Excerpt from the book, Financial Integrity.
The subject of finances is mainly either neglected or abused in the church today. There are many believers who are living in financial bondage because they have been taught it is God’s will for His people to be poor. Many proclaim it was God’s will for them to be poor and if they tried to better themselves they would be going against God’s will for their lives. This position is untrue and unbiblical, as we will soon see. At the same time there are believers living in bondage because they have been taught prosperity is a sign of faith. Thus, if you do not have an abundance of things then you are not spiritual. Consequently, people live above their means, often by going into debt, trying to keep up the appearance of prosperity. Even though they look prosperous to the outsider they are in financial bondage. These are the two extremes when dealing with finances. The truth is in the middle. It is the purpose of this book to bring a balanced Biblical view, leading to Financial Integrity.
3 John 2:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
God is truly interested in our finances. The Lord is as interested in our financial prosperity and physical health as He is in our spiritual prosperity. Our financial situation hinges on the condition of our spiritual life and renewed mind. The flow of the blessings of God in our lives is in direct proportion to the health and prosperity of our soul (mind, emotions, will and heart). If you notice God’s blessings are no longer flowing, as they once did, give yourself a spiritual checkup.
Genesis 3:17-18, Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you, and you will eat the plants of the field;
Sin had a dramatic effect on man’s provision. Before the fall of man, God met every need man had. As a result of the fall of man, God placed a curse upon the earth. We still struggle with that curse every time we go to work in the field or pull a weed from our garden. We are reminded of the curse placed on the earth each time we sweat at work.
1 Timothy 6:6 – 8, But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Philippians 4:11 – 13, Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
God’s desire is for His people to be content with what they have. The greatest question is not how much we have, but are we content with what we have? The key to godliness is contentment. The Apostle Paul said he was content in whatever state he found himself in. He was content when he was poor and he was content when he was rich. Paul’s secret to his contentment was not based on material things but on his relationship with God.
1 Timothy 6:17 – 19, Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
Ultimately God gives His people financial blessings for the spreading of the Gospel to the nations. We are not blessed by God to consume everything for ourselves. Yes, God has blessed us with material things for our enjoyment. But, He also wants us to use the blessings for His Work. We are to be ready to give and share with those in need. A story about two seas in Galilee illustrates this principle.
There are two seas in Galilee, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Both of them receive the fresh waters of the Jordan River. The Sea of Galilee is a channel for the waters of the Jordan River. It gives back to the Jordan what it receives. As a result it is full of life. On the other hand the Dead Sea holds onto every drop of water it receives, for it has no outlet. As a result, the water stays in the Dead Sea, slowly evaporating, leaving only a high concentration of minerals behind. Because the Dead Sea holds onto everything it receives it produces death. It is the same way in our lives. God desires for us to be a channel of His blessings to the whole world. If you hold onto the blessings of God, they will stagnate and produce death in your life. Which of the two Seas in Galilee do you want to be like?
2 Corinthians 8:7 – 9, But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
Giving is a test of our love for God, We can always tell how much we love God by the way we give. True love will always result in a desire to give, God loved the world that he gave His only son. Jesus loved us so much He gave up everything in heaven to come to earth to purchase our salvation by His death.
Luke 16:11 – 12, Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
Jesus taught the way we handle our money demonstrate how we handle other things God gives us responsibility over. Money is used to test our usefulness in the Kingdom of God. If we are faithful with possessions then God knows we will be faithful with the true riches of God (His Word, the Holy Spirit, the ministry, etc.) On the other hand, if we are unfaithful without money then we will be unfaithful with the things of God. Our Heavenly Father will never entrust the riches of the Kingdom of God to those who are unfaithful. There are churches around having all kinds of trouble because they are being run by men who are not faithful.
In each of our lives there are things which become blockades, or dams causing the blessings of God to either be hindered or stopped. These can be spiritual blockades or financial ones. In the book, Chapter One through Chapter Eight deals with General Principles and Spiritual Blockades. Chapter Nine through Chapter Sixteen deals with Financial Blockades. These Blockades are not arranged by order of priority but are simply in alphabetical order. It is impossible to prioritize them as each individual will have a different order to the Blockades in their lives.
After reading the Spiritual and Financial Blockades which can cause the flow of God’s blessings to be hindered or stopped, we will cover Practical Advice and Observation about your finances. Chapters Seventeen through Twenty-One, you will find a series of teaching outlines about finances designed to help you further your studies on the subject Financial Integrity.
As you read through this book, ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding so you might see the truth about Financial Integrity.
If the Holy Spirit convicts you of one or several areas of your financial management, stop immediately and repent. Allow the Holy Spirit of God to shine the light of His Word in your heart showing any areas which are not pleasing to Him. We want God’s blessing to have unimpeded flow in our lives.
Heavenly Father, I ask you to give to every reader the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Enlighten the eyes of their understanding so they may know the hope to which you have called them; so they may know the riches of their inheritance and may experience the exceeding greatness of your power. Father, allow them to see the reality of your place for their lives. May your anointing be upon these pages and upon the eyes of every reader!
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
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New Release by Dr. Stan DeKoven
One thing we know is inevitable in life…life never stays the same. We may be growing by God’s grace, or may be resistant to change, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot resist change. Though change cannot be resisted, it can be managed, even benefited from it, and we can certainly participate in the changes we face.
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