Idols, Part Two

Yesterday we talked about how the Israelites began to worship what started out as a good thing but became too much of a good thing: a bronze serpent they called “Nehushtan.” We can make an idol out of anything or anyone in life. A church building can become an idol to us, when all the while it is simply a place to meet and worship our Lord—nothing more.

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A Touch of Class, Part Two

Yesterday, I mentioned my disgust with the prevailing notion in many evangelical churches that elegance and class have no place in the landscape of spirituality. But even the ancient places of worship were stunningly beautiful. The tabernacle was a veritable golden tent that had within it fabulous works of art: sewing, tapestry, woodworking, and craftsmanship. Mouths must have dropped open. Check it out for yourself in Exodus 25–40.

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A Touch of Class, Part One

It’s gone on long enough. The pigsty in the landscape has to go. If we expect the tourist traffic to increase and the visitors to return to Lake Evangelicalism, we’re gonna have to do something about the ugly ducklings. Some changes are long overdue. Somebody should’ve tarred ‘n’ feathered the very first stingy board member or strung up the whole squint-eyed, tight-fisted committee way back when.

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It’s about Time, Part One

I’m a sucker for time-management books. Some people can’t say no to a salesman at the door. Others have the hardest time passing up a free puppy . . . or driving by a garage sale without stopping. Still others find it almost impossible to withstand the urge to gamble. Not me. My weakness is books on the investment of my time. Books that tell me how to replace being busy with being effective.

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The Difference Wisdom Makes

On the day before a lottery drawing for more than $600 million, a reporter announced that 40 percent of past lottery grand-prize winners were broke within five years. I was stunned by that figure—I expected it to be higher! That’s because I have personally seen this next money-management principle in action.

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The Value of Money

You’ve probably heard the expression “Money can’t buy happiness.” Personally, I struggle with that statement because I can think of a lot of things I could buy that would make me very happy! At least for a while. That said, I can also very much affirm—based on personal experience—the absolute validity of the fifth biblical principle concerning money.

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A Difficult Choice

As we continue examining God’s money-management principles, we discover a connection between wisdom and wealth. 3. Wisdom gives wealth guidance. If you have a choice between wisdom and wealth, count on it: wisdom is much to be preferred! With wisdom, you stand a better chance of gaining more wealth, but wealth cannot buy wisdom. And should you be fortunate enough to gain wealth, wisdom will keep you out of trouble.

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Where Your Treasure Is

While studying the book of Proverbs, I discovered several principles that helped me understand money management from God’s perspective. These aren’t tax-saving tips or strategies for gaining wealth, although doing things God’s way certainly can’t hurt. The Lord is more concerned about how our handling of money affects our spiritual life and how our finances impact our relationship with Him and His people.

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Truth and Freedom

Few “grinds” in life are more nerve-racking and energy draining than those that result from financial irresponsibility. Many are the headaches and heartaches of being overextended. Great are the worries of those, for example, who continue to increase their indebtedness, spend impulsively, or loan money to others indiscriminately.

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Diligence

Ants, conies, locusts, lizards—sounds like a roll call for Noah’s ark or perhaps the cast of characters in an animated feature film. Actually, these are four creatures discussed in Proverbs 30:24–28, each illustrating a quality wise people should possess. The opening statement declares, each of these four creatures is “small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise” (v. 24).

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