Tag Archives: Money

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.

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What’s Your Motive When You Give?

29 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (17)

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

We are focusing  today on one of the “Support Gifts” – The gift of GIVING. We’re going to look at some other traits of the GIVER:

•They want their gift to be administered well but do not designate every nickel – (They don’t have to “be in control.”)
•They usually do not enjoy serving on the finance committee

•They want assurance that those who do serve on committees that disperse gifts are themselves obedient givers.
•They enjoy giving special gifts to honor those called to vocational ministry
•They never attach any strings to the gift and do not want to be treated differently because of the kindness done

•Gifted givers sometimes (most of the time) do not want the recipient to know the source of the gift
•They do want to ensure that their gift is used for the purpose they intend
•They get extra pleasure in letting the transaction be between them and God, and the messenger
The Gift of GIVING – Matthew Was A GIVER
•They are able to discern wise investments in order to have more money available to give away – Matthew included more counsel on the wise use of money than any other Gospel writer (Matthew 6:19-20, 25:14-30)
•They usually give quietly without public notice – Matthew is the only Gospel writer who emphasizes that a person should give secretly so that God can reward him openly.    (Matthew 6:1-4)

•They give as unto the Lord at His promptings, not a man’s appeals – Matthew notes that when we give to the needs of fellow Christians which God reveals, we give to Christ  (Matthew 25:35-46)

•They are concerned that their gifts be of high quality – Matthew records in greater detail the costly gifts given to Jesus; gold, frankincense, myrrh, precious ointment, new sepulcher (Matthew 2:11, 26:6-13; 27:57-60)

•They have an ability to test faithfulness and wisdom by how people handle funds – Matthew reveals the foolishness and rebellion of those who misused what they were given (Matthew 21:33-34, 25:14-30)

•They practice personal frugality and are content with the basic necessities of life – Matthew had wealth and wealthy friends; however, he “left all” to follow Jesus

–(Luke 5:27-32)

•They are alert to see what other people do with their money – Matthew is the only Gospel writer to explain what the religious leaders did with Judas’ thirty pieces of silver and also how they paid the soldiers to lie.

–(Matthew 27:3-8; 28:11-15)

•They see financial needs which others tend to overlook – Matthew records Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees for not supporting their aged parents (Matthew 15:3-7). He also details the fairness of paying all the laborers the same wage.   (Matthew 20:1-16)

•They use their giving to motivate others to give – Matthew was a tax collector. His job was to motivate people to give. (Luke 5:29) His is the only Gospel to record Christ’s condemnation of the man who was forgiven by another who owed him little.

–(Matthew 18:23-35)

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

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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