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Chapter 1 Book Excerpt: Understanding the Benefits of Mankind Understanding the Principles of Money You should not like money more than yourself and you must not LOVE yourself more than GOD. This also means you shall not love money more than God. The “love of money” is likened to a habit or addiction that hooks you and takes control over your thoughts, behaviors and actions. Most times there is a correlation between the “love of money” and greed or stinginess. Money can be seen as a tool for good or evil. That is, GOD designed money for man’s benefit, but the enemy has deceived man into the “love of money”. As it states in 1 Timothy 6:10 (KNJV) - 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. Also, this is one reason why Paul prayed in the following Scripture: And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, (Philippians 1: 9-10, KNJV) What this means is we should pray for “moral discernment” in order to maintain our Christian morals and values. In this present era, many people go through the challenge called “security for tomorrow” or “uncertainty of tomorrow”…the author is referring to one’s financial standpoint. In this scenario, individuals try to hoard or multiply their money at any cost, whether it is legal or illegal because of the uncertainty of one’s financial standing in the future. This single act causes greed, embezzlement, stealing, stinginess, cheating, killing and so on. Let me shed some more light. Imagine you currently have a net worth of $400,000 and do not know what tomorrow holds for you. For example, you may lose your job, business, royalties, investments, properties and more. Each of these scenarios is robbing many people of their TRUE Blessings and Prosperity from GOD. For example, if you identify with one of the above scenarios and I ask you to loan me $10,000, you may have reservation honoring this request because you fear that your source of money can cease at anytime. However, when you make GOD your financial source by depending on Him rather than on your job, business, royalties, education, investments, position…He will terminate every fear and uncertainty of where the next dollar will come from. Moreover, it is written in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) – “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Of further importance, you will see in the following scripture where Jesus says, “Why do you worry about tomorrow?” “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6: 25-34, NKJV) A person who is a hundred percent dependent on GOD would not be concerned about the next day because GOD alone holds the future. We can see in the following verses how Isaac depended on GOD during a terrible famine in the land. Follow me closely…Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundred fold. He became very prosperous even during a season of famine as seen in the scripture below: There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.” Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’” And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.” So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him. (Genesis 26: 1-14, NKJV) One reason for GOD’s GRACE upon Isaac is because of the obedience of his father “Abraham” to GOD. As you can see “giving not taking” is the key to financial security…when you “give sparingly, you also receive sparingly”. There was a profound sermon once preached by my Pastor. In the message he likened “giving” to “restrooms and food”. That is, “food” is the money and its’ excretion is “giving”. Let me expound on this: When you eat “food” and get full, do you not need to excrete the food in order to empty your stomach, so you may have room to eat more food? In the same manner, you need to visit the “financial restroom” in order for more money to flow into your hands. That is, as you amass money, riches and wealth and do not give a part of it to GOD and the needy therefore allowing one’s “self” to be obstructing the flow of money you will have what the author calls “financial constipation”. This will continue until you offload by “giving”. Is it not logical to say that when you feel constipated…you are not only full of food, but also uncomfortable? Likewise, a person who keeps on amassing money without giving will at some point not only have no space for more, but will also experience an unfulfilled life. Yes, you can be the wealthiest person here on earth and still be empty. JOY brings genuine happiness, not money. Note: GOD says in His Word…there is JOY in “giving” not in hoarding. Let us look at some Scriptures on “Giving and Receiving”: There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. (Proverbs 11: 24-25, NKJV) Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6: 38, NKJV) I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”(Acts 20: 35, NKJV) But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13: 16, NKJV) “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6: 1-4, NKJV) Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (James 4: 1-5, NKJV) Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight. Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath. One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. (Proverbs 11: 20-26, NKJV) Let us look at a worldly scenario which validates the Biblical messages. I have heard of many celebrities and superstars amassing several hundreds of millions of dollars, only to lose it all in a matter of a few years and file bankruptcy. Perhaps, they hardly or never gave of one’s finances. You can see in the following Bible verse that money has wings and can fly away if not used appropriately: Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23: 5, NKJV) The same way companies and organizations have their financial principles; GOD has His own principles for man’s money management. You can find some in the above verses. When you follow GOD’s principles concerning money, He gives you uncommon favor and wisdom. For example, He will teach you how and where to invest your money. And when God leads you… the sky is your limit. One last note: If you seek money before seeking GOD, you may experience riches followed by challenges; but if you seek GOD before seeking money, you will experience challenges followed by riches. Which scenario do you prefer? I hope the second! When you follow GOD’s principles of money; your latter shall be GREATER than your past!!! *** From the Term of Service - "No “spamming” allowed. Spamming is flooding the forums, mass PMs or emailing multiple members of this forum with unsolicited messages. It also includes links in posts or Sigs to sites that sell or solicits funds. No solicitation of any form will be allowed." ***