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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2020 2:00 am

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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April 19, 2020 2:00 am

In this new series, we are joined by Salvation Army Officer, Major Mike Harris. He is currently the financial secretary for the Texas Division. He and Bernie begin this series by helping us remember where our blessings come from in the first place.

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From the Salvation Army, you're listening to Wonderful Words of Life. Welcome back. I'm Bernie Dake for the Salvation Army's Wonderful Words of Life, and give a hearty welcome to our host, Cheryl Gillum.

Hey, everyone. This is the week after Easter. I trust you've had some good remembrances and good celebration as salvationists, as Christians. I think we're Easter people. Yes, we are.

Yes, we are. He is risen. He is risen indeed. Well, as you, our listeners, are always giving us great feedback, especially through our online survey, we love getting requests for specific topics to cover on the show. And this week, we begin a new series on finance. Yeah, very exciting.

And so the title that we've gone with for this series is called The Hustle. And I think it is so fitting, especially in the culture that we are in today. The neat thing for me is our mutual friend, Major Mike Harris, is giving us a perspective from his position as a Salvation Army Finance Secretary in the great state of Texas. I know there's going to be a lot to hear from Mike, but I want to say, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that the Bible is pretty specific about worry. Philippians Chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

You know, I think if I were to be honest, I think finances has been one of those sticking points for me throughout my whole life in regards to just worrying, right? But I think that for me, that it's really been a discipline to do what this very scripture says, and that is to, first of all, just say, I'm not going to partner with fear, right? And I'm going to give it to God, and I'm going to ask for His wisdom, and His peace is going to cover me because I've asked for it. So you know, it's been a learning journey.

But it's been that I have found if I base myself, if I base my life on scripture, and I do what it says, then the truth of God's Word is really going to transcend. Amen. So throughout this series, we'll be sharing some resources that we think will be helpful to many of our listeners. And so make sure to follow the Salvation Army's Soundcast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our prayer for this series is that it can be sort of a reset button for how we view our finances.

If you're stressed out about money, I pray the series can offer you a sigh of relief. This week, Mike Harris starts off our series by reminding us where our blessings come from in the first place. Well, Mike, it is a privilege to welcome you to our audience at Wonderful Words of Life.

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet my friend, Major Mike Harris. Mike, you are stationed in Texas, but your accent betrays you. You are not from there. No, my home is Coventry, England, which, Bernie, if you know your Salvation Army history, is where the Shirley family came from and started the Salvation Army in Philadelphia, or in America, if you will. So that's my home. Very proud to be a Coventry kid, as we say.

But I've been in these states 29 years now, almost 29 years. Well, I'm glad that you're here. Your role in Texas now is our Divisional Finance Secretary, and you oversee a number of very important aspects to the Salvation Army's ministry. Can you just explain that in brief to our audience? Yeah, so basically the Finance Secretary sits really as the representative of the Divisional Commander in all things financial. So that pertains to every Salvation Army church, corps, unit, whatever we want to call that. So I encourage the ministers, the officers of the Army in their stewardship, if you will, as well as trying to manage things at a headquarters level. But the truth is, we're surrounded by people that God sent our way that work for the Salvation Army and do a very, very good job of filling in the many gaps that I leave. But at the end of the day, my job is to be the spiritual representative on the financial side.

Amen. Well, I think your job this week is, well, throughout the series, is to really help us understand more about finances from a biblical perspective. And a great place to start, per your suggestion, is talking about every good gift coming from the Father above.

Yeah, it's an interesting role I have, Bernie. I'm an ordained minister in the Salvation Army. So when you're cast into this sort of financial world, as I am with Financial Secretary, the natural approach always is biblical. And the Bible talks about stewardship. I mean, stewardship really is created, I believe, in the words of God through the pages of the Bible. So the basis of everything that we believe as Christians is faith. So stewardship has to start with faith. And we see that again through scripture. We see in Matthew chapter 6, where it talks about the, consider the wild flowers.

They don't labor a spin. Even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn't dressed like one of these. You know, the emphasis of faith and our belief that God has given us everything that we need is the foundation. But we're also in this world where we see practical things as necessary.

So it's a case of sort of navigating, I think, the world that we live in, in light of this biblical stance of faith. And you have practical opportunities to talk about faith with your team. You oversee all of the finances for the state of Texas as an example. But you're not a financier. You're not someone that's just doling out money. You're helping people control their funds, account for their funds, distribute as necessary to all of the good that we do in a community. I want to help our listeners understand really the scope of your role and why you bring such expertise to us as the listener.

Yeah, well, basically the scope of what I do is to try and help people to be better stewards of the resources given to them. When I say people, I'm talking about, again, Salvation Army officers or Dane ministers that are in different communities that are trying to continue the ministry and the work of the Salvation Army, which can be hampered or limited by the resources that come their way. So, you know, there's a lot of Salvation Armies that are struggling right now because they simply don't have the money to do the ministry.

And I see my role, Bernie, in the middle of this is to try and release them of the burden. You know, so, for instance, if there's a Salvation Army Corps church out there that's in debt, and sometimes the debt actually is to headquarters, to the office I sit in. I'm saying to officers, don't worry about the old debt. Don't worry about that. It's going to sit there on a balance sheet.

It's just going to be there. So don't be burdened. I'm not going to call you and say, you owe me X amount of money from years past. Let's start from where we're at. Let's start from this point forward and try and keep ourselves above water because all I'm trying to do is release the burden. There's a great burden that comes with debt.

There really is. We'll talk more about that going forward, but instead rely on faith. And here's something I believe with all my heart. If we honor God by doing what he's called us to do, and Bernie, as Salvationists, our foundation, our basis, everything that we believe is based upon the salvation of the soul. We believe that the world for Christ we sing. So if we are true to that and true to the calling and the reason the foundation was brought into existence, we have to believe, therefore, that God will provide.

And that's the point I think I want to get everybody to, including myself. Yeah. And God, in scripture, we read about how God cares for the birds and the lilies and even knows that all of the grass in the field, but how much more does he care for something that he created in his own likeness?

Yeah. And it's an amazing thing. And again, if you look at this from the point of view of God being our father, we've been adopted through Jesus Christ into this most remarkable family where God is our father. And as a father, the father's role in many ways is to provide, to provide for his children. And in this case, you've got this God that can count the hairs on our heads.

Now, for some that's easier than others, my friend. But he knows how many hairs are on our heads and he's promised, he's promised us that he will provide for us. But our guilty part is trying to provide for ourselves. And that's where the difficulty comes, I guess, in trying to figure out really what it means to have faith while at the same time building under ourselves a foundation based on money, based on property, based on things. Faith, it's a very interesting conversation to have. Where does faith begin and where does self-reliance end?

It's a very interesting conversation to have. Now, I never want to take scripture out of context, but we are so used to using it as a sense of encouragement. And in some of the message notes that you sent us, you used Jeremiah 29, 11. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future. Now, that doesn't mean prosperity gospel in a sense. We're not promising you a future without any sort of financial burden or obligation, but you have a passionate response to that kind of idea. I do, because I want to give you a different word to prosper. Prosper comes from the NIV. I think you'll find if you look at the King James, the word peace is there instead.

And if you think about prospering very quickly in our minds, certainly living here in the West, we think of prospering as in prospering financially, prospering with things, with assets. But can you think of anything greater than peace? I mean, just that peace? We search after things of the world to give us peace, but you're never going to be satisfied.

You always want a bit more. That doesn't bring peace. So true prospering in a way is indeed peace. And so the King James uses that word. And I like to think of it more that way.

Because for me, Bernie, there may be people out there disagree. There's certainly, if you will, a prosperity gospel mindset out there. I don't believe that at all. I think that's very contrary. If I'm following a savior who was homeless and as best as I can tell had no true source of revenue, who relied from one town to the next on the generosity of a family that might take him in and give him somewhere to sleep and somewhere to eat, if I'm following that Jesus and scripture tells me to, then prosperity as we look at it, as in the accumulation of wealth, has no true place. It's not to me a biblical principle. But again, we live in this society, this world, and even, dare I say, this country where the accumulation of wealth is seen as a form of blessing. So maybe that's the word that we should be playing with is the word blessing. What is a real blessing? In the Old Testament, it did appear to be the accumulation of wealth. We see Abraham is blessed. We see Job is blessed after all that he did.

But the New Testament gives blessing as a different thing. It's that peace. It's something that God bestows upon you that's greater than anything we could accumulate here on earth. Amen. Well, this is a good start to our first in this series with you as our guest.

And Mike, I hope that our listeners are getting something from this. If nothing else, first that God is the creator of peace. Amen. And he created us to love him and to worship him and to trust him.

Yes. And you've talked about faith already in this episode. I can't wait to see what you have for us in the weeks to come. Thank you. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we would love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. When you contact us, we'll send you our gift for this series. It's totally free for listeners like you, one per household while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for Wonderful Words of Life.

Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Wonderful Words of Life. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 11:30:16 / 2024-02-03 11:36:02 / 6

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