Money, Possessions and Eternity

by Randy Alcorn
– Why does the Bible say so much more about money and possessions than it does
about any other thing – what did Jesus know so much about money and possessions
that he wanted us to know?
– If Christ is not Lord of our money and possessions, He is not Lord at all.
– If a widow woman came up to us and said she wanted to give her last two coins, we
would probably tell her to keep them. So many times Jesus said the opposite of what
we think when it comes to money and possessions.
– How we handle money is a measure of our spiritual life.
– Jesus sat close to the treasure box and watched as they put money in – he didn’t just
happen to be there, he sat there and watched on purpose. He is interested in what
people give and what people do with their money.
– What we do with our money is very important and will determine our influence in
– Money makes a horrible master, but it makes a good servant if used right. So if God is
our master, we use the money according to what pleases him.
– Poverty does not equal piety. Spirituality is a matter of the heart, not necessarily the
possessions one has.
– In 90% of divorces, money plays a role.
– Materialism doesn’t make us happy.
– Materialism is first and foremost a problem of the heart.
– Greed is actually idolatry, worshiping and idolizing money.
– The problem is not that God doesn’t love the rich rather the rich many times do not
love God. Why would they need God when they have money? Therefore God said
that you cannot serve him and money.
1 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– We can withstand almost anything that is thrown against us except for having too
much. 95% of people can withstand persecution, but they cannot withstand
prosperity. Prosperity kills people.
– Those that have wealth and prosperity often think they are the exception to the rule.
Therefore they fall into immoralities and many sins.
– John Wesley said that many will not preach against the love of money. More money
could have been the reason for no revival – when the people had no money there
was more revival.
– If prosperity is what represents God’s approval, than Jesus and Paul are on God’s
blacklist and Hitler and drug dealers are the apple of his eye.
– God does not promise to make us healthy or wealthy. Yes, God is a good and may
bless us financially, but he does not have to bless financially. Many times the problem
is not how much money one gets, but how much money one keeps. God gives to us
so that we can give & help others.
– The greatest treasure is Christ. Paul counted everything as loss for Christ.
– If I want my heart to be in one spot, than I need to put more money there than in other
areas. If you wish you had more of a heart for missions or a specific ministry, than
support in that area and your heart will follow it. Money leads, the heart follows.
– If I am faithful with a little, I will be faithful with much. The question is not what would I
do with $1 billion but what am I doing with that money I currently have?
– If I cannot be at entrusted with money, I cannot be trusted with eternal riches.
– Servants should know that the money is not theirs, they are just caretakers of what
has been entrusted them. And because they do not own these possessions, they are
accountable to their masters for what they do with them – one day standing before
them to give an account to their masters.
– How we handle God’s assets today has tremendous bearings on eternity.
– Unwise stewards are lazy, but wise ones are diligent; knowing, loving and respecting
their master.
– In eternity, it will not matter how many contacts we made or how much we have, but
what we did with what the master gave us.
– Have we extended the invitation again to God to be owner and Lord of all?
2 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– God is the owner of all of the money that he has given me, not just a percentage.
Money is not God and I am not God, God is God. I am his money manager and must
use all of it out he wants.
– We should be attached to the world that we are going to, not the world that we are in.
Many people will have a problem leaving what that they have.
– Pilgrims are unattached, they are travelers and not settlers. We must remember that
our home is not here but there, and so is our reward.
– The real question for the Christian is: “where is your home?”
– Old Testament Christians only started with the tithe, they did not stop with it – so why
should New Testament Christians stop there?
– New Testament guidelines for giving:
1. Start giving. It’s a sad statistic that 4 out of 10 church members give nothing.
2. Give generously. Some will call it being fanatical, but Jesus calls it love.
When the woman broke the alabaster box, even the disciples criticized, but
Jesus said wherever the Gospel is preached she will be remembered.
3. Give regularly. Many people do not give at all, but most that do give give
sporadically. Systematic giving is very Biblical. Why should we pay our house
rent early or late if we are going to be out of town, yet if we miss church we
just skip giving to God altogether.
4. Give deliberately. Find out how we can help, who we can help and what can
be done. If we give attention to more simple things, how much more attention
should we give to the things of God.
5. Give voluntarily. Paul told the Christians to give what they could for the gift
to those in Jerusalem, he wasn’t saying give here instead of to your church,
he was telling them to give in addition to what they give to their church. As
your heart is moved, give above and beyond what you normally give.
6. Give sacrificially. There are three levels of giving: according to our ability,
less than our ability, and beyond our ability. Few Christians give sacrificially.
Giving or donating something we don’t want is not giving, it’s just getting rid of
it so we can get something better. Giving sacrificially is parting with the new
and keeping the old.
7. Give excellently. Like anything else, we can learn to get better at it. We can
learn to give more, be more systematic and more frequent. We try to get
better in other areas, so why not try to make giving an area in which we get
better and strive for excellence.
8. Give cheerfully. God takes delight in those that take delight in giving. The
people of God see a need and give gladly to it.
9. Give worshipfully. Cornelius worshipped by giving. We give because God
first gave to us, His Son. Giving comes from the heart of gratefulness. It is a
reflexive response of God’s goodness to us.
3 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
10. Give proportionately. When there was a need in Corinth, each one of the
disciples gave according to what he could. It is not so much as how much
someone gives, but how much they give proportionate to what they have.
God does not only look at what we give, but what we keep.
11. Give quietly. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6 that when we give, we are to do
it privately. In Matthew 5, he told us to let our light so shine before men so
that they could see and glorify God. The point is not that others see us, but
what is our motive for giving. If our motive is just for men and not God, we are
wrong. But our giving can glorify God.
– When God gives us more, we often say it is a blessing, but it also could be a test.
– 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 teaches that he gives us so that we can be generous giving to
– God gives to us not so that we can build our kingdom on this earth rather build his
kingdom in heaven.
– God’s teaching on money is not for the rich, but for all. God did not elevate the rich
young ruler or belittle the poor widow woman who gave.
– We’re not to feel guilty that God has given to us but we are to feel responsibility
because God has given to us.
– Helping the poor has always set the Christians apart from others.
– Giving should start at your local church, the place where you are spiritually fed and to
whom you are accountable. That doesn’t mean that you should not give elsewhere,
but you should at least start your giving at your local church.
– If you wait to give until you find a perfect ministry, you never will. It is far better to give
something than withhold giving. Yes, study and find out about good places to give to,
but make sure you give.
– Our money either facilitates us to serve the Lord or it prohibits us from serving the
– Nothing wrong with being rich, but there is something wrong with wanting to be rich.
We say we wish we could be rich and Jesus says it’s hard for a rich person to be
– Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
4 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– God has made us to be conduits; our mistake is to think that the conduits should be
outlined in gold.
– We should live more simply and give more generously because we are God’s
– We forget that we are God’s deliverers… it is like FedEx forgetting that they are
supposed to be delivering the packages they carry in their truck.
– The reason to live more simply is not so that we can say no to things but so that we
can say yes to God.
– God provides excess not so that it could be stored up but so that it could be
distributed to those in need.
– John Wesley believed that when a salary increased, a Christian’s lifestyle should not
increase rather his giving should increase.
– The average American family dedicates almost 1/4 of it’s spendable income on debt.
– The Bible warns strongly against debt.
– Debt destroys many marriages, families and lives, yet so many people are prone to
continue getting into debt. It’s like a bug zapper that attracts all the bugs with the light
and then destroys them.
– The debt mentality comes from 6 key assumptions:
1. We need more than God has given us.
2. God does not know what our needs are.
3. God has failed to provide our needs, forcing us to take matters into our own
4. If God does not come through the way we think he should, we will have to
find another way.
5. If we were able to pay off today’s debts, than surely we will be able to pay off
tomorrows as well.
6. Our circumstances will not change, we will stay healthy, we will keep our job
and God will likely increase our salary.
– If God provides our needs, than he can provide everything. There’s a difference
between our needs and our desires. If we do not have what we want, maybe we do
not need it or maybe God wants us to pray to him about it.
– Debt holds back and prohibits many from giving to God and God’s work.
5 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
– Debt does not give people freedom to respond and go or do what God wants them to
go or do – go to the mission field, start a ministry, go full time in ministry, move, etc.
– Consequences of debt:
1. Debt lingers. Fun at the beginning to have that new boat, but then it just sits
2. Debt causes stress. Doctors and others will back up the truth that the more
someone is in debt, the more stress and problems he has.
3. Debt causes denial of reality. We use our card to buy a car, use the same
card to buy gas, use the same card to get insurance, all while we are trying to
build up our savings.
4. Debt leads to dishonesty. The phrase “the check is in the mail” happens far
too often.
5. Debt is addictive. Very likely someone that is in debt on one salary will be in
debt with two salaries. Debt is not an external problem but an internal
problem. Debt is not a problem of insufficient funds but insufficient self-
6. Debt is presumptuous. The Bible teaches us to live by faith, but the
borrower lives by presumption.
7. Debt deprives God from saying no or providing through another means.
There are other means to getting something: saving and waiting on God.
8. Debt is a loss of opportunity. It’s a loss of opportunities, eternal rewards,
diminishes giving and loss of helping others.
9. Debt ties up resources and makes them unavailable for the kingdom of
God. Too many people say that they would love to give more, help or be
more involved but their money is tied up in debt and other things.
– We think that we will only have to return the money that we borrow, but the fact is that
we will have to return back much more than just the money that we borrowed.
– Here is a 10-step pattern for getting out of debt:
1. Repent. Acknowledge that you’ve taken money from other places instead of
waiting on God.
2. Immediately give God the first fruits.
3. Don’t incur new debts. Operate on the principle of, “if I can afford it now than I
don’t need it”.
4. Systematically draw up a plan to get out of current debts. Seek wise counsel,
put a plan into motion, liquidate any assets you can, and begin working to get
out of debt.
5. Perform plastic surgery on your credit cards. If your cards are a temptation,
get rid of them.
6. Stop rationalizing your debt.
6 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn Book Summary by Jeffrey Bush
7. Move slowly but surely. If its necessary to go in debt for something, make
sure you get counsel and take it slowly.
8. Learn the difference between spending and saving. Just because something
says it is on sale does not mean you save anything, you’re still spending.
9. Make a list of the debts and contact your creditors. Prioritize and schedule to
pay them off. Most creditors will work with you since they get nothing when
someone goes bankrupt. Prioritize and eliminate the small loans as fast as
you can.
10. If you have done everything else, and you still cannot pay it off, consider
getting other income. Get a second job, start selling things, etc.
– Just because you can afford something does not mean that God wants you to get it.
– The only biblical debt we should have on a daily basis is a loving our brethren –
Romans 13:6
– Postponed giving is usually postponed obedience, which is disobedience.
– Retirement and savings can be wise, but we must be careful to not trust more in the
market and our own methods than in God.
– We should not pass on wealth to our children unless we have passed on wisdom to
our children.
– Teach and show generosity to your children.
– 7 out of 10 Americans die without a will – plan what will happen with your money and
possessions when you’re not here.
– We should raise up a generation of givers, not takers.
– We should teach our children about money, how to get it, the importance of it, etc.
– We should teach our children to give, save, tithe, use wisely, etc.
– Martin Luther said he had held many things in his hands and lost them all, but what
he placed in God’s hands will never be lost.
– We should decide to make that that which will be important when we die to be
important right now.
7 Money, Possessions and Etrnit by Randy Alcorn

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