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Some time ago I spent two weeks enjoying the sea breeze and the surf in Cape Cod. Annie and I were fortunate to occupy a nice place a block from the beach. Having grown up in Minnesota, I had to learn to relax by sitting listening to the waves, but now I have learned to enjoy it.

While there I read a very simple book that I would love to tell you about. It is called "The Richest Man in Babylon" and you can get it at any major bookstore. It is quick read and it talks about a few doable principles that will lead you to a prosperous life.

They are so simple that you may tend to overlook them. And even though they are simple in principle they are not so simple in practice.

There are seven principles in the book and I would like to take the very first one.

Pay yourself first.

Now this goes against almost all that you are taught when it comes to tithing. You are to give the best and first 10 percent to God and then you take the remaining 90% and live your life.

I have lived this way and it has been powerful because it activates my relationship with God in a powerful way and helps me to remain dependent on Him for everything.

However, this does not negate the powerful truth in this concept - pay yourself first.

Creflo Dollar has been teaching "the Righteousness of God" and has been challenging our concepts concerning stewardship.

If we are sons, and then we are not stewards, we are owners. Stewards are managers that have the "power of attorney" or "delegated authority" from the owner to bring production from our land or the company we have been given authority over.

An owner owns. The land is his/hers. The buck stops with him/her. He has a stake in it and will pay the price when things go wrong.

The tithe belongs to God. This is true. However, it belongs to you as well. You are His son. So when you are paying your tithe. You are paying it to your Father and therefore to yourself. You must sow it into the Kingdom of God or into the House of God for Kingdom Building but you must not feel that you have paid it away from yourself.

You have paid it to your inheritance and it is going to be multiplied back to you in many ways including favor, wisdom, strength, divine connections, inspiration and the one hundred-fold return.

So, you have paid yourself in that tithe. Moreover, pay yourself in the natural. Take an additional 10 percent and pay it into a savings account. Begin to save an additional 10 percent to ready yourself for opportunities when they come your way.

Opportunities come to every man, but those who are prepared seize them. These monies will begin to add up and you will find that your interest will be piqued about financial matters. People who say money isn't important don't have any. And they are lying because they are thinking about it all the time.

Now here is where the discipline comes in. You have to pare down your lifestyle, in the beginning to live off of the remainder. If you have to move to a smaller place to minimize costs then do so.

If you are in debt, then you have to take another 10 percent of your income and earmark it for debt cancellation only. (This is another teaching.) Refuse to incur any more debt. Do without everything that you cannot pay cash for out of your remaining 70 percent.

Now you can refuse to heed this advice but this advice is sound and simple. Anyone can do it. It doesn't matter if you are a plumber, a pilot, a politician or a peddler of wares.

If you will work this simple time-tested system you will begin to get your money working for you and you will not have to work so hard for money.

The Richest Man in Babylon is the book you need to get. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can reason together.

Copyright © Faith Exchange Fellowship
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Dan Stratton
Web site: Faith Exchange
Dan Stratton has been a member of the Wall Street community since 1981, first as a Yale-educated businessman with exceptional acumen, and today as a pastor and entrepreneur with a vision for using the Marketplace to unite the Body of Christ. Stratton’s oratorical style is straightforward, a coach in the half-time locker room, with the Bible as his game plan. Occasionally he lightens the mood by poking fun at himself and then showing the congregation his technique.

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