What is Your Net-Worth?

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He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know me?” says the Lord. Jeremiah 22:16 NLT

George W. Jenkins not only began his Publix grocery store incorporation during the depression, but he also set up several foundations and charities so that even after his death, in 1996, he could continue giving to the community and those less fortunate. After setting up and giving to so many charities, someone asked Jenkins what he would be worth had he not given so much away. He quickly answered, “probably nothing.” Jenkins saw his worth in what he could give instead of in what he could get. He did not figure he would be worth anything if he could not give. Unfortunately four of the “Last Five Kings of Judah” did not share that understanding. Only Josiah recognized that his worth lay in serving the Lord by serving his people. One of my favorite quotes that helps us keep a perspective on money is,

“Some people are so poor, all they have is money.”

This quote reminds us that life is not about things. Jesus says,

Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. Luke 12:15 NLT

Jesus goes on to say,

..a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:21 NLT

Life is about relationships not money and things. Another one of my favorite quotes is,

The richest person is not the one who has the most but the one who needs the least.

Several years ago my friend’s daughter was having her 12th birthday during a holiday season, and I felt bad for her almost being “forgotten” with so many other celebrations. I gave her a card and twenty dollars, which I thought was a generous gift back then. Later I found out she had taken my gift along with the rest of the money she had been given and gave it to a fund at our church to help parents with children in the hospital. Turns out my young friend did not need to be remembered with money. She did not need money at all. She needed to be a blessing to others. I reckon she too figured she would be worth nothing if she was not giving to others. So, what are you worth?

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

8: Preparing for Success-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class on February 25, 2023.

Main Theme: True success has to do with our faithfulness to God and our community.

Read in Class: Genesis 2:15, Ecclesiastes 9:10 and 2 Thessalonians 3:8-10. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: What is the significance of the fact that, even before the entrance of sin, Adam (and certainly Eve, too) was given work? How might this explain why, as stated above, those who never had to work found their situation to be a curse?

Apply: What is it about work that, ideally, should make it something that can be a blessing to us?

Share: A couple you are friends with are having a light disagreement and want your opinion. The husband wants to buy a brand new car for their 16 year old daughter. The wife thinks the daughter should work and save her own money for a car. What do you share with your friends?

Read in Class: 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 14:23, and Colossians 3:23-24. Discuss common thread of these passages.

Study: What important points can we take away from these texts about finances in the home?

Apply: Of course, no matter what they do no one has any guarantee about the direction their children will go. Why is it important for parents not to blame themselves for the wrong choices their older children might make?

Share: Your friend says that while public schools are free, there are better things for him to invest his money in at this time rather than putting his children in an Adventist school. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Genesis 39:2-5. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: Although the texts do not specifically tell us, what do you imagine Joseph had been doing that caused his master to look so favorably upon him?

Apply: What are the principles that you are following, not just in work, but in life in general? What changes might you need to make?

Share: Your friend says it seems Joseph was working with integrity even though it seemed there was no way out of his current situation. Supposed Joseph had died in prison, would his integrity still paid off? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Proverbs 3:5-8. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study and apply: : How do we apply this principle in our basic financial matters?

An overview of the biblical counsel on financial management gives us very valuable points to follow. Let’s look at seven of them.

  1. Get organized. Develop a spending plan (Prov. 27:23, 24). Many families just exist from paycheck to paycheck. Without a simple plan for earning, spending, and saving, life is much more stressful.
  2. Spend less than you earn. Determine to live within your means (Prov. 15:16). Many families in Western countries actually spend more than they earn. This is made possible only because of the availability of credit and debt. Many problems plague those who are in debt.
  3. Save a portion from every pay period (Prov. 6:6-8). We save to make larger purchases in the future and to take care of unplanned expenses, such as accidents or illness. Some savings can be used to plan for the time when because of advancing age, we are no longer able to be employed.
  4. Avoid debt like COVID-19 (Prov. 22:7). Interest is one expense you can live without. A person or a family living with debt — that is, on borrowed money — is really living today on money they expect to earn in the future. If any life changes occur, then serious financial embarrassment can result.
  5. Be a diligent worker. “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Prov. 13:4, NKJV).
  6. Be financially faithful with God (Deut. 28:1-14). No family can afford to live without God’s blessing.
  7. Remember that this earth is not our real home. Our management says a lot about where our ultimate priorities are (see Matt. 25:14-21).

Share: Can you think of someone who could use some advice from this week’s lesson? How can you share it with him or her this week?