Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Is money a sign of God's approval?

Lee Jenkins Financial Ministries
Money Myths and Old Sayings
Gospel Today Magazine
January / February 2008

...Myth #2: “Financial Prosperity is a sign of God’s approval.”
Truth: Financial prosperity is not always a sign of God’s approval. You and I both know people who go against God’s will (thieves, drug dealers, adulterers) and still make plenty of money. It’s a mistake to measure God’s approval by the amount of “stuff” you or your neighbor has. If God “blessed” you with a BMW or a big house, be thankful, but don’t get full of yourself and think it means you’re more special than the brother or sister cruisin’ in a Pinto.

Yes, there are instances when God rewards obedience. It’s been happening since biblical times when God gave material wealth to Abraham (Genesis 13:1-7), Isaac (Genesis 26:12-14), Jacob (Genesis 30:43), Joseph (Genesis 39:2-6), Solomon (1 Kings 3:13), and Job (Job 42:10-17). However, if you are struggling financially, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing something wrong, and it certainly doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love you. Remember Job’s “comforters” thought there must be hidden sin in his life to account for his loss of prosperity, but they were wrong. God approved of Job (Job 1:8; 42:7), yet he permitted Satan to destroy everything of earthly value that Job possessed...

Resources for Lectionary Preaching
SCRIPTURE: Mark 10:17-31

They have been taught that wealth is a sign of God's approval, so how can it be difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God?

That Which God Hath Lent Thee
The Puritans and Money

...The Puritans had no guilt about making money; to make money was a form of stewardship. The Weber thesis made mileage out of Baxter’s statement:

If God shows you a way in which you lawfully get more than in another way (without wrong to your soul, or to any other), if you refuse this, and choose the less gainful way, you cross one of the ends of your calling, and you refuse to be God’s steward...

What About Poverty?

If riches are a blessing from God, then poverty must be a curse and a sign of God’s disfavor—right? Wrong, said the Puritans, who disagreed with a whole tissue of assumptions often attributed to them in the twentieth century.

In the first place, the Puritans disagreed that godliness is a guarantee of success. Thomas Watson went so far as to say that “true godliness is usually attended with persecution .… The saints have no charter of exemption from trials.… Their piety will not shield them from sufferings.”

If godliness is not a guarantee of success, then the converse is also true: success is not a sign of godliness. This is how the Puritans understood the matter. John Cotton stated that a Christian “equally bears good and evil successes as God shall dispense them to him.” Samuel Willard wrote, “As riches are not evidences of God’s love, so neither is poverty of his anger or hatred.”...

Money--A Sign of God's Love: God's Abundant Supply for Every Need--Explained

About the Author

Jeff Wilburn has worked in the financial securities industry for the last twenty-two years, building wealth for his clientele by using divine principles. He lives in Katy, TX, with his wife of twenty-seven years and daughter. Jeff enjoys exercising, reading, and serves on various local church committees.

What does God's compassion for creation mean for you? Jeff Wilburn explains a revolutionary new view of money that can be proved in our everyday experience. Unseen divine laws have now been summarized, bringing supply in new and exciting forms.

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