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Success and Money

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
August 13, 2022 12:00 am

Success and Money

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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August 13, 2022 12:00 am

Do you know what true success is all about?

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Do you have a godly perspective on your finances? The Bible is the guide for a lesson on the proper relationship between success and money. Today, the Bible is the guide for a lesson on the proper relationship between success and money. The issue is, what's their attitude toward it?

The issue is, how do they use it? The issue is, does it govern and enslave them or do they have control over their finances? If you'll turn to Luke chapter 12, Luke chapter 12, and Jesus has been talking to his disciples and others here, and I want you to look, if you will, beginning in verse 13. Look at this passage, verse 13, and someone in the crowd said to him, speaking of Jesus, Teacher, tell my brother to do what he said to my brother to divide the family inheritance with me. But he said to him, Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter over you? Now watch this, verse 15, and he said to them, Beware and be on your guard against every form of greed, for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.

And that's the first mistake people make. Suddenly, their life consists of their possessions, which you can lose quickly. He said, he told them a parable saying, The land of a certain rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself saying, What shall I do since I have no place to store my crops? And he said, This is what I will do.

I will tear down my barns and build larger ones. And there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come. Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But there's something he forgot.

We'll come back to that. But God said to him, You fool, this very night your soul is required of you, and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. So the first thing we need to talk about here is this whole idea of the place of money in a person's life, in a Christian's life. What is money? It is simply a medium of exchange. Money is not to be worshiped or become a slave to.

It is to be used. It is a medium of exchange to be used. It is a stewardship of Almighty God who owns it all. And the fact that we have money, we will one day give an account before God. We are not to love it. It's not to be the heart of our life.

Simply a medium of exchange. But we also see it as a tool by which God uses to test us and to grow us up. It is a very important tool in the mind and eyes of God and in His ways in our life to test us and to train us to trust Him and to be faithful to Him. And so money is a very important thing in the eyes of God because there are more Scriptures and more verses relating to finances and money and our use of them. There now are verses in the Bible concerning heaven because God knew that it was that practical thing we all have to deal with every single day of our life. Now, this rich man was no fool simply because he became wealthy.

He was a fool because he didn't know how to utilize his wealth, didn't know how to handle his wealth, and did not have the proper attitude toward it. I want to give you five precautions that you and I could take concerning our money, our material possessions, if we're genuinely going to be successful in God's eyes of becoming the persons God wants us to be and listen, achieving the goals that God has us to set. And some of those goals that God has for us are goals that are going to require finances on our part. It may be that God has a goal for you to have a certain house or a certain automobile or to give a certain amount of money to the Lord's work or to get your kids through school or to get your grandkids through school, whatever it may be.

He has goals He set for us now. So let's think about this for a moment and thinking in terms of this man in our Scripture who had all this wealth. And the first precaution we need to take is this, and that is guarding against, allowing our life to center around money. Number one is to guard against, allowing our life to center around money. He said in verse fifteen, Be on your guard against every form of greed, for not even one who has an abundance does his life consist of possessions.

Well, certainly one of those precautions should be that you and I should not let our life center around it. He says in verse fifteen, Your life does not consist of money. The second precaution is this, and that is guard against loving money. We're to guard against loving money.

If you will go to 1 Timothy chapter six now, listen to what he says in 1 Timothy chapter six verse ten. For the love of money, watch this, he didn't say it's the root, he says the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. And some, by longing for it, have wandered away from the faith, pierced themselves with many a pain. The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. There are other roots. Bitterness is certainly a root of all sorts of evil. But the love of money, got to have more, want more, life centers around it.

All that matters is making more. Saving and investing and making, making, making more, can't get enough, how much is enough, don't know how much enough is, usually it's a little bit more. We guard against letting our life center around it. We guard against loving money because I think it's very evident from Scripture.

He says, if you'll notice, he says, by longing for it, people have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many a pain. That is, there is suffering that comes with the misuse of money. Money can be a dangerous commodity. Not because of the nature of it, it's only a medium of exchange.

What do I do with it? It's their attitude toward it. So, number one, we cannot allow it to be the center of our life, can't allow ourselves to be a loving money. And look, for example, look, if you will, in 1 Timothy again, chapter 6, let's look at verse 9, and that is guarding against the temptations that come as a result of having money.

Now watch this. He said, look at this, verse 9, but those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. He says, now when a person, if their goal is to get rich, what happens is they make to themselves available those things that will ultimately, he says, a snare, that's a trap. Temptations, traps, foolish and harmful desires which ultimately will plunge them into ruin and destruction. So, first of all, life can't stand around it.

Secondly, can't afford to love it. And thirdly, you have to guard against the temptations that would cause you to make very, very erroneous decisions that will bring ruin and destruction to your life. The fourth thing we need to guard against, he says here, is allowing money to cause us to drift away from God. When you look at this 12th chapter, what happens? It was the fact that he had got so much and finally, what absolutely submerged him was all the material blessings and finally, it was not God, what can I do with this, but what shall I do with it?

How can I save it? How can I have a life of ease and comfort and pleasure? Here's what I'm saying. Money, listen, money can be a very dangerous thing if you don't know how to use it and don't have the right attitude.

So, first of all, what does he say? Guard against letting your life center around it. Guard against loving it.

Guard against temptations that will be there when you have it. Guard against the tendency to drift away from our Lord as a result of becoming interested in things you didn't have the money to become interested in before. And the last thing he says, guard against allowing your attitude toward money to choke off the Word of God in your life. Now, what do I mean by that?

Simply this, what did he mean by it? People oftentimes who have little, they're at church, they're taking their notes, they're asking, God, speak to my heart. I want you to change my life.

I want you to change my finances, change my circumstances. And then what happens? God begins to answer their prayer and the blessing becomes a blight.

Not because a blessing is a blight, but because their use and their attitude toward the blessing, it becomes a blight. Before long, what happens? They begin to drift away and they don't feel like they need to go every Sunday and they don't need to take their Bible and next thing you know, what happens?

They are in ruin and ultimate destruction. Listen, they may live out this life with their money, but you know what, they will have missed, they will miss God's reward. And if that person, for example, misuses their money, hoards it as the man in our Scripture did, what they will do is miss all that God had provided for them, planned for them in eternity. Now, somebody says, well, but as long as I've got it here, man, I'm not worried about dying. Besides that, nobody knows where you're going to go when you die.

Well, I do. God made this very clear. You either go into hell or you go into heaven.

One of the two. You're either going to be rewarded with by God's blessings you, toward you, for all that you've done in this life that was obedient to Him or you will die without Christ and be eternally separated from Him and you're going to leave it all either way. The only difference is this, we saints, we're sending it on ahead when we're giving. We're sending it on ahead by our good works and our service and those who give Him nothing send nothing ahead. Those who die without Christ won't make any difference because you lose it all.

When you die without Christ, it makes a difference. Money, listen, the truth is, you know, on cigarettes they have this label on some other things, this thing could, listen, caution, this could be dangerous to your health. You could write on every dollar bill, this could be dangerous to your health or to your family or to your future wealth. If you don't use it right and the attitude's not right, then there's going to be destruction, ruin of some fashion. So what is he saying? He says, be on guard.

That's where he began this chapter. He says, beware and be on your guard. Don't let your life center around money. Don't love money. Be on your guard about the temptations that can come as a result of having money. Be on guard against drifting away from the Lord and His work because you have new opportunities that your blessings have provided.

Be careful, he says, be on guard lest you allow material things to choke out the Word of God. You've lost your interest in spiritual things, in reading the Scriptures, studying the Scripture. You've lost your interest. You're not praying as much as you ought to because you don't have as many needs as you used to have. You don't have the very needs you used to have. You have enough money to buy all these things you used to pray about.

What happens? Money, material things choke out the Word of God. And if you'll think about it, money can be a very dangerous thing, a very dangerous commodity if it is not used properly and if the attitude is not right. Now, somebody says, well, I understand that. I do understand that I'm to be very careful here about how I handle my money and so forth.

I do understand that. Well, how much can I have? How much money can you make?

Now, how much money is it rightful for you to have? All the way back to, oh, 3 John, Revelation, Jude, 3 John from the back of your Bible. And John is writing here to his friend Gaius and here's what he says to him. Just one chapter in this book. He says, the elder to the beloved Gaius whom I love in truth.

Now, watch this. Beloved, verse 2, beloved, I pray that in all respects, every aspect of your life, you may prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers. How much can you be entrusted with? Here's how much you can be entrusted with to walk in the Spirit, be a godly person and still have lots of money.

Here's the key. That my relationship to Him and my spiritual growth will never lag behind my financial growth. He says, listen, I pray that you may prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers.

So let me ask you a question. As you think about your life, in which area are you growing the most? Are you growing more in your finances and the accumulation of your wealth than you are in your spiritual life? Do you have a greater hunger and knowledge for God today than you did last year? Are you as faithful in the Lord's work? Are you as faithful in your church? Are you as faithful in your tithing and your giving and growing and all of that? The truth is you and I ought to be more so, more faithful in the Lord's work, more faithful in giving, giving more than ever before, more desirous to understand the ways of God, the principles of Scripture, more interested in knowing who God is and what He's like. He says, I have a right to make as much money as possible as long as it does not in any way affect my personal relationship with Him, it does not affect my service to Him and for Him, and that my spiritual life is always ahead of my financial life.

My friend, listen, it's so simple. When I think about how simple God has made it, you want to be blessed financially? Then start getting blessed spiritually. You want God to bless you financially?

Put your emphasis on growing in the Lord. Does that mean that every person who grows in the Lord is just going to become very wealthy? No, because that's not God's goal for some people. God's goal for some people will always be to have very little, but look what God does in their life and through their life. And you and I cannot be the judges of that. When I think of a godly mother out here who's raising godly children by herself, praying over her children every day, reading the Scriptures to them early in life, kneeling down by the bed to them at nighttime and praying for God to raise them up to be godly, you think God's going to bless that woman?

Yes, He is. Will she necessarily become a wealthy person? No, she may not. Will she have her needs met? Yes, she will. Will she have a joy and contentment in her life if she watches God bless her children?

Yes, she will. Listen, real, genuine, lasting, eternal blessing cannot be counted in dollars and cents, nor can it be measured by lands and stocks and bonds and all the rest. It is a relationship to Christ. If I want God to bless me, then the question is, what is my relationship to Him?

To the degree I walk obediently before Him, to the degree I submit to Him, to the degree I love Him, to the degree I'm devoted to Him, to the degree I love Him, to the degree I want to know Him, studying His Word, seeking the principles, abiding with the principles, to that degree God can trust me. Whether it is material wealth or spiritual wealth, that's His decision, but the degree of our growing and spiritual and material wealth, we make that decision. God, listen, we're not waiting on God, God's waiting on us.

The issue, listen, the issue's not with God. He says, I'm warning you that, listen, I want you to be a success in growing your relationship with Him, I want you to be able to achieve those goals that you've set out there and some of them are big goals, medium-sized goals, immediate goals, long-range goals, some of them require lots of money. God says, I helped you set that goal, I'm willing to help you.

But if I helped you set that goal and then you violate the very principle that helps you reach that goal, you can't blame anybody but yourself. God will help you set fantastic goals for your life. The question is, are you willing to take the steps, we're talking just finances today, are you willing to take the steps financially at this point in your life with whatever you do have in order to allow God to pour out His blessing on you so that you will be able to reach those goals that He helped you set, which He will not help you reach if you violate the very principles that help you reach that goal.

So I want to challenge you. You want to be a success in your finances? Just take the principles of God, write it down, read it, whatever you want to do and just ask yourself this question. Here's the principle, and this is a good way to do it, but you got to be honest, write down the principle, bring you all the tithes and storehouse or this one, given it shall be given to you. Write it down and then beside that write this answer, I am willing to abide by this principle and see what God does.

Or have enough courage to say I am not willing to abide by this principle and I'm going to see what God does. Is that simple? That's simple enough. Now, what does it take to do that? Courage to face yourself.

That's what it takes. And this much I know, my Heavenly Father will bless you beyond your fondest dreams if you will trust Him and let Him handle your money as well as your personal relationship with Him when it comes to praying, scripture, service and all the rest. It's a vital part of what He wants to do in your life. Thank you for listening to Success and Money. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 11:05:55 / 2023-03-12 11:14:40 / 9

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