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Coffee Shop Conversations

4

Money in The Bible?

When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” Matthew 17:24‭-‬27 NKJV

This is the third and final sneak peek from the new book; "The Fish With The Gold In Its Mouth" and is a continuation from yesterday's blog entitled, "Ranking The Miracles of Jesus".

Ironically, while I write this introduction, it's tax season in the United States of America where I reside. For some people it's a season of celebration because they are guaranteed a return for overpaying during the year but for others it's a season of angst because they owe the IRS and know they'll have to pay. Maybe that's the reason why I chose to write on this topic right now. I need to call on Jesus, throw a hook in the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and hope I catch a fish with some gold in its mouth so I can pay the IRS. As the saying goes, "He did it once, He'll do it again." I’m just kidding or maybe I’m not.

On a serious note, the purpose of this book is to unlock valuable nuggets of wisdom concerning God's Kingdom particularly in the area of finances based on the life and teachings of Jesus. Yet for some people the obvious question that comes to mind is what exactly do any of the teachings of Jesus have to do with money. The short answer is a whole lot. The long answer is this book. He spoke about money more often than many of the more popular topics we remember Him for. A quick search of the New Testament shows money being mentioned 88 times compared to hell which is mentioned 17 times or homosexuality which is mentioned twice.

In fact, Jesus included financial principles in His parables of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus shared The Parable of The Minas in which He drew a direct comparison between financial management and Kingdom responsibilities. Consider the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 or The parable of The Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. If you didn't know it already, those talents were not referring to dancing or singing but money.

Then in John 2, directly following His first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding, we read that Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and dismantled the “flea market”. He threw their money on the floor, turned over their tables and ran them out of the building with the help of a whip in His hands. It’s not by chance that money played such a prominent role whether positive or negative in the ministry of Jesus.

Additionally, an important point to note is that money is not just a side issue in the rest of the scriptures either. On the one hand, Solomon, the wisest man to ever live outside of Jesus said in Ecclesiastes 10:19 that money answers everything. On the other hand, Apostle Paul, who wrote most of The New Testament said in 1 Timothy 6:10 that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Including the word “all” in both scriptures demonstrates the impact that money has on our lives. As an entity of its own, money is neither good nor bad. It answers all things yet loving it is the root of all evil. That irony underlines why we need a balanced understanding of God’s perspective on money. May God’s wisdom guide us through this process.

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

The end!

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free. You just saw a sneak peek of the book I'm working on during Coffee Shop Conversations.

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The Fish With The Gold In Its Mouth (Sneak Peek)

When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” Matthew 17:24‭-‬27 NKJV

Why did Jesus tell Peter to use a hook and not a net? Peter was a commercial fisherman when he met Jesus. He was used to fishing with a net which indiscriminately catches a large of number of fish of different types as well as other animals or objects. When a net is drawn in, the fisherman has to choose what he wants to keep and discard the rest. Again, why use a hook and not a net?

To pay the tax, Jesus didn’t need fish, He needed money. So He supernaturally directed one fish to retrieve the money then directed it to the place where Peter could catch it with a hook. Simply put, Jesus needed a specific fish, with a specific coin in a specific place at a specific time to meet a specific need. That explains why Jesus told Peter to use a hook. This might seem like a trivial detail but it’s not. This story might be about money but it can also provide great insight into how God sees people. Let me explain.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. Matthew 4:18‭-‬22 NKJV

When Jesus called fishermen Peter and John into the ministry He used the illustration of fishing to help them understand what they were getting themselves into. They would continue fishing but instead of catching fish, they would catch people. Same principles, same objectives, different targets… From this scripture we get foundational principles which will enhance our understanding of evangelism. We also see by The Law of First Mention that Jesus wanted Peter to think of reaching people the same way he thought of catching fish.

Like the fish with the coin in its mouth, God directs specific people to attain specific tools, skills or resources to complement specific gifts He’s already placed inside of them. He then guides each of them to specific places at appointed times to meet specific needs in His Kingdom. Attracting those types of people to a local church takes a different approach from the one used to draw the masses. People like these are caught with a hook approach while the masses are caught with a net approach.

A fisherman uses a certain style of rod and hook with the right type of bait to catch the exact type of fish desired. He also has to drop the hook in the water in the right place at the right time. That’s how crucial the process is to catch certain fish. On the other hand, the fisherman with the net understands the value of quantity over quality. He lowers his net where the fish are expected to be and pulls it along until enough fish are caught to make it worth his while. Each method is effective for a different reason while both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In the same way, some people are drawn to God’s Kingdom with a crowd while others need to be sought after on an individual basis. Jesus walked up to Peter and called him into the ministry along with his friends. In contrast, Peter preached a message to a big crowd after Pentecost and three thousand people were saved at the same time. When God needs particular people, He knows how to get them and that’s what he wants us to learn.

The fish with the coin in its mouth represents people with crucial resources that The Kingdom needs at any given time. God wants to teach us how to recognize who they are and catch them. Furthermore, for many of us God wants to teach us how to become one of them. In other words, don’t just learn how to catch the fish with the coin in its mouth that meets a vital need in God’s Kingdom. Be the fish.

To be continued...

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free. You just saw a sneak peek of the book I'm working on during Coffee Shop Conversations.

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Highlights from Coffee Shop Conversations: Book Writer's Club

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free.

Date - Thursday February 9th, 2017

The Body Church
3015 Rainbow Dr,
Suite #142,
Building #3009,
Decatur, GA 30034

**Located in Building 3009 in South DeKalb Office Park, 3015 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034**

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays - 9:00 AM

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

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