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Money

 

Wealth

         The great newspaper publisher of the early part of this century, William Randolph Hearst, was a patron of art and spent a great deal of money collecting art treasures for his collection. The story is told that one day he found a description of an artwork that he felt he must own, so he sent his agent abroad to find it. After months of searching, the agent reported that he had found the treasured object and that it was close to home. Where was it? In Hearst’s warehouse, with many other treasures he owned that were still in their crates. The great Hearst had been searching for a treasure he already owned!

         Such is the power of wealth that it blinds us to the treasures we already have and focuses us on obtaining more, without appreciating what we have.

 

Matthew 6:24 Money-Making

A gentleman of Boston, USA, an intimate friend of Professor Agassiz, once expressed his wonder that a man of such abilities as he (Agassiz) possessed should remain contented with such a moderate income. ‘I have enough,’ was Agassiz’s reply, ‘I have not time to make money. Life is not sufficiently long to enable a man to get rich, and do his duty to his fellow-men at the same time.’ Christian, have you time to serve your God and yet to give your whole soul to gaining wealth? ── C.H. Spurgeon

 

MONEY IS NOT EVERYING
It can buy a House, But not a Home
It can buy a Bed, But not Sleep
It can buy a Clock, But not Time
It can buy you a Book, But not Knowledge
It can buy you a Position, But not Respect
It can buy you Medicine, But not Health
It can buy you Blood, But not Life
It can buy you Sex, But not Love
So you see money isn't everything.
I tell you all this because I am your Friend,
and as your Friend I want to take away your pain and suffering...
so send me all your money and I will suffer for you.
A truer Friend than me you will never find.
CASH ONLY PLEASE
 

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Money

A billboard advertisement for a savings-and-loan association in Dallas, Texas, read: “We Lend Happiness at Eighteen Locations.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Money

Money will buy a fine dog, but only love will make him wag his tail. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Money

         Money is an article that may be used as a universal provider of everything-except happiness!

 

Money

         There’s a new golden rule in effect today: “He who has the gold, makes up the rules.”

 

Debts and Money

Money is the number-one cause of domestic unhappiness. Many couples need to undergo plastic surgery. They need to have their credit cards cut off. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Debts and Money

Nowadays people can be divided into three classes:

         The haves,

         The have-nots, and

         The Have-Not-Paid-for-What-They-Haves.

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Debts and Money

If the Word taught me anything, it taught me to have no connection with debt. I could not think that God was poor, that He was short on resources, or unwilling to supply any want of whatever work was really His. It seemed to me that if there were lack of funds to carry on work, then to that degree, in that special development, or at that time, it could not be the work of God.— Hudson Taylor

 

Deceitfulness of Money

One day a certain old, rich man of a miserable disposition visited a rabbi, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. “Look out there” he said. The rich man looked into the street, “What do you see?” asked the rabbi.

“I see men, women, and children,” answered the rich man.

Again the rabbi took him by the hand and this time led him to a mirror. “Now what do you see?”

“Now I see myself,” the rich man replied.

Then the rabbi said, “Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror there is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, but you see only yourself.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceitfulness of Money

A businessman had an angel come to visit him who promised to grant him one request. The man requested a copy of the stock-market quotes for one year in the future. As he was studying the future prices on the American and New York stock exchanges, he boasted of his plans and the increased riches that would be his as a result of this “insider” look into the future.

He then glanced across the newspaper page, only to see his own picture in the obituary column. Obviously, in the light of his certain death, money was no longer important. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceitfulness of Money

In the June 14, 1968, issue of Life magazine appeared a picture of young David Kennedy sitting outside the White House. The picture had been taken several years before by his Aunt Jacqueline and was inscribed by his Uncle John with the words: “A future president inspects his property-John Kennedy.”

Though he had name, status, wealth, and all that money could buy, in 1984 David Kennedy was found dead by his own hand at age twenty-eight. Money can buy the things of this world but cannot satisfy man’s inner longing for peace. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceitfulness of Money

I sit in my house in Buffalo and sometimes I get so lonely it’s unbelievable. Life has been so good to me. I’ve got a great wife, good kids, money, my own health-and I’m lonely and bored… I often wondered why so many rich people commit suicide. Money sure isn’t a cure-all!— O.J. Simpson

 

Deceitfulness of Money

         Money will buy:

         A bed, but not sleep.

         Books, but not brains.

         Food, but not appetite.

         A house, but not a home.

         Medicine, but not health.

         Amusement, but not happiness.

         Finery, but not beauty.

         A crucifix, but not a Savior.

 

Love of Money

An old Jack Benny skit illustrates how money can become more important to us than anything else. Jack was walking along, when suddenly an armed robber approached him and ordered, “Your money or your life!” There was a long pause, and Jack did nothing. The robber impatiently queried, “Well?” Jack replied, “Don’t rush me, I’m thinking about it.” (Incidentally, in real life, Jack Benny was known as a very generous man!) ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Gambling

With typical insight, C.S. Lewis summed up the problem some Christians have with gambling and offered a simple solution for those who are encouraged by friends, co-workers, and others to participate in an office pool or “friendly wager.”

Problem: “If it is a way in which large sums of money are transferred from person to person without doing any good (e.g., producing employment, goodwill, etc.), then it is a bad thing.”

Solution: “If anyone comes to me asking to play bridge for money, I just say, ‘How much do you hope to win? Take it and go away.’”— C.S. Lewis

 

Materialism

YUPPIES are passe.  These days you can be a GRUMP (grim, ruthless, upwardly mobile professional), a DINK (dual income, no kids), or, heaven help you, a SITCOM (single income, two children, outrageous mortgage).

YUPPIE, first spotted in 1984's The Yuppie Handbook, is easy - Young Urban Professional.  That led to BUPPIES (black urban professional), HUPPIES (Hispanic, etc.), GUPPIES (gay) and PUPPIES (pregnant).

The new acronyms are tougher to decipher.  Some reflect the growing number of seniors:  OPALS (older people with active lifestyles) and SUPPIES (senior yuppies).  Others:

      * MINKS: Multiple income, no kids.

      * DIWKS: Dual income, with kids. 

      * TICKS: Two income couple, kids.

      * OINKS: One income, no kids. -- By William Dunn, USA TODAY  5-23-90

 

Materialism

Two new board games on the market this year are "Gorbachev" from Milton Bradley, in which the object is to acquire the luxuries every Soviet desires, and "Let's Go Shopping" from Pressman Toy Corp., in which girls 5 and up race around a mall, using miniature shopping bags for game pieces. -- New York Times, reported in Vitality Magazine

 

Materialism

If we lack basic nutrients in our diet we suffer malnutrition. The cure is simple: take vitamin tablets to insure you get the minimum level. Once the minimum is reached, however, additional tablets have little or no benefit. Unfortunately some people apply this logic: “If a little was good, a lot will be better.” This simply is not true and in some cases is dangerous. On occasion people have even lost their lives from overdoses of vitamin A.

Sadly, this is often the case with earning money. If at one point we lacked money for basic necessities, then money-when it finally came-was a blessing. But many have applied the logic “If a little was good, a lot will be better.” Many have lost their lives this way! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

The story is told of a man who was given a tour of one of the most impressive homes in a particular city. The rooms seemed to go on without end, and each one was more wonderful than the one before it. Marble, gold, and fine woods were everywhere. Finally the visitor was asked how he liked the house. He replied, “These are the things that make dying hard.”

For those who have seen only the beauty of this world and who do not long for the beauty of that to come, dying is indeed hard. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

Someone has intuitively stated, “A bargain is something you cannot use, at a price you cannot resist!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

The fly lands on the flypaper and says, “My flypaper,” while the flypaper says, “My fly.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

An extremely rich real-estate tycoon in Dallas once said, “If you go into business with the idea of erecting an empire, all you do is make yourself a nicer cage. You’re a prisoner of the monster you created. It’s lonely.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

The story of a butterfly named Maculinea arion is most instructive. The creature lays its eggs on a plant, and after feeding on the plant for several weeks, the young caterpillar makes its way to the ground. In order to complete its development, it must meet a certain kind of ant. When such an ant meets the caterpillar, the ant strokes it with its antennae, and the caterpillar exudes a sweet fluid from a special gland on its tenth segment. Apparently the ant likes this substance, because it then carries the caterpillar home to its nest. There the ants drink the sweet fluid exuded by the caterpillar, and the caterpillar feasts on larval ants. The caterpillar spends the winter in a special cavity of the ant’s nest, and in the spring it continues eating young ants. Eventually it emerges as an adult butterfly and flies away to establish more of its kind. And the cycle starts all over again.

Some people are not much different from the ants. For you see, they cherish a luxury item to the injury of themselves. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

The preacher came over to visit unexpectedly. Wanting to make a good impression, the lady of the house instructed her little daughter, “Please run and get that good book we all love so much and bring it here.”

The daughter tottered off and then returned in a minute with triumph on her face and the Sears catalogue in her hands! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

An anonymous writer tells about an American tourist’s visit to the nineteenth-century Polish rabbi hofetz Chaim:

Astonished to see that the rabbi’s home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a bench, the tourist asked, “Rabbi, where is your furniture?”

“Where is yours?” replied the rabbi.

“Mine?” asked the puzzled American. “But I’m a visitor here. I’m only passing through.”

“So am I,” said Hofetz Chaim. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

John M. Keynes was the founder of the modern study of economics. He realized that worldly prosperity could come about only through a corruption of the moral laws. To bring this prosperity to full operation in the world Lord Keynes is credited with the following quote: “If we are to succeed, we must call good bad and bad good for a little while longer.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

When John D. Rockefeller died, one man was curious about how much he left behind. Determined to find out, he set up an appointment with one of Rockefeller’s highest aides and asked, “How much did Rockefeller leave behind?”

The aide answered, “All of it.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Wealth

Hetty Green was possibly America’s greatest miser. She died in 1915, leaving an estate valued at over one million dollars, but always ate cold oatmeal because it cost too much to heat it. Her son had to suffer through a leg amputation unnecessarily because Hetty wasted so much time looking for a free clinic that he wasn’t examined early enough.

Hetty Green was wealthy, but she chose to live like a pauper. Eccentric? Yes. Crazy? Perhaps, but nobody could prove it. She was so foolish that she hastened her own death when she suffered a stroke by becoming too excited over a discussion about the value of drinking skimmed milk.

We laugh at the foolishness of this eccentric old woman, but the fact is that this is a tragic illustration of many Christians. We have limitless wealth at our disposal, and yet we often choose to live in spiritual poverty. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Wealth

The great newspaper publisher of the early part of this century, William Randolph Hearst, was a patron of art and spent a great deal of money collecting art treasures for his collection. The story is told that one day he found a description of an artwork that he felt he must own, so he sent his agent abroad to find it. After months of searching, the agent reported that he had found the treasured object and that it was close to home. Where was it? In Hearst’s warehouse, with many other treasures he owned that were still in their crates. The great Hearst had been searching for a treasure he already owned!

Such is the power of wealth that it blinds us to the treasures we already have and focuses us on obtaining more, without appreciating what we have. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

LOVE OF MONEY

Many people think money is security, but I Timothy 6:9 warns that it can be just the opposite. A few years ago, columnist Jim Bishop reported what happened to people who won the state lottery:

Rosa Grayson of Washington won $400 a week for life. She hides in her apartment. For the first time in her life, she has "nerves." Everyone tries to put the touch on her. "People are so mean, " she said. "I hope you win the lottery and see what happens to you."

When the McGugarts of New York won the Irish Sweepstakes, they were happy. Pop was a steamfitter. Johnny, twenty-six, loaded crates on docks. Tim was going to night school. Pop split the million with his sons. They all said the money wouldn't change their plans. A year later, the million wasn't gone; it was bent. The boys weren't speaking to Pop, or each other. Johnny was chasing expensive race horses; Tim was catching up with expensive girls. Mom accused Pop of hiding his poke from her. Within two years, all of them were in court for nonpayment of income taxes. "It's the Devil's own money," Mom said. Both boys were studying hard to become alcoholics.

All these people hoped and prayed for sudden wealth. All had their prayers answered. All were wrecked on a dollar sign.── Chuck Rasmussen.

 

Money

Money is an article that may be used as a universal provider of everything-except happiness! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Money

There’s a new golden rule in effect today: “He who has the gold, makes up the rules.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

If you have something you can’t live without, you don’t own it; it owns you. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

Materialism has nothing to do with amount, it has everything to do with attitude. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Materialism

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what you want. The other is getting it. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Deceitfulness of Money

Money will buy:

        A bed, but not sleep.

        Books, but not brains.

        Food, but not appetite.

        A house, but not a home.

        Medicine, but not health.

        Amusement, but not happiness.

        Finery, but not beauty.

        A crucifix, but not a Savior.

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

LOVE OF MONEY

Many people think money is security, but I Timothy 6:9 warns that it can be just the opposite. A few years ago, columnist Jim Bishop reported what happened to people who won the state lottery:

Rosa Grayson of Washington won $400 a week for life. She hides in her apartment. For the first time in her life, she has "nerves." Everyone tries to put the touch on her. "People are so mean, " she said. "I hope you win the lottery and see what happens to you."

When the McGugarts of New York won the Irish Sweepstakes, they were happy. Pop was a steamfitter. Johnny, twenty-six, loaded crates on docks. Tim was going to night school. Pop split the million with his sons. They all said the money wouldn't change their plans. A year later, the million wasn't gone; it was bent. The boys weren't speaking to Pop, or each other. Johnny was chasing expensive race horses; Tim was catching up with expensive girls. Mom accused Pop of hiding his poke from her. Within two years, all of them were in court for nonpayment of income taxes. "It's the Devil's own money," Mom said. Both boys were studying hard to become alcoholics.

All these people hoped and prayed for sudden wealth. All had their prayers answered. All were wrecked on a dollar sign.

Chuck Rasmussen.

 

MATERIALISM

When a person loves earthly things so much that he can't get along without them, he opens himself to much suffering, both physical and mental. Some people, for example, have taken foolish risks to keep their riches intact. They have died rushing into burning houses or were killed because they stubbornly resisted armed robbers. Apparently they felt that without their material possessions life would not be worthwhile.

Others, when forced to part with their wealth, have been thrown into agonizing despair, even to the point of suicide. In 1975, six armed gunmen broke into the deposit boxes in a London bank and stole valuables worth more than $7 million. One lady, whose jewelry was appraised at $500,000, wailed, "Everything I had was in there. My whole life was in that box." What a sad commentary on her values!

Our Daily Bread.


Eli Black was a brilliant businessman best know for two events in his life: He masterminded the multimillion dollar takeover of the United Fruit conglomerate, and he jumped to his death from the 42nd floor of the Pan Am building in New York City.

In the book An American Company, an executive described a business lunch he had with Eli Black. When the waitress brought a plate of cheese and crackers as an appetizer, Black reached out and took them, placed them on the table, blocked them with his arms, and continued talking. The executive hadn't eaten for hours and hinted that he would like a cracker. But Black acted as though he hadn't heard him and went on with the business meeting.

After a while, Black placed a cracker and cheese on the tips of his fingers and continued to talk. Several moments later, Black placed the cracker on the executive's plate and then blocked the rest as before. It was clear that Black was in charge, manipulating others as he pleased.

When you play "follow the leader," check to see who is at the head of the line. Eli Black, for all his power, ended up in suicide. Jesus Christ, in all His humility, ended up the Savior of the world.

Our Daily Bread.


During World War II, "Eddie" Rickenbacker, American's most famous army aviator in W.W. I, was appointed special consultant to Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson. It was Rickenbacker's task to inspect the various theaters of war.

During one tour in 1942, Rickenbacker and seven companions made a forced landing in the Pacific Ocean. There they experienced 24 terrifying days drifting in a lifeboat until they were rescued by a navy plane. After his recovery from the ordeal, Rickenbacker said: "Let the moment come when nothing is left but life, and you will find that you do not hesitate over the fate of material possessions." Rickenbacker understood that at such a time one is concerned about the fate of something more precious than material goods -- life itself.

Morning Glory, January 18, 1994.


In the fifth century, a man named Arenius determined to live a holy life. So he abandoned the conforms of Egyptian society to follow an austere lifestyle in the desert. Yet whenever he visited the great city of Alexandria, he spent time wandering through its bazaars. Asked why, he explained that his heart rejoiced at the sight of all the things he didn't need.

Those of us who live in a society flooded with goods and gadgets need to ponder the example of that desert dweller. A typical supermarket in the United States in 1976 stocked 9,000 articles; today it carries 30,000. How many of them are absolutely essential? How many superfluous?

Our Daily Bread, May 26, 1994.


During World War 11, "Eddie" Rickenbacker, America's most famous army avaitor in W.W. 1, was appointed special consultant to Secretary of war, Henery L. Stimson. It was Rickenbackers task to inspect the various theaters of war.

During one tour in 1942, Rickenbacker and seven other companions made a forced landing in the Pacific Ocean. There they experienced 24 days drifting in a lifeboat until they were rescued by a navy plane. After his recovery from the ordeal, Rickenbacker said," Let the moment come when nothing is left but life, and you will find that you do not hesitate over the fate of material possessions." Rickenbacker understood that at such a time one is concerned about the fate of something more precious than material goods - life itself.

Source Unknown.


One night a thief broke into the single-room apartment of French novelist Honor?de Balzac. Trying to avoid waking Balzac, the intruder quietly picked the lock on the writer's desk. Suddenly the silence was broken by a sardonic laugh from the bed, where Balzac lay watching the thief.

"Why do you laugh?" asked the thief.

"I am laughing to think what risks you take to try to find money in a desk by night where the legal owner can never find any by day." 

Today in the Word, November 6, 1993.


Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray my Cuisinart to keep

I pray my stocks are on the rise

And that my analyst is wise

That all the wine I sip is white

And that my hot tub's watertight

That racquetball won't get too tough

That all my sushi's fresh enough

I pray my cordless phone still works

That my career won't lose its perks

My microwave won't radiate

My condo won't depreciate

I pray my health club doesn't close

And that my money market grows

If I go broke before I wake

I pray my Volvo they won't take.

Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle, 1991, Multnomah Press, p. 63.


There are two ways to get enough: One is to accumulate more and more, the other is to desire less.

G.K. Chesterton.


Christopher Winans, in his book, Malcolm Forbes: The Man Who Had Everything, tells of a motorcycle tour that Forbes took through Egypt in 1984 with his Capitalist Tool motorcycle team. After viewing the staggering burial tomb of King Tut, Forbes seemed to be in a reflective mood.

As they were returning to the hotel in a shuttle bus, Forbes turned to one of his associates and asked with all sincerity: "Do you think I'll be remembered after I die?" Forbes is remembered. He is remembered as the man who coined the phrase, "He who dies with the most toys wins." That was the wisdom of Malcolm Forbes. In fact, that was his ambition. That's why he collected scores of motorcycles. That's why he would pay over a million dollars for a Faberge egg. That's why he owned castles, hot air balloons and countless other toys that he can no longer access.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave us words of superior wisdom when he said, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). It is a fatally deficient wisdom that declares "He who dies with the most toys wins." 

Steve Farrar, Family Survival in the American Jungle,1991, Multnomah Press, pp. 47-48.


The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.

Source Unknown.


The world is full of people who are making a good living but living poor lives.

Source Unknown.


Life is tragic for the person who has plenty to live on but nothing to live for.

Source Unknown.


George W. Truett, a well-known pastor, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area.

Pointing to the oil wells punctuating the landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it's all mine." Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, "That's all mine." Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, "They're all mine." Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, "That too is all mine."

He paused, expecting Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success. Truett, however, placing one hand on the man's shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, "How much do you have in that direction?" The man hung his head and confessed, "I never thought of that." 

Our Daily Bread, October 24, 1992.


Dream On. Postwar Americans always cherished the expectation that their standard of living would improve with each generation. In polls at the onset of the Reagan era, 2 of every 3 respondents said they expected to be better off than their parents. Now, that figure is being reversed. Almost three fourth of the 1,000 people who answered a Roper poll for Shearson Lehman Brothers say the American Dream is "harder to attain" than a generation ago. And 60 percent say achieving the dream requires more financial risk than it did for their parents.

The poll also finds that some of the values held most dear during the 1980s -- like wealth, power and fame -- are those that Americans are now most likely to deem "unimportant." The most important elements of today's American Dream center on family and friends. But money remains something to dream about. For Americans with household incomes under $25,000, it would take $54,000 a year to fulfill the American dream. Those who make $100,000 plus crave an average of $192,000. In other words, the American Dream usually lies nearly twice the distance away.

Amy Bernstein, U.S. News & World Report, July 27, 1992, p. 11.


Anonymous writer, about an American tourist's visit to the 19th century Polish rabbi, Hofetz Chaim:

Astonished to see that the rabbi's home was only a simple room filled with books, plus a table and a bench, the tourist asked,

"Rabbi, where is your furniture?"

"Where is yours?" replied the rabbi.

"Mine?" asked the puzzled American. "But I'm a visitor here. I'm only passing through."

"So am I," said Hofetz Chaim.

Christopher News Notes.


"I have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them and that is faith in Jesus Christ. If they had that and I had not given them a single shilling, they would have been rich; and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor indeed."

Patrick Henry.


You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

Steven Wright in Omni.


Thank God for Advertising

Critics of advertising maintain that advertising has created a national avarice which, in turn, has produced a "materialist society." They proceed from there to insist that this impulse toward affluence has resulted in a kind of general unhappiness. This proposition concludes that the more "things" we have, the unhappier we become.

It represents a return to the "happy savage" thesis. The critics are right about the essential role advertising has played in contributing to America's high standard of living, but they are wrong in concluding that it produces unhappiness. It might be helpful to start with some notion of what does, in fact, make people happy.

The Gallup International Research Institute recently conducted a survey of 60 countries representing two-thirds of the world's population, the purpose of which was to measure human satisfactions, need and concerns. They wanted to find out what makes people happy. The inescapable conclusion of the study is that the more people have, the happier they are.  

Louise F. DeMarco, Advertising Age.


The love behind a gift is more important than the gift itself. The person who has learned this will not be frustrated because his gift is small, like the husband who wrote the following lament to his wife on Mother's Day:

M is for the mink coat you want, dear,

O is for the opal ring you crave,

T is for the tiny car you'd love, sweet,

H is for the hat that makes you rave,

E is for the earrings you'd admire, love,

R is for the rug on which you'd tread;

Put them all together, they spell bankrupt,

So I'm giving you this handkerchief instead.

Daily Bread.


Dan Crawford (1870-1926) spent most of his adult life serving as a missionary in Africa. When it was time to return home to Britain, Carwford described to an old Bantu the kind of world he was about to return to. He told him about ships that ran under the water, on the water, and even those that flew above the water. He described English houses with all of their conveniences, such as running water and electric lights. Then Crawford waited for the old African to register his amazement.

"Is that all, Mr. Crawford?" the aged man asked. 

"Yes, I think it is," Crawford replied. 

Very slowly and very gravely, the old Bantu said, "Well, Mr. Crawford, you know, that to be better off is not to be better." 

W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers,  p. 188.


Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything. One day he received a novel offer. For 1000 rubles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day. The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown. Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace. By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground. Well into the afternoon he realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point. He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky, he began to run, knowing that if he did not make it back by sundown the opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost. As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line. Gasping for breath, his heart pounding, he called upon every bit of strength left in his body and staggered across the line just before the sun disappeared. He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth. In a few minutes he was dead. Afterwards, his servants dug a grave. It was not much over six feet long and three feet wide. The title of Tolstoy's story was: How Much Land Does a Man Need? 

Bits and Pieces, November, 1991.


The boxer Muhammad Ali was known as "the champ," arguably the most famous athlete of his generation. He was on top, and his entourage of trainers and various helpers shared the adulation with him. But the party ended, leaving many of Ali's loyal followers disillusioned--and in some cases, destitute. Ali himself, now halting in speech and uncertain in movement, says "I had the world, and it wasn't nothin'." 

Today in the Word, October, 1990, p. 11.


I'll never forget a conversation I had with the late Corrie ten Boom. she said to me, in her broken English, "Chuck, I've learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!"

Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.114.


I have a friend who, in mid-career, was called into the ministry. In fact, God ultimately led him overseas. At that point he found it necessary to move all his family and as many of their possessions as possible beyond these shores, all the way to the island of Okinawa. He told me, "We packed everything we could in barrels and shipped them on ahead. And then we put all of our possessions that were a part of our trip into our station wagon. We packed that car all the way to the top of the windows." 

While driving to the place where they would meet the ship that would take them to the Orient, they stopped for a rest and a bite to eat. While they were inside the restaurant, a thief broke into their station wagon and took everything except the car. Nice of him to leave the car, wasn't it? "The only thing we had," he said, "were the articles of clothing on our backs. Our hearts sank to the bottom!" When asked about it later, he said, "Well, I had to face the fact that I was holding real tight to the things in that car. And the Lord simply turned my hands over and gave them a slap...and out came everything that was in that car. And it all became a part of the Father's possession." 

Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 114.


The sort of clothes I wear, the kind of house I live in, or the quality of my furniture should not be the result of other people doing so or because it is customary among those with whom I associate. But whatever is done in these things in the way of self-denial or deadness to the world should result from the joy we have in God, and from the knowledge of our being His children, and from entering into our precious future inheritance. Not that I mean in the least by this to imply that we should continue to live in luxury, self-indulgence, and the like while others are in great need; but we should begin the thing in a right way. Aim after the right state of heart; begin inwardly instead of outwardly. Oh, how different if joy in God leads us to any little act of self-denial! How gladly we do it then! How much does the heart then long to be able to do more for Him who has done so much for us! 

George Muller.


I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity. 

David Livingstone.


From the standpoint of material wealth, Americans have difficulty realizing how rich we are. Going through a little mental exercise suggested by Robert Heilbroner can help us to count our blessings, however. Imagine doing the following, and you will see how daily life is for as many as a billion people in the world.

1. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blanket and pads for beds.

2. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.

3. Empty the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.

4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.

5. Take away the house itself and move the family into the toolshed.

6. Place your "house' in a shantytown.

7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because now none of you can read anyway.

8. Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown.

9. Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor.

10. Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.

11. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders.

12. Lop off twenty-five or more years in life expectancy. 

By comparison how rich we are! And with our wealth comes responsibility to use it wisely, not to be wasteful, and to help others. Think on these things. 

Steve Williams.


A number of years ago there was a popular program called The Goldbergs. In one episode, Jake Goldberg came home for supper and excitedly told his wife, Molly, about a great idea he had. He wanted to go into business. Molly had some money put away, anticipating just such a thing, and she gave it to him. As they sat at the dinner table, enthusiastically discussing the future, Jake said, "Molly, some day we'll be eating off of golden plates!" Molly looked at him and replied, "Jake, darling, will it taste any better?"

Source Unknown.


I am not a connoisseur of great art, but from time to time a painting or picture will really speak a clear, strong message to me. Some time ago I saw a picture of an old burned-out mountain shack. All that remained was the chimney...the charred debris of what had been that family's sole possession. In front of this destroyed home stood an old grandfather-looking man dressed only in his underclothes with a small boy clutching a pair of patched overalls. It was evident that the child was crying. Beneath the picture were the words which the artist felt the old man was speaking to the boy. They were simple words, yet they presented a profound theology and philosophy of life. Those words were, "Hush child, God ain't dead!"

 That vivid picture of that burned-out mountain shack, that old man, the weeping child, and those words "God ain't dead" keep returning to my mind. Instead of it being a reminder of the despair of life, it has come to be a reminder of hope! I need reminders that there is hope in this world. In the midst of all of life's troubles and failures, I need mental pictures to remind me that all is not lost as long as God is alive and in control of His world. 

James DeLoach, associate pastor of the Second Baptist Chruch of Houston, quoted in When God Was Taken Captive, W. Aldrich, Multnomah, 1989, p. 24.


I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.

Martin Luther.


In The Wounded Healer,  Henri Nouwen retells a tale from ancient India:

Four royal brothers decided each to master a special ability. Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned.

"I have mastered a science," said the first, "by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it."

"I," said the second, "know how to grow that creature's skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones."

The third said, "I am able to create its limbs if I have flesh, the skin, and the hair."

"And I," concluded the fourth, "know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete."

Thereupon the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their specialities. As fate would have it, the bone they found was a lion's. One added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane, the ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished contentedly into the jungle.

We too have the capacity to create what can devour us. Goals and dreams can consume us. Possessions and property can turn and destroy us--unless we first seek God's kingdom and righteousness, and allow Him to breathe into what we make of life.

Nathan Castens.


In her book, Discipline, the Glad Surrender, Elisabeth Elliot reveals four meaningful lessons to be learned from the discipline of our possessions: "The first lesson is that all things are given by God...Because God gives us things indirectly by enabling us to make them with our own hands (out of things He has made, of course) or to earn the money to buy them...we are prone to forget that He gave them to us. We should be thankful. Thanksgiving requires the recognition of the Source. It implies contentment with what is given, not complaint...it excludes covetousness. The third lesson is that things can be material for sacrifice. The Father pours out His blessings on us; we, His creatures, receive them with open hands, give thanks, and lift them up as an offering back to Him...This lesson leads naturally to the fourth which is that things are given to us to enjoy for awhile...What is not at all fitting or proper is that we should set our hearts on them. Temporal things must be treated as temporal things-- received, given thanks for, offered back but enjoyed. 

In Touch, May, 1989.


All he ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a filmmaker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every sexual urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U.S. presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him true satisfaction. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise. He concluded his life emaciated; colorless; sunken chest; fingernails in grotesque, inches-long corkscrews; rotting, black teeth; tumors; innumerable needle marks from his drug addiction. Howard Hughes died believing the myth of more. He died a billionaire junkie, insane by all reasonable standards. 

Bill Hybels in Leadership, Vol X, #3 (Summer, 1989), p. 38.

 

MONEY

John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves. John was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.

The Wendels had such a compulsion to hold on to their possessions that they lived like paupers. Even worse, they were like the kind of person Jesus referred to "who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). 

Daily Walk, June 2, 1993.


Godfrey Davis, who wrote a biography about the Duke of Willington, said, "I found an old account ledger that showed how the Duke spent his money. It was a far better clue to what he thought was really important than the reading of his letters or speeches."

How we handle money reveals much about the depth of our commitment to Christ. That's why Jesus often talked about money. One-sixth of the gospels, including one out of every three parables, touches on stewardship. Jesus wasn't a fundraiser. He dealt with money matters because money matters. For some of us, though, it matters too much. 

Our Daily Bread, August 26, 1993.


Money is s lousy means of keeping score. The futility of riches is stated very plainly in two places: The Bible and the Income Tax form.

Billing's Law: Live within your income even if you have to borrow to do so. 

Official Rules, p. 14.


Money can be hazardous to your health. Two medical researchers at the University of Louisville have been looking into the question and have found that "13%" of the coins and 42% of the paper money carry disease-producing organisms." Small denomination coins and bills are more dangerous because of their rapid turnover.

Source Unknown.


When the Fellow says it's not the money but the principle of the thing, it's the money.

Source Unknown.


Every time you lend money to a friend you damage his memory. 

Source Unknown.


Someone asked Willie Sutton, the notorious bank robber why he robbed so many banks. "Because," replied Sutton, "That's where the money is."

Source Unknown.


Young Families in Debt: Spending habits of young married couples with children (both spouses 18 to 25): Average after-tax income, $19,783. Average annual spending, $21,401. They are spending around 8% more than they make.

Family Economics Review, quoted in U.S.A. Today, May 20, 1991, p. D1.


What's the most outrageous thing you would do for $10,000 cash? That's the question posed recently by Chicago radio station WKOX, which attracted responses from more than 6,000 full-tilt crazies.

The eventual winner: Jay Gwaltney of Zionsville, Indiana, who consumed an 11-foot birch sapling -- leaves, roots, bark and all. For the event, he donned a tux and dined at a table set elegantly with china, sterling, candles and a rose vase. Armed with pruning sheers, the Indiana State University sophomore began chomping from the top of the tree and worked his way, branch by branch, to the roots. His only condiment: French dressing for the massive birch-leaf salad. The culinary feat took 18 hours over a period of three days.

When it was all over, Gwaltney complained of an upset stomach. Evidently the bark was worse than his bite. 

Campus Life, December 1980, p. 19.


Percentage of all paper money in the U.S. that contains traces of cocaine: 97% 

Charis Conn, Ed., What Counts: The Complete Harper's Index.


In 1928 a group of the world's most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, The greatest wheat speculator, The president of the New York Stock Exchange, A member of the President's Cabinet, The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, The president of the Bank of International Settlements, The head of the world's greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men:

The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. 

The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. 

The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. 

The member of the President's Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. 

The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. 

The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. 

The head of the world's greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. 

All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live.

Source Unknown.


When a person with experience meets a person with money, the person with experience will get the money. And the person with the money will get experience. 

Leonard Lauder, president of Estee Lauder.


Research indicates that most households tend to spend 10 percent more than their income, no matter what the income level.

Source Unknown.


He that is down needs fear no fall,

He that is low, no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,

Little be it or much;

And, Lord, contentment still I crave,

Because Thou savest such.

Fullness to such a burden is

That go on pilgrimage;

Here little, and hereafter bliss,

Is best from age to age.

John Bunyan.


How rich is rich? According to a survey of people who ought to know, the answer is $1 million to $5 million in assets. Investment managers Neuberger & Bergman sponsored the survey of people who stand to give or receive inheritances (median household assets: $500,000). Paradoxically, 55% of those whose assets ranged from $1 million to $5 million don't consider themselves wealthy. 

USA Today, November 11, 1991, D1.


Albert J. Lowry set out to prove that it was easy to get rich quick in real estate with no money down--and he dud just that. Not surprisingly, his 1980 book, How You Can Become Financially Independent by Investing in Real Estate, was a bestseller. In a May 1981 cover story, Money magazine estimated Lowry's net worth at $30 million and called him a "real estate wizard." But something went wrong, and in October 1985 the Success development Institute, which promoted Lowry's theories, collapsed with $2.5 million in debts. In June of 1987 it was reported that Lowry's assets were being liquidated in Los Angeles under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code. 

Today in the Word, November 22, 1991.


Whoever says money can't buy happiness doesn't know where to shop. 

Donald Trump, U.S. News and World Report, January 9, 1989. 


Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money. 

Source Unknown.


According to a Gallup survey, almost half the total charitable contributions in the US come from households with incomes of less than $30,000. 

Reported in The Other Side, quoted in Discipleship Journal, Issue 53, 1989, p. 20.


There are two ways in which a Christian may view his money--"How much of my money shall I use for God?" or "How much of God's money shall I use for myself?" 

W. Graham Scroggie.


In I Talk Back to the Devil,  A.W. Tozer reminds us:

"Money often comes between men and God. Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes--the mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye."

It doesn't take large quantities of money to come between us and God; just a little, placed in the wrong position, will effectively obscure our view.

Cedric Gowler.


The rich get richer and the poor get poorer--and it seems that compound interest would virtually guarantee it! Not so, according to investment counselor David Dreman. Writing in Forbes magazine, Dreman noted that most large fortunes diminish and sometimes disappear in only two or three generations. He observed, "Why most nest eggs dissipate over time is a major problem..." 

Today in the Word, April, 1990, p. 9.


The average charitable giving in the United States is 1.7 percent of adjusted gross income. The average among Christians is 2.5 percent. 

Ron Blue, quoted in Discipleship Journal, Issue 53, 1989, p. 20.


In the United States in 1950, 10 percent of all income was spent for luxuries ($50 billion). By 1980, 30 percent of all income went to luxuries ($350 billion).

Source Unknown.


The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money. 

J.H. Jowett.


If you had your life to live over again--you'd need more money.

Construction Digest.


Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation; a passport to everywhere but heaven. 

The Voice In the Wilderness, quoted in Discipleship Journal, Issue 53, 1989, p. 21.


Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.

Addison H. Hallock.


What the wealthy think about money:

I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness--John W. Rockefeller. 

The care of $200,000,000 is enough to kill anyone. There is no pleasure in it--W.H. Vanderbilt. 

I am the most miserable man on earth--John Jacob Astor. 

I was happier when doing a mechanic's job--Henry Ford.

Millionaires seldom smile--Andrew Carnegie.

Source Unknown.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend their incomes as follows:

Shelter 23%

Transportation 21%

Food 15%

Retirement plans 8%

Utilities 7%

Clothing 5%

Entertainment 5%

Medical care 5%

Savings 3%

Insurance (excluding care and home) 1%

Miscellaneous 7%

Reported in First, quoted in Discipleship Journal, Issue 53, 1989, p. 21.


According to Social Security records, 85 out of 100 Americans have less than $250 when they reach age 65. 

Ron Blue, Master Your Money.


Almost half of Americans report having less than $5,000 in savings and investments, including 1 out of 10 who have none at all. Significantly, more than one-fourth of Americans did not save or invest any of their income in the past year. 

Dr. Seymour Lieberman, Homemade, January, 1985.

MONEY, love of

One day a certain old, rich man of a miserable disposition visited a rabbi, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said. The rich man looked into the street. "What do you see?" asked the rabbi. "I see men, women, and children," answered the rich man. Again the rabbi took him by the hand and this time led him to a mirror. "Now what do you see?" "Now I see myself," the rich man replied.

Then the rabbi said, "Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror there is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, but you see only yourself."

Source Unknown.


A young man came out of the Ozark Mountains in his early manhood with the firm purpose of making a fortune in gold. Gold became his god, and putting it first, he won it. He came to be worth millions. Then the crash came, and he was reduced to utter poverty. His reason tottered and fell along with his fortune.

Source Unknown.


One day a policeman found Eads Bridge gazing down into the waters of the Mississippi. He ordered him to move on. "Let me alone," he answered, "I'm trying to think. There is something better than gold, but I have forgotten what it is." They placed him in an institution for the insane. They knew that a man who could forget that was not himself. 

Clovis Chappell.


Many people think money is security, but I Timothy 6:9 warns that it can be just the opposite. A few years ago, columnist Jim Bishop reported what happened to people who won the state lottery: Rosa Grayson of Washington won $400 a week for life. She hides in her apartment. For the first time in her life, she has "nerves." Everyone tries to put the touch on her. "People are so mean, " she said. "I hope you win the lottery and see what happens to you." 

When the McGugarts of New York won the Irish Sweepstakes, they were happy. Pop was a steamfitter. Johnny, twenty-six, loaded crates on docks. Tim was going to night school. Pop split the million with his sons. They all said the money wouldn't change their plans. A year later, the million wasn't gone; it was bent. The boys weren't speaking to Pop, or each other. Johnny was chasing expensive race horses; Tim was catching up with expensive girls. Mom accused Pop of hiding his poke from her. Within two years, all of them were in court for nonpayment of income taxes. "It's the Devil's own money," Mom said. Both boys were studying hard to become alcoholics. All these people hoped and prayed for sudden wealth. All had their prayers answered. All were wrecked on a dollar sign. 

Chuck Rasmussen.

 

POSSESSIONS

I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess. 

Martin Luther.


John Wesley's attitude is worthy of pondering. When he learned that his house had been destroyed by fire, he exclaimed, "The Lord's house burned. One less responsibility for me!" 

Our Daily Bread. 


Help me not to put too much stock in possessions, Lord. I want things, sure. But life seems to be a continual round of wanting things -- from the first toys we fight over as children to our thrilled unwrapping of wedding presents to those we buy in our old age. Our concern is not primarily love and friends and pride in what we can do, but things. 

Sometimes I'm ashamed of how much I want mere possessions -- things for my husband and the house and the children. Yes, and things for myself, too. And this hunger is enhanced every time I turn on the television or walk through a shopping mall. My senses are tormented by the dazzling world of things.

Lord, cool these fires of wanting. Help me to realize how futile is this passion for possessions. Because -- and this is what strips my values to the bone -- one of my best friends died today in the very midst of her possessions. She was in the beautiful home she and her husband worked so hard to achieve, the home that was finally furnished the way she wanted it with the best of everything. She was surrounded by the Oriental rugs she was so proud of, the formal French sofas, the painting, the china and glass, the handsome silver service...She had been snatched away while silently, almost cruelly, THEY remain. Lord, I grieve for my friend. My heard hurts that she had so little time to enjoy the things that she had earned and that meant so much to her. But let me learn something from this loss; that possessions are meant to enhance life, not to become the main focus of living. Help me remember that we come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing.

Don't let me put too much stock in mere possessions.

Marjorie Holmes.

 

WEALTH

John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves.

John was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.

The Wendels had such a compulsion to hold on to their possessions that they lived like paupers. Even worse, they were like the kind of person Jesus referred to "who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). 

Daily Walk, June 2, 1993.


John D. Rockefeller's three simple rules for anyone who wants to become rich:  1. Go to work early.     2. Stay at work late. 3. Find oil.

Source Unknown.


How rich is rich? According to a survey of people who ought to know, the answer is $1 million to $5 million in assets. Investment managers Neuberger & Bergman sponsored the survey of people who stand to give or receive inheritances (median household assets: $500,000). Paradoxically, 55% of those whose assets ranged from $1 million to $5 million don't consider themselves wealthy. 

USA Today, November 11, 1991, D1.


Dear Lord,

I have been re-reading the record of the Rich Young Ruler and his obviously wrong choice. But it has set me thinking. No matter how much wealth he had, he could not-- ride in a car, have any surgery, turn on a light, buy penicillin, hear a pipe organ, watch TV, wash dishes in running water, type a letter, mow a lawn, fly in an airplane, sleep on an innerspring mattress, or talk on the phone,

If he was rich, then what am I?

P. Brand, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, p. 61.


  From the standpoint of material wealth, Americans have difficulty realizing how rich we are. Going through a little mental exercise suggested by Robert Heilbroner can help us to count our blessings, however. Imagine doing the following, and you will see how daily life is for as many as a billion people in the world.

1. Take out all the furniture in your home except for one table and a couple of chairs. Use blanket and pads for beds.

2. Take away all of your clothing except for your oldest dress or suit, shirt or blouse. Leave only one pair of shoes.

3. Empty the pantry and the refrigerator except for a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a few potatoes, some onions, and a dish of dried beans.

4. Dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and remove all the electrical wiring in your house.

5. Take away the house itself and move the family into the tool shed.

6. Place your "house' in a shantytown.

7. Cancel all subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs. This is no great loss because now none of you can read anyway.

8. Leave only one radio for the whole shantytown.

9. Move the nearest hospital or clinic ten miles away and put a midwife in charge instead of a doctor.

10. Throw away your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, and insurance policies. Leave the family a cash hoard of ten dollars.

11. Give the head of the family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise a few hundred dollars of cash crops, of which one third will go to the landlord and one tenth to the money lenders.

12. Lop off twenty-five or more years in life expectancy.

By comparison how rich we are! And with our wealth comes responsibility to use it wisely, not to be wasteful, and to help others. Think on these things. 

Steve Williams.


Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money. 

Anonymous.


Perhaps the most famous gold strike in American history occurred in January 1848 when a man named John Marshall found gold at Sutter's Mill in northern California. The find set off a gold rush that reached a frenzied pitch and even attracted prospectors from Europe--but it ruined Marshall and John Stutter, the man who owned the land where gold lay for the taking. Sutter's land was overrun by gold seekers, his cattle were stolen, and he was driven into bankruptcy. Marshall died drunken and penniless.

Today in the Word, June, 1990, p. 16.


If thou art rich, thou art poor, for like an ass whose back with ingots bows, thou bearest thy heavy riches but a journey, and death unloads thee. 

William Shakespeare.


The difference between playing the stock market and the horses is that one of the horses must win. 

Joey Adams.

 

COVETOUSNESS.

. Covetousness always seeks to take from another that which would be to the other’s advantage (verse 1,2)

. Covetousness is regardless of God’s Word (ver.3; Lev.25:23).

. Covetousness is displeased when it does not accomplish its purpose (verse 4).

. Covetousness will allow dishonest and diabolical means to obtain its end (verse 5-9).

. Covetousness will lie, by  bearing false witness to get its desire (verse 10-13,16).

. Covetousness is noted by God (verses 17-19).

. Covetousness is not allowed to go unrebuked (verses 20-25).

. “ Covetousness is idolatry” (verse 26; Col.3:5).

. Covetousness brings evil on others (verse 29).

. Covetousness brings punishment (ver.21; Hab.2:9-12).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

COVETOUSNESS.

Covetousness is the root of all evils. It—

. Blunts the sensitive nerve of love (Jude 11).

. Blurs the picture of life (11. Tim 4:10).

. Banishes the companionship of generosity (Matt.13:22).

. Breeds the evil worm of discontent ( 1. Tim.6:5-8).

. Burdens the spirit with the load of sorrow ( 1. Tim.6:10)

. Blinds the eyes to the beauty of Christ (Luke 18:22-24).

. Blasts the unscrupulous devotee with an unholy passion and endless misery ( 1. Tim.6:9).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

"RESPONDING TO MATERIALISM"
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. We live in a very materialistic society...
   a. As evidenced in our popular culture (music, TV, etc.)
   b. As expressed in the desire for an affluent lifestyle
 
2. Materialism is dangerous foe to the Christian...
   a. The deceitfulness of riches can render the Christian fruitless
      - Mt 13:22
   b. The desire for riches can ensnare the Christian, leading him
      astray - 1 Ti 6:9-10
 
3. What can we do as Christians, and as the church?  Consider God's use
   of Isaiah...
   a. Sent to a corrupt and materialistic society - Isa 1:21-23
   b. Offering that which truly satisfies - Isa 55:1-3
 
[Today, Jesus has a similar response, which we can offer to a world that
is starving for what truly satisfies...]
 
I. JESUS' RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM
 
   A. EXPOSES THE DEFICIENCY OF RICHES...
      1. Many think of "the good life" in terms of material prosperity
      2. Jesus taught there is more to life than material possessions
         a. Man's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions
            - Lk 12:15
         b. As illustrated in the parable of the rich fool - Lk 12:16-21
      3. Jesus taught the insecurity of riches - Mt 6:19-20
         a. They are susceptible to corruption
         b. They are open to theft
      4. Jesus taught the danger of riches - Mt 6:21-24
         a. They can dominate our affections
         b. They can blind us to the true light
         c. They can prevent us from being able to serve God
      -- Thus the message of Jesus is one of correcting our
         misconceptions; riches do not make one happy!
 
   B. EXTENDS THE TRULY ABUNDANT LIFE...
      1. Jesus offers a life filled with peace - cf. Jn 14:27
         a. Peace with God through justification - Ro 5:1-2
         b. Peace with man through reconciliation - Ep 2:14-16
         c. Peace with self through supplication - Ph 4:6-7
         -- The peace Jesus offers "surpasses all understanding" - Ph
            4:7
      2. Jesus offers a life filled with love - cf. Jn 15:9
         a. Love patterned after the Father's love for the Son - Jn 15:9
         b. Love that can be fervent, yet pure between brethren - 1 Pe
            1:22
         c. Love that can be extended even toward enemies - Mt 5:43-45
         -- The love Jesus offers "passes knowledge" - Ep 3:9
      3. Jesus offers a life filled with joy - cf. Jn 15:11
         a. His commandments, His promises, all are designed to impart
            joy - Jn 15:11
         b. A joy that can abound in any circumstance - e.g., Ph 2:
            17-18; 4:4; 1 Pe 1:6
         -- The joy Jesus offers is "inexpressible" - 1 Pe 1:8
      -- By offering such peace, love, and joy, perhaps we can
         appreciate why Jesus said He offers an "abundant" life - cf. Jn
         10:10
 
[To communicate this response to a materialistic society, Jesus calls
upon His church.  While it certainly entails proclaiming the gospel, let
me suggest some additional thoughts about...]
 
II. OUR RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM
 
   A. EXEMPLIFY JESUS' RESPONSE AS INDIVIDUALS...
      1. As individuals we must possess the peace, love, and joy Jesus
         offers
         a. Which comes through heeding His words - Jn 15:10-11
         b. Which comes through spending time in prayer - Ph 4:6-7
         -- If we fail to spend the time necessary in such activities,
            how convincing can we be that we have a more "abundant" life
            to offer?
      2. As individuals we must not depend on material things for true
         happiness
         a. If poor, learn the secret of contentment - cf. 1 Ti 6:6-8;
            Ph 4:11-13
         b. If rich, trust not in riches but be quick to help those in
            need - cf. 1 Ti 6:17-19
         -- Being content and willing to share goes a long way toward
            demonstrating that Jesus' response to materialism really
            means something!
 
   B. EXEMPLIFY JESUS' RESPONSE AS A CONGREGATION...
      1. The value of a congregational demonstration cannot be taken
         lightly
         a. Jesus stressed the value of brotherly love and unity - Jn
            13: 35; 17:20-21
         b. His church illustrated the value of congregational love and
            joy - cf. Ac 2:46-47; 6:7 (in light of 6:1-6)
      2. We should make sure that our fellowship and worship
         demonstrates...
         a. The love we have found in Christ (e.g., by the way we greet
            one another)
         b. The joy of being Christians (e.g., by the way we praise God)
         c. The peace Jesus made possible (e.g., by the way we work
            together)
      3. We should be careful as a congregation not to fall into a
         materialistic trap
         a. By placing too much concern over such things as:
            1) The physical facilities in which we meet
            2) The physical appearances of the members or visitors
         b. Not that is wrong to have comfortable facilities or to look
            nice
            1) But that should not be our primary concern
            2) But not to the neglect of truly important matters (like
               saving souls)!
         c. Otherwise we could be guilty of being like the Laodiceans
            - Re 3:17
            1) Who thought they were "rich, wealthy, and have need of
               nothing"
            2) Who were unaware they were "wretched, miserable, poor,
               blind, and naked"
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. The rampant materialism in our society provides us with an
   opportunity...
   a. For materialism leaves one in a state of spiritual malnutrition
   b. Therefore often ripe for the true feast Jesus has to offer
 
2. What does Jesus offer...?
   a. Rest for a weary soul - Mt 11:28-30
   b. Rivers of living water for a thirsty soul - Jn 7:37-39
   -- Which He provides through His cleansing blood and life-quickening
      Spirit - Ac 2:38-39
 
3. But if those trapped in materialism are going to believe such is
   possible...
   a. We need to make sure that we are offering the "abundant life" as a
      viable alternative
   b. Both individually and as a congregation of God's people!
 
Are we experiencing the peace that "surpasses all understanding," the
love which "passes knowledge," and the joy that is "inexpressible"?

 

--《Executable Outlines