Crackerjack Greenback Prudent Advice for a Prosperous Future

November 23, 2008

Personal Finance Bible Study: Contentment (Part 3 of 12) – The Solution to the Problem

Filed under: Contentment,Personal Finance Bible Study,Personal Finance in the Bible — Paul Williams @ Crackerjack Greenback @ 4:00 am

       Last Sunday, we talked about the problem with The World’s message. Loving money and believing The World’s message keep us from serving God. Additionally, The World can offer us no eternal reward and the Stuff it tells us to buy can’t be taken with us when we’re dead.

       Today, we’re going to begin talking about the solution to the problem with The World’s message. We’ll only get through part of it now, but we’ll finish up the discussion next Sunday.

Where Does the Problem Start?

       In Mark 7:21-23, Jesus clearly tells us where the problems of greed and envy start:

       21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’

Mark 7:21-23 (NIV)

Broken Heart by CarbonNYC on Flickr       Greed and envy come from within—they’re heart problems. These aren’t the kinds of heart problems that can be fixed by taking the right kinds of medicine, getting enough exercise, or eating right. Greed and envy are reflections of our deepest motives, desires, and attitudes. Humans are inherently prone to these kinds of thoughts because Sin infects every area of our lives. The only way we can get these things out of our hearts is to let God come in and take over.

       Every first Tuesday for the past six months at my Bible study, we’ve had a guest speaker named Butch Marvin. One of Butch’s favorite sayings is that God doesn’t want your money, your good works, or anything else you think you can offer Him. God only wants your heart—because once He’s got our hearts he’ll get everything else in our lives.

Renew Your Mind!

       For God to fix our hearts and get rid of all the evil things that can come from within us, we have to fully accept Jesus and let Him live in us. That means we have to give up our lives, our hearts, our selfish ambitions—everything! We need to ask God to change our hearts and the way we think. We need to ask Him to keep us focused on His Ways instead of The World’s ways.

       2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (NLT)

       God can rid our lives of greed and envy and teach us to be content, if we’ll just ask Him to change the way we think. Only then can we truly understand the great gain that comes from contentment and begin to see God’s perfect will for our lives.

   36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
       and not toward selfish gain.

Psalm 119:32 (NIV)

Human Brain by Gaetan Lee on Flickr       We can start the process of renewing our minds and becoming new people by simply praying to God. David’s simple prayer here is a great way to start—simply asking God to keep us focused on Him and not on This World.

       Next Sunday, we’ll talk about the next step in this process: getting God’s view on our lives, money, and the things of This World.

Want to read the entire Bible study series on Contentment? Download your free copy of Contentment Is Wealth: A Bible Study on Contentment now!

2 Comments »

  1. Much to your point, the tendency of people (fallen man) is to satisfy self – greed, pride, envy. While God Himself delivers each of us by selflessness – grace, love, forgiveness. Breaking that cycle involves submission, trust, and faith…. daily.

    Comment by Joshua — November 28, 2008 @ 11:24 am

  2. Very true, Joshua. I think you’ll like the next part in this series as it looks at how God can help us break that cycle and the fact that we can’t do it without God. 🙂

    Comment by Paul Williams @ Crackerjack Greenback — November 28, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

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