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The following is an addendum to An Enemy Lies Within, where, in the section on liberating others, we expose several ways Christians in America are being deceived by their carnal mind. Here, we address the way God views wealth and His prescription for investing it.

Warning: this will be one of the most threatening articles we have written. The reader will be tempted to dismiss it as impractical nonsense. Be encouraged: God is the wisest wealth manager and investment counselor. More importantly, He loves His children and knows what they need before they ask. Hear Him out on this; His objective is your highest return on the investment He has made in you.

As we begin, let’s first address the notion of wealth. Because we are community people – members of the Body of Christ and one another – it is important that we consider wealth relationally. Wealth is a relative consideration. Some of God’s people are wealthier than others, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We learn in the Parable of the Talents that God entrusts more to some than to others (Matthew 25:14-30). Furthermore, Jesus instructs us that “to whom much is given, from Him much will be required (Luke 12:48)”. In His sovereign omniscience, God determines the amount of wealth each one should have.

So, who is wealthy among you? Let’s take a look at some surprising statistics. According to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, the average net worth of all U.S. families is $692,100. Using the calculator provided by the Global Rich List, we discover that the average American family is worth more than 98.74% of everyone else in the world. Using the more conservative median figure ($97,300) puts the average American in the top 8.31% wealthiest people in the world (i.e., wealthier than over 91%).

The statistics relative to income are even more startling. A U.S. worker making the federally mandated minimum wage ($7.25/hour) earns more salary than 92.2% of workers in the rest of the world. The statistics don’t lie: American Christians are rich.

Given these statistics, it is easy to understand why Christians should be giving more careful attention to the way we manage our wealth. Jesus put it this way: Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowTo wrap up our survey of the sayings of Jesus, we shift our attention to Luke’s Gospel. Here we find several passages that harmonize with those of Matthew. We also find a couple of interesting additions.

Harmonizing the two accounts uncovers additional depths of understanding. For example, Luke’s Beatitudes add a physical, down to earth perspective to Matthew’s account. Both are true; encouraging us that Jesus was concerned about, and speaking to, all aspects of our lives.

We will come back to the harmonies sometime soon. For now, I would like to focus on a particular addition in Luke’s account: Jesus’ pronouncement of woes.

But woe to you who are rich,
For you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full,
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
For you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Luke 6:24-26

These woes represent life in, and for, the world. Interestingly, they match well with “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”; those things of the world we are warned will pass away (1John 2:17). Furthermore, if we love the world, or the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in us (v. 15).

One chapter later, John says the same thing about the one who has this world’s goods and shuts up his heart to his brother in need (1John 3:17): “How can the love of God be in him?” These are strong words of warning; words that warrant strong consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

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