Tag: stinginess

Are you so tight that you squeak?

Have you ever known people who complained incessantly about how they never had enough money, yet were so tight with everything they owned that they squeaked when they walked?

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but really, there are people who are so tight fisted with their money they seem to squeak every time they consider parting with a dime.

Squeak long enough and something will wear out.

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” (Proverbs 11:24 – 11:25 NKJV)

Squeakers need oil.

Generosity is the way to make sure everything stays oiled, and in great operating condition.

An example of this is found in the story of the widow woman, her son, and the prophet Elijah.

“Then the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.’ So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, ‘Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?’ As she was going to get it, he called to her, ‘Bring me a bite of bread, too.’ But she said, ‘I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.’

“But Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again.”” (1 Kings 17:8 – 17:14 NLT)

The woman, I’ll call her Gertrude, faced a real dilemma. She could keep what she had, enjoy her last meal with her son, and then die, OR she could trust the man of God and give of what she had.

By the way, the prophet wasn’t being greedy or selfish. Neither is God when He tells you to give when you don’t believe you have the resources.

As for Gertrude, did she REALLY believe she would have only one more meal before she died?

Maybe.

It DOES, however, seem like doomsday when we’re down to our last penny, and our savings account is all but gone.

So Gertrude had a decision to make, just like you and I do sometimes. Would she hold onto the sure thing, or generously give her situation into God’s hand.

Note: A closed fist will neither give out nor receive from others. Though it may be risky, we need to loosen our grip and trust God.

And that’s exactly what Gertrude did.

“So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:15 – 17:16 NLT)

Stinginess reveals at least two things about one’s heart.

1. Their faith is in money

2. Their faith is NOT in God

But God CAN be trusted. His word is true, and its principles are unchanging.

One of the greatest truths we must understand is demonstrated, worldwide, day in and day out: “The Law of Seedtime and Harvest”.

Or, whatever a person sows, that shall they reap.

They will always reap MORE than they’ve sown.

Their seed is multiplied. But if little is sown, there just isn’t much to work with. Lack becomes MUCH lack.

However much a person sows determines how much they’ll reap.

Much sown, then MUCH MUCH will be returned; somehow, some way, at some time.

“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:6 – 9:8 NLT)

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38 NLT)

Jesus wasn’t referring to a specific dollar amount when He said, “The amount you give…”

Rather, He meant, “Squeeze out the bare minimum, and that’s what you’ll receive. Be generous, and experience the generosity of others, as well as of God.”

Remember: loosen your grip and trust God, not your bank account.

Life flows from our generous God and King. He wants that same life to flow through us, as we are generous with all we have.

Squeaks are rarely a pleasant sound. 

Let’s make sure we’re well oiled, trusting our God to meet all our needs according to HIS riches in glory.

Just like He promised.

If you’d like to read more on this subject, please click on this link – http://tinyurl.com/htp76f8 (My book-“Breaking the Spirit of Poverty with the Spirit of Generosity”)

God’s Economy

Well, those Chinese are at it again. Messing with our stock market. Dow closed some 300-400 points down. 

Again!

It’s kind of nerve wracking, isn’t it? 

Up, down, buy, sell, trade; good grief! 

There are so many things which affect the stock market. Economies of other nations, friend or foe, can directly or indirectly have a bearing on how our stocks are traded. 

I’m not an economist, nor do I pretend to be a wise trader. Other people do that stuff for me. I’m no where near the likes of Warren Buffet, Dave Ramsey, or anyone else who’s known for their expertise in the realm of finances. 

But I have learned a few things. 

God’s economy does not depend upon the NYSE. It’s not governed by the Federal Reserve Board. Neither threats of war nor promises of peace affect the flow of God’s resources. 

Sure, like everyone else, I want to see the stock market do well. And I hate to see others lose lots of money when things take a dive. 

But Jesus warned us about the craziness of trusting in the uncertainty of riches. Paul told those who would listen that the love of money is the root of all evil. Peter reminded us that everything we see will one day be destroyed by a fantastic fire. 

So what about God’s economy? How can I live in this world, with its ups and downs, yet still tap into the blessings of God?

First thing to understand: God is not a counterfeiter! Nor is He stingy. He’s also not a hoarder, or a person who thinks only about His own wants and needs. 

God is RICH to ALL who call upon Him! (Romans 10:12)

Even if all 7 billion people cried out to God for the exact same thing, at the exact same time, He would have more than enough to meet everyone’s need; with gobs to spare!

He is RICH!

The number one way to connect to God’s economy is to nurture your heart until it becomes like His. In other words, learn how to release your grip on money and things, and become a giver like God.

A person who is tight fisted will never open their hand wide enough to receive from God, or anyone else. 

When your arms are wrapped tightly around your possessions, whether it be stuff, family, money, or whatever; you’ll never be in position to embrace God’s provision.

Giving is how the kingdom of God operates. Giving by faith, and as the Lord directs. 

Here are a few passages which will help explain what I’ve just said:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

Very familiar passage, but look down the page just a few short verses.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV)

I’m not even going to mention the principle of tithing. Honor the Lord with what you have and what you get. Honor? Well, how would the Lord use your stuff? What would Jesus do with your paychecks, and with your savings account?

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:24-25 ESV)

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17 ESV)

The Lord will repay, and He NEVER reneges on a promise.

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-10 ESV)

I’ve written a book, available in both eBook and paperback versions, titled “Breaking the Spirit of Poverty with the Spirit of Generosity.” It’s not a get rich quick, or at all, kind of book; but it’s loaded with principles and examples of how to live according to God’s economy, even when the world around you is going insane. 

It’s available at Amazon.com, or you can go to the “Our Books” page, click the picture of the book, and be ushered to the exact product page. For a quick easy connection, click the “Link To Amazon” link below.

There are several reasons why Jesus said, “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” I believe the main one is that it’s the doorway for you and I to participate in His economy.

Here’s what the book cover looks like:

Link to Amazon

  

Churches Only Want Your Money?

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There’s a saying that’s almost as old as the planet we live on; well, that depends on whether it’s a young planet or an old one.

Anyway, the saying goes like so: “churches only want your money.”

Ever heard it? Better yet, ever said it?

Do you believe it? A lot of folks do.

But think about this.

Why is it that only the churches get tagged with such a stupid statement?

What about these?

WHO WANTS YOUR MONEY?
-a poem by Jan Grace

“Walmart, Kmart, and little Shop’n Go’s,
Restaurants, bait shops, and tickets for the show.
Book stores, junk stores, the pet store down the street,
All demand the same thing, before your needs they meet.

“Time after time, you’ll hear each business say,
“We’re here for you; just don’t leave before you pay.”
Taxi drivers, your request is their demand,
But don’t depart, without your money in their hand.

“Lawyers, bankers, the grocer and the florist
Tea rooms, bar rooms, the tax man and your dentist.
Airlines, bus lines, their hands stretched out to you
Your money’s all they ask for, nothing else will do.”

Don’t get mad when the offering plate gets passed at church. You don’t have to give. You can keep every penny to yourself. No one’s going to steal it from you.

I will say though, it’s not much of a life.

“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NLT)

Here’s a link to a couple of books that just may help you change your mind about God and money; about living a life of generosity instead of stinginess.

http://tinyurl.com/nzkvd9o

http://tinyurl.com/pyv9rdx

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