– Re-Finance (1) – View Money Properly – July 17, 2016
lesson one (1) in our series entitled “Re-Finance: Ancient Wisdom for Money
scripture is Proverbs 23:4-5; 30:5-9.
and security rest in GOD, not money.
We begin a
new six (6) week series of study. The scripture for five lessons will come from
Proverbs and one lesson from Ecclesiastes.
I know many
reading this are likely to say, “Here we go again, always talking about money.”
How we use our money is a reflection of our heart. Finances and how we handle them is a vital
subject for every person and especially for couples planning marriage. Credit
cards can be maxed out in a heartbeat but paying them off is often very painstaking.
In America, we can accumulate a mountain of debt in a heartbeat. Commerce makes
it easy to obtain possessions but when you obtain more than you can afford, the
bill collectors will come after you with great gusto.
The key is
to be wise. Let’s explore GOD’S Word over the next six-weeks to discover HIS
wisdom. King Solomon wrote most of Proverbs, with Agur and Lemuel contributing
some of the later sections.
following, within the brackets, was taken straight from the Advanced Bible
Study, summer, 2016 Commentary written by Dr. Garrett, professor of the Old
Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published by LifeWay,
One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-0175.
22:17-24:22 is a collection of teachings commonly called the “Thirty Sayings
(22:20). It is made up of a set of introductory remarks in 22:17-21 followed by
30 distinctive teachings (22:22-24:22). In the introduction, 22:20 says,
“Haven’t I written for you thirty sayings about counsel and knowledge?” This
follows a model set by an Egyptian text called “The Sayings of Amenemope,”
which is also divided into thirty distinct teachings. Some of the sayings in
Proverbs 22:17-24:22 are quite similar to what we see in Amenemope, testifying
to the fact that the desire for wisdom was common in the ancient world. Our
text, 23:4-5, is the seventh saying.
30:5-9 comes from the “words of Agur son of Jakeh,” a collection that takes up
all Proverbs 30. Agur is only mentioned here, and we do not know anything about
him. His little set of teachings is perhaps the most colorful and enigmatic
chapter of Proverbs. Although edifying, Agur’s sayings are somewhat mysterious.
At least one saying 30:18-19, could be called a riddle. This passage gives a
list of four items, and the reader has to struggle to determine what they have
in common and what their main lesson is. We often have to pause and ask what
Agur means. The sayings about animals illustrate this. What, precisely, is the
point to the observation, “A lizard can be caught in your hands, yet it lives
in king’s palaces. (30:28)? Even the teachings of our fairly straightforward
text, 30:5-9, contains puzzles.]
from GOD. As Christians, we have direct access to GOD 24/7 but do we seek HIS
advice and guidance? Often, we only go to HIM when we get into difficulty. HIS
desire is for HIS children to seek HIM first. Let’s explore!
4 Don't wear yourself out to get rich;
stop giving your attention to it.
5 As soon as your eyes fly to it, it
disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.
Many of us
pursue wealth only to find that when we achieve it, it is not what we thought
it would be like. The pursuit is the challenge and occupies our time and often
is an obstacle to us in building the right relationship with GOD.
is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Most of us desire that gift but for
selfish reasons. Our egos are the drivers and blinds us to the real intent of
our hearts e.g. LORD, we could do so much for YOU if we were wealthy, when our desire
is to use it for ourselves or to inflate our ego. We often attempt to deceive GOD
but HE knows our hearts and our intents.
It is written in 1 Timothy 6:10:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
allows us to pursue wealth just to prove the point that when we arrive, it is
not all that great and it has many problems associated with it. Often the
greatest tragedy in having or obtaining wealth is one of the things we desire
most, which is a unified, loving family that loves the LORD and obediently
serves HIM. I quickly add that there are many wealthy families that have achieved
this by keeping their eyes fixed upon the LORD as they use their wealth to obediently
serve HIM. Their first desire is to know GOD through faith in JESUS CHRIST.
wealth often robs us of spending time getting to know GOD through our
relationship with JESUS. It is easy to know about GOD but it takes being
in right relationship with JESUS to get to really know GOD, the Father of every Christian.
In our last
lesson series JESUS stated in Matthew 6:33:
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things will be provided for you.
time do you spend reading GOD’S Word, talking to HIM, listening to HIM and
putting into practice the things that HE reveals to you?
previous lessons, we know that, as Christians, we are building upon the solid
foundation that GOD has laid. That foundation is placing our faith in JESUS The
CHRIST as our Savior. We are building upon that foundation of faith with Gold,
Silver, Precious Stones, Wood, Hay or Straw. One day, our building will be
tested by fire. As Christians, when we obediently serve our LORD, we are
building with the materials that will survive the test by fire. When we, as
Christians, are in right relationship with GOD through faith in JESUS, we are
building with materials that will survive the test by fire. As a Christian,
allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you as you walk with JESUS to
obediently serve GOD according to HIS plan and purpose for your life.
It is vital
that every Christian get to know GOD and not just know about GOD.
When you get to know GOD you learn to trust HIM as we read in our next
Proverbs 30:5-6: (As stated in the opening of our study, these words were
written by Agur.)
5 Every word of God is pure; He is a
shield to those who take refuge in Him.
really know GOD, we know that HE is truth and HIS Word is pure.
That is a
process. Salvation is just step one in a lifelong journey of revelation through
sanctification. As we get to know GOD and learn to trust HIM, we learn that HE
is our shield and that we can take refuge in HIM, even when we make mistakes and
follow the desires of our hearts. The Apostle Paul learned this as he walked
with GOD as he wrote in Romans 8:28-30:
28 We know that all things work
together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to
not guide our lives but GOD is in all things bringing about HIS will and
purpose even when we take a wrong turn because HE has a plan for every
Christian. Our part is to confess our wrong doing and stop doing it. GOD
forgives, restores our relationship with HIM and we are to continue our walk
with HIM as led by the Holy Spirit.
29 For those He foreknew He also
predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the
firstborn among many brothers.
for every Christian is to be made unto the image of JESUS.
30 And those He predestined, He also
called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also
does not mean that our choice has been taken from us because every Christian
still makes choices. GOD has a vision for every Christian.
When we walk
with HIM, as led by the Holy Spirit and are in right relationship with HIM, we
are in HIS will. It is all about getting to know GOD through the study of HIS
Word, talking to HIM and obediently serving HIM by putting what HE reveals to
us into action.
6 Don't add to His words, or He will
rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.
This is an
important verse. Often, we try to make more out of GOD’S Word than HE intends.
This scripture warns us not to do that. Let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth of
GOD’S Word to you and do not try to make HIS Word say what HE did not intend
for it to say regarding you.
I heard a
story many years ago regarding GOD’S Word. It went something like this. A man
decided that he would do whatever GOD’S Word, the Bible revealed to him. He would
randomly open GOD’S Word and blindly point to a verse and do what the verse
stated. He did this and the verse was “and he went and hanged himself.” The man
did not like that so he made another attempt and his finger landed on a verse
that stated “what thou must do, do quickly.”
We laugh at
such random ways we attempt to get direction from GOD. Build the right
relationship with HIM by getting to know HIM through faith in JESUS. JESUS came
to show us how to have the right relationship with GOD. Ask the Holy Spirit to
help you build the right relationship with GOD through faith in CHRIST.
this have to do with the wise use of our resources? Seek first the kingdom of
GOD. Being in right relationship with GOD means that all that we have falls
under HIS authority and since wisdom comes from GOD, GOD’S wisdom flows through
us as we walk with HIM.
Proverbs 30:7-9: (These words were written by Agur. What was he saying and how
does it apply to us today? We need to keep in mind that Agur was talking to
7 Two things I ask of You (GOD); don't
deny them to me before I die:
making his request known to GOD. This is what we all need to do. Verbalize our
request. The only timetable he put on his request was that GOD respond before
he died. Such a request can come from a heart that realizes that often we have
to grow Spiritually before we can understand or comprehend some Spiritual things.
So what were
the two things he asked of GOD?
8 Keep falsehood and deceitful
words far from me. (1) Give me neither poverty nor (2) wealth;
feed me with the food I need.
We all live
in this world and in doing so we all have both Spiritual and physical needs.
GOD provides for those needs but the world can deceive us into believing that
our plight in life reveals our relationship to GOD. This deceit can result in
us concluding that GOD has punished us when we are in poverty or rewarded us
when we prosper. Agur knew that these conclusions were deceitful and would lead
us to the wrong conclusion regarding GOD in our lives.
he asked GOD to not allow such thinking to mislead him. As a result, he asked
GOD not to give him poverty or wealth because he did not want to run the chance
of falling into the trap of associating GOD with either condition. Poverty and wealth
are deceitful. If he was not poor or wealthy he was free to discover the truth
regarding GOD and HIS role in his life as they walked together. His desire was
to walk with GOD and to trust HIM to provide him the things that GOD wanted him
to have to meet all of his needs both physical and Spiritual.
This is, in
essence, what JESUS stated in the model prayer we studied a few weeks ago as
recorded in Matthew 6:11:
11 Give us today
our daily bread.
This is both
physical and Spiritual food. GOD knows that we have to have physical food to
sustain us as humans. JESUS got hungry as recorded in Matthew 21:18:
18 Early in the morning, as He was
returning to the city, He was hungry.
But we need Spiritual
food as well as JESUS stated in Matthew 5:6:
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness, because they will be filled.
Wealth is a lie because it implies that we don’t need GOD
and Poverty is a lie because it implies that GOD does not care.
Let’s read our
next verse - Proverbs 30:9:
9 Otherwise, I might have too much and
deny You, saying, "Who is the Lord?" or I might have nothing and
steal, profaning the name of my God.
his reasons why he did not want wealth or poverty. If he had plenty he might
become self-sufficient and not seek GOD in his life and realize his dependence
upon HIM. By the same rational, if he was poor, he might steal to meet his
needs and in doing so it would dishonor GOD.
focuses upon the desire of Agur’s heart to know GOD and to be a positive
witness for HIM to others. Agur wanted balance in his life by not having too little
or too much but to depend upon GOD and to seek HIM in his life not encumbered by
poverty or plenty.
What is the
desire of our hearts? Do we blame GOD because we do not have riches? Do we not
acknowledge GOD in our lives because we are self-sufficient? Or do we go
through the motions of worshipping GOD because we are afraid that GOD will take
away our wealth or health? Keep in mind that GOD knows our hearts and our intents.
the Kingdom of GOD and HIS righteousness. HIS righteousness is imputed to those
the instant they place their faith in JESUS THE CHRIST. Righteousness is a gift
from GOD as the Apostle Paul recorded in Second Corinthians 5:21:
21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who
did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we (All who place their faith in JESUS)
might become the righteousness of God in Him.
So what does
this have to do with having the proper perspective regarding our money? JESUS stated
it best in Matthew 6:21:
21 For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Ground zero is
our relationship with GOD. Is it personal and real or obscure and unsure? If your
relationship with GOD is obscure and unsure, I urge you to tell HIM and ask HIM
to reveal truth to you. But you need to read HIS Word and be alert to the truth
as HE reveals it. Don’t ask and then park your brain but be vigilant to seek what
HE reveals. It is an awesome journey. Blessings!!!