Money Matters

How to manage your money God’s Way.

Join us at Central Church of Christ 304 Hargrove Road, Tuscaloosa for Money Matters Weekend on January 29 & 30, 2016 as Keith Kasarjian shares how can manage our money God’s way.

Keith Kasarjian has preached for more than 20 years for churches in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. He earned a B.A. from Faulkner University and an M.B.S. from Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. He is the Assistant Director of Extension Studies at Bear Valley and Director of New School Development. Keith has taught in Bear Valley extensions in several countries and has done additional mission work in many others. His writings have been published in periodicals such as Gospel Advocate and Words of Truth. Keith is also a scuba diver and a marathon runner, who also enjoys camping with his family, golf, the outdoors, fitness, and cooking.

 Friday, Jan 29

  • 6:30       Registration / Refreshments
  • 7:00        Welcome
  • 7:15        Session 1: Giving that Feels Good: When we give, we like to feel good about it, but the reason we give makes all the difference in the world.  Why do you give, what you give?
  • 8:00       Break
  • 8:15        Session 2: A Practical Plan for Generous Giving: We want to be generous, and be remembered as generous, but we don’t always know how to be so. This lesson will make the plan extremely practical 

Saturday, Jan 30

  • 9:00        Continental Breakfast
  • 9:45        Session 3: Proverbial Financial Wisdom Some of the best advice ever given on money was written by the wealthiest man of his day. We will take a look at the wisdom that will make a difference in your finances.
  • 10:30     Break
  • 10:45     Session 4: Living Within Your Means: With so much pressure on us to “keep up with the Joneses,” many are living beyond their means. We will give practical suggestion on how to spend less than we make.
  • 11:30     Fellowship
  • 12:00     Lunch
  • 1:30        Session 5: Digging out of Debt: Debt is easy to get into and hard to get out of. In this session we will demonstrate proven successful strategies for getting out of debt forever.

 

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When God Brings You Yo It

I what sound like good phrases every day. A few of them follow:

  • If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • God had to break me so I could learn to rely on Him.

As meaningful as these phrases sound they are NOT biblical. In fact, sometimes they do

HPIM4724

April 27, 2011 Central Church of Christ’s building

more harm to faith than they help. What kind of father would intentionally bring harm to his children to teach  them a lesson? What parent would beat a child to the breaking point? In our society we would call that abuse.  Well, my God is not an abusive Father.

Hebrews 12:6 speaks of God disciplining His children, but discipline is training not always in a punishing way. Contextually, the Hebrew writer is talking about our struggle with sin not hardships in life.  Any hardships that are a part of that struggle are not God’s doing in the sense that He caused them, but that they are a consequence of our misconduct. This morning I heard local radio personalities talking about their children’s struggle to get out of bed for school. One DJ said she literally pulled her child’s feet out of the bed and set them on the floor. After they asked for advice, one listener messaged that she allowed her child to suffer the consequences of sleeping in – being tardy for school a few times, being late for work, etc. When the child realized they were responsible they asked for help learning to get up.  The discipline in Hebrews 12 is the same.  Training as we learn from our mistakes.

Romans 8:28 does say that all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. But that does not say all things are good. Nor does it say that God causes all things.  What it says is that when we trust and rely on God as His child (called according to His purpose) that God will be with us through the hardships and can and will bring us good despite them and often through them. This will not always be immediate and we may not always see it, but God will be with us.

Bad, evil, disaster, disease, death, crime, and poverty happen in our lives and all around us. That is what happens in a “fallen world.” Such might be consequences of our sin, Satan’s activities and influence, or the collateral damage of others’ sin. They are not caused by God, but God can and will see His children through them in life now and in eternity.

  • Scott

 

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Life in the Last Days

Read Mark 13:1-37.  In this passage, Jesus tells his apostles that the pride and joy of God’s demon eye redpeople will again face destruction. The destruction of the temple would come while their generation still lived (Mark 13:30).

Today, many equate the events of Mark 13 to the Christ’s 2nd Coming and the events of the end of time.  But look closer.

  • This prophecy from Jesus is about the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.
  • Historically, those events took place in A.D. 70 during the time the generation Jesus spoke to, still lived.
  • This is not God’s judgment on the evil of the world, but His judgment on Judah for rejecting His will and His Messiah (Christ).
  • It would signal the ultimate dismantling of the Covenant He had with Israel through the Law of Moses and signify the ratification of a New Covenant of Love, signed by the blood of the Christ – Jesus.
Hopefully I have cleared that up for some of you. The truth is that even if this passage in Mark 13 and the corollary passage in Matthew 24 are about the destruction of Jerusalem, we are living in the last days. I do not say this because of wars and rumor or wars, but because the last days are the last age of the world – the last dispensation before Christ’s return.  Jesus came to establish His kingdom and His reign.  He accomplished His purpose and went home to the Father, awaiting the time when He will return to judge the world. Take a look at the following truths:
  1.  We live in the Kingdom of Christ now. There is no waiting for a rapture for us to be translated into His Kingdom. Paul says, Col 1:13
  2. We are reigning with Christ now. 1Pe 2:9,   Rev 1:6 ; 5:10
  3. When Christ returns again, it will be the FINAL judgment for all mankind, both good and evil. Joh 5:28-29
  4. We must live for Christ and God now. Follow the King of kings now, while we have time, 2Th 1:7-10

The real question for each of us is: Are we living in the for the King now in anticipation of our translation into heaven?

  • Scott

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Friday of Praise

The following lyrics are to one of Amy’s favorite traditional hymns. The lyrics are by Folliot S. Pierpoint written in 1864 and placed to a 1838 tune “DIX” by  Conrad Kocher. Take a moment to reflect on these words of Praise, but more importantly take time to praise God today.

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

RefrainLord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

(Refrain)

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.

(Refrain)

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

(Refrain)

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

(Refrain)

For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.

(Refrain)

For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.

(Refrain)

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.

(Refrain)

Here is a version from the Winona Rider Movie – Little Women

 

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Innocent or Guilty

In their song “Guilty” the Newsboys sing,
“If serving You’s against the law of man
If living out my faith in you is banned
Then I’ll stand right before the jury

If saying I believe is out of line
If I’m judged cause I’m gonna give my life
To show the world the love that fills me
Then I want to be Guilty”

©2015 First Company Management
Paul writes as a prisoner in Roman incarceration.  Phil 1:126-17, “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.”  Paul was found guilty.
arrested-in-handcuffs

image via: wisegeek.com/arrested-in-handcuffs

This leads me to ask you and me, “If Christianity were a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict us?”

  • Will my attendance at worship, Bible Classes, small groups, etc. prove your guilt of being a child of God?
  • Do clothes your choose to wear display your modest obedience to God’s will?
  • Are you living a life holy (separate) from the ways of the world? Does your lifestyle give your Christianity away?
  • Does the fact that you avoid ungodly behaviors give you away?
  • How about your compassion to others in the name of Christ?
  • Will your co-workers, neighbors, or classmates say your speech is favorable to the way of Christ?
  • Would an audit of my finances betray your faith?
  • Would my media viewing habits confirm your faith or be evident you are not a Christian?
  • Would your internet history be evident that you are a Christian?
  • Would my FB, Instagram, Tweets, Snapchat prove your guilt as a Christian?
Are you guilty of being a child of God? Would a court of law convict me?
I realize we all stand guilty or sin before Christ  and are in need or Grace. I know I am not perfect – yet – I press on, I look forward to Christ.  I want to be GUILTY!
-Scott

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Journey to Follow

20110926-082310.jpgAs we follow Jesus as His disciple there are some warnings from Jesus that you need to know. Mark 8:34-38:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

  • You must deny you.  This is tougher than it sounds.  This means I tell myself, “NO” when my wants, desires, plans, and life are in conflict with the will and word of God.
  • You must CRUCIFY you.  Taking up a cross is not simply carrying a burden, It is heading to your death.  You die to you so you can life for Christ (cf. Gal 2:20; Rom 6:3-6).
  • Know that there is NOthing in this world that is worth giving up the salvation of your soul (cf. 1 Joh 2:15-17).
  • Do not be ashamed of Jesus. Be willing to live in a way that seems crazy to those in the world. Do not let fear keep you from speaking Christ’s name, from praying, from shouting “Hallelujah!”, nor from giving God glory for life and salvation.

Let me offer some practical advice on how to do this.  This is what I try to put into practice.  I wish I can say that I am 100% consistent. I am not, but I am getting stronger and more consistent as I go.

  1. Start each day with a verbal commitment in prayer saying, “Today is your day, God. Today, I am living for You and doing Your will.”
  2. Look at each day’s events and decisions knowing you died to self and are living as a servant of God. Ask yourself, “Am I doing this for my glory and satisfaction or for God?” (cf. Col 3:4, 17).
  3. When faced with a choice, do only what will strengthen your relationship with God.  Avoid those things which can lead you into the world away from God. There are things that seem neutral that we do each day – like driving to work. Yet we can choose to glorify or represent God in the way we choose to do them.
  4. Give God credit for the blessings in your life as you talk with co-workers and neighbors. Do not be afraid to sincerely and audibly say, “Thank God for . . .”

What practical advice for following Jesus do you have to share?

  • Scott

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Friday is for Praise

Forever I Praise

B. Scott McCown – January 14, 2016

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Forever I praise You;

Father of Light.

For Your creation, Your love,

And all that is right.

Your blessings and grace

Salvation – my weakness despite;

The blood of Your Begotten

Cleansing me in Your sight.

Forever I praise You;

Messiah, Son of God Most High,

For the gift of Your blood,

My sin You pass by.

Your Word convicts and compels me;

To Your will I comply.

I’ll join You in Glory

In the great by and by.

Forever I praise You

Oh, Spirit Divine.

Help me my spirit,

With You to align.

Give words to my prayers when

For comfort I pine,

‘Til in heaven I rest and

At God’s table recline.

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