. I wanted God’s blessing on my life. I haven’t stopped;
in fact since then my desire to give has only grown. And God has been faithful to
me and Susie. None of his promises have failed. The things Pastor Stonebreaker
preached about I now have experienced, I know them to be true. I thank God for
him, he did me a great favor.

To God be all glory,

love you, Pastor Hans

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