Thursday, July 27, 2006

Interesting Principles

God began to show me that His Word alone is our standard of judgement; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, He is the teacher of the people."~George Muller

Muller had the opinion that to lay up stores or hoard money was inconsistent with a life of faith. Lest God send then to their hoardings before answering their prayers. A life of trust forbids laying up treasures for unforeseen needs, since with God "No emergency is unforeseen and no want unprovided for."~Muller

This is from a biography on George Muller that I'm currently reading. It's actually a very good read, and is full of encouragement for those who are desiring to live by faith! I'm only just starting the fifth chapter and already I am being strengthened in the faith department. I plan on writing a more thorough book report when I'm finished the book, but for now I just thought that those were some interesting quotes that I thought I'd share!

7 comments:

Yogger said...

John,

If what Muller says (or what you say he is saying) is true, then we should all just shut down our bank accounts right now. Give everything we have in our savings to God.

There would be no need to save up for school, or a house, or vacation, or to do missions work overseas. I do not agree completely with "A life of trust FORBIDS laying up treasures for unforseen needs."

Job obviously had a lot of earthly treasures stored up, yet God called Him righteous. We cross the line when we begin to PLACE OUR TRUST in these treasures, not have them. There is a fundamental difference there. You cannot forbid earthly treasures to some when God obviously has bestowed them upon them.

This is very important to realize. This form of theology appears to be a strand of legalism... "You cannot have a savings account." Once again, it is if WE PLACE OUR TRUST in this that matters.

My thoughts for you.

gospeloflove said...

Good points Kyle, my fault really as I didn't want to write the whole chapter down and so I tried to sum it up with these points alone. He was referring to saving up for the future. His point is that we should be using the money the Lord has given us for the purposes the Lord has laid on our hearts. Istead of saving for the uncertain future and denying the cross of Jesus, knowing that God can supply the needs of the Day/month/year! Using His provision for the current needy rather than your personal future anticipations and fears.

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

If then we neglect the good we can do today because we are saving for an uncertain tomorrow, of what gain is that then to the brethern or ourselves. No emergency is unforeseen with God and no want unprovided for. You are right that Job was blessed, but He did not look to His treasures as his salvation but to God and that was why he was righteous by faith!

You say that it is not wrong to hoard wealth? Christ said to the rich man who had observed the rest of the law to go and sell all that he had and to give to the poor and follow Christ. Because we should be storing up treasures on earth and not in heaven. I'm not saying to be lazy and so not earn. I'm saying to be loving and think of others above ourselves! God will certainly provide for our needs.
When you said "There would be no need to save up for school, or a house, or vacation, or to do missions work overseas." You say that without thought, and without scriptural backing! I shall say more to you but not here as to not seem offensive and attacking. I'm sure we'll have a good talk about this soon.

John

Bambi's father said...

a little off topic but...

I am a deer
I see the forest and meadow as I roam around
I hear the songs of the birds, the tree leaves dancing in the wind,
I am a deer

I am a deer,
I feel the wind fly around me as I run in my herd,
I touch the sky as I fly over a rushing stream,
I am a deer

I am a deer,
I want to live life like this forever in my herd,
I smell the flowers and the other sweet scents in the air,
I am a deer

I am a deer,
I hurt when I am lost or away from my friends,
I need to find some food in winters cold winds,
I am a deer

Yogger said...

Aye, you are making my words say something they are not. I never said anything about "hoarding". This is not saving. Giving is part of saving too... we give to those in need out of the bounty God has entrusted us with.

As for your comment about the rich man: if you take this to be a literal "you must go and sell everything" then you need to take everything that Jesus said in this context... we cannot pick and choose which passages we want to interpret to suit our fancy... or even heartfelt conviction. Not saying that you are trying to do this of course.

If this is true, as the cash flow comes in it should then flow out immediately (fairly soon) so as not to be storing ANYTHING at all. To what length do we go? Does God want all His Disciples to be wanderers? For if this is true, we cannot own a house because the equity or mortgage we are involved in could be used to sell and give to the poor (Judas Iscariot had this mindset).

Again, this goes back to the trust in treasures and what would happen if "the Lord takes away", or asks us to give it away. I don't think we can honestly base our decision on finances on one account of Jesus asking a rich man to give up everything. Jesus looks at the heart of each man, and this man sadly was not willing to part with his treasures... are we? Is our heart a kingdom heart? Are we the type of disciple that is willing to give up everything? This is the question behind it all, not "do we give up everything?", but perhaps "are we controlled by materials; goverened by materialism?"

I think in relation to this that God does want us to save... to be good stewards of what He has given us, but not to the expense of other's needs (as you aptly pointed out) or in obedience to His Voice telling us otherwise.

If you read the Proverbs they are full of wisdom regarding this.

The reason I am so vehement with this topic is because it has a danger of bordering severe legalism, spiritual manipulation, and guilt.

In the end, God may call us to give up everything, and I'm not trying to say He won't... He very well may ask everything material of us... then the obedience comes out.

We will talk later about this... but I just had to respond.

gospeloflove said...

Are we not to give up our very lives? Not because of severe legalism, spiritual manipulation, and guilt, as that would be useless, but as He builds love into our hearts truly we can achieve such a life though faith and grace. You are right that it is not "law" that we should live such a life at all, nor will you find such a commandment in the O.T., but that is why we who are living according to the Spirit no longer under the law, but under grace through faith, and as such we can live a life devoted to faith and love, not “law”. For the law still exists, but faith fulfills it and love covers a multitude of sins. My point is that God is more than able to call us all to give up everything even our very lives for Him and indeed He has, not that we are under such a law but that we use the gifts He has given us according to the faith He has given us! And for those of us with much, much will be required(now I am talking about faith). Of course such a life is to be lived in faith and not all are able until they are willing to “give up to grow up.” We are called to give with a glad heart and not out of compulsion or that would defeat the point. Anyway what I'm saying is that a life lived by faith is to be for others first(following Christ's example)and not ourselves. It's true that not everything in scripture is God's general will for every believer, but I believe that as far as we are able (By Faith) we should use our riches for Gods kingdom not our own! When Muller said what he said he was referring to "hoarding" for self and such a life is not lived according to the Spirit, but according to flesh(yet again if we observe the story ofAnanias and Sapphira we can see this) Live by faith and His Spirit and you will observe the law without even thinking about it! But remember the parable of the shrewd servant, to use the things God has given for the sake of building relationships that will last forever and not just temporal selfishness! I'll try to expound these in an e-mail or something...

John

Anonymous said...

Judas Iscariot's mindset wasn't for the poor but for himself! He was a robber and hid behind devious "intentions" You seem to jump to the extreme to make your argument(or perhaps I misunderstand) at any rate I agree with gospeloflove that to give is better than receive, and that to give all you have "may" be better still(but then how do we know unless we try it). Sometimes it's better to live by faith than commonsense!(note I said sometimes, as I don't want to be a "legalist!")

I think in the rich mans case he could literaly follow Jesus whereas we can only follow His teachings. But... if we sold our house for the sake of others... could not our Father still provide for us(remember He has more ravens than fed elijah)(and remember the old widows example who gave all she had in those two coins knowing God would take care of her) I don't think it's wrong to give what we get and He promised that if we give, it will be given to us. But in the end... Let all that you do be done out of love...(not legalism,pride,anger,etc.) and if we abide in His word even mountains will move in His name. He is what is important, and if giving to others in His name means to give to Jesus, then let us all give gladly our very lives freely just as He did!(again not law I said freely) It's like that old hymn...Freely Freely! yup, that's a gooder!

gospeloflove said...

Thanks Anonymous...you sound like this guy I know...o.k kyle you found me out it was me all along. anyway I would also like to point this out Kyle. quote:A life of trust forbids laying up treasures for unforeseen needs, since with God "No emergency is unforeseen and no want unprovided for."~Muller

This is saying unforseen needs not unforeseen gifts. It's not saying we can not save money or goods for the good of the "body" on this earth or else Muller could not have taken care of the many orphans God put in his care. It is saying that a life of faith forbids looking to yourself first. Saving money or owning property isn't what this quote was about. (but then how can you see my meaning with out seeing the whole coin in my head, both sides at once.) Anyway hows preparations for the trip over the oceans going?