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Through "The Basics with Beth," Beth Jones is teaching the basics of God's Word to help you live a life you love and love the life you live! 

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BASIC QUESTIONS

Find answers to your Basic Questions right here. We are continually adding questions and answers, so check back often. If you have a question, please feel free to ask it here: I Have a Question. 

 
 

what does the bible say about Where babies go when they die?

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DIDN'T JESUS SAY WE SHOULDN'T TALK ABOUT MONEY AND OUR GIVING SHOULD BE KEPT SECRET?

Should we talk about money? Should giving always be kept secret? These are great questions.

Jesus did say, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you,” (Matthew 6:1-4, NLT)

What was Jesus talking about? Randy Alcorn, best-selling author of twenty-seven books, including Money, Possessions and Eternity and The Treasure Principle brings out the fact that in this passage Jesus was dealing with motives.

Alcorn says, “This is not a prohibition against others becoming aware of our giving, prayers, fasting, Bible study, feeding the poor, missions work, or church attendance. Rather, it’s a command not to do these things in order to receive the recognition of men. Jesus continues, “If you do [that is, if you do good things to win human approval], you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” The problem isn’t doing good things with reward in mind – it’s looking for the reward from men rather than from God … This is a figure of speech. It’s hyperbole, a deliberate overstatement, which would have been immediately clear to the hearers. That Christ’s command cannot be literal is self evident, because a hand lacks the ability to know anything, and besides the person’s brain would know what both the right hand and the left hand were doing. So what’s Christ’s point? Do your giving quietly, unobtrusively. Don’t cough loudly just as you’re giving. Drop your check in the offering or send it in the mail without drawing attention to yourself. Give in a spirit of humility and simplicity, as an act of worship. Don’t give in order to get your name on a list. Don’t dwell on your gift, fixating on it. Building a mental shrine to yourself. In other words, don’t make a big production out of it, either in view of others or in the privacy of your own heart. But can this verse mean it’s always wrong for others to know that we’ve given? No. Acts 2:45 tells of Christians selling possessions and giving to the needy. These people knew each other. If you no longer had your prize camels, coat, or oxcart, and Caleb ben Judah did, people would figure it out. Acts 4:32- 35 tells us about more people liquidating assets. Most names, which would mean nothing to us, aren’t recorded, but they were surely known at the time. But some givers were named even for our benefit… The risks of disclosing a person’s giving are sometimes outweighed by the benefits of disclosure. If Christ established a principle in Matthew 6: 2-4 that other people should never know what someone gives, then the members of the early Church violated it in Acts 4:36-37. There’s no way around it.”

Let’s look at this dichotomy. In Acts 4:36-37, we find out what Barnabas gave. He sold a field and gave the funds to the apostles. His testimony of giving was an inspiration for others.

For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37 He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. (NLT)

And in Acts 5:1-11, we find out what Ananias and Sapphira gave. In their case, they lied and their motives were completely wrong. The result in their case? They died!

But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.”9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.”10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened. (NLT)

In other accounts in the Bible, we are told exactly what people gave in various offerings. So, when a person’s heart and motive is pure, it must be okay with the Lord to share these things. Check out Numbers 7 to see the lists of donors and their specific gifts made to the tabernacle.

In 1 Chronicles 29, we find out exactly what King David and the leadership team gave to build the temple, Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble. 3 “And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple. 4 I am donating more than 112 tons of gold from Ophir and 262 tons of refined silver to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings 5 and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?” 6 Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. 7 For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. 8 They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon. 9 The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.” (NLT)

Often the example of one believers generous giving can be an inspiration to others to step up in their own giving and measure of generosity. When our motives for giving are not to be seen of men, but to honor God then sharing the testimony after our giving for the glory of God and as an example for others seems consistent with the Scriptures. After all, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Remember, Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” and our giving can serve as a model for this very thing.

I don’t know about you, but I am so challenged and inspired when I hear of the generous giving of others that it encourages me to think bigger, give more generously and expand my faith in God!

ISN'T GOT MORE CONCERNED WITH OUR MOTIVES AND CONTENTMENT THAN HE IS WITH OUR FINANCIAL STATUS?

The Lord is certainly interested in our motives and contentment, but not to the exclusion of our financial wellbeing. It’s not an either/or proposition, but rather a both/and option. When our hearts are in the right place, we can and should have pure motives, a content heart and absolute freedom to get wealth and be generous. Believers with these traits are a wonderful breed! In fact, 1 Chronicles 16:9 hints that God is looking for these types of people, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” 

1 Timothy 6:6 tells us, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” (NLT) and Hebrews 13:5, says, “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’” (NLT)

There is something rich and right about pursuing godliness and being content with our lot in life. At the same time, it’s perfectly acceptable to believe God and His promises concerning “getting wealth and establishing His covenant.”

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO DON’T TITHE, BUT SEEM TO BE BLESSED AND PROSPEROUS?

Ever feel like everyone else is living the dream––especially your friends on Instagram?

The Psalmist had a very similar question. No matter what happens or doesn’t happen in given seasons of our lives, it’s always good to keep things in perspective. Let’s see what we can learn about perspective from his experience in Psalm 73––pay particular attention to verses 16-17.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11 “What does God know?” they ask, “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. 13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. 15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning. 21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. 27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

WE SHOULDN’T GIVE TO GET, SHOULD WE?

 You may have heard someone say something like, “We shouldn’t give to get.” Or, “We should just give because we love God with no desire or expectation to receive anything back.” It sounds good, doesn’t it? There is a truth in those statements––even if the Lord didn’t promise any type of harvest or rewards for our faith-filled giving, we should still give to the Lord out of a heart of love. But, there is nothing wrong with believing God’s Word and His promises to those who sow generously. Can you imagine how strange it would be for a farmer to sow seeds into hundreds of acres and then say, “I am not sowing seed to get a harvest. I just love God and I like to sow seed with no expectations.” You might wonder about that farmer!

Farmers expect to sow fields with seed to grow crops and reap a harvest! We should do the same. There is nothing wrong with giving to get––or better put, sowing to reap.

Isn’t THIS IDEA OF SOWING AND REAPING, just a carnal “get-rich-quick” scheme?

God wants His people to get wealth and to be generous and as we cooperate with His Word, we can live in the flow of God’s economy.

The idea of a “get-rich-quick” scheme is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. Unfortunately, human nature likes to look for the short cuts. Let’s see what God’s Word says about recognizing a “get-rich-quick” scheme.

Proverbs 13:11

Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.

The Amplified Bible makes this verse a little clearer.  It reads like this: 

Wealth [not earned but] won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use [such as riches] will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches].

Proverbs 20:21

An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.

Proverbs 28:20, 22

The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble…22 Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.

What do you learn from these verses of Scripture?

WOULDN’T TOO MUCH MONEY TEMPT ME TO FALL AWAY FROM THE LORD? 

This is possible, but it depends upon what type of heart you have. Having too much money probably wouldn’t tempt you to fall away from the Lord anymore than not having enough money would. It’s a matter of your heart being in the right place. By making money your idol, you could fall away from the Lord. But that’s true about anything we might put in place of God. Hopefully, as a believer, you have developed a strong relationship with the Lord so that His prospering you would only cause you to give thanks and praise to Him for His abundant blessings and motivate you to be even more generous towards gospel efforts around the world.

Let’s look at this question in light of human relationships. Would too much money cause you to “fall away” from your spouse or close friend? It all depends on where your heart is. The thing that could cause us to fall away from the Lord is a cold heart, not cold hard cash.

When our affection, trust and faith is on the Lord––the blessings God brings into our lives aren’t the cake––they are just the icing on the cake––and we are free to be generous.

Acts 20:35 is a great passage to wrap up our study with, “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself. 33 I have never coveted anyone’s silver or gold or fine clothes. 34 You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those who were with me. 35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

ISN’T GOD SOVEREIGN WHEN IT COMES TO PROSPERING PEOPLE?

Does God sovereignly choose to prosper certain people?  Does God in His sovereignty only allow “those He can trust” to be blessed with wealth?  Does the Bible teach us that God has the prerogative to prosper some people while keeping others in humbler means?

From what we’ve studied, I trust you can see that when it comes to wealth and prosperity, God gives all of us a choice––everyone, regardless of our gender, race, class or nationality can move “up” economically as we trust the Lord, believe His Word and employ His principles of generosity.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

If a person is able, but unwilling to work what should be the result? How would you describe a busybody or disorderly person?  What does the Lord want these people to do? 

Joshua 1:8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 

When we make living by God’s Word our goal, according to this verse, God makes our way prosperous and successful.

Deuteronomy 30:15-19

15 Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

While we are not under the Law any longer, there is a moral principle of loving God, living in a way that pleases Him and experiencing a blessed life. You will notice that, throughout the Word of God, that while He is the Sovereign Lord, in most matters God gives us the opportunity to choose.

Who's choice is it to walk in life, prosperity and blessings?