Money; Your Master or Servant? – The Secret of Contentment
Our key scripture has been Mathew 6:33-34 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Seeking God first is making sure His voice is the loudest voice in your life.
1 Tim 6:6-8 “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
This statement is key to our spiritual growth and our relationship with God. God desires that we honor Him and center our desires on Him.
Our God is keen to ensure that our captivation in life is the eternal kingdom that will never end. This world and its wealth will come to pass but the word (promises) of God live forever.
Philippians 4: 11-13
Paul expresses his contented living
….. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who strengthens me.”
Rich men in the Bible:
Abraham is considered as the patriarch of the church and is known as the friend of God according to James 2:23. In Genesis 13:2, Abraham is described as rich in gold, silver, and cattle. As Abraham continued to profess his faith to the Lord, his possessions became even greater. In Genesis 24:1, it is said that God continued to bless him in many ways. Genesis 13:6 explains that Abraham continued to accumulate well to the point that he had to separate from his nephew Lot because their land could longer keep the two of them.
Isaac is Abraham’s son and was also blessed with wealth. During the time of famine, Isaac continued to leave a prosperous life. In Genesis 26:12, Isaac was able to plant and harvest a hundred times more than other people. His wealth became the envy of the Philistines that it came to a point when he was forced to leave his land. Even in face of uncertainty, Genesis 26:17-32 says that Isaac continued to receive blessings no matter where he went.
Job: In the book of Job 1:1 in the Old Testament, Job was described to be a righteous man. Job 1:3 further describes him as the most illustrious man in the East because of his vast material possessions. In spite of his personal conflicts, Job showed his immense loyalty to God. In Job 42:10, he was given richness which surpassed what he previously owned because he remained steadfast in his belief even though he faced so many challenges in his life.
Solomon is not only known as the wise king, but also as a man who lived with enormous material possession. In 2 Chronicles 9:20, it is said that he had so much gold in his possession to the point that silver lost its value. His wealth is so legendary that people up to this time are still looking for his hidden treasures.
David lived a life of prosperity because of his faith in God. The amount of wealth he possessed was chronicled in the Book of Psalms. In Psalm 37:19, it is proclaimed that the righteous would still prosper in the midst of famine. And this was exactly what happened with David and his brethren. In 1 Chronicles 29:28, it is said that David enjoyed a life of prosperity, blessed with wealth and honor, and died after living a life full of contentment.
Joseph, He was a humble person in spite of his wealth. At the age of 30, he became second in command of the country of Egypt. According to Genesis 47:14, he was able to amass his wealth by selling grains. Joseph was blessed not only with business acumen, but with a strong economic outlook that he was able to look at the future and save his country.
Last week we looked at some people who have had money and they have lost it all. Today we shall look at people who have made a lot of money and are very wealthy and continue to grow their wealth daily.
Bill Gates is one of the most famous entrepreneurs of our era. Once the richest man in the world, Gates has a net worth estimated to be over $91.9 billion. He’s held the title of “world’s wealthiest individual” for 16 of the past 21 years. He has today been overtaken by Jeff Bezos the founder and CEO of Amazon.com currently worth $103.9 billion. Bill Gates is, like many other famous entrepreneurs, also known for his philanthropic activities, donating very large amounts of money to charitable organizations and scientific endeavors. Gates established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing health care, improving education opportunities, and providing access to technology worldwide. Bill Gates and his wife donated $2.65 billion in 2013 when Bill Gates had a net worth of $67 billion. In 2014, Bill Gate’s net worth increased to $76 billion. Gates himself has donated over $28 billion to the foundation, which he continues to work for. Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. He runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen. The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13. He has committed to giving more than 99% of his fortune to charity. So far, he has given away nearly $32 billion, much of it to the Gates Foundation. With friend Bill Gates he launched The Giving Pledge in 2010, asking billionaires to donate half their wealth to charitable causes. Warren Buffet’s net worth was $44 billion in 2012 and he donated a massive $3.084 billion in the same year. In 2013, Warren Buffet’s net worth increased to $53.5 billion. His current net worth as of 23rd August 2018 is $90.1 billion. Manu Chandaria, Giving Back To Society and Being Humble Always.
The problem with many of us is that we tend to forget where we came from once we succeed. But Manu Chandaria is not one of those people who disconnect with the reality of street life. Today, despite being at the helm of top brands like Mabati Rolling Mills, Kaluworks, Baati Limited, Aluminium Africa Limited and living in the affluent Muthaiga suburb of Nairobi, he still lives a moderate, non-extravagant lifestyle.
He loves to work with the community and is ardently involved in projects to rehabilitate street families. Above all, he is actively involved in nurturing the next breed of entrepreneurs having supported the construction of the Chandaria Incubation Hub in Kenyatta University among many others.
“Zero multiplied by zero is always zero. You stay home, you don’t do anything, it is always zero the next morning. You work a little bit and it becomes one, but one multiplied by one is also one again. Until you reach two, four, eight…then the multiplication of resources starts” goes one of Manu Chandaria’s famous quotes.
Mark Zuckerberg — $72 billion
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg founded the website in his Harvard dorm room 13 years ago and has since become one of the richest people in the world. He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have committed to give away 99% of their wealth before they die.
The secret that Paul is teaching here is to draw on Christ’s power for strength in whatever circumstances we face. Whether we have plenty or we are in need, Christ never changes.
Christ has no favorite whether rich or poor, we are equal in His sight.
Are you content in your circumstances?
- Do you have great needs or are you discontented because you do not have what you WANT?
Learn to rely on God’s promises and Christ’s power to help you be content.
- If you always want more, is it time to ask the Lord to take away that desire and teach you contentment in every circumstance?
- Philippians 4:19 “And my God WILL meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
It is true that God will meet all our needs, however we must know and understand the difference between our wants and our needs. Many times, we want the good and comfortable and avoid the pain of living in need as He grows us. When we trust in Jesus Christ, our attitudes and appetites can change from WANTING everything to ACCEPTING His provision and power to live for Him.
Many Christians are caught in the lie and believe that only money brings joy and happiness. This is despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Rich people craving greater riches have been caught in an endless cycle that finally ends in ruin and destruction.
How can we keep from the love of money?
- Realize that riches do not last forever, one day they will be gone. 1Tim 6: 7 “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Vs 17 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope I wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
- Be content with what you have. 1 Tim 6:8 “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” Distinguish NEEDS and WANTS. Do not become anxious and discontented over what you merely want. Be content without having all your wants and do not be a slave to your desires. “If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need”. Warren Buffet
- Monitor what you are willing to do to get money. 1 Tim 6:9-10 “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root to all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wondered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
- Love people more than money. 1 Tim 6:11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life” Our faith must be active, training, working hard, sacrificing and doing what we know is right. Be disciplined and obedient to the word of God. Contribute to the work of God by being a co-worker with the Lord Jesus Christ. “It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits”
- Love God’s work more than money. 1 Tim 6:18-19 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” Being rich carries many responsibilities. God expects you he has entrusted you with much first to thank Him, secondly do not pride in it thirdly use your money to do good. Be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share. If you have been praying for abundance of finances, now you know the requirements. If God has already released wealth to you, now you know how to manage it.
The following saying is attributed to one of the greatest investors of the 20th century and mutual fund pioneer, Sir John Templeton:
“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counseling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who tithed than among those who didn’t.”
No matter how much money you have, there must be evidence that God controls what you do with what he has placed under your care.
Why Giving Leads to Wealth
Indeed, research has shown that giving leads to wealth. Exactly why can be difficult to prove, but I believe the following reasons play a role:
- Giving Increases Your Sense of Wealth: In the study, “I Give, Therefore I Have: Giving and Subjective Wealth” by Zoe Chance of Yale University and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, it was observed that giving away money psychologically increases the giver’s “sense of wealth”.
It makes sense that you feel wealthier when you give.
Given, majority of us aren’t satisfied with our financial situation but contributing to save lives and help the less privilege creates a sense of wealth.
- Giving Increases Your Happiness: Nothing supersedes the feeling of happiness and fulfillment that comes from giving to the less privileged.
For most of us, life is vain, and we know it; the little happiness and fulfillment derived from giving to others, no matter how little, can make a whole lot of difference in our lives.
- Giving Increases Your Productivity: A happy man is a more productive man; there’s no doubt about it.
Giving increases your happiness, leads to fulfillment and a sense of purpose, which in turn increases your productivity in day to day activities.
- Increased Happiness and Productivity Leads to Increased Income/Wealth: The increased happiness and productivity you experience then leads to increased income and wealth for you.
By taking a look at the above 4 points, we can start to make sense of why giving leads to increased wealth. Are you giving enough? Increase your wealth by giving a lot more than you currently are.
Rev. Julius Wainaina