Week Forty-Four, 2019
FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY
By John Grant
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
Coach Tony Bennett is making headlines… good ones. He recently declined what his employer called a “substantial” raise so others could make more money, after his Virginia Cavaliers won this year’s NCAA national basketball championship. He told his players: “Promise me you will remain humble and thankful for this. Don’t let this change you. It doesn’t have to.”
Coach Tony Bennett is making news not just for what he does, but for who he is. When his team won the national title last April, Bennett told a post-game interviewer, “I do want to thank the Lord and my Savior.” He regularly prays for his players in the hope that “they’ll be able to find the truth in their lives that has really transformed my life.”
He has built his basketball program around the biblical principles of humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness. He calls them the “Five Pillars.” He posted them in Virginia’s locker room and emphasizes them in everything the team does.
It’s therefore not surprising that when the University of Virginia offered Bennett a large raise as a reward for winning the national title, the coach turned it down and redirected it to raise the salaries of his staff. “I have more than I need,” he said. “I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.”
Coach Bennett has life figured out: “If my life is just about winning championships—if it’s just about being the best—then I’m running the wrong race,” he says. “That’s empty. But if it’s about trying to be excellent and do things the right way, to honor the university that’s hired you, the athletic director you work for and the young men you’re coaching—always in the process trying to bring glory to God—then that’s the right thing.”
Jesus would agree with Coach Bennett. Our Lord taught us to “be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Here we find the folly of materialism. What we need most, our money is completely unable to buy. Trusting money not only relies on that which cannot save—it depends on that which corrupts and condemns.
By contrast, using money to glorify God and advance his kingdom turns the material into the spiritual and the temporal into the eternal.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Think about what Christ has done for me—and you. Think about what Christ did for us. That was God climbing up on the cross for us. What can we ever do to earn that? But earning it wasn’t the deal God put on the table. It was believing.
God did what He did to show us how much He loved us—just Grace, no condemnation. That was a picture of Grace we can never match by what we do. Just Grace—free for the asking. To believe in. To accept. Just believe and follow Him in His steps. Grace for me and for you.
Is He finished molding and growing us? No. But there’s no doubt about our relationship with Him.
Remember—it’s not about us. It’s all about Him, and what He did for us. It’s done! Claim it! Believe it! Pastor Scott Whitaker
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A new study indicates that people who regularly work more than ten hours a day for at least fifty days a year are at a 29 percent greater risk of stroke. The risk rises to 45 percent for those who keep such a schedule for ten years.
The American Institute of Stress notes that 77 percent of us regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Forty-eight percent of us feel our stress has increased over the last five years and say stress has a negative impact on our personal and professional lives.
In related news, the CDC reports that the youth suicide rate increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2017. Experts point to a rise in depression, drug use, stress, and access to firearms. Some studies have linked smartphone use to anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation. Jim Denison
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The underground church in Iran is the fastest-growing Christian church in the world. Even Iran’s intelligence minister agrees that Christianity is spreading in his country.
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64% of American teenagers rarely or never talk with their friends about religion according to the Pew Research Center.
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If all you ever do is seek God’s hand, you may miss His face. But if you seek His face, He will gladly open His hand.
The Bible is not a book of suggestions or a list of best practices. It is the Word of God and not alterable. Ken Whitten
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Planned Parenthood Pledges $45 Million to Pro-Abortion Candidates in 2020 Elections, a Reminder that Every Election Is a Choice Between Worldviews
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By the year 2030, 1.2 billion women will be age 50 or older.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
My desire for acceptance is one of the crosses that I carry. Each morning I have to attend a funeral. My own. I have to wake up and once again die to my desires for people’s approval. Lecrae Moore
Christians should argue, but not be argumentative. Sean McDowell
We share hope on our knees before we share it anywhere else. Pastor John Onwuchekwa
Christ’s love received must become His love extended. Pastor Andrew Evans
You can’t get good fruit from a bad tree. Frank Camidge
The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith. Billy Graham
It’s difficult to identify a moral issue today in which our culture is aligned with the word of God. From abortion to euthanasia, sexuality to marriage, racism to poverty, our society is clearly and tragically going the wrong way. Jim Denison