For the Internet Church of Christ main site, click here.
--Sermon by Dr. Bob Benchoff 4/28/02
See March 1, 2004 update below.
People kill people to get money, but do they ever kill people to give money away?
The answer is yes. Nonetheless, the point of the question is about motivation, love, and decision making.
How much should you give, and to whom? Holy feasts and giving your first born animals used to be the way, just as practiced rituals were (Isaiah 1.14). Do you feel the righteous good purpose, or are you subject to the habit?
Does money motivate you, or do you motivate wonderful money related processes? Do you love Jesus Christ, or do you first tally your budget and only love Jesus Christ financially to the extent of your disposable income?
These can be hard words, and tough questions, for many people. Disposable income, indebtedness, workaholism, and disposable time are all tough issues for many people.
Money does not cause these problems and even answers problems and smooths problems as a tool.
Money is not the problem, problems are the problem.
Your problems are your opportunities and help you learn. Learn by doing.
Decide to look from Christ's point of view. Jesus Christ (within the believer) in heaven in you, core to your being and life loves you to choose rightly.
When you consider who it is that might receive your money, this may help you consider the amount and when it is most appropriate. Why should they get your money? Might they get your money because they did something you like, or because Jesus loves them?
What about you? Jesus loves you too, so when should you get money and when should you spend money?
Are you anxious to use your credit card for self serving purposes and to show off how you can buy stuff? Are you anxious to jump at the chance for self serving purposes whenever someone waves money in front of you?
Do you overlook the obvious because a clever salesperson charms your ego?
Do you choose your financial future, or do you let others decide for you and your loved ones? Do you let strangers that hide information behind complex jargon control your finances? Do you think such people might give you just enough to keep you hooked?
You have a mind. A good mind: Christ gave it to you, to use for good purpose. You have rationale, including financial rationale. You have spirit, including mingling with the Holy Spirit. You have capabilities, including incentive aside from money.
You don't have to let money control your life. Let the following comparison help you.
Money is a tool, and sometimes it is complex. A key is also a tool, and with a lock it too is complex. You unlock the door, go through, and go about your business. Sometimes, but not often, it may stick and need some lubricant. Rarely you have to replace the old lock with a new lock.
Rarely you have to change employers, or change investment strategies. This should not cause anxiety, but should only serve to comfort you because God has something better for you.
Consider the lilies of the field, they do not toil (Jesus said my burden is light) but my Father feeds them. You are of more value than many lilies. You can think complex ideas, and pray, and you can invest.
This morning I opened a letter and learned I now own a Foundation unusually revered by top government officials. This did not happen by accident. It happened by the Word of God through Jesus Christ.
It happened after much praying. It happened after spreading the Word, and those seeds taking root. It happened after planning and making financial investments. It happened after receiving much guidance from the Bible.
Consider where and how to plant your seeds to do the most good. Consider God's perspective and how you fit into that Holy perspective.
Look at what others have done and learn from their failures and from their victories, and more importantly, see how their plans fit Christ's plans.
Years ago at a nuclear plant my friend Frank Manno raised his arm and spoke and had a crew take apart a giant crane and reassemble it a hundred yards away.
You can do the same thing with money. My Mother said she is retired now, and said all she does now is move funds to get the highest fixed interest yield.
Frank didn't own the crane, but was trusted. My Mother didn't have a room full of cash, but there was trust.
Time and money are correlated. Money not tied-up for long duration can be a blessing when markets change.
So trusting in long time investments might be compared to the rate of inflation. God chooses between the quick and the dead. So investments should normally be of quick [brief] duration with an active portfolio.
When investing, remove the guesswork and trust in the Word of God.
Employees should serve the employer God has given them; and be thankful, after all, no one else would hire them for as much compensation (money and / or benefits).
When seeking employment, choose to decide according to God's will to best provide for you and yours (family and / or good projects).
Remove the doubt and rejoice in your rewards for the greater glory of God.
God can do more with one dollar than you can do with one hundred dollars.
That has been my experience. Don't wait to experience it. Blessed rather are those who hear the word and do it.
After Jesus rose from the tomb and revisited, he told Thomas to put his finger in his hand where the nail had been. Jesus then said you have seen and so have believed, blessed rather are those who have not seen and have believed.
Do your money rightly because you know it is right. Some people are said to be able to see right through other people's tricks and deceptions. Rather, build your financial foundation on rock that is Jesus Christ.
Go and do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Go in peace and praise the Lord!
New directly correlated financial formulae have been mathematically adduced from the Bible, click here for God Math Code/Book of John, and Bible Physics/Book of Romans for useful applications.
For the Internet Church of Christ main site, click here.