Thursday, February 11, 2010

God's Investment Advice

God's Investment Advice
Feb 1, 2010
Malachi 3:10 ""Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty . . ."

Being a professional of investing and the financial markets most of my adult life, I've figured out the difference between investing my money and gambling. While I love a great investment, I loathe the idea of gambling, potentially losing all of my hard earned dough. Unfortunately, I've met countless people, even Christians, who think they are investing, when in reality it is a gamble under a different name. It's hard to predict the outcome of an investment sometimes, as there is always some inherent risk in any opportunity involving money. To reduce the risk in investing, would-be millionaires introduce all sorts of mathematical calculations and charting in an effort to take the bull by the horns. One such charting method is called a stochastic chart or stochastical indicators. It's a real fancy word and has convoluted interpretations, but in short it means a random, unpredictable method. Wow, sign me up for investment advice from the guy who uses that method!

God does not want you to be that kind of investor, someone who puts his money in, under the guise of investing, and bets on a random, unpredictable outcome. God gives clear guidance in scripture about where to put our money. He tells us to put a tithe, or a tenth of our income, into the basket at the church and to be good stewards with the rest. Now, before you sign off and close your mind to a tithing message, consider God for a moment. He is the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, the Author of our lives and salvation. If He knows how many hairs are on your head and when the end of the world will be, don't you think He might have a little bit of good investment advice? How about a sure-fire investment? Don't you think God, if He advises something, would be giving you a sure-fire method for a return on your money?

Well, in Malachi, chapter 3, God details his investment advice. He tells us to bring the whole tithe into His storehouse. Notice he said, "whole tithe." In today's terms, that actually means a complete, up-front, 10% on the gross check (research it for yourself). God did not say, "Give what you can or give what's left over after the bills." He doesn't even say, "Don't give if you're poor." He kind of orders you to give, regardless of income and bills. In the past seven years, I've reviewed thousands of tax-returns filed in the US. I've only found two people who have given God an actual 10% of their complete, upfront, gross income. It's hard to do, believe me, but I know with all my heart that is what God asks of you and me.

Listen to what God PROMISES He will do if you bring the WHOLE TITHE. "See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Wow! I have a lot of space in my life available for blessings; I can make more room. AND God even goes so far as to say, "Test Me in this." God dares you to give your whole TITHE. It is the one time in your life you are allowed to test God. He further promises to protect your money, giving you insurance on your investment, "I will prevent pests from devouring your crops..." While I will never figure out God's calculations for the return on my money or timing, He is good for it. If nothing else, give out of obedience even if you don't experience a bumper year in your crops. I know one thing for sure: you'll never be a rich man in the Kingdom of God by hoarding your tithes.

I must share this quick testimony with you. I was researching and writing this devotional on a Wednesday, before mid-day. I had received a check earlier in the week that I needed to tithe on, and the WHOLE tithe on the check came out to $80.70. I wrote a check to the church that same Wednesday night and rounded the amount up to $81 just before giving it in the evening service. I got home and was reviewing the mail that came earlier in the day and I had received a letter. The letter stated that I was owed a refund on something; the exact amount was $80.70, which they rounded up to $81!

Go ahead; test God with your tithe, your WHOLE tithe.

1. How do you calculate your tithe?
2. Are you trying to get rich by hoarding your money?
3. Investment dare: tithe a full 10% on the up-front, gross over the next six months.

Add. Scriptures for Study: Lev 27:30, Deut 12:5-6, Mal 3:6-12, Mark 4:25, Lk 6:38, Luke 12:30-32

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