How do you manage wealth whether you are rich or poor? Nehemiah 5
Internal vs External threats to church health
- Greatest threat health/unity = internal, not external
- War in Heaven (Satan/demons). Jesus team (Judas). Nehemiah 5
It’s godly vs ungodly, not rich vs poor (Nehemiah 5)
- Atheistic – no concept of original sin for all; or Divine blessing for some
- Rich vs Poor = class warfare
- Poverty is solely the result of oppression/injustice
=Utopia – gov’t can reallocate wealth/power to make heaven on earth w/o God
|#1 Godly Rich
God blesses, they work hard, tithe, invest smart, and are generous (Nehemiah).
|#3 Ungodly Rich
Gain and spend sinfully (overtaxing government, charging excessive interest).
|#2 Godly Poor
Hard working, integrous, good stewards (the poor in Nehemiah).
|#4 Ungodly Poor
Do not spend wisely, tithe, or invest smartly.
Jesus #1 & #2 – 2 Cor. 8:9– “our Lord Jesus Christ…though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
- Younger generations. UR #3 or #4.. NOT #2 (work + wisdom = wealth)
- What kind of family did you grow up in?
- What kind of person are you today?
=Nehemiah 5 – #3 Ungodly Rich vs #2 Godly Poor
Love people and use money, or use money to love people (Nehemiah 5:1-5)
God’s people have interconnected lives – including financial
Context: A. Famine B. Economic crisis C. High gov’t taxes D. Inflation/Interest
-UNGODLY RICH: exorbitant interest, taking land & possessions pennies on the dollar
-GODLY POOR: starving, selling kids into slavery (debt guarantee, avoid starvation)
= terrible witness “the taunts of the nations our enemies”
= terrible worship “a great outcry of the people & of their wives against their Jewish brothers….some of our daughters have already been enslaved…”
Gal. 6:10 “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
BELIEVERS BUSINESS ADVICE
- Employer & Employee = job description, expectations, performance review, contract
- Employer – pay fair, do not gouge, take advantage of
- Employee – do your job and keep your word
Your spending reveals your soul (Nehemiah 5:6-13)
-“I was very angry”; I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials.”; “I held a great assembly against them”; “They were silent and could not find a word to say.”
-Demanded they return what they had “stolen” & agree
Ungodly Rich = 1). Repentance & 2). Restitution
Jesus Matthew 6:21 where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
- 800 Scriptures on wealth/stewardship, 25% Jesus’ teaching (parables)
- Giving = worshipping – “sacrifice” – no one in Bible comes to worship empty handed
- You love money & use people to make more money
- You love people & use money to love more people
Acts 20:35 – the Lord Jesus…said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Raise your standard of living, or giving? (Nehemiah 5:14-18)
Governor: “I was…governor in the land of Judah… twelve years”
- Income 2. Home 3. Staff 4. Budget 5. Buy land cheap knowing increase in value
“neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor…”
“The…governors…before me laid heavy burdens on the people & took from them for their daily ration 40 shekels of silver….But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. I also persevered in the work on this wall, & we acquired no land, & all my servants were gathered there for the work. Moreover, there were at my table 150 men…Now what was prepared at my expense for each day was 1 ox & 6 choice sheep & birds, & every 10 days…wine in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people. Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.”
=Worked for free. Gave all he had
-VS 2021 Biden’s & Harris’s made $2.2 million, gave $4k ($5k to own charity) = less 2%
-Last decade Bernie Sanders -1% to 3% a year
Generosity & Hospitality
2 churches – 36 mo’s volunteer, 18 mo’s volunteer & backstop
3 Ways to Live Your Life (Nehemiah 5)
1. Selfish – What’s mine is mine (ungodly rich)
- Hoarding, stingy, miser mindset
2. Stealing – What’s yours is also mine (ungodly rich and government)
- Stealing, taking, demanding exhausting entitlement
3. Stewarding – What’s mine is His (Nehemiah)
1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.