During the month of February, McDonald’s put on a “free coffee” promotion. Since I always start the day off with a little hot caffeine and since I am not all that picky about my coffee, I usually took advantage once or twice a week during the last month. Two bucks for a sandwich, hash brown and small coffee -no cream, no sugar- was too good a deal to pass up.
The beatitudes are statements by Christ that provide the guide or example of how those of us who are a part of God’s kingdom should order our lives. The most famous passage on the beatitudes is found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. This is the list that includes “blessed are the meek”, “blessed are they that mourn”, etc. In Luke chapter six, we find a similar list recounted by the author. It is certain that Christ spoke these principles on a regular basis throughout his ministry in order to clearly illustrate how a follower of Christ should behave.
This is another post in the series of articles that I am writing about how the Gospel of Luke deals with the subject of money. The book of Luke was written as a letter from one rich man – the physician, Luke – to another rich man by the name of Theophilus. You can read the first post in the series here.
Last time we discussed the idea of the Christian ethic in all of our dealings, but especially seen in how we handle finances at work and in our household. As we continue reading through the Gospel, we come to the temptation of Christ by Satan. The account is found in Luke 4:1-13:
A friend of mine recently told me a story about a Christian organization where an administrator was confronted about a particular business decision that some thought was not “good business practice”. Stunningly, the administrator responded, “Well, sometimes we here at ———-, do not do things like the rest of the world.”
Last Monday, I announced a new series of articles dealing with the subject of money in the Gospel of Luke. Keep in mind that the book of Luke was a letter written to a rich man by a rich man. Some commentators have said that a major theme of the book of Luke is to expose wealth as an enemy of faith. I know that Luke often mentions money and this is a blog about money, but it is important to note that the book of Luke is not about finance. The book of Luke was written to present Jesus Christ, as God-in-the-Flesh, the Savior of those who believe in Him. My posts in this series are not meant to detract from that truth, but to simply note the times that the subject of finance is mentioned in the book of Luke and how it might relate to our (the GLBL community) development of a biblical view of money.
Yesterday, our speaker in church chose a text from the book of Luke. Luke is one of the first four books of the New Testament known as the Synoptic Gospels or simply, the Gospels. They are historical narratives that focus on the deeds and sayings of Jesus Christ while on earth.
The thing that struck me during the message was the number of times that the subject of money came up during Christ’s earthly ministry and especially how often Luke includes monetary descriptions in his writing. I spent a large part of my evening reading through portions of the book and noting the occurrence of words like “rich”, “wealth” and “poor”. Luke often recounts exact amounts of money such as in the story of the widow’s mite or the value of the perfume used to anoint the feet of Christ.
Last week, we gave some tips for shopping on Craigslist. Today, I would like to talk about the other side of the bargain – selling.
I grew up in a pretty conservative Christian environment where all gambling was off-limits, no if’s, and’s or but’s. Any sort of gambling was on “the list” of activities in which no believer would ever participate. In fact, I remember listening to my pastor explain that even playing a game with a traditional card deck was off limits for any good Christian. As a result, I grew up playing a lot of different card games that did not use the traditional 52 card deck. Games like Rook, Phase 10, Uno, Old Maid were okay, but not poker games like Texas Hold’em, BlackJack, Omaha, etc. A casino was a business to be boycotted and protested.
Our church has been studying the book of Revelation over the past couple of months. We have been spending time looking at the early part of the book where Christ addresses several churches that were contemporary with the writing of Revelations. There are seven churches mentioned and each is commended or criticized or both according to how well they were following Christ in truth. Many of you know that there are divergent views on how to interpret and apply the letters to the churches. I believe that the problems faced by the first century congregations and the solutions to those problems are issues that are alive and well in our own churches two thousand years later. A believer must be always vigilant to hold up his own congregation in comparison to the early church, and when found wanting, to address the problem.
I remarked to my wife the other day that if we have no major, unexpected financial calamities this year, our financial situation might be back to where it was in 2002-2003. That is, back before we had our second and third child, before we went down to a single income, before I learned to budget, before we moved and before we took sixteen months to sell our home in another state. In financial terms, back to a below average debt-to-income ratio, back to being in possession of an emergency fund and back to being able to again contribute to our retirement savings. I do not want to count our chickens before they hatch and I probably just jinxed our prospects, but being almost back to even is a nice feeling.