Lessons

The Fine Line

Hello friends and followers! Our latest preaching is about the proper way of handling money and how to use money as a blessing to us instead of it being a curse in our lives. As usual, I gathered all the notes I had from listening to our Pastor and will also add my own insight about this lesson.

Our church used the title “The Fine Line” because they believe that there is a thin line between handling money well and making yourself believe that you are using your money wisely. There’s a very thin boundary of knowing what is right from wrong when it comes to handling money and our resources. Let’s start!

Greed and Contentment

Greed – we can easily see it from others but not within ourselves
– it is a selfish or excessive desire for more than what is needed or deserved especially of money, wealth, food or other possessions

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It is okay to desire a good career, to be rich, to have a car, a big house or anything that your heart desires. It becomes wrong when we start to sin just so we can get what we want.

When we are greedy, satan will trap us using the things we want in life but with the condition of sinning or giving up what GOD WANTS just so we can have what WE WANT.

While our Pastor is saying this, I remember this scene from the Cinderella movie.

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This scene shows Gus Gus the mouse being too greedy and took more than what he could chew. In fact, he even opened his mouth just to fit everything. There are tons of times that he dropped the kernel corn and risked not just his life but also his friend’s. He was so busy trying to get ALL the kernel corn (even those that he cannot bring anymore) without noticing that the cat is already preparing to eat him. He ended up not having any; and instead of having comfort, he got lost and put himself into an even worse situation.

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This scene was too popular to the point that other dictionaries used his name, Gusgus to define as :

Reference to Disney’s Cinderella, this verb refers to the particular scene when Gus is carrying too many things at one time, and even uses his chin and teeth to help him carry such a large amount of things at once. This can be used to carry more things than normally plausible in hopes of making fewer trips than otherwise.

Ex : “I had too many books to carry this morning so I had to gusgus it. I looked like a fool though.”

His story is a perfect example of where greed can take us. Sometimes we risk and give up too many things just to get our wants in life without knowing that we already gave up the more important and valuable things in life. We are blinded by the idea that whatever we own or have defines who we are. We are trapped by life’s offers of keeping up with what is new, popular and more expensive. We focus on getting what we want and forgot about our main purpose in life — do what God wants!

Contentment means we know that our God will sustain us NO MATTER WHAT.

1 Timothy 6:6 –  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

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1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

How can we not cross the line?
1. Flee. Remember my story about Gus Gus? That’s one thing he missed. He didn’t leave when he had the chance to run away from the cat (enemy). Instead, he still attempted to get more and not think of the consequences he will face soon.
2. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.
3. Persevere. We will sometimes fail and be tempted. Of course! It is our nature to sin.. but we do not stop there.. we stand up and continue to fight the good fight of faith.

2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work.

How to know if you are discontented : 

Ask yourself these questions.

  1. Compare – Do you start to compare what you have and what your neighbors have? Do you count other people’s blessings instead of yours? Do you feel like your neighbor’s blessings should also be your blessings? Do you start to question God and say, “What did my neighbor do that I didn’t do?”
  2. Complain – Do you stop seeing the blessings that God continuously gives you? Do you start to be impatient and ask God for better things instead of enjoying His blessings now? Do you always feel like you lack a lot? Do other people see you as blessed or someone who always complain? Now this is funny : Lately, what are your social media’s posts about? Is it full of gratefulness or full of complaining? 😫
  3. Covet – Do you start to copy what your neighbor exactly has? Do you want what your neighbor wants though it’s really not something you like before? Do you start to steal, become envious or give up things you have now just to covet what your neighbor has?

Hmmmm… Hold that thought!

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God wants us to be richly blessed. It’s not bad that we prepare something for ourselves. It’s already wrong when we simply neglect other people just because we are too busy to save and build things for ourselves instead of saving and building relationships.

Luke 12:34 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

How can we be rich?

  1. Give time, money and even ourselves to other people even though it’s inconvenient.
  2. Purpose is followed by provision. If we are doing what God wants us to do, we will be well provided.
  3. Do good. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous and ALWAYS willing to share.

God richly provides for our enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to give because God still has more blessings for you. We will never lack anything if we follow what He’s telling us. We give because we are subscribed to a Provider who gives unlimited blessings.

God is not impressed in the amount we give to Him but in the percentage of what we have and decided to give afterwards. God blesses us so we too can be a blessing. Remember my questions earlier? If you said yes to all those. Do not worry. There’s a solution :

  1. Stop Comparing. Do good instead.
  2. Stop Complaining but be rich in good works.
  3. Do not Covet but be generous and always willing to share.

Don’t let your career, goals, material blessings and accomplishments set your value because only Christ can afford your value.

Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

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How can we complain, compare and covet if we are assured of the portion that we have in God’s Kingdom. We are very valuable in His sight. What else do we need to have an additional value?

Giving

God’s Dare : If we will give properly, He will bless abundantly.

The Dare : Test Him!

The Condition of the Dare : Give properly.

The Reward of the Dare: Abundant blessings :
– God promises the blessing of adequate provision
– God promises the blessing of fruitful ministry
– God promises the blessing of a delightful life

How about you? Are you going to stay in the same “spiritual tree” all your life, afraid to trust God, making up excuses why you can’t give as He wants you to? God says, “I dare you to give!” Go for it—now!

When it comes to trusting God and His plans, I always have a favorite story to share : There’s a squirrel that is leaping from one tree to another. He seemed to be aiming at a branch SO HIGH that the jump looked like a SUICIDE. He missed the HIGHEST branch, but landed safely on a LOWER branch, and then made his way UP THE TREE. An old man sitting on the bench said, “Funny, I’ve seen hundreds of ’em jump like that, especially when there are dogs around and they can’t come down to the ground. A lot of ’em missed, but I’ve never seen any reason for not trying.” Then he chuckled. “I guess they’ve got to risk it if they don’t want to spend their lives in JUST ONE TREE.”

LESSON : The squirrel took the chance to change his lifestyle and be on the TOP by persevering and trusting God. This is the kind of risk we take because we heard from Him and we know that it is His will. Trust God, persevere, take the step of faith and see what GOD can do.

When we sow seed of patience, we reap character. When we sow seed of contentment, we reap satisfaction. When we sow seed of generosity, we reap more blessings. When we sow seed of persistence, we reap success. Sow good seeds today to reap good fruits tomorrow!

Don’t sacrifice what you want MOST for what you want NOW. We tend to like immediate gratification. We like to buy now, sacrifice later. Stop it!

2 Corinthians 4:18 – While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

We tend to be materialistic and become greedy because we are shortsighted by our temporary goals and wants in life. Everytime we have an urge to compare, complain and covet, let us remember Jesus who thought of us first and the eternal benefits we could all have because He gave His life for us. God saw how valuable we are and that is why He sent His own Son to die for you and me. Now what else is our excuse to not give and be contented of what we have?

Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Let’s pray.

Lord, thank You for Your Word. We pray that we will always remember and practice what we learned in this lesson. May we always be contented and see that what You have given us is way more valuable than what we want right now. Help us to stop comparing, complaining and wanting what others have. Teach us to discern when we are starting to be greedy and always give us the desire to be contented and satisfied. Always give us opportunities to bless other people and also give us the ability to grab that chance. This season of giving, may we remember that You gave Your life for us so we can enjoy life abundantly. Our life has more value than what things, career, and goals have to offer. Thank You Lord for blessing us so we too can be a blessing to others. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

 

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