Playing the state lottery, and frequenting casinos, have become prominent pastimes for millions of Americans. More and more people are participating, in the hope of becoming millionaires. While there have been a few exceptions and isolated cases in American history, it is really only recently that gambling has come to be considered socially acceptable. Though times have arisen when gambling became more widespread, overall public sentiment has frowned upon the practice. Gambling generally has been illegal in our society, and the word "gamble" was a slang term of reproach.
The Biblical principle of stewardship of our finances encompasses three separate points. Firstly it relates to good money management. We need to be careful not to squander the resources that God gives to us. We should learn good money management techniques, and learn not to be susceptible to impulse buying.
The description of Judas’ death is not the only problem skeptics have with Acts 1:18. Since Matthew 27:5-6 says the chief priests used the betrayal money that Judas threw on the temple floor to purchase the potter’s field, critics contend that a contradiction exists because Acts 1:18 indicates that Judas purchased the field with the blood money. Obviously, Judas could not have purchased the field because he gave the 30 pieces of silver back to the priests before hanging himself. Thus, to say that Judas bought the potter’s field is incorrect…right? Wrong!
The West Virginia pastors who accepted Jack Whittaker's tithe on his $170 million Powerball booty should be ashamed of themselves. One of them said, "That's a blessing to have that kind of backing." I don't think so.
Christ does not build his church on the backs of the poor. The engine that delivers his righteousness in the world is not driven by the desire to get rich. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not advanced by undermining civic virtue. Let the pastors take their silver and throw it back into the temple of greed.
It may seem strange that I chose this subject, but the issue is such a nagging problem with believers and ministers that I felt I should address it, however briefly.
I've often stood in the funeral home with believing church members while they selected a casket for their loved one. There is such a real pressure to spend too much money at that moment. The expense is one of the main reasons many choose to be cremated rather than buried. I can understand this dilemma.
At a Coffee Bar Bible Study, a young man who was attending tossed a $20 bill on the table between us. He said something like "I haven't been sowing anywhere lately" and that my ministry was as valid as any. Something to that effect.
"Most people give enough just to be miserable," said Jack Taylor, author and Christian conference speaker. I haven't talked with Jack for twenty years and we may well have divergent views on a number of other things, but he's dead right on this aspect of practical Christianity.
It’s perfectly fine to want and have nice things if we don’t get in over our head because of it. And it’s even better to pay cash for the nice things we need and want so we never owe anybody or any institution anything. Being in debt and owing more money than what we paid for something because of interest on loans can be detrimental to our spiritual and mental health. Some families have to work more hours just to pay off their debts. Some debts never seem to get paid off because they keep buying more stuff they don’t need.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
When an individual passes, on the federal government imposes an estate tax. This estate tax only applies to estate properties that are over one million fifty thousand dollars. The federal government is still likely to tax an estate even if all or a portion of the estate is being handed down to other family members. Instead of imposing an estate tax in this situation, there many states that impose an inheritance tax.