Sunday, February 6, 2011
~By Pastor Mark Minor
For the last few months I have been doing a personal Bible study on money, wealth and Biblical economics. It has been an eye-opening and intensive study for me… and has birthed a series of six sermons that I have shared with our church family. I am convinced that the way out of our PERSONAL and NATIONAL economic crises is the Bible.
God is, after all, an economist. And a pretty good one at that. He was written in his Instruction Manual all we could ever need for understanding, accessing and sharing ‘wealth’.
I have come to believe that God despises ‘poverty’ of every sort. Financial poverty, moral poverty, poverty of vision, poverty of soul, poverty of emotion… the God of the Bible, as I am learning, is not about LACK but is always about ABUNDANCE. He is Jehovah Jireh— the God who provides.
Yes, he wants his children to be ‘wealthy’— in every way. But… it has to be through his means.
What I would like to do is share numerous verses from the book of Proverbs. I don’t normally like to just ‘toss-around’ a lot of ‘Scriptures’. For this purpose, though, I find I must just let the Economist ‘speak’ (the God who created all the gold in the world and who uses it as paving stones in his city— so wealthy is He).
I will add a few comments along the way.
Proverbs, written by the pen of the man at the absolute top of the Forbes List of wealthiest people ever,[Solomon] has so much to say about different economic topics. The book of Proverbs teaches about ‘wealth’… about giving… about saving… about financial integrity… about earning… about inheritances… about lotteries… about punishing corrupt politicians… and on and on.
For this article, however, I want to zero in on one topic: work ethic.
I will let the verses basically speak for themselves. (My ‘thoughts’ are interspersed with the verses). And I pray that the Holy Spirit gives ‘insight’ us all about our work and the efforts of those that we love, that are raising, that we work with… and that are governing our nation.
Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth 5 He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son
Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
Proverbs 12:27 The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions.
**Take care of what we’ve got!!
Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
**’Talking about work or effort does not bring a profit— doing it does.
Proverbs 16:26 The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.
Proverbs 20:13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
**Make plans… take your time… or as Jesus said “count the cost before building".
Proverbs 21:17 He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich
Proverbs 21:20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. 21 He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
Proverbs 22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!” or, “I will be murdered in the streets!”
*Don’t live in ‘fear’… of course there’s a lion outside— but you are a ‘lion conqueror’. Don’t be afraid to fulfill your vision.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
*If you are the BEST at what you do, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, you will always have ‘work’.
Proverbs 24:30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 34 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 26:15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
Proverbs 27:18 He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored.
*TEND TO the things God has blessed you with… and make it grow!
Proverbs 27:23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; 24 for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations
Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
*What an incredible business woman this lady is. Look at how the Bible honors her for her ‘amazing’ character. She gets up early… buys property… invests her earning to make more money… doesn’t get sucked into bad deals but only profitable ones… supervises employees… owns a business… sells things both retail and wholesale… And wins the admiration of husband and children.
This woman should be President of the United States!!
*My Pastor, Mark Minor shares a post here each Sunday. To learn more about WHITTINGTON CHURCH, click here.