Money, Possessions & Eternity - Section 2

  1. Stewardship isn’t a subcategory of the Christian life. Stewardship is the Christian life. After all, what is stewardship except that God has entrusted to us life, time, talents, money, possessions, family, and his grace? In each case, he evaluates how we regard what he has entrusted to us—and what we do with it.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3099.
  2. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35.  There is one blessing greater than receiving.  It is the blessing of giving.  Why is it more blessed to give than receive?  When we receive, we’re acting like ourselves; but when we give, we’re acting like God.  Receiving is me-like.  Giving is Christlike….   Never forget that at the very heart of the Gospel is the whole principal of giving. - Dr. Stephen Olford. - From page 233 of Turning Points with God by David Jeremiah.
  3. Jesus doesn’t tell us to stay away from the mammon of unrighteousness or “worldly wealth,” but to use it strategically. He says to use it “to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Money can be a tool of Christ. But it must be used as such now, before our period of service on earth ends. There will be no second chance to use the money for Christ later.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3169.
  4. The Bible sees greed as a form of idolatry, because a greedy person worships things instead of God.  Greed and envy have their roots in selfishness.  - From page 159 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  5. If we integrate a similar analogy, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 suggests that in this life we are providing the building materials for our Lord to use in this construction project, of which he himself is the foundation. If this is true, then the size and quality of our eternal dwelling is influenced by how we live our lives now. This certainly fits with the concept of reward being commensurate to service, as taught in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and all the stewardship parables.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3183.
  6. Psalms 12:5 - For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord. God will provide for His poorer children through the grace of His richer ones. We are called to give from our blessed abundance, that others less fortunate might live. This is not an option for Christians, but a basic mandate upon which our faith is built. We are the hands, the feet, the eyes, and the voice of the Lord. Let us serve Him well.  
     Prayer: Use me as You will, O Lord. Make me an instrument of Thy glory and will. Send the power of Your Spirit into the world through me. Amen.  - From the January 29, 2016 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms reading by Dan R. Dick.
  7. Whom have we influenced spiritually to the point that they would welcome us into their eternal dwelling places? To which needy people have we sacrificially given our resources? Apparently those whom we have influenced for Christ, directly or indirectly, will know and appreciate us and desire our fellowship in heaven. What a thought! This is encouraging both in light of saved family members, friends, and others we have influenced, and for the many we do not even know who have been touched by our prayers, service, and financial giving.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3208.
  8. There is no grudging in God’s goodness. He does not measure His goodness by drops like a druggist filling a prescription. It comes to us in floods. If only we recognized the lavish abundance of His gifts, what a difference it would make in our lives! If every meal were taken as a gift from His hand, it would be almost a sacrament.
    May God give us a fresh realization of the overwhelming abundance He provides. Indeed, our cup overflows. Grace super-abounds!
    As you reflect on your faithfulness as a member of God’s flock, what do you deserve? Now do a mental inventory of your blessings, including relationships, money, possessions, your standard of living— everything. Take a few moments to express your response to God in prayer.
    - Swindoll, Charles R (2012-08-01). Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (pp. 79-80). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  9. While God does not condemn having money, He does speak out against those who “trust in riches.” “He who trusts in his riches will fall” (Proverbs 11: 28). As Jesus Himself said, “How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10: 24).   - From Jeremiah, David (2010-10-01). The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns about the New Global Economy (p. 20). FaithWords. Kindle Edition. 
  10. Every time you give to world missions and famine relief and God’s kingdom, you can dream about the day you will meet these precious people in heaven.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3214.
  11. Jesus gives us a powerful incentive to invest our lives and assets in his kingdom while on earth. The greater our service and sacrifice for him and for others, the larger and more enthusiastic our welcoming committee will be in heaven, the more eternal residences we’ll have opportunity to visit, and the more substantial our own places in heaven will be.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3216.
  12. One day money will be useless. While it’s still useful, Christians with foresight will use it for eternal good.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3218.
  13. “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Lu. 8:14).
  14. People forget where their financial support originates. Without the lord, no one would receive anything. The Bible says that ten percent off the top should go to the Lord. This isn't charity on our part, but a return to God of what is really His, anyway. We tithe out of gratitude for what God has given. The Lord teaches to give so we will not think too highly of material wealth, and instead will remain committed to the wealth that cannot be destroyed. God's wealth endures forever.  Prayer: O Lord, I possess more than I really need. There is something that I could do without. Help me to learn to give, as You Yourself have given: freely, joyfully, and completely. Amen. - From the June 17, 2016 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms reading by Dan R. Dick.
  15. Jesus says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10). Jesus implies that all of us are being continually tested in little things.  This principle invalidates all of our “if onlys,” such as, “If only I made more money, I’d help the poor,” or, “If only I had a million dollars, then I’d give it to my church or missions.” If we are not being faithful with what he has entrusted to us, why should he trust us with any more? This thought raises a sobering question: What opportunities are we currently missing because we’ve failed to use our money and our lives wisely in light of eternity?  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3221.
  16. Isaiah 3:1-7 Commentary - The truth spelled out in these verses is a universal truth; that is, it applies to all people of all ages at all times. If a person turns away from the Lord and trusts the things of this world, he eventually loses everything. The things of this world are not lasting. At best, they are temporary, and the security they bring is limited. Thus, if we trust the things of the world, we eventually face collapse, failure, emptiness, loneliness, purposelessness, and insecurity. The things of the world have no future beyond this life. This was the situation being faced by the people of Jerusalem and Judah in the days of Isaiah. Isaiah wanted them to understand that their trust must be placed in the Lord, not in the leadership and things of this world. As he had just pointed out, man and the things he has made in this world are only temporary (2:22). Because the people had placed their trust in sinful man and false gods, the Lord Almighty was about to execute judgment upon the nation. - - From the reading about Isaiah 3:1-7 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  17. Someone has said that God will not condemn a man for being wealthy, but He will ask him two questions: first, “How did you gain your wealth?” and second, “How did you use your wealth?”  Jeremiah, David (2010-10-01). The Coming Economic Armageddon: What Bible Prophecy Warns about the New Global Economy (p. 20). FaithWords. Kindle Edition. 
  18. God pays a great deal of attention to the “little things.” He numbers the hairs on our heads, cares for the lilies of the field, and is concerned with the fall of a single sparrow (Matthew 10:29). What we do with a little time, a little talent, and a little money tells God a lot. The little things are a major factor as he considers whether to commend and promote us—or reprimand and demote us—in his kingdom corporation.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3230.
  19. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lu. 12:19-21).
  20. If we have not been good stewards with God’s money while on earth, then we won’t be property owners in heaven. But if we handle God’s property well here on earth, he will give us property of our own in heaven. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3245.
  21. The parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16:1-13), shows that each of us should carefully invest our financial assets, gifts, and opportunities to have an impact on people for eternity, thereby making preparations for our own eternal future.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3248.
  22. The parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) shows that we’re each entrusted by God with different financial assets, gifts, and opportunities, and we’ll be held accountable to God for how we’ve invested them in this life. We’re to prepare for the Master’s return by enhancing the growth of his kingdom through wisely investing his assets.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3250.
  23. As stewards our rights are limited by our lack of ownership. Instead, we manage assets for the owner’s benefit, and we carry no sense of entitlement to the assets we manage. It’s our job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will. If we focus on the master’s rights, we will fulfill our responsibilities. But the moment we begin to focus on what we think we deserve, on what we think our master or others owe us, we lose perspective. The quality of our service deteriorates rapidly.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3312.
  24. Search and you won’t find a single verse of Scripture that suggests that God has surrendered his ownership to us. God didn’t die and leave the earth—or anything in it—to me, you, or anyone else. And if we should think, Well, at least I own myself, God says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3353.
  25. Paul said, “No, it’s not your life. You own nothing, not even yourself. When you came to Christ you surrendered the title to your life. You belong to God, not to yourself. He is the only one who has the right to do what he wants with your life—your body, sexual behavior, money, possessions, everything.”   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3360.
  26. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 Jn. 2:15-16).
  27. God doesn’t just own the universe. He owns you and me. We are twice his—first by creation, second by redemption. Not only does God own everything, but he determines how much of his wealth he will entrust to us: “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). “The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up” (1 Samuel 2:7, NKJV). “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things” (1 Chronicles 29:12).   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3363.
  28. How we handle money and possessions demonstrates who we really believe is their true owner—God or us.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3369.
  29. If we really believe he is the owner of all that has been entrusted to us, shouldn’t we regularly be asking him, “What do you want me to do with your money and your possessions?” And shouldn’t we be open to the possibility that he may want us to share large portions of his assets with those whose needs are greater than ours?  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3377.
  30. The Owner, God, has put each of our names on his account. We have unrestricted access to it, a privilege that is subject to abuse. As his money managers, God trusts us to set our own salaries. We draw needed funds from his wealth to pay our living expenses. One of our central spiritual decisions is determining what’s a reasonable amount to live on. Whatever that amount is—and it will legitimately vary from person to person—we shouldn’t hoard or waste the excess. After all, it’s his, not ours. And he has something to say about where to put it.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3423.
  31. We’re called God’s servants, and we’re told he requires us to “prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). We’re God’s errand boys and delivery girls. We should keep that in mind when we set our salaries. Let’s not have an overinflated view of our own value. We don’t own the store. We just work here!  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3431.
  32. Just because God puts his money in our hands doesn’t mean he intends for us to keep it!  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3437.
  33. God owns all things, whether we recognize it or not. But life becomes much clearer—and in some respects much easier—when we consciously recognize it. The question isn’t whether we theoretically affirm God’s ownership. The question is whether we’ve deliberately transferred the ownership of ourselves and all our assets to him. Have we invited him to be what Scripture says he is—Creator, Owner, and Controller of us, family, possessions, and “our” money? Have we extended the invitation again after we’ve forgotten and taken things back into our hands? This self- surrender to God is the beginning of true stewardship.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3475.
  34. A test of our stewardship is whether we ask God to show us what to do with his money. If we don’t consult him, we act as if we were owners, not stewards.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3481.
  35. A test of our stewardship is whether we ask God to show us what to do with his money. If we don’t consult him, we act as if we were owners, not stewards.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3481.
  36. When I realize that God has a claim not on a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, not on 10 percent or 50 percent but 100 percent of “my” money, it’s revolutionary. Suddenly I’m God’s money manager. I’m not God. Money isn’t God. God is God. He’s in his place, I’m in mine, money’s in its.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3484.
  37. When we come to Christ, God puts all his resources at our disposal. He also expects us to put all our resources at his disposal. This is what stewardship—and the Christian life—is all about.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3492.
  38. Greed is an unreasonable or all-absorbing desire to acquire things or wealth.  One test of greed is that it is never satisfied.  Greed is repeatedly condemned in the Bible. - From page 160 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  39. I hereby acknowledge God’s ownership of me and all “my” money and possessions, and everything else I’ve ever imagined belonged to me—including my family and loved ones. Instead of seeing myself as the ultimate recipient, I will see myself as God’s delivery boy or girl, enjoying what he intends me to keep and distributing what he intends to go elsewhere. From this point forward I will think of these assets as his to do with as he wishes. I will do my utmost to ask him and to prayerfully consider how he wishes me to invest his assets to further his kingdom. In doing so I realize I will surrender certain temporary earthly treasures but gain in exchange eternal treasures, as well as increased perspective and decreased anxiety.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3496.
  40. Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire. THOMAS Á KEMPIS  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3513.
  41. The more holdings we have on earth, the more likely we are to forget that we’re citizens of another world, not this one, and that our inheritance lies there, not here.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3652.
  42. Pilgrims are unattached. They are travelers, not settlers, who are acutely aware that excessive things will distract and burden them. Material things are valuable to pilgrims, but only as they facilitate their mission. If you were traveling through a country on foot or on a bicycle, what would your attitude be toward possessions? You wouldn’t hate them or think them evil—but you would choose them strategically. Unnecessary things would slow your journey or even force you to stop.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3654.
  43. We must cultivate the pilgrim mentality of detachment, the traveler’s utilitarian philosophy concerning things. We need to be able to live in a house without owning it, or own a house without being owned by it. If God so directs us, as he has many of his disciples, we need to be able to leave behind a farm or a business or a house without going back.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3659.
  44. Wealth entrenches us in the present world. Financial commitments and debts can be like spikes chained to our legs and driven into the ground, making us unresponsive to God’s call to serve him elsewhere. God may never call me to move on from my home or business or country. But I must be in a position to say yes if he does.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3665.
  45. I’m convinced that the greatest deterrent to our giving is this: the illusion that earth is our home. Where we choose to store our treasures depends largely on where we think our home is. Those who think of earth as their real home will naturally want to pile up treasures here. Those who think of heaven as their real home will naturally want to pile up treasures there. It all comes down to the question, “Where’s your home?” To the Christian, God gives a clear answer. The only question is whether we’ll live as if that answer is true.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3670.
  46. Although its central point is unexpectedness, the analogy of Christ’s return to the arrival of a thief is interesting as it relates to money and possessions. The thief’s design is to make his victims poorer by taking their treasures. If our treasures are on earth, Christ’s return will indeed make us poorer, because it will take away our earthly treasures just as surely as a thief raiding a house. But if we have stored up our treasures in heaven, Christ’s return will bring treasures to us, rather than take them away—the very opposite of a thief’s intent. Christ will turn the analogy on its head, because the faithful believer will not become poorer when Christ returns, but immeasurably richer!  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3717.
  47. Pilgrims of faith look to the next world, their eyes on a certain hope that will never forsake them. Eyes clear and unclouded, they see money and possessions for what they are—useful for kingdom purposes, but far too flimsy to bear the weight of trust and wholly unable to survive the coming holocaust of things.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3732.
  48. The meaning of the word tithe is “a tenth part.” Today the term tithing is often erroneously used of all giving. People talk about “tithing” fifty dollars, when they make two thousand dollars a month (a tithe of which is two hundred dollars, not fifty). You can donate 2 percent or 4 percent or 6 percent of your income, but you cannot tithe it, any more than you can “whitewash” a wall with red paint. The Israelites were warned that to present to their Creator anything less than the full 10 percent was to “rob God,” since the first 10 percent belonged to him, not them: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:8-10). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3790.
  49. “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:8-10)
  50. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (Proverbs 3:9). - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3812.
  51. The giving of firstfruits made an important statement: “We give of our first and best to you, Lord, because we recognize all good things come from you. In doing so, we recognize our responsibility to sustain the spiritual leadership provided for us.” - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3817.
  52. The nature of firstfruits requires it be taken “off the top.” It’s both the best and the first. As soon as it’s harvested or received, it’s to be given to the Lord. It’s not to be stored up, hidden, hoarded, or distributed in any other way. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3828.
  53. The tithe was recognized as God’s. Hence, people didn’t give a tithe but repaid it to the Owner of all things. This is why the Old Testament speaks of “bringing,” “taking,” “presenting,” or even “paying” tithes and firstfruits, rather than “giving” them. These payments were no more optional than paying taxes today.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3833.
  54. David also said to the Lord:   Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. . . . It comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. . . . All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. O Lord, God of our fathers . . . keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. (1 Chronicles 29:14, 16-18).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3881.
  55. Tithing’s stated purpose is “that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always” (Deuteronomy 14:23). Tithing is intended to train people to put God first in their lives. Because the giving of the 10 percent represents the other 90 percent, tithing symbolizes the giving of one’s whole life to God.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3895.
  56. Tithing gives perspective. It reminds us that all we are and all we have is from God. Tithing is not a tip thrown mindlessly down on a table after a meal, but a meaningful expression of dependence upon God and gratitude to him.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3898.
  57. Tithing requires calculation. When we deal specifically with the amounts God has provided, we assess God’s goodness to us. We literally count our blessings, thanking him for his generosity. Tithing was, and can still be, a built-in reminder at every juncture of life of our unlimited debt to God.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3899.
  58. The tithe was a divine invitation to test God’s promises to provide (Malachi 3:8-12). Tithing begins as a duty but can become a delight, leading to joyful voluntary giving. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3906.
  59. If Western Christians all practiced tithing, the task of world evangelism and feeding the hungry would be within reach. Because many Christians, once they begin to tithe, also give freewill offerings beyond the tithe, the work of God could be multiplied in every corner of the world.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4053.
  60. We need to be on the guard against greed…above all we need to make sure our lives are centered in Christ and not things.  - From page 160 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  61. When asked “Should we tithe on the gross or the net?” it’s appropriate to ask, “What do we want to be blessed on, the gross or the net?”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4071.
  62. The tithe can become an idol to set upon a pedestal to admire. It is often a dangerously tempting resting place rather than a minimal starting place. Much of the Christian community thinks of tithing as a high and lofty perch that only a few fanatical radicals have reached after years of struggle, rather than seeing it at the bottom or beginning place.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4077.
  63. Tithing isn’t something I do to clear my conscience so I can do whatever I want with the 90 percent—it also belongs to God! I must seek his direction and permission for whatever I do with the full amount. I may discover that God has different ideas than I do.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4082.
  64. No one benefits from a tithe he or she holds on to. We can’t keep what belongs to God. If we don’t give it to him, either the devil gets it or it just disappears. Whether or not this is true, many Christians testify that they live just as easily on the 90 percent as the 100 percent. Many others have said that their financial problems really began when they withheld the tithe, not when they tithed. We have it backwards!  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4115.
  65. If my tithe seems to be a lot of money, I should praise God! It proves how abundantly he has provided. When people tell me, “I can’t afford to tithe,” I often ask, “If your income were reduced by 10 percent, would you die?” They always admit they wouldn’t. Somehow, they would manage to get by. That’s proof that they really can tithe. The truth is simply that they don’t want to.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4120.
  66. Consider Christ’s words: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4126.
  67. If we pay our debt to God first, then we will incur his blessing to help us pay our debts to men. But when we rob God to pay men, we rob ourselves of God’s blessing and thereby dig a deeper hole. No wonder we don’t have enough. It’s a vicious cycle, and it takes obedient faith to break out of it.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4128.
  68. Scripture makes no such distinction between sources of revenue. If it comes in, it’s income. God doesn’t tag monies “tithe exempt.” The source of material blessing is not the point. If I receive $500 to help get me through the month, the first $50 belongs to God. Why should it matter where it comes from? If it’s provision, it comes from the Provider.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4183.
  69. There’s a great deal of giving that can take place even when I retain ownership—as long as I remind myself that God is the true owner, and I’m only his asset manager.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4288.
  70. We must also be careful that our ownership doesn’t involve possessiveness. If we’re the kind of people that others are afraid to borrow from because they know that a dent or scratch or break would bother us, we’re not having much of a ministry no matter how “willing to share” we imagine ourselves to be. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4291.
  71. The act of giving is a vivid reminder that our life is all about God, not about us. It says, “I am not the point, God is the point. He does not exist for me. I exist for him.” God’s money has a higher purpose than my affluence. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater Person and a greater agenda. Giving affirms Christ’s lordship. It dethrones me and exalts him. It breaks the chains of Mammon that would enslave me and transfers my center of gravity to heaven.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4312.
  72. As long as I still have something, I believe I own it. But when I give it away, I relinquish the control, power, and prestige that come with wealth. At the moment of release, the light turns on. The magic spell is broken. My mind clears, and I recognize God as owner, myself as servant, and other people as intended beneficiaries of what God has entrusted to me.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4315.
  73. Why not choose to live at a particular income level and simply give everything above that to God?   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4330.
  74. Systematic giving is central to biblical giving. If you give “the leftovers” to God rather than firstfruits, there’s often little or nothing left to give.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4343.
  75. We should plan our giving in advance—not simply give if we happen to be present or feel moved by the offertory. Can you imagine standing before the Lord and explaining why you disobeyed his command to give: “Lord, I could never find a pen before the plate got there.” When we miss church, we can put our check in the mail or add it to next Sunday’s giving.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4344.
  76. Stewardship is not a once-a-year consideration, but a week-to-week, month-to-month commitment requiring discipline and consistency.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4365.
  77. When we catch a vision of God’s grace, we will give beyond our duty.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4410.
  78. There are three levels of giving—less than our ability, according to our ability, and beyond our ability. It’s fair to say that 96 percent of Christians in the Western world give less than their ability. Perhaps another 3 percent or more give according to their ability, and less than 1 percent give beyond their ability.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4416.
  79. Sadly, much of our “giving” is merely discarding. Donating secondhand goods to church rummage sales and benevolence organizations is certainly better than throwing them away. But giving away something we didn’t want in the first place isn’t giving; it’s selective disposal. It’s often done because we want a newer or better version.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4423.
  80. King David said, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). Sacrificial giving is parting with what we’d rather keep. It’s keeping the old and giving away the new or giving away both.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4425.
  81. Sacrificial giving appears to be unreasonable. In reality, though, it’s perfectly reasonable. It brings God glory, meets others’ needs, and ensures us eternal rewards. And all the while God takes care of our immediate needs.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4428.
  82. Sacrificial giving makes no human sense. But we are to think like Christ, not the world.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4430.
  83. A disciple does not ask, “How much can I keep?” but, “How much more can I give?” Whenever we start to get comfortable with our level of giving, it’s time to raise it again.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4439.
  84. Paul says, “See that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Like piano playing, giving is a skill. With practice, we get better at it. We can learn to give more, give more often, and give more strategically.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4441.
  85. Statistics clearly indicate that young adults in the church give a much lower percentage of their income. Part of the reason is that older Christians have failed to pass on a vision for giving.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4455.
  86. We’re to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Shouldn’t we be asking, “How can we spur on each other’s giving? How can we help each other excel in giving?”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4456.
  87. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). God takes delight in the believer who takes delight in giving.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4467.
  88. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).Why? Perhaps because when we give it blesses not just one but three people—us, the recipient, and God. We should not be content with the first blessing (which easily becomes a curse) that’s ours when we spend money on ourselves. There is the second blessing of others receiving it, and the third blessing of God being pleased with it. Ironically, the blessing on us when we give is always greater than if we had kept it. Hence, by not giving, we rob not only God and others of blessing, we rob ourselves. How many blessings have we robbed ourselves of in the last year by failing to give as we could have? We can’t know the answer, but we can give in such a way as to not miss out on God’s blessing now.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4486.
  89. Do we lack joy? It’s one of the great blessings of giving. Giving is becoming like our Father. It isn’t just God’s way of raising money—it’s his way of raising children.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4507.
  90. Someone told me, “God says not to give if you can’t give cheerfully. I can’t give cheerfully so I don’t give!” God wants us to be cheerful, yes, but he also wants us to be obedient. The path to cheerfulness is not by abstaining from giving, but giving even when we don’t feel like it. If we’re not cheerful, the problem is our heart, and the solution is redirecting our heart, not withholding our giving. Our heart follows our treasures (Matthew 6:21). Put your treasures in God’s kingdom, and a cheerful heart will eventually follow. God also loves an obedient giver. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4508.
  91. Paul points to the basis of all Christian giving: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). The climax of two powerful chapters on giving isn’t “Thanks for your philanthropy” but “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4519.
  92. Giving is a response of the heart triggered by God’s grace. We give because God first gave to us. Karl Barth said it beautifully: “Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning.”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4521.
  93. Our giving is a reflexive response to God’s grace. It doesn’t come out of our altruism—it comes out of the transforming work of Christ in us.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4524.
  94. God says when it comes to giving, “each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income” (1 Corinthians 16:2).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4539.
  95. God looks not only at what we give, but also at what we keep. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4553.
  96. Before the judgment seat of Christ, my service will be judged not by how much I have done, but by how much I could have done. In God’s sight, my giving is measured not by how much I have given, but by how much I could have given and how much I had left after I made my gift. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4570.
  97. Jesus says, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4576.
  98. Don’t do a righteous act in order to impress people. But when you do a good work, use that opportunity to bring praise to God. What Jesus objects to is not that men would know we give, but that we would give to impress men rather than to please God.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4589.
  99. Don’t do a righteous act in order to impress people. But when you do a good work, use that opportunity to bring praise to God. What Jesus objects to is not that men would know we give, but that we would give to impress men rather than to please God.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4589.
  100. In some circles, “giving” is merely the price of admission for social status. Many people’s businesses have flourished more than the value of their giving through the publicity their giving produces. If this is their motive, then their “giving” is merely a business expense.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4601.
  101. God wants quiet and humble givers, not self-serving power brokers.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4611.
  102. Perhaps the greatest test for givers is whether we are able to give of ourselves and our resources without getting the credit, concerned only that God gets the glory. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4629.
  103. For misrepresenting their giving, God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead (Acts 5:1-10). Keep in mind that they were generous donors.  If we are tempted to exaggerate our giving or make it appear we’re making more sacrifice than we are, we should take seriously what God did to Ananias and Sapphira!  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4631.
  104. In many cases God blesses us financially when we give generously (Proverbs 11:24-25). Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). The apostle Paul says: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4644.
  105. God doesn’t make us rich so we can indulge ourselves and spoil our children, or so we can insulate ourselves from needing God’s provision. God gives us abundant material blessing so that we can give it away, and give it generously.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4655.
  106. When God provides more money we often think, This is a blessing. Yes, but it would be just as scriptural to say, “This is a test.”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4657.
  107. Abundance isn’t God’s provision for me to live in luxury. It’s his provision for me to help others live. God entrusts me with his money not to build my kingdom on earth, but to build his kingdom in heaven.   - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4659.
  108. God distributes wealth unevenly, not because he loves some of his children more than others, but so his children can distribute it to their brothers and sisters on his behalf. He doesn’t want us to have too little or too much (Proverbs 30:8-9). When those with too much give to those with too little, two problems are solved. When they don’t, two problems are perpetuated.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4664.
  109. “I shovel out the money, and God shovels it back—but God has a bigger shovel.”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4676.
  110. We need to give careful thought to our ways, asking ourselves if we’d do better to give more to the Lord and ask him to maximize what we keep. - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4689.
  111. Giving brings to people not only future reward, but also present fruits, purpose, and dignity.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4714.
  112. God says, “Test me in this, and watch me provide” (Malachi 3:10, my paraphrase). Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. . . . For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4729.
  113. God says, “Test me in this, and watch me provide” (Malachi 3:10, my paraphrase). Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. . . . For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4729.
  114. Satan always tries to stop us from giving to God, because he does not want God’s kingdom and people to prosper. Through our giving we must rebuke Satan and make it a financial priority to give to God first (even if we only have meager resources). We must also be very faithful in all of our financial matters. When a man loves money more than God, he always misuses God’s money. That is why it is so important for us to make our first priority to give to God. We need to use the money God entrusts to us for the extension of his kingdom on the earth.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4737.
  115. “Meet with God to determine what his giving goals are for you. Not just your goals, but his goals for you to carry out as his steward. Then ask him to give you the particular passion to burden you for giving to certain kinds of ministries. Also ask yourself, ‘What are the barriers that keep me from being a generous giver?’ Ask God to deal with you in those areas. He will!”  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4750.
  116. That bread which you keep belongs to the hungry; that coat which you preserve in your wardrobe, to the naked; those shoes which are rotting in your possession, to the shoeless; that gold which you have hidden in the ground, to the needy. Wherefore, as often as you are able to help others, and refuse, so often did you do them wrong. AUGUSTINE  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 4860.
  117. Jesus’ invitation: “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”12 If we are not careful, we can misconstrue these radical statements from Jesus in the Gospels and begin to think that he does not want the best for us. But he does. Jesus was not trying to strip this man of all his pleasure. Instead he was offering him the satisfaction of eternal treasure. Jesus was saying, “It will be better, not just for the poor, but for you too, when you abandon the stuff you are holding on to.”   - From the Kindle book Radical by David platt, at location 291.
  118. 1 Timothy 6:9-10:  9 But  those who desire to be rich fall into temptation,  into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that  plunge people into ruin and destruction.   10 For the love of money is a root of  all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.  - From the Glo Bible ESV version
  119. 1 Timothy 6: 17-19: 17 As for the rich in  this present age, charge them  not to be haughty, nor  to set their hopes on  the uncertainty of riches, but on God,  who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good,  to be rich in good works, to be generous and  ready to share, 19 thus  storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may  take hold of  that which is truly life.   - From the Glo Bible ESV version
  120. Jesus pronounces woes upon the wealthy who trust in their riches, and James tells those who hoard their money and live in self-indulgence to “weep and wail because of the misery that is coming” upon them.1 In a humbling passage, Jesus says to those who turn away from him by ignoring the physical needs of his people, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1514.
  121. Is materialism a blind spot in American Christianity today? More specifically, is materialism a blind spot in your Christianity today? Surely this is something we must uncover, for if our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to question just how effective we will be in declaring the glory of Christ to the ends of the earth. More pointedly, if our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is really in us at all.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1544.
  122. The Bible does not teach that wealth alone implies unrighteousness or warrants condemnation. The rich man in this story is not in hell because he had money. Instead, he is in hell because he lacked faith in God, leading him to indulge in luxuries while ignoring the poor outside his gate.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1583.
  123. I don’t always think of myself as rich, and I’m guessing you may not think of yourself as rich either. But the reality is, if you and I have running water, shelter over our heads, clothes to wear, food to eat, and some means of transportation (even if it’s public transportation), then we are in the top 15 percent of the world’s people for wealth. - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1589.
  124. When God tells us to give extravagantly, we can trust him to do the same in our lives. And this is really the core issue of it all. Do we trust him? Do we trust Jesus when he tells us to give radically for the sake of the poor? Do we trust him to provide for us when we begin using the resources he has given us to provide for others? Do we trust him to know what is best for our lives, our families, and our financial futures?  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1720.
  125. We saw the gruesome reality of 1 Timothy 6 playing out in our hearts: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”25 Paul is talking here about simply the desire to be rich. So how much more does it apply to those who actually are rich? Our possessions can be deadly. They can be subtly deadly.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1730.
  126. Jesus said it’s hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Ultimately, Jesus was communicating to this man that there was nothing he could do to enter the kingdom of God apart from total trust in God. It is impossible for us to earn our way into heaven. In the process, though, Jesus was exposing the barrier that this man’s wealth was to seeing his need for God. His wealth on earth would ultimately keep him from eternal treasure.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1734.
  127. The reality is, most of us in our culture and in the American church simply don’t believe Jesus or Paul on this one. We just don’t believe that our wealth can be a barrier to entering the kingdom of God. We are fine with thinking of affluence, comfort, and material possessions as blessings. But they cannot be barriers. We think the way the world thinks—that wealth is always to our advantage. But Jesus is saying the exact opposite. He is saying that wealth can be a dangerous obstacle.  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1738.
  128. The point is also not that we need to feel guilty whenever we purchase anything that is not an absolute necessity. The reality is that most everything in our lives in the American culture would be classified as a luxury, not a necessity.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1764.
  129. Our perspective on our possessions radically changes when we open our eyes to the needs of the world around us. When we have the courage to look in the faces of brothers and sisters whose bodies are malnourished and whose brains are deformed because they have no food, Christ will change our desires, and we will long to sacrifice our resources for the glory of his name among them.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1767.
  130. So what would happen if we uncovered this blind spot in our lives and began paying attention to those who are in need? What if we took a serious look at them and actually began to adjust our lifestyles for the sake of the gospel among them? What would that look like? Think about the possibilities.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1770.
  131. Little of what we have would be considered necessities, and as long as we are living in our culture, we will be surrounded by luxuries. So why not simply begin a process of limiting and eliminating some of them? Why not begin selling and giving away luxuries for the sake of the poor outside our gates? Why not begin operating under the idea that God has given us excess, not so we could have more, but so we could give more?   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1773.
  132. Let’s dare to take things a step further. What if we actually set a cap on our lifestyles? What if we got to the point where we could draw a line, saying, “This is enough, and I am giving away everything I have or earn above this line”  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1778.
  133. What if you and I had simple caps on our lifestyles and were free to give the rest of our resources away for the glory of Christ in the neediest parts of the world?  - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 1786.
  134. Another way to focus on serving others is to practice generosity. By being a giver and not always a taker, we use our resources for eternal purposes. Giving is one of the most eternally significant ways we can serve. We’re called to be stewards, not hoarders, of what God has given us. We can’t take it with us, so we’d better send it on ahead. “They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor” (Psalm 112:9, NLT).   - From location 943 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  135. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about tithing here—the tithe is the Lord’s up front and off the top. We’re not giving when we tithe; that is just a test to see if we will return what already belongs to God. No, I’m talking about living a generous life—giving our time, talents, and treasure away for no other reason than to bless others with God’s love in hopes of making an eternal difference.  - From location 946 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  136. We are never more like God than when we give. "God so loved the world, that He gave. (John 3:16).
  137. Let me encourage you, in spite of the high cost of giving and the small number of servant-models you may see around you, to determine to be different. God tells us He "loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7), and He promises us that the one "who is generous will be blessed" (Proverbs 22:9). Let's believe Him!  - Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers).
  138. Deep down inside most Christians I know is a deep-seated desire to release instead of keep . . . to give instead of grab. It is worth whatever it takes to let that start happening. Moms, dads, singles, kids, teachers, preachers, businessmen, professionals, blue-collar workers, students—it is worth it!   - Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers).
  139. Become a giver . . . and watch God open the hearts of others to Himself. We are never more godlike than when we give.  - Excerpted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers).
  140. Proverbs 21:13 - Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. The deaf ear implies cruelty and insensibility and turning away from real and known distress. Count it a privilege, no less than an obligation, to minister to the poor. Think of it as a way of conforming to our divine Master's spirit and work (Matthew 14:14- 21). Covetousness and sensuality harden the heart. And when the heart is hard, the ear is deaf. - From Crossway Classic Commentary - Proverbs by Charles Bridges