Money: Managing for the Master

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Daniel Pink authored a very popular book named Drive. In it he explored what motivates us. You may be surprised to learn that the answer is not money. Money is important up to the point where we are comfortable - meaning that we have a decent home and we can afford to eat some meals at restaurants. After that point, what motivates employees is autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Jesus tells us in John 15:15 that God no longer calls us employees (slaves), but friends. More than that He calls us His sons and daughters. 2 Corinthians 6:18. Has Pink grasped a Biblical principle - that God's system of motivation for His family is something other than money? Let's plunge into our beginning study on the topic of money in the Bible and find out!...

Romans chapter 5 repeatedly refers to our righteousness before God as a gift. In case we were confused about what "gift" means, it is repeatedly referred to as a "free gift." See, e.g. Romans 5:17. Yet some continue to ask "What does accepting the gift require that we do?" It would not be a "free" gift if it required that we do anything. There are, however, two closely related issues. The practical question is whether we want the gift? Many people would not accept a free gift of gym membership because they understand the purpose of a gym. Many people do not want eternal life in a Kingdom ruled by God. Thus a reasonable question is this: "Do you really want the free gift of eternal life in an earth made new?" Asking whether you really desire a gift does not change the fact that it is free. The second related question is our study this week. Why does God command us to do (or not do) certain things? Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!...

Last week we discussed that salvation is free, but God presents challenges for us to receive special blessings. We began a discussion about the tithing blessing. This week we do a deep dive into the subject of tithing. What does God expect of us? What are the opportunities that it presents? Is tithing a moot issue? What does the Bible really teach about tithing for Christians? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!...

Many years ago I was volunteering my time to do some physical labor for the church. I was young and one of the older members discussed family finances with me. When he learned that my wife and I had our money in a joint bank account he exclaimed, "What if she runs off with your money?" Frankly, that had not previously crossed my mind. I responded that I would be more concerned about losing her than losing money. He was astonished by my response. For him, money took precedence over his wife. That conversation is like our study this week. If my job in writing this lesson is to convince you to make voluntary offerings, then the underlying problem is not money, but your attitude toward God. This week as we study the Bible let's focus more on our attitude toward Jesus!...

Over half of Americans say that debt negatively impacts their life. I imagine the same is true for any society which allows easy credit. If there was anything in life that created problems for more than half of the people, that something should be taken seriously. And it is taken seriously by the Bible. The Bible contains an enormous amount of advice on our relationship to money. Part of that relationship is avoiding debt. Sometimes it seems that debt is unavoidable. A medical emergency can create debt. A failed business might create debt. How can a person become a home-owner without taking on debt? Even having a reliable car might require debt. Did you know that God had formal rules for His people and debt? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about debt!...

Do you need to have someone keep an eye on you? I know I do. Each week I teach the lesson that I write. Turns out that this is an invaluable check on my thinking. When Malachi 3 (and the other verses we have studied) tell us that if we give materially to God's work, He will pour out a huge amount of blessings, I teach that this is about money, among other things. My class members respond that it is about other things more than money. Who is right? The prime characters in the Old Testament were rich and the prime characters in the New Testament were not. Consistent with my view I read Matthew 6:19-20 to be talking about money. "Treasure equals money." Ouch! I'm an old guy who has saved for retirement. But if the blessings in Malachi 3 are not primarily about money, should we conclude that the "treasures on earth" are also not about money? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!...