Our Money – a Christian Perspective

christian world news
by quapan


Money is perhaps the most controversial subject in the church.  Depending on your denomination or flavor of non-denomination your belief about money could be anywhere along a vast spectrum.  Some sects within the church equate holiness and spirituality with poverty and simplicity.  Other sects within the church equate true faith with wealth and prosperity.  Most, however, fall somewhere in between these two.

The bible actually has a lot to say concerning finances in both the Old and New Testament.  God has a plan for our finances and has given us instructions on how to treat money.  It should come as no surprise to us.  The God who is concerned about the thoughts and intentions of our hearts is concerned about our finances and our attitudes towards money.

Before we get started into this message I want to acknowledge that there has been significant excess and error in the preaching, teaching and ministry of messages concerning money within the church.  These errors and/or excesses do not negate the biblical teaching and instruction on finances.  I ask you to lay aside any previous experiences you may have had with false teaching and look at the scriptures with me.  God’s word is not invalidated because a man or woman has twisted it or perverted it in the past for selfish reasons.  Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4).

Let’s state a few well established facts:

Houses and apartments are not free
Utilities are not free
Food is not free
Transportation is not free
Clothing is not free

These are some of the basic essentials in life; food, clothing, shelter and transportation.  Each of these essentials must be purchased.  As a believer or unbeliever our society requires you to pay for these items.

Let’s state a few more well established facts:

There are poor Christians and those who are poor that are not Christians
There are middle-class Christians and those who are middles class that are not Christians
There are wealthy Christians and those who are wealthy that are not Christians

Faith in Christ does not have a monetary price tag attached.  Salvation cannot be purchased, nor is it restricted to a class, race, geography or age group. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. (Revelation 22:17).  Regardless of our economic status we are all sinners in need of Jesus and may freely accept His gift of salvation.  This message is not about the qualifications for salvation.  This message is to discuss what the Bible says the saved should be doing with their money.

Let’s state a few more well established facts:

Churches require money to operate
It takes money to print Bibles
It takes money to send missionaries to the nations of the world
It takes money to feed the poor

In order to fulfill the Great Commission there are significant financial investments required.  Believers must be willing to go and believers must also be willing to send.

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15).

God has filled us with His Holy Spirit and given us the privilege of speaking, praying and living in the name of Jesus.  It is this power that allows us to minister His grace to those around us.  As we share the love of God and gospel of Jesus Christ men and women have the opportunity to place faith in Jesus and be born again; receiving the same gift of the Holy Spirit that we have.  This is the essence of New Testament Christianity; to win the lost and to make disciples of those that are won.  This cycle of new birth and maturity is God’s plan for the church.  We as believers continue to mature in Christ – becoming more like Him while constantly bringing those who are lost into the Kingdom.  The church was not designed to exist within the four-walls of our sanctuaries – the church was designed to exist everywhere there are people.  In order to fulfill God’s plan we are commanded to “preach the gospel to everyone” (Mark 16:15). The power to send is one of the most awesome things a church can have.

Sending power requires a few vital things:

1.       A group of mature believers who are raising up disciples of Jesus Christ

2.       Disciples of Jesus Christ who are willing to be sent

3.       The finances needed to send

There are three main reasons that money is vital in the life of a Christian:

1.       To provide for the needs of your family

2.       To finance the preaching of the gospel

3.       To care for the poor and those in need

As a result of the economic recession of the past several years there has been an increasing amount of debate in the media as well as in the church concerning money, wealth and excess.  People have reexamined their priorities.  Many have had decreased income.  Many have just chosen to “tighten their belts” by eliminating any expense they find superfluous.  There are new social justice campaigns to eliminate poverty.  There has been a lot of focus on supplying peoples’ needs instead of our traditional consumerism and materialism.

There seems to be an undercurrent of socialist thinking becoming more and more prevalent in the US – a belief that it is wrong for people to succeed and have significant amounts of money from the fruits of their labors.  It is amazing how many stories are run about the compensation levels of CEO’s and entrepreneurs.  It seems the stories are designed to make us see their success and compensation as an evil.  (If the money has been earned honestly – I cheer for their success.  If not – then justice should meet out a penalty according to the laws that were broken).  On the same note we seem to celebrate the salaries and compensation levels of entertainers and athletes. We tour their homes, their vacations, their cars, their clothing, their shopping tours, etc.

Travis McCoy (featuring Bruno Mars) sings, “I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad, buy all of the things I never had. Uh, I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine, smiling next to Oprah and the Queen.”

John Lennon wrote a song entitled, “all you need is love”

In “I will buy you a new life” Everclear sings, “I hate those people who love to tell you money is the root of all that kills. They have never been poor, they have never had the joy of a welfare Christmas”.

The world’s view on money and wealth ranges from the communist to the capitalist.  The bible speaks of neither.  We are citizens of the kingdom of God and need to adopt God’s worldview on money and wealth.  God has a plan and a purpose for our lives and His plan and purpose involves our money.

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. (Deuteronomy 8:18)

The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. (Proverbs 10:22)

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. (Luke 6:38)

No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. (Isaiah 58:6-7)

Our money, our influence, our status, etc. are all tools in the hand of Jesus Christ that He desires to use to reach a lost and dying world.  We cannot care for the poor and need when we are the poor and needy.  We cannot send missionaries around the world if we are unable to provide for the needs of our own families.  Our attitudes must change in respect to finances and the kingdom of God.  We have one cause to support – the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Everything that we are and everything that we have has been given to God at salvation when we accepted Jesus Christ’s blood as payment for our sins.  We have entered into a blood covenant where He has become ours and we have become His.  His resources and supplies are ours and our resources and supplies are now His.

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it (Psalm 24:1)

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The answer to each of these questions is NO.

Does any one of these people groups have things in their lives that give them advantage or disadvantage in the things of this world (depending on where they live)?  Sure.  Do any of these things matter at the foot of the cross?  No.

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

I am not writing this message to judge your net worth.  I am not writing this message to collect an offering from you.  I am not writing this message so that you will support a ministry that I believe in.  I am writing this message so that your view of money and wealth will be scriptural.

Here are the points that I want you to take away from reading this:

Your income level, possessions and bank balance have nothing to do with God’s love for you or salvation through Jesus Christ.

Money is neither good nor evil; money is a tool in the hand of the one who possesses it.

As a Christian everything we are belongs to God; including our money.

As a Christian we are called to fulfill the Great Commission and it takes money to spread the gospel through the world.

As a Christian we are called to meet the needs of the poor, the widow and the orphan and it takes money to do so.

As a Christian we are called to tithe and give offerings above our tithe.

Greed and pride are found among the wealthy and the poor.  Change your heart and your mind concerning wealth and money.  We should be working to bring the Kingdom of heaven to the earth through the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We should be laboring in love, deeds, actions, prayer and giving towards this goal.

I challenge you to see your finances as a tool in the hand of the Holy Spirit for the spreading of the gospel.  I challenge you to trust the God you have given your heart and soul to with your check book.  I challenge you to believe that He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).  I challenge you to believe that He is able to supply all of your need according His riches and glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

If you will obey God in your finances (as well as other areas of your life) you will find that you will have more than enough to meet your needs and to fulfill the calling of God upon your life.

The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) and all we need do is turn on the news to see the devastation greed has wrought throughout the earth.  The love of God and a love for the people of this world will change your view of money from a possession to desire into a sanctified tool in the hand of your Heavenly Father.

My passion is to educate and provoke Christians to fulfill the calling of God on their lives (which is always tied to the fulfillment of the Great Commission). I have been known to offend with bluntness and sarcasm, but normally it happens by telling the truth people do not want to hear or be reminded of.  The motivation behind it is to provoke people to become more like Jesus and live the faith they profess to have. More messages can be found here.

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How to Use Christian Affiliate Programs to Make Money on Line

It is a true fact that you can make money online with Christian affiliate programs as the source of starting your own Christian business. Through building an affiliate web site, blogs, or email marketing as a source of your business, it’s a great way to have a steady flow of income. Joining free Christian affiliate programs is the less expensive way to start, and at the same time, you can make a very good living, if done properly.

Christian Affiliate web sites post links to the merchant site and are paid a percentage according to an agreement. This agreement is usually based on the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant’s site who purchases something from them. If a link on an affiliate site brings the merchant site traffic, the merchant site will then pay the affiliate site according to their agreement. Usually these Christian affiliate programs are free to join.

A good Christian affiliate program will provide you with the tools necessary to promote their product, such as text links, banners, graphics and articles. You will also find that many affiliate programs will provide sample email news letters set up and ready to use. Change it around a little, add some good content so you can be unique, then copy and paste them in your email news letter with the unique url they give you so you get the credit for it. If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, a unique url is a cookie used for tracking the customer you send to the merchant site so you get the credit for the commission.

When your signing up with Christian affiliate programs, check out what the cookie duration is. Cookie durations vary. Some companies have a short duration and others have a long duration. The duration of the cookie is how long the cookie will last after you send the customer to the merchant site. When that duration of the cookie is up, your cookie then expires. The longer the cookie lasts, the better it is for you. Customers usually don’t buy the first time, it generally takes several contacts before the customer makes a purchase.

Check out if the cookie can be overwritten. When a cookie is overwritten, the customer who first learned about the product from your affiliate link, but go’s to another site or blog and so forth, and go’s through their link, and buys that product, you will not get the credit for it, therefore you will not get the commission on the sale.

You’ll find that most merchants who are serious about selling their products will give you the tools and training you need to promote them. This gives you a good opportunity to get the concept of how online marketing works, when you see how the merchants use their promotional tools to their advantage and your advantage.

Your advantage of starting a Christian affiliate website as the source of your Christian business is that you don’t have to do any copy writing. You don’t have to do the hard work that is involved with making a sales copy. Your job is just to get the customer to the merchant site. It is up to the merchant to make the sale. This is why it is very important to pick a Christian affiliate program with a merchant who has a good sales page and a good reputation. Remember, it is your reputation that is on the line, so choose wisely and choose a merchant that is honest and has a good reputation that will match yours.

To be successful with Christian affiliate programs you must select a company that offers a product that your costumers will be interested in. For example if you run a video game site, do not place links to a site that sells oil paintings. They will seem out of place and do poorly. You have a much better chance of making money by placing affiliate links to game stop, EBGames, GameFly, on other video game companies that have affiliate programs. Choose your affiliates that meet your criteria.

Affiliate programs are arrangements in which an online merchant web site pays affiliate web sites a commission to send them traffic, usually in the form of a commission based on a percentage of sales.

There are different types of commissions that range anywhere from 5% to as high as 75% depending on the type of affiliate program payout. There are also affiliate programs that pay you in the form of residual income. A residual income program is a program that pays you on an ongoing basis as long as the customer stays with the program, where a product site pays you a one time commission for each product they sell through your referral.

When you choose an affiliate program, pay special attention to the profits you receive from each sale. In order to make money with affiliate programs, you should choose a higher percentage commission pay out rather than a lower commission pay out.

Let us look at it from this point of view; if you are only paid 5% commission on the sale of a $10 product, you will only be making 50 cents per customer. It would take 2,000 paying customers just to make $1,000 in profits. You cannot make money online like this! Look for reasonably priced products with a high conversion and higher commissions, especially commissions in the 25% or higher range.

If you want to make money online with Christian affiliate programs, the best strategy to use are a combination of both, residual income programs that pay on a ongoing basis and product sites that pays a one-time commission.

To be truly successful with Christian affiliate programs, ask yourself these questions. Is this something that I can really use? Would it help me? Would I buy this product myself? If the answer is yes, you’re off to a successful and profitable Christian business.

To find high-quality Christian home based business opportunities and ideas AND to spread God’s Word while working from home, check out our free educational tutorials at http://www.christianideas.net for Legitimate Christian Business Opportunities.

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