Hope for your financial life and beyond

With God All Things Are Possible – Even Saving Rich People

Hidden Nuggets Series #96 – “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

On one occasion in the Bible a rich young ruler approached Jesus with a very serious question. The man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. After a brief back and forth exchange Jesus had this final answer for him:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

with god all things are possibleIt’s easy to misinterpret what Jesus was saying to the young man. He was not saying that owning possessions in and of itself is bad. Nor was he saying that a person can buy their way into heaven.

He also wasn’t saying that we all have to give up our wealth to enter heaven. And he certainly was not saying that God favors the poor over the rich. God looks upon all people with equal value regardless of their financial status.

Jesus knew something about this particular man though…something that was keeping him from inheriting eternal life. The man’s reaction to Jesus’ final instruction reveals exactly what it was.

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32 Billion In Est. Profits: The Amount Generated by Human Trafficking

Hidden Nuggets Series #71 – “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9

boys carrying logs on train trackEach year I download a free calendar template from Microsoft to schedule my blog posts. I’ve found it really helps me plan ahead and keeps me focused on finishing my content. Nothing says “Get er done!” like an open publish date on a calendar for which you have not yet written a post.

The template comes coded with special dates highlighted each month. There are the obvious ones like all your major holidays. But they also include “awareness days” like International Woman’s Day (Mar. 8th), International Picnic Day (Jun. 18th), International Left-Handers Day (Aug. 13th) and World Vegetarian Day (Oct. 1st). Curious how nobody cares about men like me who like to eat steak with our right hand at the dining room table.

Those are fun awareness days to be sure but one day stood out to me as taking on a more serious tone. January 11th is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Human Trafficking: A Global Problem

I don’t want to come off in this post as someone who routinely has championed for the victims of human trafficking. I’ve never taken up the cause even though I’ve been generally aware that it’s an issue that impacts certain parts of the world more than others. But that little tickler posted on Jan. 11th in my calendar template got me looking into the issue a bit. I can’t help but tell you I was surprised at the depth of the problem.

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No One Can Serve Two Masters

Hidden Nuggets Series #61 – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matthew 6:24

you cannot serve two mastersAnakin Skywalker had a choice…the good or the dark side. He found out you cannot serve two masters.

Ben Hur had a choice…his Jewish heritage or Rome’s agenda. He found out you cannot serve two masters.

Scrooge had a choice…profit or Christmas. He found out you cannot serve two masters.

Choices pit one side against another. They require us to move decisively in one direction. You pick a side and go with it, all the while hoping for the best.

There is no middle ground.

There is no playing both sides.

There is no giving 100% to both agendas.

Why You Cannot Serve Two Masters

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A Student Debate: Are There Absolute Truths About Money and Personal Finance?

 

Truth written on notebook paperA philosophical debate in the existence of absolute truth sounds like a discussion for theology class. In fact, that’s what has been taking place in one of the Bible classes I teach at our private Christian school. The questions we have been exploring are polar opposites of one another:

“Is there an absolute truth that is valid for all people regardless of era, culture or circumstance?”

Or…

“Are all things relative? Does truth exist only in the person’s individual experience and based in their view of reality?”

Deep, I know.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time in relation to personal finances. To fully disclose, I do believe in absolutes and think they can be found in many areas of life, especially in mathematics and the sciences. Absolutes do not have to be limited to theological discussions.

So why can’t there be absolutes about money and the personal finance world – things that are universally true for all people no matter the culture or circumstance?

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I’ll Take Money Over Love. Would You Ever?

Hidden Nuggets Series #14 – “…and every one of us will give you 1,100 pieces of silver.” – Judges 16:5

money over loveWhat values would you betray for money? Would you take money over love? Would you lie or steal if you had a 100% chance of striking it rich?

Would you abandon your morals for one million dollars? Would it make a difference for $10 million? $100 million?

Even thinking about that question makes us feel dirty. We try to convince ourselves it would be impossible to forsake our core principles and beliefs for money. Deep inside, however, we know there would be serious temptation, especially if our financial situation was dire.

Such is the nature of our humanity.

Of course the scenario I set forth Hollywood has already made into a movie – the 1993 not-so-critically-acclaimed drama Indecent Proposal. (Kids need not apply to watch!) It’s not an original story line however, because the theme of someone taking money over love dates back much further than that.

She Took Money Over Love

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Legit Get Rich Quick Schemes

I have a confession to make. By nature, I am not a patient person. I would love to cash in on a few get rich quick schemes and have a enough money to be financially independent RIGHT NOW. Wouldn’t it be great to know what’s going to happen in the next 10 years RIGHT NOW and have all the problem issues of my life fixed RIGHT NOW?

get rich quick schemesI have learned though the years to monitor my impatience by reflecting on my faith and what God tells me about it in the Bible. Passages like Hebrews 12:1 have been especially valuable to me. In talking about our life journey it says,

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

But it’s still really hard to live this way in a culture that stresses immediacy. And we all succumb to the pressure for instant gratification, instant knowledge, instant wealth and instant fame.

Think you are immune? Try living a couple of days without watching cable news, using your microwave and neglecting Facebook. See how you feel.

Nowhere does our culture’s value of immediacy reflect itself more than in our desire to accumulate money quickly. Maybe that is why so many are vulnerable to get rich quick schemes.

Types of Get Rich Quick Schemes

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Would it Make You Sad to Give Away Your Possessions?

BMW

It’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? My mind immediately goes to the question “How much stuff am I being asked to give away?” I could easily part with many things in my house and not feel any pain.

But what if I was being asked to give away the entire house? Or my cars? Or sell all my investments and give the proceeds away? Oy, that’s enough…I’m starting to get woozy.

I can think of only one instance where this might occur…

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For the Love of Money

VaultI brought this post out of The Vault today to do two things:

1) to remind myself on this Valentine’s Day the trap that awaits when I choose to put my affection in the wrong place and,

2) to introduce a new feature on Luke1428 called “Theology Thursdays.” It is my goal for Thursday’s post to include a spiritual perspective as it relates to our responsibilities towards money, wealth and personal finance.  Hopefully that will be a blessing to you as I share what is on my heart.

So with that introduction, re-enjoy “For the Love of Money” (first appeared on Aug. 3, 2012). 

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“Money money money money, MONEY!”

“Some people got to have it…some people really need it…Hey, listen to me, y’all do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – bad thangs with it.

Well, you wanna do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – good thangs with it…talkin’ about cash money…

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For the Love of Money

“Money money money money, MONEY!”

“Some people got to have it…Hey, Hey, Hey – some people really need it…Hey, listen to me, y’all do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – bad thangs with it

Well, you wanna do thangs, do thangs, do thangs – good thangs with it…talkin’ about cash money, money…Talkin’ bout cash money – dollar bills y’all…”

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