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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for June, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NINE BASIC PRINCIPLES ON MONEY FROM 1 TIMOTHY 6: (Part #2 of #2)

In last week’s “Facts” we presented five financial principles from I Timothy 6: (1) The quality of our life is not to be defined by what we materially possess, (2) From an eternal perspective, the level of our material possessions is of little import, (3) God has wired us so that we can choose to be content with life’s basics, (4) The desire to be wealthy leads to many troubles and our ultimate destruction. (5) If God has blessed us with material wealth, we must guard against pride.

6. Wealth has the power to seduce our heart away from our hope in God: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to…put their hope in wealth” (I Tim. 6:17).

”This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.” (Jer. 9:23, 24) (See Job 31:24-28; Ps. 52:7)

7. God intends that we derive pleasure in life from our material possessions: God…richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (I Tim. 6:18).

”Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart” (Ecc. 5:19, 20).

8. God intends that we use our material wealth to enrich the lives of others: “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (I Tim. 6:18) (See Gal. 5:10; Heb. 13:16).

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa. 58:6, 7)

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Pro. 11:25).

9. In blessing others with our resources, the quality of our eternal reward is significantly affected: “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19). (See Matt. 19:21; Matt. 25:35-40)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19, 20).

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Lk. 12:33).

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date January 11th, 2012

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

NINE BASIC PRINCIPLES ON MONEY FROM I TIMOTHY 6:6-9, 17-19: (Part 1 of 2)

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  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.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for         money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs…. Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

1. The quality of our life is not defined by what we materially possess: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim. 6:6).

Jesus: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’” (Lk. 12:15).

2. From an eternal perspective, the level of our material possessions is of little import: ”…We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (I Tim. 6:7).
After loosing his earthly possessions, Job stated: ” Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand ” (Ecc. 5:15).

3. God has wired us so that we can choose to be content with life’s basics: “… If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (I Tim. 6:8).

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:11-13). (See Lk. 3:14)

4. The desire to be wealthy leads to many troubles and our ultimate destruction: “… They’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after” (I Tim. 6:9,10 -Msg.). (See 2 Pet. 2:3; 1 Jn. 2:15-17)

5. If God has blessed us with material wealth, we must guard against pride: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant…” (I Tim. 6:17).

 

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deut. 8:17, 18) (See I Cor. 4:7)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date January 4th, 2012

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A BIBLICAL PRIMER ON WEALTH

Dear Colleague,

One of the most vexing areas of life is that of finances . Can I trust God to provide for my needs? When is enough, enough? How do I maintain my priorities between seeking God and providing for my family? Perhaps the most poignant passage on this subject is found in Matthew 6:19-34 and summarized in verse 33:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Following is a brief Biblical primer on wealth:

  • Don’t trust in or set your heart on riches. Ps. 62:10; Deut. 6:10-12; 8:12-14; Job 31:24-28; Lk. 12:15

Because wisdom and understanding are superior to wealth, choose the former over the latter. – Pro. 16:16; Psa. 119:127; Pro. 3:13-18; 4:7; 8:10,11,19; Ecc. 7:12; Matt. 16:26; Luke 12:21

Because riches can easily disappear, don’t make them your main focus. Pro. 23:5; 27:24; Ecc. 5:13

Those who please God gain wisdom and understanding, while the rebel is relegated to the meaningless task of gathering and storing wealth (only to have his acquisitions to be handed over the those who please God). Ecc. 2:26; Pro. 3:13-18; 13:22; 28:8; Isa. 3:10; Job 27:13-23

  • Lovers of money (Ecc. 5:10-14):

– Will never be satisfied with what they possess, because “leaches” will diminish their holdings. Ecc. 6:7; Hab. 2:5-7

– Will live with angst from their financial enslavement, compared to the laboring man who is content with what he has. Psa. 119:36,37; Josh. 7:21-25; Ecc. 6:9; Jer. 17:11

– Hoard their resources to their own detriment. Gen. 13; Pro. 1:19; 11:24,25; Lk. 12:16-21

  • When God’s judgment falls, our wealth cannot save us. Zeph. 1:18; Psa. 52:5-7; Pro. 11:4; Jer. 9:23,24; Zeph. 1:10-13
  • Hoarding for selfish pleasure is sin. Lk. 12:13-21; Jms. 5:1-3; Psa. 119:36,37; Mi. 2:2; Hab. 2:9; Col. 3:5; 2 Tim. 3:2; 2 Pet. 2:14

The rich young ruler illustrates the point that an idolatrous relationship with wealth will cost us our souls. Lk. 18:18-25; Ezek. 33:31; Lk. 8:14; 19:8; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:8

A godly person who is content with life’s basics is the truly rich individual. I Tim. 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5; Matt. 6:34; Phil. 4:11-13; 2 Cor. 9:8-11; 12:9,10

The person lusting for wealth will pay a high price for its acquisition. I Tim 6:9,10; 2 Kin. 5:20-27; Pro. 15:27; 20:21; 21:6; 22:16; 28:20-22; Isa. 5:8; Hos. 12:7,8; Amos 8:4-6; Zech. 11:5; Jude 1:11

Those blessed with wealth bear the responsibility of humility over arrogance, trusting God over their vulnerable resources, and exercising generosity in the sharing of their wealth. I Tim 6:17,18; 1 Jn. 2:15,16; Deut. 15:7-11; Psa. 37:3; Pro. 11:24,25; Ecc. 11:1,2,6; Isa. 58:6,7; Lk. 6:33-36; Act. 9:36; Rom. 12:8,13; 2 Cor. 8:19; 9:6-15; Gal. 6:10; Tit. 2:14; 3:8; Heb. 13:16; 1 Jn. 3:17

May you experience His grace, peace and protection this week.

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date November 24th, 2004

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CONTENTMENT …IS IT ACHIEVABLE ?

Good Morning!

J. P. Morgan (1837-1913), the renowned financial and industrial magnate was once asked what it would take to make him happy. His reply? “ Just a little bit more.”

By his response Mr. Morgan was affirming the truth of Proverbs 27:20 : “The lust of the eyes of man is never satisfied.” (Amplified)

How then can a person achieve CONTENTMENT? Let me suggest five Biblical principles:

#1 Contentment is achieved when seeking God and His kingdom are our first priority:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:25,33)

#2 Contentment is achieved by believing God will meet our needs:

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5)

#3 Contentment is achieved by graciously accepting what God allows into our lives:

“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:12b,13)

#4 Contentment is achieved through a life of simplicity over greed:

“But godliness with contentment is great gain…If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these…Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income…I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner…” (I Tim. 6:6,8; Ecc. 5:10, 13)

#5 Contentment is achieved by enjoying hard work and its remuneration:

“…It is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor…When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.” (Ecc. 5:18, 19)

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date May 8th, 1996

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

GOD HAS PROMISED TO SUPPLY ALL OUR NEEDS+

Good Morning!

That’s what worries me, because His idea of “needs” may not square with my idea of “wants”.

Godliness with contentment is a great means of gain…If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” (I Tim. 6:6, 8)

My problem is that I not only want food and covering, but also a full menu of choices as to what kind of food…and covering He is to supply. Israel had the same problem:

In their heart they put God to the test, by asking food according to their desire.(Psa. 78:18)

Then there is the problem of wanting to be rich:

Those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction…” (I Tim. 6:9)

I wonder if our appetite for wealth has something to do with our desire to have more than one day’s provision at a time. Christ taught us to pray for ” daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11) In supplying the Israelites with manna, God allowed them to pick up only one day’s provision at a time. If they attempted more, the manna rotted! (Exodus 16:20). Obviously, God was dealing with their greed and teaching them to trust Him one day at a time.

So, what does “godliness with contentment” mean? Try this:

“That I will view work as a sacred trust and responsibility. That I will conscientiously seek to provide for my family while balancing the other legitimately competing demands in my life (family, church, ministry, personal growth, etc.). I will then rest the issue of income and standard of living with Him: I and my family will determine to be content with however and with whatever He chooses to provide (whether it is a day’s provision at a time, or a year’s).

Covetousness is discontentedly wanting and even demanding as a right that God allow me to live at a level that caters to my wants. When these “rights” are not met, I become discontent…even angry. And with that God is not well pleased.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date April 18th, 1994

+Philippians 4:19