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The Bible on Success

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

July 15, 2022

Proverbs 16 tells us, All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. That passage describes God’s view of success, and it’s quite different from the world’s view. We’ll discuss that today on MoneyWise. The world’s view of success is pretty obvious. It’s having enough money to do or buy the things you want, like a big house, a fancy car, or the latest clothing fashions. You have to wonder then why so many successful people are also miserable. The answer’s quite simple. They’ve discovered that money and possessions can’t buy happiness. It’s often said we have a God-shaped hole in our souls. You can pour many things into that emptiness, a big-screen TV, a new set of graphite golf clubs. Sometimes this is called retail therapy, but those are just temporary patches over the hole. What’s really sad is that many Christians also fall into this trap of success by the world’s standards. They’ve bought into the lies that money and material things bring happiness. Advertising tells us this every day. Sometimes it can be a spiritual decision to just turn off the TV. In Matthew 6, Jesus warns us, Do not' lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven Now, that doesn’t mean that Christians should stay poor and lowly to be successful in God’s eyes. Here, attitude counts far more than action. 1 Cor. 13 says, And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not' have love, it profits me nothing. God often provides an extra measure of resources beyond our needs, in the form of money or other assets, so that we can be generous toward His Kingdom. But He wants us to do that with the right attitude, out of love for Him, and others less fortunate. In Matthew 25, Jesus says that what you do for the least of these, you do for me. He goes on to say, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink It’s important to understand that God often blesses us in ways that have nothing to do with material things. Loving relationships with family and friends, a strong, nurturing church, and most of all, a deeper relationship with Him. That’s the true blessing and true success. So how do we obtain the good things God promises? In Matthew 6, Jesus says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. It’s also important to note that we can never do these things perfectly, because no one’s been perfect since the Fall. But again, attitude is more important than results. God simply wants us to diligently seek Him and his righteousness. That means we fully trust in God and we’re willing to make things right when we fail. We’re quick to humble ourselves continually before the throne of God. Psalm 84 also says, Blessed is the man who trusts in You. God has special plans for each of us that we can’t fulfill without fully trusting in Him. He promises not to withhold any good thing from us when we trust Him fully and seek His will for our lives. And we must always acknowledge that any success we achieve comes from God. To help us be a success in God’s eyes we must remember three key words surrender, obedience, and persistence. Surrender means accepting that God owns it all. We’re only temporary managers or stewards of what he gives us. Obedience means being willing to use God’s resources as He directs. And persistence means sticking with the first two items no matter what worldly stresses or pressure we encounter. Nehemiah 6 asks, Should someone in my position run from danger? Finally, in Acts 21, we see Paul responding to disciples who wanted him to stay away from Jerusalem for his safety. He says, Why all this weeping? I am ready to be jailed but even to die for the sake of the Lord Jesus. Now, that’s surrender, obedience and persistence put into action. And when we’re successful in God’s eyes, we’ll know true peace and contentment and that’s something worth striving for everyday. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is an owner-financed investment property a wise investment? ● Is it better to pay cash for a house and then take a home equity loan for improvements or get a conventional mortgage and then pay cash for improvements? ● If you sell your home without buying another, will you own capital gains taxes? ● What are the pros and cons of drawing Social Security benefits early? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Xx

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