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Treasure in the Bible

On any given day, we spend most of our waking hours working for that paycheck. Perhaps that's why 2,350 verses in the Bible deal with finances. In fact, more Bible verses refer to money than to faith, love, and baptism put together. To be good stewards of our material treasures, particularly money, we need wisdom.

Wisdom is defined as the practical application of godly knowledge. King Solomon can teach us a great deal about wisdom and about wealth. When the Lord told Solomon, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you (1 Kings 3:5), Solomon didn't ask for wealth or a long life for himself. He asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9). The book of Proverbs, written by King Solomon, gives us wise advice about material goods and their relation to spiritual treasures. How can godly wisdom change our attitude to material goods?

First, God's wisdom empowers us to manage our resources well. Proverbs 21:20 says, "The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down." Someone who lacks wisdom will quickly spend every last cent. The wise person uses self-control in their spending. Godly wisdom helps us to both steward well and replenish what we have.

Second, wisdom encourages us to prepare for the future. Solomon uses the example of the ant who stores provision for the winter (Prov. 6:6-8). We, too, are to allocate our money wisely. One way is to follow the 10-10-80 plan. I have always believed in tithing the first 10 percent, saving 10 percent when possible and living off of the remaining 80 percent.

Finally, God’s wisdom leads to abundance. Proverbs 21:5 says, "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." Some Bible versions translate "profit" as "abundance." The word abundance doesn't mean having everything we want; rather, it implies having enough to meet our essential needs with leftover to give, save, and enjoy.

Every single thing we have comes from God. Our treasure is not ours, but His. We are to trust not in our earthly possessions or the balance of our bank account, but in our heavenly Father who faithfully provides. Proverbs 11:28 sums it up well: "Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf."

BY Dr. Mark Jobe, President, Moody Bible Institute

Mark Jobe is the president of Moody Bible Institute. He has served as the lead pastor of New Life Community Church, one church that meets at 27 locations. Mark earned a diploma from Moody Bible Institute in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call (Moody Publishers) and can be heard on Straight Talk, a daily program on Moody Radio. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children.

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