Tag Archives: Finances

More Month Than Money

31 Jan

Following is my latest writing challenge entry for the FaithWriters group I belong to at http://www.FaithWriters.com.

I was really scared. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, “How in the world am I going to make it? I don’t have gas for my car. I can’t buy groceries. My lights are about to be turned off. I haven’t been able to pay my rent. What if I am evicted?”

Without fail there are daily concerns that we cannot ignore. We can turn away from some things, making them go away for the moment, but not financial necessities.

“Oh Ye of little faith” – I was tormenting myself with these words. I never paid much attention to them before. Anyway, it was just a lighthearted remark used when someone was worried about something and didn’t want to make an issue of it.

I spent so much time looking back at my failures or looking forward to problems that “might” occur that I wasn’t even living in the present. Then, I remembered reading the Bible in Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV), “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Money is a very sensitive subject. Most of us have more month than we do money. We can pray, of course. (Usually we get pretty serious with God when we can’t make ends meet.) But before we start whining and telling God how awful things are, we need to take a good look at how we got there.

We may be facing circumstances too serious to ignore. That’s when we begin to question our behavior and our actions. We look deep inside and, if we are honest with ourselves, it becomes clear – somewhere along the way we made some unwise decisions, resulting in our current circumstances.

Money issues never go away. Our faith is tested over and over because decisions must be made concerning how we manage every dollar we spend. We can’t ignore the consequences when our electricity is about to be cut off and freezing rain is in the forecast. Or, we may be too embarrassed to admit to our friends we can’t attend their wedding because we don’t have gas money.

God knew, long ago, the challenges we would face today and inspired His chosen men to record, in the Bible, the answers we need. But we treat God’s Word like we do the instructions that are included when we purchase something needing assembly. We don’t take time to read the instructions and when we run into trouble, we blame it on the “piece of junk” we purchased instead of our avoidance of reading the directions.

We can’t get angry or blame God when we choose to ignore His written instructions. When we get to the end of our money before we get to the end of the month, it isn’t God’s fault.

The answer is easy – the solution is another choice. God leaves the decision with us. We get to use the free will He has given us.

Malachi 3:8-10 New Living Translation (NLT) “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“It is finished” (John 19:30 NIV) Jesus took care of it all when He bowed His head and freely gave up His Spirit on the Old Rugged Cross – “It” being everything – past, present and future.

Are You A Giver?

25 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (16)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
  • Do you have a deep desire to see God’s work advance?
  • Do you have an eye for excellence?
  • Do you daydream about what churches, missions, and Christian organizations could accomplish if they had enough money?
  • Do you feel a burden when persons involved on the front lines of God’s kingdom work share their financial needs?
  • Has God blessed you with an ability to make money or be content with a simple lifestyle?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, then God may have given you the gift of giving

God gives us spiritual gifts to increase our joy, not to make us miserable! You can be assured that if God has given you the gift of giving, He has also given you the ability either (1) To make money or (2) to enjoy a simple lifestyle (or maybe both). THE giver (Jesus) always gives the “giver” both the gift of giving and the gift to give! The tithe is a minimum Christian responsibility
God expects 10 percent of our income to be returned to Him through our church to acknowledge that He is the owner of everything.

  • –Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse , that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
  • –I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. (Mal. 3:10-12) NIV
•The person with the gift of giving will give more and expect less
–They go beyond the Christian responsibility of giving a tithe.
•Their motives are pure
•They are ready and willing to give of their finances to see that a project is accomplished
•This person will usually make personal sacrifices in order to give a large amount of money
•It is a God-given drive on the inside to give

•They want their gift to be of high quality and used in a worthwhile manner.
•They are more likely to give to ministries or projects than to individuals.
•They are not usually a “soft touch” but wait for projects and needs that really make a difference.
  • They are alert to needs that others overlook that really make a difference –Vacations – Clothes – Vehicles – Equipment–Medicine – Gas Money – Money for Repairs–Food – and so on
“Too good,” “too expensive”, and “good enough for the church” are not in their vocabulary. They have a heart for missions. They sometimes misinterpret the desire  to give to missions as a “call” to the mission field. If a person gives to 10 missionaries, he should be sure God is calling him before he stops supporting them so he can go himself.
  • In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis
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