KwaZulu-Natal Complimentary copy Not for sale
OR WORLD ORDER?
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012 ISSUE 15
A barometer of your Marriage
Activate God's FAVOUR BE A LIGHT IN THE MARKETPLACE
for such a TIME as this
the next frontier of
The Global Wealth Equation
CONTENTS is available at the following locations: Amanzimtoti Sweetwaters Full Gospel Church Kingsway Church, Life Church Durban North Living Waters Church KingsNet Ministries Empangeni Christian Family Church Hillcrest GraceHill Church, Hillside Church, Focus On The Family Bookshop Christ Church Hillcrest Kloof/Gillitts Kloof Harvest Church Sarepta Church Kloof Baptist Church St. Agnes Church Kloof Methodist Morningside The Olive Tree Lambert Road Baptist Church Musgrave/Glenwood Full Gospel Tabernacle Scripture Union St Olavâ€™s Church His People Church Pinetown/Westmead Highway Christian Community Pinetown Baptist Church Doxa Deo NG Kerk Fourways Spar Pietermaritzburg African Enterprise The Coffeeberry Cafe All Saints Church Umhlanga Umhlanga Harvest Umhlanga Christ Church Waterfall Waterfall Baptist Church Westville Church on Route 5 Westville Methodist Church Westville Baptist Church Westville Presbyterian Church Please let us know if you wish to distribute CONNECT magazine in your church or business.
VOICE OF THE PROPHET
Financing the next Frontier of Missions Activating the Favour of God
HEART OF THE PASTOR
God's order versus World's order
6 11 13
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Born for such a time as this 16 Prospering through hard times 20 Investing on the Right Side of the Global Wealth Equation 24 The Economy is a barometer for your marriage 28
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Where to find CONNECT Letter from the Editor The Rest is HIStory
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TRUTH about FINANCES
have always had a love-hate relationship with Finance. I’ve tried the Scarlett O’Hara approach – you know, where you put the back of your hand dramatically to your forehead and say “I’ll not think of that today” – but Finance will not be ignored. No matter what work we do, money is part of doing business. And no matter how naïve or afraid we are, God can empower us to be good stewards of His finances. When I started KBN and CONNECT, I didn’t set out to ‘start a business’. It was a burning passion to meet people’s needs that spurred me on, not making money. That was a great thing (I wasn’t expecting to get rich!) but it was also a problem. I have learned that passion is a great starter, and it keeps you doing your thing whether the money comes in or not… but passion doesn’t make a sustainable business. And God wants our businesses to be sustainable so that we can keep sowing into His Kingdom – financially and through our witness to people in the marketplace. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet my friends Patrick, Patrice and Ben through the Biblical Entrepreneurship programme. These precious men have become my mentors and I am now in the process of completing my third and final Biblical Entrepreneurship module. This course has taught me that we are to trade our Assets (Talents, Abilities, Gifts and Skills) to create a profit and that it is for the Kingdom’s advancement. I am merely a steward. As I steward my assets well, reward will follow – in the form of increased responsibility and/or financial blessing. That’s the favour of our God! Our attitude toward money is built in our FOLLOW US ON TWITTER Twitter.com/Connectbizmag
beliefs. Depending on what you believe, you will use or treat it differently. One of the revelations I had was that in ignoring finances (because I didn’t understand it and believed it ‘wasn’t in my gift set’), I was actually being a bad steward of what God had given me. When we realise that we are stewards of our businesses and not owners, we suddenly have a whole new set of priorities. We realise that we have to face our ‘fear of finance’ head on and not only be accountable, but be profitable. That’s what the Master expects in the parable of the talents in Matthew 2:14-31. We need to invest what the Master has entrusted to us in order to fulfil His covenant. We are no longer just servants; we are children of the King and we have been given an inheritance to steward. It’s time for marketplace Christians to rise up and fulfil that mandate. Let us be ready to hear our Father’s will concerning our finances. Let’s not be afraid to make a profit – that way we can fulfil the covenant to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to house the stranger, to visit the sick and those in prison. To do this we need to anchor ourselves in what the Word teaches, look for wise counsel from fellow Christians and – above all – ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. This issue is full of practical wisdom on how to achieve that – enjoy the read!
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VOICE OF THE PROPHET
the next frontier of MISSIONS ‘SMALL’ IS THE NEW ‘BIG’
veryone would agree that the way best writing skills, gathered the greatest we used to do things ten years ago is photos available, and designed a newsletter massively different from the way we do explaining what I was about to do. I requested things today. There is no guarantee that what various forms of support from different worked with a previous generation will be as people. Because many people knew about effective with a new one. This the importance of sending the is especially true in a missions gospel to all, and because they context. Being involved with A new generation already had busy schedules, missions for the last fifteen it was easier for them to give was emerging. years, I have seen some very and to allow me to do the interesting ways in which Significantly this witnessing on their behalf. people are raising funds for As time went by and the generation realised Matthew the causes they believe in. I 28 message made that we have to can still recall the first day I it clear that we were all to be realised that my life was going involved in preaching the move beyond to be different from that of gospel, even in our workplaces, talking, and be a traditional missionary, and things started to change. A I had to walk away from the new generation was emerging. the change. norm into the unknown. Significantly this generation Financial security was not a realised that we have to move given, and the possibility of entering a new beyond talking, and be the change. No longer month without any finances was a huge was it about ‘me doing it and them funding possibility. After seeking counsel, reading it’. Today, mission opportunities are emerging numerous books and talking to many veteran daily and young people are way more missionaries, my journey started. I used my interested in being part of the experience 6 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
than in funding a traditional the resources needed. The missionary to do it. Suddenly we saw key lies in giving them the For missions organisations opportunity and platform to a huge increase in move from. this presents a huge challenge. Many such organisations have In a nutshell, what is commitment, and over the years developed actually happening today is where we once complex structures to ensure that ‘small has become the they have the ‘big boat to thought there was new big’. shoot the cannon from’. Our I write, we have seen little to no money moreAsthan own organisation used to think 2000 young people that we needed to increase in making use of the various left for missions, size if we wanted to do more from within Focus even students were platforms (of course, with that came Team Leadership Training by themselves able (FTLT) – and although we have the responsibility of securing sufficient office space as well as seen very little of it find the resources physically the required financial support). coming through our financial needed. The key We had what we thought books, millions of rands have were some of the best worked lies in giving them been raised for missions. out plans and execution I have no doubt that the the opportunity strategies… but no-one was traditional way of financing interested in committing and raising support for and platform to financially to them. We quickly missions has changed and will move from. discovered that there were probably undergo many young people more changes in interested the years to come. in making a What we have difference, but realised is that very few willing people are no to contribute longer looking financially to it. for the big boats; They all agreed instead they are that the need searching for exists and that the harbours in something needs which to park to be done, but their own. the difference was that they wanted to do it, and not ‘pay’ us to it. That realisation led us to get involved in a project which would reshape our entire way of thinking about missions. Instead of being the one ‘doing’, our organisation became a platform from which it can ‘be done’. Suddenly we saw a huge increase in Adriaan Adam commitment, and where we once thought Focus Team Leadership there was little to no money left for missions, Training email@example.com even students were by themselves able find www.connectmagazine.co.za | 7
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VOICE OF THE PROPHET
Activating the FAVOUR of God
Being a light in the marketplace – PART 1
“Daniel resolved to not defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favour and sympathy to Daniel.” – Daniel 1:8-9
or those that may not know the story, Daniel, along with a few of his royal Jewish friends, had been drafted into Babylonian royal service after Nebuchadnezzar had defeated and captured Israel. These Jewish royals were destined to become great advisors and leaders in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had great plans for them. As those of elite Israeli nobility, they were seen as assets to Babylon, and thus trained as such. These Jewish nobles didn’t have a problem with that. They did as they were told and submitted to the requirements placed on them by the Babylonian rulers – as long as these requirements didn’t compromise their faith in the one True God. He was their number one priority, always. When the Babylonian requirements conflicted with their Godly standards, they stood their ground. Friends, I want to encourage you today, and with this series study through Daniel, that it is possible to work in and for a secular environment, and yet still honour God. And when you do, Grace will flow beyond what you thought was possible. Christians face this challenge daily - trying their best to remain faithful to the call of God while living in a secular world filled with dishonouring decisions and selfish choices. It’s not an easy challenge to overcome, but it’s necessary if we are to fulfil our commission... to make disciples of all nations. In order to make disciples of all nations and establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, we must
impact all areas of society. In order to impact all areas of society, we must immerse ourselves in those areas, get to know the leaders within them, and hopefully ourselves become the leaders in order to pioneer the way of God’s design: a culture of honour and love. The key to successfully overcoming this challenge is to make God the first priority in our lives. (It may sound a bit legalistic to you, but trust me, when you realise how good God is, and let His Love into your life, it is easier than you think! Not to mention His Power that will flow through you!) If, like Daniel, God has first priority in your life, you will find yourself standing your ground where others around you are succumbing to dishonouring choices. And when you make those “quality decisions”, the favour of God – which is already there because of Jesus - will be activated in your life. For example, just by making the decision that you want to honour God with your finances, you will activate the favour of God! You will attract God’s favour to take you further than you ever imagined! You will find yourself with better business deals than before, you will find yourself promoted to better positions, you will get meetings you wouldn’t normally get. All while your colleagues and competitors look on in bewilderment. All because your choices and actions reflected what you believe. Friends, when you act on your faith - that God is the one who looks after you, provides for you and promotes you - you will be raised up into positions of influence you never before imagined! Rise up! Take your place as princes and princesses of the Most High God! And invade Babylon like Kingdom covert agents. James Preston email@example.com www.connectmagazine.co.za | 11
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HEART OF THE PASTOR
GOD’S vsORDER WORLD’S ORDER
n Matthew 16:19–21 Jesus says, “I will give Proverbs 10:22 tells us that “The blessing of the you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with and whatever you bind on earth shall be it”. Once we start to understand the Word’s bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on blessing, it becomes clear that everything we earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then he strictly need is in the Word. charged the disciples to tell no one that he was Before we look at the revelation on the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show the World’s Order versus God’s Order, it is his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and important that you understand that we are suffer many things from the elders and chief children of the King of Kings – which means priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the that a kingdom (earth) was left for us to rule third day be raised.” over. If you look at the word “king” you will For many Christians, religion can be find it means a ruler over a domain (“dom”) a mask that Satan uses to cripple us and our – from which we get the word “kingdom”. testimony. One of hypocrisy’s most common When we look at daily examples we will find and fatal symptoms is worldly-mindedness. that we each have domains to rule over. It is important for us to understand that These might include being a husband of a there is a World Order and there is God’s household (king of the house) or a steward Order. When the Holy Spirit over our finances (which are revealed this to me some a blessing from the Lord). time ago, I realised how In the World’s Order you In the World’s deceived I was. I needed will quickly find that if your at that moment in time to domain becomes bigger Order you will allow myself to be aligned than your ability to rule quickly find that by the Word of God again. over it (e.g. your capacity In Hosea 4:6 God says “my to pay debt back), you will if your domain people are destroyed from lack lose your ability to rule becomes bigger of knowledge”. Immediately I and also compromise your realised that any knowledge stewardship. Proverbs 13:11 than your ability we gain without a revelation us that “Dishonest to rule over it (e.g. reminds of the Holy Spirit is mere money dwindles away, but information. Information is whoever gathers money your capacity to a very dangerous concept little by little makes it grow.” pay debt back), because if we don’t fully Verse 22 goes on to say that you will lose your “A good person leaves an understand the impact of the given information, we might for their children’s ability to rule and inheritance find ourselves in a worldly children, but a sinner’s wealth also compromise or a ‘religious’ environment. is stored up for the righteous.”
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Let’s start by looking at the World’s Order:
When the world (cosmos), meaning “ungodly multitude” (John 1:10) has enough information and knowledge about you, it can use this information to have control over you and force you into worldly situations. For example, when you sign a bank contract, you have to provide every detail about yourself – your history, your experience, your credibility. From this information a decision is made regarding what you are worth and how you can pay it back. This leads to:
With the necessary knowledge and measures in place, your entire being is now controlled by a worldly contract, institution (bank), etc.
Out of this worldly knowledge and control over you, the only reward that you can have is money. Finances become like the golden calf (an idol). The love
of money becomes the binding problem according to Luke 12:15. Let us now look at God’s Order to help us to get out of this situation.
God’s Order (1 Tim 6:1-16)
When we realise that everything we need is in the Word and guided by the Holy Spirit, we will immediately have better discernment about which information about ourselves to give out. We need to understand that the World’s Order, which I referred to the ‘sales technique’ around us, is the false teacher which the Word talks about in 1 Timothy 6. Rather let us be content.
Genesis 1:28 speaks about how God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth. Since this earth was given to us to rule over – to be good stewards of, to make godly decisions about, and to be content in – we need to focus on a living relationship with Him and He will guide us on how to rule and not to be controlled by the world.
RICHES: It is of utmost
importance to understand that God-given wealth culminates in: • Relationship: When we have a Holy Spirit relationship with God, we will find blessings which culminate in good health (a healthy mind houses a healthy body). How many times have we heard the expression, “take all my money but just give me my health back”? • Health: With our health and good relationship in God, it is now easy for us to reflect on the fact that He wants to bless us with finances, etc. Scripture also teaches us that we can use the world’s money to build the Kingdom.
Since this earth was given to us to rule over – to be good stewards of, to make godly decisions about, and to be content in – we need to focus on a living relationship with Him and He will guide us on how to rule and not to be controlled by the world.
• Finances: When we start to see that money is seed, we
will have a good harvest in all spheres because what we sow we will reap. Now our mindset is changed to God’s Order and not the World’s Order. May God bless you abundantly in realising that we need to realign ourselves to God’s Order.
Mario Steyn Senior pastor: Lewendewoord, Pretoria Founder: MBA - Marketplace Baton Association congregation@ lewendewoord.co.za
Relationship Revelation Knowledge
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
BORN for such a Time as This
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e are in an incredible hour in history which is especially significant for women! In this hour women will find favour and have great influence in arenas such as the corporate, governmental, business and entrepreneurial marketplace. This is the era in which God is visiting women with freshness and empowering them for new assignments. Women were created to be unique carriers of God's Presence and influence wherever they are â€“ at home, at church or in the marketplace. Since the beginning of time women have had the ability to attract people and resources in any given sphere so as to release Godâ€™s Kingdom. Although in modern times they are often overlooked, women have always been the most powerful component of every revival, transformation or reformation. Throughout history we can see how women have been the catalyst for financial and ethnic
rescue of many nations; how why they couldn’t trade and do business. they have improved the These Jewish women became economic strength of nations, astute in their dealings, and increased resources and and they began to loan This is the era trade. Yet they still remain a their Christian women in which God is largely unrecognised entity. counterparts money for If we look at the statistics businesses, real estate and visiting women today, we see a great need trade. As a result of the with freshness for a reformation in the increase in these business marketplace for women. activities, Jewish women and empowering Australian women hold became educated and held them for new only 8% of key executive a strong presence in the legal assignments. management positions. South system. Seeing that women African women occupy 21% of had less access than men to executive positions, but only 3% of productive resources, services women in both countries are CEOs or and opportunities, Jewish women in corporate leadership. Israel leads with also became Europe’s strongest 5% of women as CEOs, and a huge 30% moneylenders in the feminine economy. of the 47% women in the workplace are When we look at the statistics of women in executive positions! in the marketplace today, we have If we look back at history to ask: is there something in the Renaissance and the missed? While we have Throughout history we’ve Protestant Reformations, we majored on the religious we can see see that it was the women side of the Reformation, who took advantage of the have we overlooked the how women huge influence of women on newfound political and religious have been freedom. As they became aware Europe’s economy and trade at that Europe needed an alternative the catalyst that time? Does the Bible hold the economy to replace feudalism, key to the true place of women for financial in politics, trade and societal they created a new one through capitalism and trade. It was the change? I believe it does. and ethnic Jewish women in this era whose Perhaps in our quest to find rescue of many economic power sparked the the ‘spiritual’ side of the stories reformatory change. nations; how they in the Bible, we’ve missed how Martin Luther, who is and men not only have improved the women largely hailed as the leader understood their assignments, of the Reformation, preached economic strength but also shaped spheres of that women should be influence and brought societal of nations, and uneducated and in the home. transformation! increased But the Jewish women who By seeing Deborah as just had listened to their fathers a prophetess, we’ve missed the resources and fact that Barak (not the coward read the Torah every night, trade. knew the story of Zelophehad’s he was made out to be) inducted daughters who had argued the law her into the army and the political of inheritance for women if there was sphere and then she fought alongside no male heir. They also knew of Deborah, him. As a prophetess she had no legal Esther, Junia and others – and therefore ground to fight in the army, therefore she could see no religious reason submitted to Barak as her general.
Esther, a young orphan, entered He was authorised by Saul to the palace and was able to enter the governmental sphere. influence the king in saving the He could have used his slingshot They Jews and inheriting part of the on Goliath when he was understood an Kingdom. All these women delivering sandwiches to his – Zelophehad’s daughters, amazing principle: brothers, but to have power Deborah, Esther and others – need the authority of that to penetrate a you did not just pray for change. position. Proximity is power, Instead they understood sphere of influence and the power to access an amazing principle: that can become the power to you have to have to penetrate a sphere of influence. a position in that influence you have to have Deborah had to ask Barak a position in that sphere, to go with her because he was sphere, and be and be authorised to rule in the general and she needed to authorised to that sphere. be inducted into the army – and God has given us the under the authority of the army’s rule in that ability and the anointing to general, she had the power to sphere. deal with problems, but we influence. When the enemy met must have the position to apply Deborah, Esther and David, he met both. David understood this. God in a suit or a dress. You cannot bind He didn’t take out Goliath as either the strongman from around the corner – a shepherd boy or a king, but as you have to go into the strongman’s house a newly inducted soldier in Saul’s army! to plunder his goods and divide his armour. It is a spiritual law that the lesser authority must yield to the greater authority. However, until the greater authority shows up and presses the issue, the lesser authority will dominate. The Jewish women in the Reformation understood this principle and knew if they wanted to change the nation then they had to be on the front line of government and business, not where religion and culture had tried to keep them locked in. A Christianised city or nation doesn’t necessarily mean a transformed nation. If you were to take the key indicators of sociological change, i.e. divorce rate, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, the ability of the poor to get into the middle class etc., it tells you that the church is not utilising its power to transform the city at this point, and certainly the women are not being unleashed. The leverage to change the world isn’t in the church. It’s potentially in the church, but it doesn’t show up unless 18 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
the church is unleashed in all the spheres of influence. The Deborahs, Esthers and Davids need to engage the enemy in the spheres where God has ordained an assignment for them, and the only way to do this is to have the power of proximity within them. The question today is not ‘Can we as women rise up and transform our economies?’ but ‘Will we?’ Will we accept the assignment God has given us and break through the barriers set upon us? Like Deborah, like Esther and like Zelophehad’s daughters, we too can access God’s agenda, strategy, and authority to administrate more territory and release His Kingdom wherever we are.
The leverage to change the world isn’t in the church. It’s potentially in the church, but it doesn’t show up unless the church is unleashed in all the spheres of influence.
Amanda Wells Passion to Product Strategist & Coach email@example.com www.amandawellsministries.com www.gemwomen.com As a life coach and international speaker, Amanda is a dynamic, powerful visionary and humanitarian whose passion is for people to engage their spheres of influence to bring about transformation. Together with Caroline Marsh she has created GEM WOMEN, a company dedicated to inspiring, educating, and empowering aspiring women entrepreneurs.
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Are you stuck in a difficult situation? Do you believe God can work it together for your good? Are you ready to do something shrewd, risky or new when God directs you? “Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages.” – Genesis 30:32
means for evil, God always utilises for our good (Romans 8:28). In Genesis we find Jacob, the grandson of a wealthy businessman named Isaac. He has experience working with Bad times sheep. His grandfather are nothing and his father both had a sheep and cattle new to God. business. Jacob is sent to He specialises in his uncle, Laban, to get a wife. Laban is also an helping us make oes the Lord entrepreneur in the sheep provide guidelines good out of bad and cattle business. Jacob to His children situations. makes an agreement on how to build wealth with his uncle to work in the midst of a difficult for him for seven years situation? Of course, the in exchange for his younger daughter, answer is, "Yes!" Bad times are nothing new Rachel. Laban tricks him into working for to God. He specialises in helping us make fourteen years for both Rachel and Leah, good out of bad situations. What the devil
her older sister, though Jacob is interested only in Rachel. While he works for his uncle, the Lord prospers his uncle's business. Now with a growing family, Jacob requests permission from his uncle to leave and go back to his country and to make provision for his own household. His uncle refuses to let him go, recognising that his business has increased tremendously in revenue since Jacob has been working for him. For that reason, he requests that Jacob name his wages. "How much will it take for you to stay?" he asks. Jacob does not name a salary, but rather asks for equity partnership in the business. Equity partnership is an exchange of money or work for a percentage of shares in the business. This approach increases Jacob's risk, but also increases his chances of becoming wealthy. He understands his value and recognises that no amount of money offered by Laban could be enough to pay him what he is worth, since he is the one with the expertise. Therefore, he exchanges his expertise not for salaries and benefits, but for an equity stake in the business. As a result of this shrewd business transaction by Jacob, the Lord gives him clever ideas and further prospers the works of his hands. Jacob becomes exceedingly prosperous and has male and female servants, large flocks, camels
What were the keys to Jacob building his wealth? 1. He obeyed his father (Genesis 28:1-5). 2. He believed the promises of God (Genesis 28:12-19). 3. He trusted God for his provision (Genesis 28:20). 4. He committed to tithing (Genesis 28:22). 5. He was faithful over another man's business (Genesis 30:27). 6. He recognised his value (Genesis 30:30). 7. He was committed to providing for his family (Genesis 30:30c). 8. He was as "wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove" (Genesis 30:31-32, Matthew 10:16). 9. He was not afraid to take risks (Genesis 30:31-33). 10. He was diligent in business (Genesis 30:35-43).
Whether you work for someone else or operate your own business, allow Jacob's story to encourage you and give you insight into the ways of God.
and donkeys (Genesis 30:43). Whether you work for someone else or operate your own business, allow Jacob's story to encourage you and give you insight into the ways of God. God rewards faithfulness and also permits you to look out for your own interests and the interests of your family. Although Jacob accumulated great wealth working with Laban, the time came for them to part ways and for Jacob to put his immediate family's interests first. Eventually God told Jacob to move on and return to his home country (Genesis 31). My prayer for you this week is that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will give you insight and prosper the works of your hands in order that you and those who depend on you may experience the fullness of what God has in store. His plans are always for our good (Jeremiah 29:11), and His kindness is everlasting (Isaiah 54:8).
Copyright ÂŠ 2012 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED www.connectmagazine.co.za | 21
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
INVE S E TIN G H L T O F B O AL G W
HT SIDE G I R E QUATIO H N T HE N LT O A E
What we see in the world is two groups trying to seek dominion over the works of Godâ€™s hand.
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n the beginning God created the on seeing the establishment of His heavens and the earth” (Genesis Kingdom on earth and fulfilling the 1:1) and he created them with all manifestation of His will on earth as it is the resources required to sustain His in heaven. beloved creation (us) until eternity. After The ‘Wealth held in the kingdom of God had created human beings in His the devil’ refers to assets and financial own image, He then told Adam and Eve resources that are in the hands of men to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and (both non-Christians and Christians) govern it (Genesis 1:28). This is God’s who are using them for the purposes instruction to humans to procreate and of their own desires and therefore also to set up an economic system to furthering the economic system of ensure that the resources of the earth the enemy. This economic system is are managed in a way that will ensure based on materialism, greed and the that all people are sufficiently provided accumulation of riches outside the for. God also gives Adam and Eve clear guidelines of God’s economic, financial instructions on what resources they and business principles. can use and those they can’t (Genesis Defining the ‘wealth options’ in 2:15). these two very distinct areas Unfortunately humans without any middle ground Whatever decided to violate seems quite harsh and God’s instructions and can invite a lot of wealth is not consumed a resource controversy. But I do so being used to further that God had told in the understanding them not to consume that Jesus clearly God’s interests is (Genesis 3:6). From gives us two choices therefore furthering this point onwards in Matthew 6:24 when what we see in the he says, “No one can the interests of world is two groups serve two masters. For the devil. trying to seek dominion you will hate the one and over the works of God’s love the other, you will be hand (the resources of the devoted to one and despise the earth). They are those who reject God other. You cannot serve both God and and continue to walk in disobedience to mammon.” So whatever wealth is not God, and those who have repented of being used to further God’s interests is their sins and have returned to God. therefore furthering the interests of the In the area of wealth we therefore devil since Jesus says, “Anyone who isn’t have a situation that we can summarise with me opposes me, and anyone who in a simple equation: isn’t working with me is actually working against me” (Luke 11:23). With Jesus Total Global Wealth = Wealth there is no middle ground. held in the Kingdom of God + Wealth The ideal situation should read held in the kingdom of the devil The ‘Wealth held in the Kingdom of God’ refers to assets and financial resources that are in the hands of stewards who are using them for the purposes of furthering God’s economic system. This economic system is focused
‘Total Global Wealth = Wealth held in the Kingdom of God’ because
this will mean that all of the resources on earth are being used to honour the Lord. But unfortunately even in our nation which claims to be 72% Christian,
we still see the equation showing that God says that His people are destroyed ‘Wealth held in the kingdom of the because of lack of knowledge (Hosea devil’ > (is greater than) ‘Wealth held 4:6). We are now in a critical season in the Kingdom of God’. The levels of where we as believers of Jesus Christ crime, corruption, materialism, greed need to seriously take stock of where and poverty are clear evidence of this our financial and economic allegiance fact − and so is the declining rate of lies – on God’s side or the enemy’s. If giving in churches and the constant lack our assets/resources/wealth are not of resources in mission and ministry surrendered to the Lord and linked organisations. to a Kingdom purpose, then we need The sad reality is that most of us in to realise that we are building on the the body of Christ have placed wrong side and hence furthering the our wealth on the enemy’s interests of the devil on earth. side of the equation and So the question every We are hence are actually believer of Jesus Christ working against needs to be asking now in a critical the Kingdom of is – which side of season where we as God. We have the equation have believers of Jesus Christ continued to I invested in? If we operate our have invested on need to seriously take stock economic affairs the wrong side we of where our financial and according the need to bring this principles that before the Lord and economic allegiance lies – the world has repent and reinvest on God’s side or taught us and we in the Kingdom have been ignorant of economy that has the the enemy’s. what God says about His potential to give a 100Kingdom economic system. fold return in our lifetime, Most of our investments are but also gives a 100% guaranteed therefore sitting on the enemy’s side of eternal return. the equation and hence the Lord cannot use them for His purposes because we have kept them from Him. Why? Because we have taken up the position of ownership instead of stewardship. God’s economic framework is very Patrick Kuwana different to the world’s framework Crossover Transformation and hence the investment and reward patrick@crossoverprinciples are typically in opposition. transformation.co.za
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
The Economy is a BAROMETER of your marriage
ince 2008 everyone has been worried about the economy. Many have lost their jobs and people are having a rough time in South Africa and worldwide. And like it or not, the economy affects relationships. In fact, the economy can be seen as a gauge or measurement tool for the health of your marriage (or relationship)! Why? If you’re stressed about money, guess what? You can tell how well your marriage is doing by how well you withstand financial stress. This means that if you are in a situation where your marriage is being torn apart by finances, you were probably going to experience stress in your marriage even if the economy was fine. In other words if the foundation of your relationship is sound, you can withstand any financial storm. In fact, if you have a strong foundation, your relationship can withstand any of the storms of life. When you and your partner have a real, soul-deep connection, you experience that connection right down to your very cells. Remember when you first fell in love? 28 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
You could just sit on the phone and say nothing. I know for some of us it’s been a long while since that happened to us. Most couples have been reduced to two people living in the same house with absolutely no other connection. But today’s world is about money. Like it or not, money is important in our time. It’s right up there in the hierarchy of needs. When you don’t have money, you really feel it. Not surprisingly, money is the leading cause of relationship breakdowns and divorce. Yet most of us are ignorant about money. Not only that, but we also don’t even bother to take time to understand money. Because we are not sure about money, it is very difficult for most couples to talk about it. The famous Biblical statement, “the love of money is the root of all evil” remains true. (And boy has it been proven true in this age.) Yet money itself is not evil. So how should we relate to money?
You need to understand your relationship with money
That is where the challenge lies. We all have
a ‘money mindset’ that defines our relationship with money. As a couple you will do well to understand each other’s money mindset. No assumptions. Have a candid discussion with your partner about his or her views and priorities regarding money.
Don’t sabotage yourself
Do you manage your money well or do you mismanage it? It’s no accident that the rich manage money better than the poor. Successful people know that knowledge is power, and when you know where your money is going (expenditure tracking) and how to make it work for you (investment knowledge), then you are empowered to manage your money well – even if you don’t have much.
Men and woman react differently to money stress
Money stress brings out the worst fears in both of you. And each gender’s insecurities tend to exacerbate the other’s. She feels like
the homeless, vulnerable woman and he feels like a complete failure. Then the drama starts. The man can’t find a job and the woman keeps nagging him to try a, b and c. He feels like a complete failure when reminded over and over again by his wife or partner that he needs to ‘do something’. The woman keeps nagging him because she feels utterly vulnerable and worried about not being able to survive. Financial stress affects both men and women and is painful for both of you. If you are in financial stress, you need to realise that you are both afraid and anxious and that you express it in different ways. You need try and walk in each other’s shoes and understand what your partner is going through. Most importantly, get help!
Max Mayo firstname.lastname@example.org
The rest is
HISTORY Pensioner's nightmare turned to FAITH
For many years Clive Thompson dreamed of working from his own photographic studio at home. His dream was challenged when circumstances dealt a wicked blow but he chose to exercise his faith in God. “Take up your cross and follow Me,” says Jesus. That in itself indicates there will be some tough times along life’s journey. How we respond to them is all important. I saw Diane Cooper playing the grand piano at a church in Durban North and I knew that I would marry her one day. That was twenty-four years ago. We’re still in love and have faithfully served in the praise and worship team for over twenty-five years now, and we are still very active in that area of ministry. We decided to move into Diane’s mom’s home and “adopt” her as she was a widow. I looked many times at the little garage at the back of the property, wondering if perhaps one day it could be converted into a photographic studio from where I could work and earn a living. When Mrs Cooper lost her husband in 1976 she made arrangements with the Durban Corporation to defer the rates until a later date. She forgot one year so the house went up for auction. For us to keep the house the outstanding rates of R55,000 had to paid within the following two weeks so I had to apply for a bond of R350,000, buy the house and settle the outstanding rates. On the 15 December 2006, eighty-eight-yearold Mrs Cooper was mugged outside our front gate and pushed to the ground. The thief ran off with her handbag. She incurred a broken hip and was admitted to Entabeni Hospital for an operation. On the Monday the hospital called 30 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
asking us to come in and see them. To our horror, we found out that Mrs Cooper had resigned from her Medical Aid in September 2006 without saying a word to us. I was held liable for the settlement of R62, 000 in medical bills. I cried out to the Lord in anguish. Right then and there He delivered me from the fear of not having money and told me to look to Him. Three weeks later our maid was attacked in our kitchen and stabbed several times. We believe it was the same person who had snatched Mrs Cooper’s bag. Praise the Lord, our maid survived. More medical bills! Our financial status grew worse. We borrowed more money from the bank and maxed out our credit cards trying to survive with all this extra debt. I took great comfort in listening to the encouraging words of our Lord which state “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19. When Jesus performed miracles in His ministry on earth, He used people in nearly all of them so they would be witnesses to such events. Watching Angus Buchan and how he placed his faith in the Word of God encouraged me as well. I began the journey of living by faith, no matter what, and continue on that road still today. My sister decided to move to Durban and was willing to use her savings to build a garden cottage and workshop for her arts and crafts – plus a studio, right where the little garage was standing! God, is this You answering my prayer? We scanned the newspaper advertisements and finally settled on a builder who seemed to know what he was doing. The problem was, we didn’t. He insisted on a 50% deposit to get started. He squeezed her for the balance owing, claiming that he had to buy this and that
before the job could be completed. Each day instead. “By the time the project is completed, the builder brought a different team and then the cash will be available,” he promised. suddenly all building stopped – leaving three I had to dig deep into my pocket and after walls with huge spaces for windows and doors. five gruelling months of tiresome effort, He just walked off with all her money! So it was the cottage was completed – as well as my to the lawyers we wenT... After one year of trying dreams of a studio. I approached my friend yet everything possible we decided not to waste again for the promised R200,000 which it had our dwindling finances. My sister had lost her now cost us, but to no avail. My sister’s money life’s savings of approximately R160, 000. was finished, my pension money finished! It So we faced a ‘Red Sea’ situation and by looked as though my dream was also finished. faith I trusted for an early We are facing yet retirement. I was told three another ‘Red Sea’ times over that I would never situation and have to get a package and three times exercise the faith I have over I told my boss that it been living by which states was not up to the company “Faith is the assurance to decide that, but up to my of things hoped for, the God. I testified in church evidence of things not seen” one Sunday that Diane and – Hebrews 11:1. I had reached our limit, There is nowhere else to our ‘Red Sea,’ stating in turn but to the Word of God. faith that God would part Yes, we have completed the the waters for us. In three cottage, the craft workshop days He did just that! The and the dreamed of company granted me the photographic studio, package with immediate but have gone into Debt “Faith is the effect. I fell on my knees and Review as we could not wept! Diane was thankful keep up the steep monthly assurance of that I would be at home to payments on our accounts. things hoped for, help her mom, who was now I realised that this was not ninety years old and needed the time to start doubting the evidence of constant supervision. What the Word of God. This is things not seen” – a mighty God we serve! where I need to exercise Hebrews 11:1. A man I know, who had my faith even more than heard of our predicament, before... and I have found approached me at a large that the more I exercise my Christian rally held in Durban recently and faith, the more it increases! God is blessing us told me that he would pay for the cottage but we still have a long journey ahead of us. to be completed. Hallelujah! Building plans At the time of going to press, this is where were now drawn up (which we never received we stand…firmly on the Word of God! As yet before, even though the lawyer ordered the I don’t have the final answer, but I know the cunning con-artist builder to furnish them) One who does – His name is Jesus and I am and submitted the plans to the corporation. letting Him straighten out our crooked paths As the main house was older than sixty years, and restore what has been stolen from us. special permission was needed – and was granted, allowing us to continue. We hired another builder and when I asked my friend for money for building materials and wages, Clive Thompson email@example.com he suggested that I use my pension payout www.connectmagazine.co.za | 31
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