Tag Archives: John Wesley

Gain, Save, Give

Having led off the week with a post on the love of money, I really feel like there is so much more that can be said regarding it, especially in light of the emphasis it has on our culture.  When briefly researching an idea for this second post, I kept finding one central quote.  As you might have noticed from time to time, I’ll include brief sermons from John Wesley and hope to include other historical figures, but for now, let’s focus on the familiar quote from Mr. Wesley’s sermon The Use of Money.  He states, “Having First, gained all you can, and Secondly, saved all you can, Then ‘give all you can.'”  To many of you Dave Ramsey fans, this might sound familiar, because his mantra is “Live like no one else, so you can give like no one else.”  Do you notice a central theme here?  The idea is to DO what we can, to honestly GAIN what we can, so we can GIVE all we can.  I think too many times we’re focused on the gain and not on the give.  Note the following excerpt from John Wesley:

But let not any man imagine that he has done anything, barely by going thus far, by “gaining and saving all he can,” if he were to stop here. All this is nothing, if a man go not forward, if he does not point all this at a farther end. Nor, indeed, can a man properly be said to save anything, if he only lays it up. You may as well throw your money into the sea, as bury it in the earth. And you may as well bury it in the earth, as in your chest, or in the Bank of England. Not to use, is effectually to throw it away. If, therefore, you would indeed “make yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness,” add the Third rule to the two preceding. Having, First, gained all you can, and, Secondly saved all you can, Then “give all you can.”

As Christians, our role is to be Christ’s faithful stewards.  Among other things this means responsibly handling the monetary gain that we have been given.  It’s not about how much we make as a dollar figure, but how we manage what we do have.  God tests our stewardship to see how we handle what He gives us.  Luke 16:10-12 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”  If we view our personal finances with that perspective, we’ll ensure that we are proper stewards of God’s blessings.

 

“One of the great dangers of having a lot of money is that you can be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give and never realize your need for God.” – C.S. Lewis

Worldly Wisdom

I Corinthians 2:14-16 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Consider the following excerpt from John Wesley.  It fits in so well with today’s world.

The men and women of learning are so well versed in controversies and reasoning that it is a small thing with them to prove that their way is right because it is broad.  They will show you that one who follows a multitude cannot do evil – only the one who will not follow them; that your way must be wrong because it is narrow and because so few people find it.  They will further demonstrate that evil is good and good is evil – that the way of holiness is the way of destruction, and the way of the world is the only way to heaven.

Yet we must contend not only with these wise ones in the broad way.  There are also many important, noble, and powerful men and women in the way that leads to destruction.  These do not apply to your understanding but to your fears.  This method seldom fails even where argument profits nothing.  For everyone has the capacity to fear whether they can reason or not.

So that everyone who has not a firm trust in God, a sure reliance both on His power and love, does naturally fear to give offense to those who have the power of the world in their hands.  It is no wonder then, if the example of these powerful people is a law to all who do not know God.

Surely even in John Wesley’s era there were those who would seek to lead Christians and non-Christians astray, but we can always rely on the Word of God as our measuring stick of truth.  Think about the verse from the Apostle Paul above, “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things.”  Test everything against the Truth using spiritual discernment.

Wide is the gate

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Those are words of Truth.  But how often do we think about that?  Can we really comprehend what that means?  Look at the many different paths that are opening up virtually over night; destructive doctrines, apostasy inside and outside the Church, international persecution of Christians, the list is ever-growing.  Consider the following excerpt from John Wesley:

Just as the gate of sin is very wide, so the way of wickedness is very broad.  It is not something which the imagination might paint, but that which may be a matter of daily melancholy experience.  Nor do you need to go around the earth to find them.

Survey any kingdom, any single country, city, or town.  How plenteous is the harvest of wickedness.  And it need not be a place that is still overspread with pagan darkness.  Look at this one, a country that professes to see the light of the glorious gospel.  This has been called a Christian land.  But alas! Who will carry the reformation of opinions into our hearts and lives?  How innumerable are our sins!  Do not the grossest abominations of every kind abound among us from day to day?  Do not sins of every sort cover the land as the waters cover the sea?  Who can count them?  Rather go and count the drops of rain or the sands on the seashore.  So wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction!  And so many who enter through it!

And how well are we warned to avoid these.  For we may otherwise be swept along by the force of so numerous examples conspiring with our own hearts to carry us away.  But by the grace of God, we accomplish the difficult and move against the press to enter the narrow way.

How easy it is to follow the crowd along the broad road.  The road signs all point to destruction, but we keep going past the exit ramps.  Thinking we can go on a little longer before we leave the road.  But what we never think about is what happens if we wreck while traveling on that road.  What happens if there are no more exit ramps?  Now is the time, today is the day, exit the road to destruction and set your path firmly on the narrow road that leads to life.

If you’re ready to take that path, click on the Knowing the Truth page at the top, or click here.

John 14:6  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”