If you would like to share the 1/4 you had read, or a chapter, or a sentence, or something that provoked you to good works, or something that edified your faith and relation in Christ then by all means please do share and be quick about it for our sakes.
If you would like to start a thread about this book; this is the safe and courteous way to do it.
I say "safe and courteous" because it is rather dangerous to offer out a book of unknown (to us) content. And, also, in this way, it is highly unlikely that anyone will put forward the effort to obtain this book which may very well contain beautiful insights, given from above, to instruct us all in diligence towards eternity. It is not proper to commend the entirety of a book that "seems" to be profitable for the saints, without first taking the patience to read it thoroughly through; to see that no false doctrine be swallowed with a capsule of truth.
Please understand that my advice was meant not to discourage or offend but rather to protect others and to draw out from you yourself (rather than from a secondary source) those truths that have been found so critical to your own faith. And in thus sharing those truths with us you may likewise provoke us to be found doers of the Word and perhaps read this book for ourselves. I would assume that your friends did this very thing when they strongly recommended this book to you. We need to be willing to take the initiative and effort in beginning to share some foundational truths we may have learned, rather than pointing back to a book. (God have mercy on us that we have likewise done the same in proclaiming the Gospel -- just go read this Book or go talk to my pastor, we tell the world, as we are not prepared to share with them the hope that is within us.)
If we are honest with ourselves, all the books we read are not necessary, or required, for our Christian faith. Even as Luke wrote in the introduction to the Gospel:
1. Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2. Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4. That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Therefore, anything we read that does not continue in the same Spirit of this introduction is neither worthy or profitable for the name of Christianity.
I will honestly say that if I never read another book, even the Bible, I would not be at a loss. Yet, while I have the opportinity and privilege to read such fine books written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit to share their hearts burdens with us, I shall gladly and thankfully do so.
What I mean to say is this: in eternity there is only one Book that is of critical importance, the Book of Life. Rejoice if your name is written therein. Therefore, while we yet live this life in the flesh let it be known that the books we read and cherish are but shadows and dust compared to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus.
I do sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm for sharing another book and encouraging others in learning from it and sharing here together. But if such a simple suggestion, as I have tried to assist you with, is enough to reject, turn away, from sharing with us, who may have benefitted from your words, then we are left to wonder this book's critical importance. I do pray you will be back soon.
My apologize, the internet can not convey the tone and tenderness for which I have written these words. I myself have much to say from my own heart concerning money and possessions as compared to eternity; the Lord knows where I stand.
For I consider that I shall likely die a poor man, but God as my witness I am gaining riches in Christ. And not poor because I could not but because I would not sacrifice eternity (what I could not dare to lose) for what is passing away (what I must certainly lose). As the Proverb that is also my own prayer,
7. Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die:
8. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9. Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
And, this Psalm of God's retirement plan,
25. I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
I would that all Christians lived as missionaries. For what are we but missionaries? I am reminded of Hudson Taylor, though he had money to live comfortably during the years of his medical training he lived with humble, and rather meager, accomodations so that the excess of his allowances should go to the needs of others. I find it amusing myself as for how many years I had slept on an air mattress or futon (what 10-15 bucks?) and did not even consider it of interest to get a better mattress. Rather my parents eventually bought me one though I continued to shoo them away :-P
How many Christians can honestly say that they are convicted of buying five-dollar coffee and fruit beverages? I do not stand against being joyous and treating ourselves and one another; but seriously, of what need or value is this feeding of the flesh with worldly pleasures? The sensualism of our desserts and (as my father has said) "foo-foo" drinks and choice steaks and cigarettes and alcohol, etc.
Let us stop and consider this simple example of frivolous self spending:
(This is not about Starbucks; it just got used for the example. And it is not a sin leading to death to buy Starbucks coffee -- though it is the devil!) :-P
Yet, one day, while you are lawfully preparing to buy some five-perhaps-six dollar coffee drink, it occurs to you, "Lord, this stuff is 6 bucks! If I but drink this unprofitable drink 3 days every week, for a month, that is 72 dollars! Do I even tithe that much? And do I honestly wonder how it is I never have enough to give to the poor and the needy? Goodness, 72 dollars, if I were to make 12 dollars an hour at work that is 6 hours of work! I don't even give 6 hours of my week to serve my own community! When was the last time I spent 6 hours with my family and friends in the Lord?" (And don't get me started with video games and television!)
It is just as the parable of the Sower, where some seeds grew up with the thorns and thistles. The word of God was received, as evidenced by the newness of life, the seed grew up to be a plant (perhaps a plant even so fine as the last of the seeds planted in the parable). Yet, it grew up with all the cares of the world and eventually the life was choked out of it because the believer would not put off the old man of sinful flesh and take on the new man born in Christ, and that daily.
If the church was half has focused on eternity as they ought to be there would not be all this great to-do for "putting out fires" all week long. Neither would there be so much bondage and slavery to unrighteousness; those who are in danger of being cast aways (1 Corinthians 9:27).
We are preaching a Jesus who saves us IN our sins rather than saving us FROM our sins. As the Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; what we find so often is a church continually (hopefully) being convicted of sin because sin still has dominion over them. Where are the Christians who are constrained by the Love of Christ and convicted of righteousness? How many Christians even understand what it is to be convicted of righteousness? Were you to ask them, I know I have, they will say in so many words -- conviction of righteousness is the same as conviction of sin. Yea, as similar as the east is from the west!
Well, anyways, I believe that is a fair start to such a topic as "Money, Possessions & Eternity". Truly, there is a great deal more to say. But I will refrain for now and allow others to continue where I have left off or to add something else.