Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hold on to Hope!

This year is quickly drawing to a close and a new year is upon us. The year 2009 has been a difficult year for many and there doesn't seem to be a lot of hope on the horizon. People have lost their jobs. Some have lost homes to foreclosure. Retirees have seen their retirement accounts evaporate in a few short months. Families have fallen apart. Lives have been shattered.

As believers in Jesus Christ, though, we have a hope that the world does not have. Hebrews 10:23 states, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. As Christians, we profess that we we have an awesome hope that the world doesn't have. Even though we have this hope, it's easy during difficult times to forget about that hope.

So as we enter a new year, I encourage all believers to hold on to hope. Be unswerving, unwavering, and firm in your hope. God is faithful to those who claim the name of Christ. The Lord will take care of us in our time of need.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Living with an abundance mindset

Americans are spoiled. Even the poorest among us are rich as compared to the rest of the world. We have many rights, privileges, and blessings here in the United States that the world would love to have. Many have died just trying to get here in order to participate in the opportunities that America provides.

Unfortunately, many in the U.S. (including believers) take the following 2 paths when it comes to their financial blessings:
  1. People take their material blessings for granted. They are generally content, but they don't have a clue as how to manage what they have. They think the good times are always going to be here, and they live their financial lives on the edge of disaster. They have never taken the time or energy to educate themselves on intelligent money management.
  2. People become greedy for more. Some become discontent with their current financial situation and want more and more. They hoard their money and become obsessed with making more of it. They can also waste it on a bunch of stuff they don't really need in order to impress people they don't even really like.
Is there a proper response to God's material blessings? What is the proper abundance mindset? For believers in Jesus Christ, God's Word gives us clear direction that we should:
  1. be thankful. give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
  2. be content. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have... (Hebrews 13:5a).
  3. be faithful. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).
  4. give back. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity (2 Corinthians 8:2).
  5. share. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).
  6. do good works. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).
  7. love others. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
  8. be joyful. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy (Acts 14:17).
  9. save. he who gathers money little by little makes it grow (Proverbs 13:11b).
  10. gain financial wisdom. Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom? (Proverbs 17:16).
Christians, let me ask you a question. During this Christmas season and the abundance that we enjoy, do you have the proper response to the Lord's material blessing in your life?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mega Christmas Giveaway Winner| Amazon Kindle!

I am pleased to announce the winner of my Mega Christmas Giveaway:

Lynnae McCoy! (@Lynnae on Twitter)

Lynnae is a Christian Finance blogger as well. Check out her blog at Being

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Living in the moment is over-rated

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to be channel surfing on the TV, and I ran across the tail end of a popular talk-show. The host made a comment that went something like ", that's living in the moment." While I'm not exactly sure of the context in which the statement was made, I would say that "living in the moment" is not always such a great thing or even the best thing.

Living in the moment can be a positive force in your life if it causes you to slow down and savor the time that you have. Time that you have with your family. Time to unwind and relax. Time to just enjoy life in general.

Too often, though, people make extremely poor choices when living in the moment. They allow a fleeting desire to capture their attention. They dwell on that desire, savoring it all in the name of "living in the moment." The desire turns into bad decision making. Money is wasted. Debt is incurred. People are scarred. Families are destroyed.

Thoughts will lead to feelings, feelings will lead to decisions, and decisions will lead to consequences. Those who would live in the moment, would do well to think outside the moment, and project the future consequences upon any decision made in the moment.

Living in the moment must be tempered by truth. God's Word must be the absolute truth in the life of a believer. Every decision made in the moment must be filtered through the Word.

...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5b)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is having ambition good or bad?

Ambition is an interesting virtue. Depending on the object of the ambition, it can take on either a negative or positive connotation.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines ambition as:
  1. a: an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power b: desire to achieve a particular end
  2. the object of ambition [example: her ambition is to start her own business]
  3. a desire for activity or exertion [example: felt sick and had no ambition]
We can judge many of our leaders, both past and present, through this first definition. Has their ambition been a desire for fame and power, or rather an ambition geared toward accomplishing a greater end? The first desire is a selfish one and not one born out of righteousness. The second desire for ambition is healthy if it is rooted in accomplishing some great task.

In Romans 15:20 the Apostle Paul wrote, It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation.

Paul was an extremely ambitious Christian. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, he had extreme goals to accomplish for the cause of Christ. He took on a position of leadership within the universal Christian church, not out of selfish ambition, but for the greater good of the church. He felt uniquely called of God to take on this mantle of leadership.

As you lead others, whether it be at home, on the job, at your church, or in your own unique ministry calling, always monitor your personal ambition. Is it selfish or righteous? Has it been birthed out of sin and the flesh or out of a desire to fulfill God's will for your life?

But even if everyone's motives aren't always pure and righteous, just take the view of Paul as seen in Philippians 1:15-18, It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rich Christian Blog is now available on Kindle

I have just a quick, simple post today.

For those of you who already own the Amazon Kindle, my Blog is now available for subscription. You can simply download the regular posts to your Kindle for portable reading. Check out the Rich Christian, Poor Christian Kindle page here.

If you're interested in winning a Kindle in my Mega Christmas Giveaway, there are 11 days remaining. Click here to enter.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mega Christmas Giveaway | Amazon Kindle!

For the final 16 Days leading up to Christmas, I am running a Mega Christmas Giveaway by giving away to one blessed winner an Amazon Kindle!

Enter to win by doing these 3 steps:

1. Become an ACTIVE email subscriber to my Feedburner email list. Anytime I put a new post on the blog, you will receive a copy of the post in your inbox. Simply insert your email address in the form in the upper right hand corner of my blog page and follow the steps to become an active subscriber. This giveaway is open to both new subscribers and current active subscribers that also complete the next two steps. 

2. Tell others about the Giveaway through social networking:

Retweet the following on Twitter :

RT @RichChristian Mega Christmas Giveaway of an Amazon Kindle. Follow this link to find out how:

Note: It's very important to be sure to add the @RichChristian so I can see who is actually retweeting me!


Friend Request me on Facebook - see my profile here. THEN, send out a status update with the following script:

My newest Facebook friend is doing a Mega Christmas Giveaway of an Amazon Kindle. Follow this link to find out how:

3. And finally, send me an email at from the email account that you signed up via Feedburner. In your email, give me your Name, Twitter account name, and/or Facebook name so that I can double check that you have followed all the steps!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holy Spirit direction in your Big Idea | The Process

The process of finding out God's Big Idea for your life can be a challenge. We know in what areas we have been gifted. We know what areas interest us. We combine our passions with ministry. We sense a calling from God to head into a particular direction. We make plans and proceed down a certain path. We have now taken ownership of this direction in our life. We don't want to give up, no matter what!

Then, something stops us from producing any momentum. We get stuck. We think we made a mistake. Everything and everyone is against us making any headway. We start to second guess our decision-making process. Unfortunately, though, we have taken ownership on our plan, and we stubbornly stick with the plan until the bitter end.

I wonder if the Apostle Paul felt this way at all? In Acts 16:6-10, we see that Paul and his traveling companions had apparently made plans to enter the Roman province of Asia, but God's Word states that the Holy Spirit stopped them. Then, they tried to enter the province of Bithynia. Again, the Holy Spirit stopped them from heading in that direction.

Finally, one night, Paul has a vision of a man from the province of Macedonia, calling out to him for help. Conclusion: God was calling Paul and his companions to preach the gospel in Macedonia. They answered the call. They dropped all of their current plans and immediately headed for the province of Macedonia. They were obedient to the Holy Spirit's direction in their lives.

It's OK to make plans and goals as you attempt to accomplish what God has called you to do. Nowhere in this passage do we see Paul condemned for making plans and goals for this missionary trip. What we do see, however, is the Holy Spirit stepping in to redirect Paul's plans to accomplish His purposes in Paul's life. Paul was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and always obedient to God's direction in his life. Paul was not stubbornly fixed on his goals or his own plans.

As you work through the process of accomplishing God's Big Idea for your life, always be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Each step is a process. Don't get married to your own plans or desires. He might have something bigger and better that He wants to accomplish through you. Be obedient to what you have discerned to be the right direction at each point in the journey.

Friday, December 4, 2009

9 Thoughts on Building a Great Reputation

Reputation = what someone is known for [Source: Wiktionary].

During the Apostle Paul's second missionary journey, he revisited the Roman colony of Lystra. While he was there, he met a young disciple named Timothy. God's Word states that all the believers spoke very well of Timothy. Timothy had an excellent reputation (Acts 16:1-3). In fact, his reputation among the believers was so excellent, that Paul determined to develop a mentoring relationship with this young man and to take Timothy with him as he continued on his journey.

I don't know about you, but my reputation is extremely important to me. When believers and unbelievers speak about me, I want them to say that I am an honest, trustworthy individual who loves God and serves Him faithfully. I have gained the trust and confidence of others because I am a man of integrity who will always do the right thing, no matter what. Am I perfect? Of course not. Do I have issues? Everybody has issues. Do I make mistakes? Plenty, but my desire is to do right and please God.

An excellent reputation can sometimes take an entire lifetime to build with those around you, but it can easily be destroyed by one major, incredibly foolish action. In the Christian world, just remember people such as Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, and Ted Haggard. They have all blown their reputations with bad choices, decisions, and actions. One night of sinful pleasure can lead to a lifetime of misery and rejection.

How Can You Build An Excellent Reputation?
  1. Be real with people.
  2. Be a person after God's own heart.
  3. Let your personal worship line up with your public, corporate worship. Christianity isn't a one day of the week experience. We have to live out our faith, daily.
  4. Pursue purity. Flee from sin. If you have specific struggles in the flesh, always consider the long-term consequences of giving in to your fleshly desires.
  5. Do what you say you're going to do. Be a person of integrity. Be honest.
  6. Engage with people. Love them for who they are, not what you can get out of them.
  7. Do excellent work. Don't be a "halfway" kind of person.
  8. Be an awesome listener.
  9. Give of yourself to others - time, talents, and money. Don't be so selfish.
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1, NIV).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

God's Chosen Instrument | Your Big Idea

The Apostle Paul was an apostle that was "abnormally born" (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Until Paul's conversion, all of the apostles were selected based on one criteria: they had to have been a part of Jesus' entire three year earthly ministry (Acts 1:21-22). Apparently, though, the Lord had a different qualification. He must have seen something special about Saul (Paul). He saw a passion, a spiritual zeal for accomplishing something great for God. The Lord saw an individual with the right training, the right knowledge, a Jew, and a Roman citizen, who could carry the gospel message across the entire Roman world.

But Saul didn't understand the story of Christ. He was too immersed into the sect of the Pharisees to get it. The Lord had to make a special appearance after His ascension to get Saul's complete attention and devotion.

You remember the story: as Saul walked along the road to Damascus in order to persecute believers in that city, the Lord appeared to him in order to give him a special assignment. During his personal encounter with Christ, Saul had been blinded, and he was led into the city to await further instructions. The Lord then sent a believer named Ananias to deliver Saul's marching orders for the remainder of his life.

The Lord told Ananias that Saul was God's chosen instrument to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, government authorities, and also the people of Israel (Acts 9:15-16, NIV). Right from the start of his conversion, Saul knew exactly what God's Big Idea was for his life. Saul had direct revelation from the Lord regarding what He wanted him to accomplish during his time here on earth.

Unfortunately with the close of the New Testament canon, we no longer have direct revelation regarding His specific will for every believer. We must discern His will for our lives through the study of the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, other believers, and the talents and abilities God has equipped us with.

Discerning His will takes time. It takes time in the Word, in prayer, in meditation, and talking to older, wiser believers who can help you in your quest. Perhaps a spiritual retreat is in order for you to understand His will for your life. Sometimes, we understand His full plan for our lives. Most of the time, though, we understand His will a piece at a time. The important thing to remember as each piece is revealed to us is that we must be obedient at each step of the process.

I have 3 questions for you today:
  1. Do you know God's will for your life right now?
  2. If you are unsure, what do you need to do in order to discover it?
  3. If you do know His will, are you being obedient in the knowledge you currently have?