Ordering Finances Wisely Part 9: Planning to Give, Save, & Spend

Originally posted in 2013. Read the series so far.

On “Paying Yourself First”

Perhaps the reader has heard the oft-repeated maxim, “Pay yourself first.” “Pay yourself first” simply means to save first—sometimes at a recommended rate of 10%—and use the remainder for spending. Forbes calls “pay yourself first” “the most important rule for a comfortable retirement.” Investopedia notes that “some financial professionals even go so far as to call ‘pay yourself first’ the golden rule of personal finance.”

The Word of God disabuses this maxim. Indeed we are to give to the Lord first as taught in verses such as: Read more about Ordering Finances Wisely Part 9: Planning to Give, Save, & Spend

Always for All Things

By Rev. C. H. Spurgeon

Sermon No. 1094, delivered on Lord’s-Day morning, February 2, 1873, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20.

THE position of our text in the Epistle is worthy of observation. It follows the precept with regard to sacred song in which Believers are bid to speak to themselves and one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord. If they cannot be always singing they are always to maintain the spirit of song. If they must, of necessity, desist at intervals from outward expressions of praise, they ought never to refrain from inwardly giving thanks. The Apostle, having touched upon the act of singing in public worship, here points out the essential part of it which lies not in classic music and thrilling harmonies, but in the melody of the heart. Thanksgiving is the soul of all acceptable singing. Read more about Always for All Things

A. J. Gordon’s Opinion of Spurgeon & His Ministry

(Image: Archive.org)

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

A. J. Gordon (1836-1895) was one of the pre-eminent Baptist pastors in America in his day, zealous for evangelism and missions, and a prolific author of pre-millennial sentiments. His analysis of his great English contemporary, Charles H. Spurgeon, is noteworthy.

“To have the ear of the people is a great thing, and much to be coveted by the minister of the gospel, if only it be certain that God has the minister’s ear. If it be not so, and the preacher has thousands hanging on his lips, who himself does not hang on God’s lips with the daily cry, ‘Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth,’ it may be a calamity. In other words, popularity without piety—the magnetism which draws the people, without the communion which draws daily supplies of truth and inspiration from God—is not to be envied. Read more about A. J. Gordon’s Opinion of Spurgeon & His Ministry

The Importance of Free Will and Purposeful Work for Children

I enjoy reading quotes about a variety of topics. Good quotes are condensed truth delivered in a fashion that is as amusing as it is thought-provoking. But sometimes I read a quote, which at first sounds so wise, witty, or practical, and then after a few seconds I’m like, “What?!”

I recently read a quote credited to Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, a successful businessman, investor and philanthropist, and founder of the Virgin Group, which, by the way, controls more than 400 companies. I’m all for listening to what hard-working, successful people have to say.

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

Read more about The Importance of Free Will and Purposeful Work for Children

Election Reflections

Acme Ballot Box (c.188o, The Smithsonian)

What a surprise! Few anticipated the results from the recent national election. Marti and I stayed up much later than we planned, but we found it difficult to go to bed before the results were announced. Donald Trump defied expectations and won decisively. Hillary Clinton was reportedly left in tears at her unanticipated loss.

Nearly all the opinion polls were wrong. A politically inexperienced, brash playboy businessman has become the forty-fifth president of these United States.

Who, but God Almighty knew what was in store? The main-stream media, who were undisguised in their support for Clinton, are left with pie on their faces, and a whole lot of explaining to do. Read more about Election Reflections

Gender Design & Distinctions in Position & Practice

The Biblical record is univocal in considering essential differences between man and woman.

Genesis 2:20 describes an incompleteness in creation when there was no helper (Heb. ezer) found suitable for Adam. The statement immediately following the identification of the problem begins with thevav prefixing a verb: “and so He, Yahweh Elohim, caused…” What takes place in 2:21-25 is God’s direct resolution of the identified incompleteness: the creation of woman. Gender distinction is present as part of God’s design, and the two genders complement one another. God created the woman from man (2:22-23), and because God created her she has great value to Him (bearing also the image of God, as in 1:27). The broad design is that the two genders complement each other in unity, becoming one flesh (2:24). She is, at her core, designed to be a helper to man, and by implication man is incomplete without that helper. In the overall design, men and women do not function independently. Certainly there are specific exceptions in which God has provided a gift of celibacy, if you will, for some men and women to fulfill His plans for them without the marital union (e.g., 1 Cor 7).

How does gender identity by God’s design impact men and women outside of the scope of the marital union? Read more about Gender Design & Distinctions in Position & Practice

Theology Thursday - More from Arminius on the Law & the Christian

On “Theology Thursday,” we feature short excerpts on various areas of systematic theology, from a wide variety of colorful (and drab) characters and institutions. Some are orthodox, but decidedly outside the Baptist orbit. Others are completely heretical. Regardless of heresy or orthodoxy, we hope these short readings are a stimulus for personal reflection, a challenge to theological complacency, and an impetus for apologetic zeal “to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3).

From The Works of Jacob Arminius, vol. 1, “Disputation 13 — On the Comparison of the Law and the Gospel.” Courtesy of The Wesley Center.

The Saints Under the Old Testament

But, lest any one should suppose that the Fathers who lived under the law and the Old Testament, were entirely destitute of grace, faith and eternal life; it is to be recollected that even at that period, the promise was in existence which had been made to Adam concerning “the Seed of the woman,” (Genesis 3:15,) which also concerned the seed of Abraham, to whom “the promises were made,” (Galatians 3:16,) and in whom “all the kindreds of the earth were to be blessed;” (Acts 3:25) and that these promises were received in faith by the holy fathers. Read more about Theology Thursday - More from Arminius on the Law & the Christian

The Gracious Hand of God

Dispensational Publishing House, Inc. © 2016. Used with permission.

O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. (NASB, Ps. 47:1-3)

Election Offers Unexpected Turn

Of the 17 individuals that competed in the Republican primary for the 2016 presidential nomination, Donald Trump was my 17th choice. He was dead last on my preferred list of Republican presidential hopefuls. However, my reticence toward Trump was quite different from the reasons for which most other conservative Christians disliked him.

It was not so much his potty talk or hedonistic lifestyle that bothered me. Rather, it was the fact that on virtually every issue he has, either by way of financial donations, public statements or personal writings said something different in comparison to where he claims he now stands on that same issue today.1 Read more about The Gracious Hand of God