Saturday, 23rd May 2020

Proverbs 23: 4-5

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Tim 6:10

Our Lord also reminded us “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  (Matt. 6: 19-21, 24).

In 1923 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago.

Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the United States Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples.
Twenty-seven years later, let’s see what happened to them.

(1) CHARLES SCHWAH – The president of the largest independent steel company – lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life, and died penniless.
(2) ARTHUR CUTTEN – the greatest wheat speculator – died abroad insolvent.
(3) RICHARD WHITNEY – president of the New York Stock Exchange – was released some time ago from Sing Sing Prison.
(4)ALBERT FALL – the member of the President’s Cabinet – was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.
(5)JESSE LIVERMORE – the greatest bear in Wall Street – committed suicide.
(6)LEON FRASER – the president of the Bank of International Settlement – committed suicide.
(7)IVAR KRUEGER – the head of the world’s greatest monopoly – committed suicide.

All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live. Indeed all their riches have sprouted wings and flew off to the sky like eagles and they all died penniless like Job said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.” Job 1:20.

King Solomon, the richest man of his time and the wisest who ever lived said in Eccl. 5:10 “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”  The word “serve” in Matt. 6: 24 translates “to be a slave to, literally or figuratively, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Money has the power to rule our lives and make slaves of us – it will work us till we die! Remember the parable of the Sower?  Jesus said the seeds, that’s the Word of God sown “among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of his life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful” (Matt 1:2).  Money is so deceitful. It all started out with us as the Master. We say to ourselves:  we will make some money so we can make our money work for us. After a while, we have our fingers in so many pies, along with so many commitments, we end up working for money. Money is now our Master. We don’t own money anymore, money owns us!!  Albert Schweitzer said, “If you have something you can’t live without, you don’t own it, it owns you.”

Paul is warning about idleness says “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thess 3:10)  He also says we need to provide for our relatives and especially our immediate family, otherwise, we are worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim 5:8).  So as Christians we all of the need to work hard to provide for our family and even our relatives and however may need our help. It’s more blessed to give than to receive. But we must not wear ourselves out just to get rich. Remembering the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people are willing to do anything for the sake of money. Let that not be us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thanks for reminding us about not being slaves and lovers of money. Keep us all safe and healthy so we can provide our family and whoever we can help and bless. We want to remember those who will be affected financially by Covid-19, the loss of job and income. You are our Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides and we now look to You for your blessing and guidance so we may continue to love and serve you the rest of our lives. In Jesus Name we pray all these. AMEN.

xxx

每日灵粮
23/05/20
作者:宋国基牧师

箴言 23:4-5 不要劳碌求富,休仗自己的聪明 。你岂要定睛在虚无的钱财上麽? 因钱财 必长翅膀,如鹰向天飞 去 。
 
提前 6:10 贪财是万恶之根。有人贪恋钱财 ,就被引诱离了真道,用许多愁苦把自己刺透了。
 
我们的主也提醒我们:“不要为自己积攒财宝在地上;地上有虫子咬,能朽坏,也有贼挖窟窿来偷。只要积攒财宝在天上;天上没有虫子咬,不能朽 坏,也没有贼挖窟窿来偷。因为你的财宝在那里,你的心也在那里。

“一个人不能事奉两个主;不是恶这个,爱那个,就是重这个,轻那个。你们不能又事奉神,又事奉玛门(玛门:财利的意思)“(太6:9-12;24)
 
1923年,一群世界上最成功的金融家在芝加哥的埃奇沃特海滩酒店会面。这些富豪共同控制着比美国国库更多的财富。多年来,报纸和杂志也一直印刷他们的成功故事,并督促国家的年轻人效法他们的榜样。
 
27年后,他们的情况又如何?
(1) 查尔斯施瓦(CHARLES  SCHWAH) – 最大的独立钢铁公司的总裁: 在他生命的最后五年靠借贷为生,囊空如洗地离世。
(2) 亚瑟卡滕(ARTHUR CUTTEN) – 最伟大的麦子投机者: 在国外破产去世。
(3) 里查德惠特尼(RICHARD WHITNEY) – 纽约证券交易所总裁: 前一阵子从纽约新新监狱获释。
(4) 阿尔伯特法尔(ALBERT FALL)- 总统内阁成员: 从监狱被赦免,以便他可以在家中离世。
(5) 杰西利弗莫尔(JESSE  LIVERMORE)–华尔街最伟大的交易家(大熊):自杀身亡。
(6) 莱昂弗雷泽(LEON FRASER) – 国际清算银行行长: 自杀身亡。
(7) 伊瓦尔克鲁格(IVAR KRUEGER)-  全球最大专卖企业的负责人: 自杀身亡。

这些人都学会了如何赚钱,但没有一个人学会了如何生活。确实他们所有的财富都如鹰腾空而飞升,可他们也全都囊空如洗而亡,就像约伯所说:“我赤身出於母胎,也必赤身归回”(约伯记1:21)

所罗门王是他那个时代的首富,更是有史以来最有智慧的人,在传道书5:10说“贪爱银子的,不因得银子知足;贪爱财富的,也不因得利益知足。” 马太福音书中6:24 “事 奉”一词译为“成为奴隶,不管是自愿或非自愿。” 金钱有威力统治我们的生命并让我们成为它的奴隶。它驱使我们一直工作直到我们死亡!还记得撒种者的比喻吗?耶稣说过种子就是上帝的道被散播“在荆棘中是听到这道的人被他一生的忧虑和钱财的迷惑把道挤住了,使它不能结果实”(太13:22)。

钱财使人迷惑。一切都以我们是主人开始。我们对自己说:我们来赚一些钱,让钱为我们工作。过了一阵子,我们染指多项领域,附加多项承诺,我们最终为了钱而工作。金钱也成为了我们的主人。我们不再拥有金钱,金钱拥有我们!阿尔贝特施韦泽(Albert Schweitzer)说:“如果你拥有你生命中没有了就不能活的东西,那么不是你拥有它,而是它拥有你。”

保罗在警告懒惰的人时说:“若有人不肯做工,就不可吃饭。” (帖撒罗尼迦后书3:10)。他也说我们需要为亲属,尤其是我们的直系亲属提供他们所需,否则我们会比不信的更不好。 (提前5:8)。因此,作为基督徒,我们所有人都需要努力工作来为我们的家庭提供所需,也竭尽帮助我们的亲属。施比受更为有福。但是我们决不应该为了致富而疲于奔命。记住贪财是万恶之根。有些人为了钱愿意做任何事情。让那不是我们。
 
祷告:亲爱的主,感谢祢提醒我们不要成为金钱的奴隶和爱人。保守我们的安全和健康,这样我们就可以为我们的家人提供所需,也可以帮助和祝福那些有需要的人。我们要记住那些受新冠状病毒肺炎影响而失去工作和收入,财务受影响的人。祢是我们的耶和华以勒,是供应我们的上帝,我们仰望祢向祢寻求祝福和指引,以便我们一生都能爱祢事奉祢。我们奉耶稣的名祈祷这一切。阿们

方美珠译

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