We trust you had a blessed time as we celebrated the birth of our Savior last week. With the New Year fast approaching, we wanted to share a few helpful insights from our friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss:
I am so thankful for the many valuable lessons my father, Arthur S. DeMoss, taught me about a Biblical perspective on money and material possessions. As both a successful businessman and an earnest follower of Jesus Christ, he was a living illustration of those principles. As I look back on my dad’s life, I see several reasons for the blessing of God on his life:
1. He put God first, above everything else. He believed that the greatest wealth was knowing God. This priority was evident as he gave the first hour of every day to the study of God’s Word and Prayer. In the twenty-eight years that he knew Christ, there was not a single day when anything else came before that hour alone with God.
He put God first in his business, in spite of the prevailing opinion that Biblical ethics cannot be applied in the business world. Whenever Dad met anyone for the first time, whether in a business context or in the course of traveling, the uppermost question on his mind was, “Does this person know Christ?” He generally found out the answer to that question within the first minutes of any conversation, even if the primary purpose of the meeting was business-related.
Since his death, many people have shared with me the results of Dad’s personal ministry. Just recently a woman introduced herself to me after I spoke in a conference. She said, “My father is in heaven today because of your dad.” A Jewish businessman told me, “Your dad led dozens and dozens of my Jewish friends to Christ.” What a thrilling report!
Christ was also first in our home. Dad talked little about the business. He talked much about Jesus. The greatest inheritance he left my siblings and me was the example of commitment to love God more than anything or anyone else.
2. He recognized God as the source of every material blessing. He taught us not to look to an employer or parent or a husband as the source of our income, but to look to the Lord as our Provider. And he taught us that we are as utterly dependent on God to provide when we have a regular, substantial income as when we have no visible means of support.
3. He acknowledged God’s right to give and to take away material blessings. This is the reason he was able to be as grateful and content in times of material loss as in times of tremendous gain. I remember one twelve-month period during which we lost our home in a fire, my mother almost lost her life with a massive brain tumor, and my dad lost many millions of dollars in far less time than it took to accumulate it. Through all those months, his faith, joy, and serenity were never diminished, because he recognized and trusted the sovereignty of God.
4. He saw himself not as a recipient, but as a channel of God’s blessings. He believed that God gives to His children, not so they can store up things that don’t last, but so they can meet the needs of others. Next to knowing God and leading others to Christ, the privilege of giving the vast majority of his income was probably the greatest joy of my dad’s life. He steadfastly rejected the recommendations of tax advisers that he save and invest more. He sincerely believed that “it was more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
The model of my dad’s life and teaching in this matter of giving has profoundly impacted my life. As a result of his influence, I have learned the joy of asking the Lord, when I receive any form of income, “Do You want me to invest this in Your kingdom?” And when I hear of a need of another person or ministry, the question on my heart is, “Do You want to use me to help meet that need?”
Perhaps this is where genuine revival begins- with the willingness (and eagerness) to give everything we are and have to God, and to be channels through whom He can bless and meet the needs of others. Is that too much for Him to ask? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” ( 2 Corinthians 8:9).
Giving is down as we head into the year-end so please prayerfully consider a contribution to the ministries of the National Day of Prayer. Your gift will make a significant impact in the lives of people around the country and beyond.
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