Finances By The Book - Discipleship Course
Chapter 4
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Key Scripture: And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. -- Ephesians 1:9

For centuries man has searched for the secret to financial prosperity. Even today the quest continues with help from a myriad of financial wizards plotting your pathway to easy street. Of course their methods often backfire, and the formula remains as elusive as the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Yet, the laws governing prosperity have been revealed. God has created a spiritual kingdom that surrounds and influences our physical world. This kingdom operates by laws in the same way that the physical world operates by laws. It is God’s invisible world controlling our visible world.

Pat Robertson, the President of The Christian Broadcasting Network, outlined these laws in a book called The Secret Kingdom (Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, 1982). In it he showed how these God-ordained precepts not only have a discernible and demonstrable effect on our finite world but also undergird and influence all areas of our existence. These principles can affect the environmental, the interpersonal, the governmental, and, most definitely, the financial world we face each day.

The following is from a booklet prepared by CBN Christian Financial Planning, a ministry of The Christian Broadcasting Network, on applying these principles, or Kingdom Laws, to your finances.

1. The Law of Reciprocity (Cause and Effect). "Give, and it will be given to you" (Luke 6:38).

The above scripture contains a few simple words, yet they have been repeated in many different ways: as the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"; as a Newtonian law, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"; or as simple, down-home wisdom, "Smile and the world smiles with you."

But no matter how the principle is stated, it still has the same dynamic effect: what you do and say will be reciprocated by the world around you. And not sparingly either. Scripture says, it will be given to you in "good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over" (v. 38).

Financial Application
Creating Wealth: This principle greatly affects your ability to create wealth. If you go the extra mile in your job, you will be rewarded by your employer. If you provide excellent service to your clientele, they will reward you with a great demand for your service. They will even tell their friends, causing your good effort to come back multiplied. The more you give, the more will be returned.

This principle also applies to your tithes and offerings. God does not need them, yet he takes the matter very seriously (see Mal. 3:7-10). He promises that if you bring "the whole tithe into the storehouse," he will "open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (v. 10). God anticipates and welcomes your giving to him that he might, in turn, fill your barns with plenty and overflow your vats with new wine (see Prov. 3:9-10).

It sounds foolish, but the wisest financial move you can make when you are in financial trouble is to give money away. Give tithes and offerings to the Lord. Give time. Give work. Give love. Your return will be pressed down and running over.

2. The Law of Use (Building Money or Muscles). "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things" (Matt. 25:21).

In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the faithful slave exercised the Law of Use. He took his five talents and gained five more. He doubled his original investment and thus was given more.

This principle works in all aspects of life: from economics to education, from money to muscles. If you take the resources you have and use them, causing them to grow, then take the increase and "reinvest" it, over a period of time you will realize phenomenal, exponential growth.

Financial Application
The Eighth Wonder of the World: This law is at the root of a fundamental investment principle: compounding interest. If you take a sum of money and let it grow at compounding interest, over a period of time you will see it multiply exponentially. For example, if your employer gave you the opportunity to make ten thousand dollars per month or one penny with the promise of doubling it every day, you’d better take the penny. At the end of thirty days you would have over five million dollars!

An IRA is another good example. If you contributed a mere $2,000 per year (just under $40 per week), after twenty years, earning a 10 percent compounded rate, you would have $126,005; after thirty years it would be $361,887. Is it any wonder that Baron Rothschild, the financier, called compounding interest "the eighth wonder of the world"?

Get on the wrong side of this exponential curve, however, and the result can be devastating. Through compounding interest loans and credit-card interest, you soon find debt accumulating at an exponential rate. This has a disastrous effect as the sum total of debt snowballs to a staggering amount.

3. The Law of Perseverance (Opportunity Follows Importunity). "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matt. 7:7).

The actual Greek meaning of the above scripture is translated, "Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking." God has created the kingdom in such a way that success follows perseverance. Consistent, determined concentration and activity are keys to bringing about the desired outcome.

Jesus demonstrated this when he told of a man who pleaded with his neighbor to lend him bread for some unexpected visitors. The neighbor would not respond because the man was a friend, but "because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs" (Luke 11:8).

Financial Application
Edison’s Insight: It is more than Thomas Edison’s light bulb that sheds light on the world. His formula for success—"two percent inspiration and ninety-eight percent perspiration"—gives great insight into the Law of Perseverance.

Generating income requires this kind of perseverance. Whether it is seeking a job or advancing in a career, securing a client or maintaining a clientele, persistence is a fundamental key to success.

This law also goes hand-in-hand with the Law of Use. To achieve the compounding effect of exponential growth you must persevere in two areas: (1) add money to your savings and investment plan on a consistent basis; (2) avoid the temptation to spend the money before the real fruits of exponential growth are realized.

4. The Law of Responsibility (Noblesse Oblige). "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded" (Luke 12:48).

With every success comes a higher degree of responsibility. Those who are given understanding, ability, goods, money, authority, or fame have a responsibility that the less favored do not bear. As the favor increases, the responsibility increases.

With each rise in position there is also an expectation to help those less fortunate. A French duke, Gaston Pierre Marc, coined the phrase "noblesse oblige," or "nobility obligates." Those who have been blessed with position or stature are obligated to use their position to help their subordinates, their community, the poor and impoverished.

Financial Application
Responsibility Leads to Blessing: This law has three direct financial applications. First, you must fulfill your responsibility at your current occupational level if you would rise to a higher one. Go beyond the expectations of a laborer, and you will be promoted to foreman. Manage your outlet store in such a way that it prospers, and you will be promoted to district manager. As an owner, fulfill your responsibility to your clientele by going the extra mile, and your business will increase.

Second, act responsibly with the capital you now have. Do not wait until you win the million-dollar sweepstakes before you pay careful attention to the spending, saving, and investing of your capital. God blesses "the day of small beginnings."

Third, as you assume these greater levels of responsibility, remember those less fortunate. The Bible warns against oppressing your workers (see Isa. 58:3). The Word also says to "spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed." Then the Lord "will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail" (Isa. 58:10-11).

5. The Law of Greatness (Upside Down). "The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves" (Luke 22:26).

Jesus turned the world’s thinking upside down. The world tells you that in order to get ahead you must overcome. You must dominate and be better than the next guy. Jesus said, "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:4).

The Law of Greatness is simple: If you want to become great, be like a child and become a servant. This law asks you to embrace the three qualities that, under normal circumstances, predominate in little children: trust, teachability, and humility.

Financial Application
The Model T: In the hard-nosed give-and-take of free enterprise, it is difficult to imagine that this principle would work. Yet it usually sits at the heart of all successful business ventures.

Henry Ford is a good example. He wanted to make inexpensive, efficient transportation available to as many people as possible. By manufacturing the Model T, he soon was serving thousands with low-cost transportation. The more he served, the greater his business became.

In your business, whatever it is and whatever your position, begin serving your clients, your workers, or your employees. You will soon see God bless you. You will advance in your chosen field. You will begin to assume true greatness.

6. The Law of Unity (The United State). "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them" (Gen. 11:6).

Harmony is central to the unleashing of God’s incredible power. The Bible says that "if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven" (Matt. 18:19). Great power begins to flow as you move in unity with your family, your fellow employees, and your boss.

This principle is remarkably illustrated in the story of the Tower of Babel (see Gen. 11:1-9). After the Flood, the people became unified around one goal: to build a great tower "that reaches to the heavens" (v. 4). Although their purpose violated one of God’s laws—"so that we may make a name for ourselves" (v. 4), their method embraced another law—"as one people" (v. 6). God knew the power of this unified force and confused their language to disrupt it.

Financial Application
One for the Money: James says that a double-minded man "should not think he will receive anything from the Lord" (1:7). To have a productive savings and investment program, you must first come to a unified concept about your financial goals and plans. You must say, "I propose to save X amount of money" or "I will not spend this investment money prematurely." By doing this you have established a rallying point. You can move forward with singleness of purpose.

This principle is crucial in family goal-setting. Agree with your spouse on your budgeting, savings, and investment plans. You might even involve your children, explaining that these measures must be taken to save for educational expenses, housing, or even vacations. Remembering Jesus’ admonition that every "household divided against itself will not stand" (Matt. 12:25), consider the prosperity that awaits the household that is unified in its financial affairs.

7. The Law of Miracles (Miracles Can Happen). "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27).

When God disrupts his natural order to accomplish his purpose, a miracle springs forth. He overrides the way in which things normally operate. However, even then he works within principles, and they frame the Law of Miracles.

As we unlock this aspect of the Secret Kingdom, we find that our response greatly affects the manifestation of miracle power in our life. First, just as Caleb and Joshua did not fear the giants in the Promised Land, we must take our eyes off the circumstances and the impossibilities and look upon God and the possibilities. Second, we are not to doubt in our hearts. Our hearts must be filled with supernatural, God-inspired confidence. Third, we must speak. After gaining insight into God’s purpose through prayer, we must then activate that purpose by speaking it forth. Fourth, we must forgive. Unforgiveness clouds our ability to understand God’s purpose, and we will not see his miracle power in our lives.

Financial Application
Expecting the Unexpected: Sound financial planning is a discipline. Despite our best-laid plans, however, we often find ourselves in positions that take nothing less than miracles to overcome. You might be in debt over your head and need a miracle to get you back on the right path. You may be in a business deal and require the supernatural power of God to redirect a pending disaster. You may have a cash flow problem and need an unexpected influx of sales or payment of overdue accounts. God can change your situation drastically as you believe, speak, and forgive.

This law does not replace the other Secret Kingdom Laws. On the contrary, this principle can multiply the results of your financial endeavors as you propose to carry out the other laws.

8. The Law of Dominion (Reclaiming Your Reign). "Then God said . . . ‘let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’ " (Gen. 1:26).

God’s desire for man is that he rules over the earth. Unfortunately, humanity fell and, because of sin, lost the ability to claim dominion over God’s creation. As a result, the earth has now claimed authority over humanity. Our newspapers and televisions reveal anything but a people maintaining authority over their world.

However, God has made a provision for humanity to reclaim the earth through his Son. God gave Christ all authority (see Matt. 28:18), and Christ gave this power and authority to his servants (see Luke 9:1-2; 10:19). By using this authority and power, Christians can again claim dominion over not only the plants and animals, but also over every aspect of life. God’s plan includes reclaiming our professions, our school systems, and our governments—indeed, "all the earth."

Financial Application
Mastering Money: God’s desire for his people is that they also rule over their finances. Unfortunately, in the world today people allow their finances to rule over them. The instant-gratification, credit-card generation has become enslaved to materialism and debt. And those who seek emancipation have found it difficult to be free of these financial shackles.

God wants you to reclaim your rightful dominion over money. Using the authority and power granted by Christ, you can rule over the things money can buy, rather than having them rule over you. You can claim dominion over debt rather than allow debt to master you. After being set free from these bonds, you can go one step further. By setting up a sound budget and a savings and investment plan, you can make money your slave. Money will work for you, rather than you working for it.

These eight Kingdom Laws have been given by God to undergird and influence all aspects of your existence. By practicing these principles, you can enjoy the blessings of financial health. Practice them, and trust God to meet your needs


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