Tag Archives: wealth

My New Book “Bless-ed” Is Now Out! Almost. Blessing #24!


My new book, Bless-ed! Fifty-Two Weekly Blessings You Have as a Believer and How to Help Your Lost Friends Find Theirs will soon be available on Amazon here. I have advanced copies if you are interested. I will send you a copy for $10 (which includes shipping). Here’s Blessing #24 in Bless-ed:

BLESSING #24: The Blessing of a Balanced Perspective on Possessions

Someone asked a question of John Davison Rockefeller, Sr., an American business magnate and philanthropist whose net worth in the early 19th Century was $418 billion. The question was, “How much money does a person really need?” And he reportedly answered, “Just a little bit more!”

My friend Mike, who has not yet trusted Christ as his Savior, is fairly wealthy and quite generous. He has plenty of earthly treasures, but, as of yet, isn’t storing up treasures in heaven as Jesus teaches.

This reminds me that we believers –


I’m not saying that my friends are greedy or materialistic, but many of them lack a biblical perspective on what they own. This is also true of many of us Jesus followers. In a sense, our possessions often possess us.

THE BLESSING God’s Word is clear that He is not anti-matter, that what we own isn’t really ours, that things are not to be more valued than people, and that He uses material blessings for His glory. We are stewards not only of His grace but of the gifts He gives to use for Him. Some preachers have said that Jesus taught more about money than He did about heaven. I’ve not checked that out, but He does warn of greed (Luke 12:15) and Scripture confronts us with the temptation of esteeming others based on their financial status (see James 2).

THE BIBLE The Bible provides very specific principles about our possessions. Let’s think about Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:19-21 —

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

There are some very clear principles in this passage. We must be careful where we store our wealth (v. 19). Earthly wealth is susceptible to bugs and burglars. Treasures stored up in heaven aren’t in danger of being destroyed or stolen. One’s treasure and one’s heart are intimately connected to one another.

Other truths in Scripture about our possessions include: (1) All that we have we have from the Lord (I Cor. 4:7); (2) Even your own life has been bought at the price of Christ’s blood (I Cor. 6:19-20); (3) One’s life and value are not dependent on what one owns (Luke 12:15); (4) We are to learn to be content in either poverty or material abundance (Phil. 4:11-12); (5) We should be ready to share practically with those in need (Eph. 4:28); (6) Earthly wealth can keep people out of the kingdom of God (Mk. 10:17- 31); and (7) God is not anti-possessions (Acts 4:32-37; 5:1-11).


1. Take this week to carefully read over the story in Mark 10 of the rich young ruler. When Jesus commanded him to give all he had to the poor, he walked away. Why? How would one prove that Jesus was teaching him he could be saved by his good works?

2. Corrie Ten Boom said, “I have learned to hold things loosely so that it won’t hurt so much when God takes it away.”35 When you think of your material goods, fill in the following blank: “It would hurt really badly if God were to take away my ________.” Then mentally put that something under the Lordship of Christ.

3. Read an article or two each day this week by Dave Ramsey on financial health ( Take a few notes and share with another believer.

PRAYER 4. Unbelievers watch us so it is important to be generous with what God has given us. Pray that your friend will see that for you the Giver is much more important than the gifts. And pray for your lost friends that they would seek the Lord “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (I Tim. 6:17)

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 21, 2023 in "Bless-ed!"


Tags: , , , ,

With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (√The Prologue: Chs. 1-3, Part 2)

As we continue our examination of “The Prologue” (Chs. 1-3), the scene shifts dramatically from earth to heaven. The curtain is pulled back as it were and we listen in on a conversation between God and Satan!

II. A Celestial Challenge (1:6-12)

God’s messengers, spirit beings called angels, report to the Lord and He singles out Satan for a challenge. Asking him, “Where have you come from?”, God requires the devil to give an accounting of his activities. Satan’s response is: “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth in it.” (v. 7). We are reminded of Peter’s declaration of the devil that we are to “be alert and of sober mind [because our] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8).

Ours is no stationary adversary. He roams, he prowls, he’s looking for his next meal! Amazingly the Lord does not say to Satan, “Stop it! Stop your roaming!” No, the Lord issues a challenge to the devil: “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (v. 8).

What an endorsement of Job’s character! These words are the same as those which introduced the book, that Job was “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” (v. 1). Again we are reminded that whatever calamities eventually come Job’s way, they are not punishment for his sins.

But Satan does not cower in the presence of the Almighty. His retort to God is: “Does Job fear God for nothing?” (v. 9). He explains Job’s godliness by a kind of quid pro quo argument (something for something else). “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” (v. 10).

This demonic accusation — that Job’s loyalty is conditional upon God’s blessing — evilly focuses upon God’s goodness toward His servant. God’s “hedge” has provided protection for Job, his family, and his many possessions. God’s blessing has been the bribe God used to keep Job loyal and godly.

And Satan is not finished with his debate with the Lord. He next issues a challenge to God: “But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” (v. 11). Satan wants God to do the striking. Satan wants God to be cursed by Job.

But Satan is not in charge, even if he acts like he is. The Lord’s response to Satan’s assault is: “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (v. 12). Satan is a real and powerful adversary. But he is not God. And God gives him permission to remove Job’s possessions. However, the devil is commanded not to lay a finger on Job himself. How will a poverty-stricken Job respond to his upcoming loss of all things?

Satan wastes no time in carrying out his God-allowed attack on Job and his wealth. We read that he “went out from the presence of the Lord.” (v. 12).

This first challenge from the devil should give pause to all who have swallowed the health and wealth gospel nonsense. Is the Lord obligated to materially bless His servants? Are riches a definitive proof of God’s blessing? Should one be loyal to the Lord in order to receive prosperity? What about when that wealth wastes away or is violently removed?



Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2022 in the book of Job


Tags: , ,

Psalms of My Life (Psalm 49)

Psalm 49
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah.Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 6.02.47 AM A psalm.

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:

5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die,

Residing in Paradise!

Residing in Paradise!

that the foolish and the senseless also perish,
leaving their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses[b] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had[c] named lands after themselves.

12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.

13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[d]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2015 in the book of Psalms


Tags: , , , ,

Time for a Great Cartoon (happiness)

ch870710Calvin has a point, doesn’t he?  If HAPPINESS depends on HAPPENINGS, then having the financial where-with-all to control life’s circumstances seems a very reasonable goal.

But even the filthy rich can’t buy themselves out of someScreen Shot 2015-01-11 at 7.31.27 AM life’s tragedies.  As one bumper sticker puts it, “He who dies with the most toys — still dies!”  Psalm 1 (which we looked at way back on December 8’s post) makes the simple point that true happiness (what the Psalmist calls “blessedness”) is a relational, not a possessive, issue.  If I know the God of Creation in an intimate and personal way, I can be truly happy, regardless of what happens around me.

How’s your relationship with the Lord going?

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2015 in happiness


Tags: , , ,