PREPARING FOR BOTH YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS AND ETERNITY WITH GOD

Don’t confuse knowledge with wisdom. Many times there are things we think we know but don’t. There are some things that are just not knowable. I cannot say with certainty when Christ will return to rapture the church. However, my role as a Christian is to be ready and help others to get ready also. I try to help them understand that at a certain time this will happen and at that time, it will not be possible to negotiate or make a last minute decision. Not being spiritually ready has a real negative consequence. So how do we convince those who are not ready to get ready for the rapture or life after death?

We are faced with a number of priorities. We need to prepare financially for our future and retirement if the Lord delays the rapture and He has for 2000 years.

Too often those who fail to prepare to meet Christ also fail to prepare for their financial futures. However, more people want the better things of life and are willing to do whatever to get them. They have learned there is no shortcut to excellence. They are willing to do whatever it takes to accumulate material things but give little attention to worshipping God and living according to His ways. When it is suggested that spiritual things come first, you just don’t seem to have time for making yourself financially successful and spiritually ready at the same time, according to too many.

To do both, most often requires a lifestyle change that may be painful and require sacrifice. You must have the discipline to be willing to sacrifice and have a mindset that will dictate the outcome’s first priority and that must be eternity with God. If I put God first in my life, I must realize it will not be an easy process and will require hard work with self-control. It may mean I might have to give up something I may consider of value to doing what God requires. It could mean making an investment in Bible study and prayer time. I must keep in mind, what the Bible says will be to my benefit and rewards for being a member of God’s family when I reach eternity.

Investment advisors are often asked: how much should I save, how long should I work, when should I draw Social Security and how much can I draw each year from my investments? They will ask this question: “How long do you expect to live?” A woman 65 will probably live to 86 and a man to 83. College graduates live longer than high school graduates, high earners live longer than low-wage earners, then there are health habits, family history, how long did your grandmother live and response to stress will affect your life expectancy. They need to know if you smoke, drink alcohol to excess and how much you weigh. Once they gather all of this information they suggest you plan on living to 90. This means you need to work longer, save more and withdraw as little as necessary once retired.

Research at Duke University finds that optimistic people work harder, get paid better and win more regularly at sports. They are healthier, live longer and are usually happier. When it comes to our children; a positive attitude on life matters. One study stated that unhappy children normally make 30% less when they become adults.

Do you realize how important faith, confidence and attitude are when setting spiritual or financial goals? The Bible says what a man thinks in his heart so is he. How important is faith or confidence? Do you honestly believe you can do all things through Christ that gives you strength?

Over the years, I have worked with thousands of employees. Many times I have found that many do not use common sense. I have also found that there are those who have unusual wisdom. It seems like wise people are capable of realizing the need to prepare both for now and their retirement but not all are concerned about what happens after death. I have also learned there are two kinds of wisdom. One comes from experience and knowledge and provides an added dimension in making more correct decision than incorrect ones. There is also a heavenly wisdom that comes from God via the Holy Spirit. It is apparent that those who have matured spiritually have a certain wisdom that gives them an advantage in knowing how to live life, providing for one’s family and retirement but also knowing the need to prepare adequately for life after death.

Wouldn’t the greatest security be to have all of your financial needs met and still know that when life was over you would be going to heaven? Therefore, shouldn’t we be praying for heavenly wisdom? God asked King Solomon what we wished for. The King’s reply was wisdom! As a result he was one of the wisest men to ever live and also was the richest.

However, he was not wise enough to realize that life was not all about wealth and having every desire and lust met. After many years, his wisdom allowed him to realize that his life was wasted on material things and too little was given to spiritual and godly matters.

A truly wise person will put God first yet, realize that one can do so and still become successful. The greatest deception is to believe that becoming wealthy is more important that serving God and living according to His ways.

We have seen professional athletes that have been super successful yet have put God ahead of their careers. Why can’t people become wise enough to realize that both can be done? However, our priorities must start with planning for eternity first while we are trying to fulfill our material dreams.

I have met a number of financially successful people who are tremendous examples as Christians. They were able to return a large portion of their wealth to God’s ministry. It is my personal experience to believe that both can be done and one should start first, living for God as one strives for success. I have also found that the Holy Spirit gives us an advantage in the workplace. We should all live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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