My Time Wednesday, Jan 24 2018 

The verses to which I would like to draw your attention today can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verses 10-11:

10 Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goes.

11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.

Most of the bible scholars out there will be saying, “But what about Ecclesiastes 3?” I wanted to use those verses but it is not possible to rescind God’s plan.

It dawned on me this morning that I have spent over 20 years of my life sleeping. So one- third of my time is spent sleeping. But believe me this time has not been wasted. Dreams are incredible tools that God uses to change us. Maybe, I’ll do a blog post on “My Dreams”.

I used to spend one-third of my life working or going to school. That pretty much covers the activities listed in verse 10.

Moving on to verse 11 the first question is where did Solomon return from? It is as if he has risen above time and looked down over the earth and saw these points of wisdom. If time and chance happens to them all, then that means it happens to me. So we all have a chance, an opportunity if you will, to use our time wisely; to be swift, strong, wise, rich, skillful, but that is no guarantee of success. God places great value on us pursuing Him.

Without God’s help we will not be able to understand the meaning of our time here.

I remember when I was a young adult and my hard work studying and earning my degree finally started to return the benefits. It was time well spent. My mother said to me, “You are so lucky.”

At the time, I was so insulted! “It was hard work, not luck!,” I told my mother. But as it turns out, my mother was wiser than I and knew what Solomon knew that “time and chance” happens to us all.

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Sowing and Reaping (Natural Laws) Thursday, Jan 30 2014 

Financial Serenity is the product of sowing good seed.  It is the product of natural laws.  Natural laws can be seen in nature. Jesus teaches us through the parable of the sower that a farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  He who has ears let him hear.

Listen then to what the parable of the sower means.   When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is the seed sown along the path.  The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since he has no root he lasts only a short time.  When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.  The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.   But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it.  He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

So what does this have to do with financial serenity? Everything.

First, you reap what you sow.

Second, the farmer went out.  He didn’t expect to harvest without first planting.

Third, he had plenty of seeds so much so; he was able to scatter it everywhere.  God gives us what we need to plant.

Fourth, not all that you invest will bring a good return.  Some will fall by the wayside.

Fifth, some investments are short-term but they are still based on the same “solid” rock principals.  Know the “roots” of your investment. Who else is planting there?

Sixth, thorns represent debt that ties up your investment in paying back old creditors instead of new ventures. Be aware of the liabilities and ratios of companies you buy.  The deceitfulness of wealth is greed.  Don’t put all your seed in one spot.

Seventh, Investing in good companies means truly voting your conscience. Know the ethics of the companies you buy.  Lax ethics increase the risk of legal battles.

Reaping has natural laws too. 

First, reapers come at harvest time, not sooner.  If you cash in your retirement early part of the money goes to pay taxes and penalties.

Second, the sower reaps.

Third, the farmer must go out to reap.  Nothing is handed to you on a silver platter.

Fourth, Bundle the tares first and burn them.

Fifth, If you sleep on the job and aren’t alert you could make bad investments.

Sixth the enemy can sow weeds in your “golden wheat.”

Seventh, the smallest seed of mustard can grow to be the largest investment.

Jesus teaches us the parable of the weeds. “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while everyone was sleeping his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.  When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  The owner’s servants came and said to him, “Sir didn’t you sow good seed? Where then did the weeds come from?”

“An enemy did this,” he replied.

“The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”

“No”, he answered. “Because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest.  At that time, I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest in the garden when it is planted and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its’ branches.”

Remember Gal 6:7 “do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

            Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”.

            If you gossip about your friends you will lose their friendship. Every action has results.  What kind of seeds are you sowing? Accepting the seed God gives us to sow can represent talents. Use the talents God has given you to earn and invest wisely.  Just remember that God gives the increase.