Money

money

Money is something we need to survive but it can easily become a snare when our perspective on money and our desire for it becomes skewed.

Jeremiah 48:7a

Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
    you too will be taken captive,

Money becomes a problem when we put our trust in it rather than in the Lord. This verse is talking about a physical captivity, but putting our trust in our riches can lead to a spiritual captivity. We can find ourselves captive to acquiring more and more riches. Captive is defined as held in bondage or enslaved. Are you enslaved to acquiring more and more money? Do you feel like you are held in bondage to making more and more money?

Proverbs 11:28

Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Placing our trust in money will lead to a fall. It will be difficult for us to stand firm in our faith and thrive in our lives if we replace trusting the Lord with trusting in our bank accounts. Only the Lord can give us what we need to thrive. He created us and knows our relationship with Him is what will help us to live into His plans.

Proverbs 23:4-5

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Do you find yourself worn out trying to make enough money to live a particular lifestyle? Are you working so hard to get a promotion or get raise that you don’t have time for your family or for God? Everything we acquire here on earth remains here. It is temporary and we can’t take it with us. We need to be more focused on our relationship with the Lord and our relationship with others than we are on making more money.

Proverbs 15:27a

The greedy bring ruin to their households,

Money is one of the things people fight and argue about the most. Do you find yourself arguing about money or finance? When we put to much focus on money, we find ourselves bringing ruin to households and our relationships. How many families fall apart when someone dies and there is a battle over an estate? How many relationships are destroyed over money?

We do need money to survive, but our perspective on it needs to be grounded. Look at how much time you spend acquiring money and what impact money has on your relationships. Do you have broken relationships because of arguments over money or do you have strained relationships because you are to busy making money to spend time with the people you love? Ask the Lord to help you get a right perspective on money and put your trust in Him rather than your bank account.

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Busyness

Stop Glorifying Busy

We live in a culture where busyness is glorified. Whenever we ask someone how they are, often instead of answering with how they are feeling, they tell you how busy they are. We fill every minute of every day with things to do. Our to do lists grow and grow, but does it come at the cost of growing in our faith?

The antidote to busyness is stillness. No where in Scripture does it tell us to be busy, but it does tell us to be still.

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

In order for us to come to know God, we need to be still. We cannot hear what He has to say to us if we are constantly in motion. We will miss what He has for us if we don’t spend time with Him.

Being still is a challenge for us. We don’t even wait without doing something. What do you do when you find yourself waiting in line, waiting at a doctor’s office or waiting for someone to arrive? Do you allow yourself the gift of a few minutes of stillness or do you fill those minutes by looking at your email, Facebook, Twitter, or playing a game on your phone or other electronic device?

Perhaps if we took those opportunities when we find ourselves waiting to be still before the Lord, we might grow closer to Him. Waiting requires patience, and patience is not something that comes naturally to us. The Lord calls us to be still and to wait patiently.

Psalm 37:7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;…

Pay attention to how often you say you are busy or hear from others how busy they are this week. Maybe you need to take advantage of the moments of quiet you have and simply be still before the Lord and wait for Him to speak to you, minister to you and reveal to you how He is working in your life.

Combatting the busyness of life is easy – simply be still. Let’s stop glorifying busyness and start glorifying the Lord!

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Are you Content?

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It is easy for us to feel discontent in our circumstances. When we do, how can we turn our discontent into content? The answer has nothing to do with the circumstances themselves and everything to do with our relationship with the Lord.

Even if you are struggling financially or not where you would like to be financially, you can be content. You may not be making the money you want to be making in your job, yet Scripture tells us to be content.

Luke 3:14

 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

Often we find ourselves looking at what others have and wanting more. Any time we find ourselves comparing any part of our lives with another’s we will either be proud about having more or being better off than the other person or discontent and wanting what they have. Comparison always breads discontentment. Yet, the Word of God says we  to be content with what we have.

Hebrews 13:5

 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sometimes our discontentment doesn’t have anything to do with money. It has to do with a situation we find ourselves in or how we feel we are being treated by others. Again, Scripture speaks clearly about this.

2 Corinthians 12:10

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So, if we are to be content regardless of our financial situation and regardless of what circumstances we are facing, how do we do it? Well, we don’t, at least not on our own. We allow the Spirit of God that dwells within us to minister to us. This doesn’t mean our circumstances will change, but it means we won’t be facing them alone. We will be comforted, equipped and strengthened by the His Spirit. Through submitting to His Spirit and allowing Him to work in us, we can be content.

Philippians 4:11

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

In what areas of your life are you feeling discontent? Submit those areas to the Lord and ask Him to help you feel His presence and see where He is working. Ask the Lord to comfort and strengthen you. May we all find the contentment Paul found in the Spirit of God.

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Our God

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I am not a poet, but this morning I was reminded of how awesome our God is and the only way I could express it is through a poem entitled Our God.

Our God is unchanging

He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow

His love for us never changes

His love for us is not dependent upon our love for Him

Our God is faithful

His faithfulness to us isn’t dependent upon our faithfulness to Him

He forgives us for our sins and draws us back to Himself

Our God never leaves us, He pursues us

He created us and has plans for us

His power is made perfect in our weakness

Our God is worthy of our thanks and praise

I pray this poem serves as a reminder to you of how awesome our God is!

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Psalm 36:5

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

Matthew 26:28

for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

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At a Loss for Words

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Have you ever sat down to pray and found yourself at a loss for words? For those of you who know me, it may seem impossible that I would ever be at a loss for words. However, there are definitely times when I sit down to pray and find myself with not much to say or not able to find the right words to say.

Sometimes this is because we find ourselves overwhelmed with our circumstances and sometimes it is because our prayer life has become dull. Whatever the case, the Word of God is a great place to find the words. Parts of Psalm 69 came up in both my Bible study this week and again at church. There were a couple of verses that really struck me.

Psalm 69:13

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.

    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

What struck me was how simple and powerful these words were and how I could use the words of the psalmist as my own prayer to God. This verse emphasizes that our prayer is to the Lord directly. It acknowledges the sovereignty of God by putting the timing of His answer to our prayer in His hands. It is a beautiful reminder of His steadfast love for us and his faithfulness. God is faithful even when we are not.

Psalm 69:16

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
    according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.

This particular verse wasn’t part of what I read in Bible study or what was read in church but as I was following along with the reading in church, my eyes were drawn down a few verses to this verse. I love it when I open the Word of God for myself during church and what God has for me is just above or below what we are reading that day. It is one of the reasons I think it is so important for us to follow along with readings in our own Bibles even if the verses are being read aloud or displayed on a screen.

This verse along with verse 13 make such a powerful prayer. It is crying out to the Lord by acknowledging not only how good His love for us is but reminding us of the steadfastness of His love. It is asking the Lord to turn His attention to us so we can experience His mercy. Notice how His mercy is described – abundant. His mercies are new each day.

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

If you find yourself at a loss for words or feel your prayer time has become a little dull, open His Word and use it to pray. There is tremendous power in His Word. Maybe it is just the power you need to tap into today.

Isaiah 55:11

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

  • Picture by Master Isolated Images at www.freedigitalphotos.net
  • Scripture from www.biblegateway.com

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