The Ultimate Life, and How You View Money

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The Ultimate Life, prequel to The Ultimate Gift, tells the story of how Red Stevens discovered the series of “gifts” (important life lessons) that he passed on to his grandson, Jason. After finding the woman of his dreams in The Ultimate Gift, Jason Stevens gets so caught up in the busyness of life that he almost loses her in The Ultimate Life. When he comes to the end of his rope, Hamilton, long-time friend and lawyer of Red Stevens, gives him his grandfather’s journal. Through it, he finds out how his grandfather went from a poor young boy to a billionaire financial success, yet threw away all that mattered most in the process. As he reads the journal, Jason is reminded of what is truly important, which helps him figure out the next step to take in his own life.

In The Ultimate Gift, we meet Red Stevens as a determined teenager who sets out on his own, bent on achieving billionaire status. Throughout his journey, he displays initiative and drive that enables him to overcome any obstacle in his path. At the same time, his focus on gaining wealth causes him to neglect other important aspects of his life, such as his family, until he discovers that becoming a billionaire in and of itself isn’t enough to fulfil him. When he nearly loses his only true friend, he is forced reconsider the path he’s heading down.

The Ultimate Life says a lot about how we should view money. In and of itself, wealth isn’t at all a bad thing. As a matter of fact, God wants His children to prosper, and this includes in their finances. The problem comes in when we put money above all else, and begin to view it as the only thing that matters.

1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the LOVE of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil. In other words, what matters to God is how you view money, and where your focus is when it comes to your finances. The right way to view money is as a tool to take care of yourself and someday your family, to bless others, and to enable to gospel to be spread throughout the world. The wrong way to view money is to prioritize it above other things in your life that matter just as much or even more.

Red Steven’s poverty as a child led him to become so wrapped up in gaining wealth he neglected other important matters. Wealth isn’t what causes love of money. There are both rich and poor people who love money, and both rich and poor people who view it how God wants them to. Instead of trying to figure out where the limit is on how much money it’s ok for you to have, trust God with your finances, and focus on using the money you have in a way that honors Him. If you’ll do that, not only will you be blessed with the financial success God desires to give you, but you will also come to view money the way God desires for you to view it!

Glorify God Through Success

Glorify God Through Success

In the movie Woodawn, black high school running back, Tony Nathan, is encouraged to use his gifts for God. The sports chaplain tells him that it may be God’s plan for him to be a star. His coach takes notice of him, and gives him a chance to play a starting position at which he excels, thrusting him into the limelight. When he feels down because of the obstacles and difficulties he encounters, he is reminded by several people that he has encouraged and given hope to those around him by what he’s been accomplishing. As a matter of fact, the pastor of his church acknowledges in front of the entire congregation that he’s glorifying God by using his ability in football, and applauds him for it.

Sometimes Christians can have this mindset that you can’t desire or strive for success and truly be following God the way you should at the same time – almost like if you’re successful, you mustn’t really be on the path that God has for you. There’s this mentality that if you happen to have a lot of money, are in a career that puts you in the limelight, or really, really succeeding, you’re somehow less of a believer. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!

God actually WANTS his people to succeed! He desires to lead and guide them, setting them up for success. He promises that if we delight in His Word, EVERYTHING we do will prosper (Ps 1:2-3). Psalm 45:12 declares that people of wealth will seek our favor. Isaiah 60:3&5 say that nations will be drawn to God’s light shining through us, and that the wealth of nations will come to us. Does this sound like God is against you succeeding?

Oftentimes, success can actually open up a greater platform for God’s people to share Him with the world. Those who have an abundance of money have an increased opportunity to bless others financially. If someone is well-known, as long as they stick with God instead of getting caught up in the fame, they are just in a more visible position to tell others about their faith. When believers experience success, and unbelievers ask how they achieved it, they have the chance to point them to the God who is responsible for it!

Obviously not everyone is famous or a billionaire, but God does desire for His people to live a prosperous, successful life in every area – to have successful godly relationships, to have all that they need and more in their finances, to do well in the career path He has for them, and to prosper in every other arena of their lives.

It saddens me when people think they need to choose between God and success. Just like Tony Nathan was able to glorify God through his success, pointing others to Him with the platform he’d been given, God wants us to prosper, and glorify him through that prosperity. Commit your life to the Lord, with the determination to stick close to Him even in the midst of success, and discover the amazing things He has in store for you!

What God Has to Say About Our Financial Success

Financial Success

Earlier, we discussed whether or not it’s ok for Christians to prosper financially. We talked about how it’s the love of money, not money itself, that is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10), and how it’s not so much about how much we have, but whether or not it has us. Now, let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about our financial success.

  • Proverbs 10:22 – His blessing brings wealth, and adds no sorrow with it.
  • Isaiah 60:5 – To you shall come the wealth of nations!
  • Philippians 4:19 – He will supply all your needs.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:11 – He will enrich you in every way so that on all occasions, you can be generous.
  • Psalm 1:2-3 – Those who meditate on and delight in God’s Word shall prosper in all they do.
  • Isaiah 61:6 – On the wealth of nations you will feed, and you will boast in their riches.
  • Deuteronomy 30:9 – He will make you prosperous in the work of your hands – He will delight in you, and make you prosperous. (This was a blessing given for obedience. We can never obey perfectly, but Jesus lived the perfect life for us. Because we are in Him, His perfection covers us, and we have access to this blessing!)

This is what God’s Word promises regarding your finances! Trust in His promises. Take Him at His Word, and see what He will accomplish in your life financially!

Is It Ok for Christians to Prosper Financially?

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Has anyone ever made it sound like Christians shouldn’t experience abundance in the realm of finance? Have you ever wondered if it’s ok to be successful financially as a Christian, or how much God’s ok with you having? Have you ever wondered where we, as followers of Christ, should draw the line?

Some say that money is the root of all evil – that it is the cause of tons of problems, such as greed and self-centeredness – and because of this, Christians should be careful of ever having too much – almost as if poverty is better than wealth.

The truth of the matter? Money is not the root of all evil. By itself, it isn’t good or bad, and therefore the amount of money you have isn’t what makes you a good or bad person. It only reveals who you really are. If a person is already generous, give them more money, and it will give them a greater opportunity to benefit others as well as themselves. If a person is selfish and stingy and you give them more money, their stinginess and selfishness will become more apparent as they hoard or spend it all on themselves. The money didn’t make them selfish and stingy or kind and generous. It just made their real character more visible.

What the Bible says actually is the root of all evil is the LOVE of money (1 Tim 6:10)! This is what causes problems, not the money itself. In other words, do you control your money, or do you let it control you? This is what God cares about!

The truth is, God WANTS to bless His children, and this includes financially. According to Psalm 35:27, He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people! God wants to give His children not only all that they need, but above and beyond so that they, in turn, can bless others (2 Cor 9:11). The more you grow in your relationship with Christ, and the more you become like Him, the more you will use your money in a wise manner, and to advance His kingdom. Trust God with your finances from an early age, and watch what He can do in and through them!

A Stocking From God

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Imagine a stocking filled to the brim with wonderful gifts – all kinds of things that you need and want the most. It’s from God, and it’s for you!

Maybe things have been going great, or maybe you’ve been facing some tough times. Whatever life’s like for you right now, there are many things God wants to give you this Christmas. He wants to give you hope where it may seem like there is none. He wants to give you joy, and a reason to rejoice. He wants to bring peace to your mind, to replace all worry and anxiety. He wants heal you, and make you whole. He wants to give you freedom from whatever may be holding you back from becoming who He created you to be. He desires to give you prosperity, and provide for your needs. He wants you to experience grace that covers even the worst of your mistakes. He wants to give you His love, which is like nothing you have ever known.

These are just a few of thing things that God wants to give you this Christmas season. These are the things that fill His stocking to you. He wants you to accept your stocking from Him, and to enjoy everything that’s in it. Open up your heart to Him this Christmas, let Him know you want all that He has for you. Watch what He will do in your life when you are willing to receive His stocking for you!

Reposted from Generation Arise.