There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up. – Proverbs 21:20
Where do you spend most of your time focused on? The past, the present or the future. I used to hear a phrase that I always liked, “She is so heavenly focused that she is no earthly good.” While we could all use a little more focused time on our future heavenly home, the future we are talking about today is a little closer than our trip over yonder.
With most of our clients, we usually try to discern if they are a Giver, a Spender, or a Saver. While the Givers and Spenders tend to look at the present (with a view towards the future), our Savers are most definitely focused on the future. They are concerned about being prepared down the road.
When it comes to savings, there are four key funds that we should be focused on- The Rainy-Day Fund, The Retirement Fund, The Recurring Expenses Fund, and The Really Really Want It Fund. We need a savings strategy to get money into each of these funds.
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthian 9:6-7
What are your Giving Goals?
At the end of the month or the end of the year how much money do you hope to have given away? What about your lifetime? What kind of impact do you hope to have made through your generosity? A lot of people spend time thinking about how to maximize their time on earth and even how to use their God-given talents to make a difference in this world. But what about your treasure that God has entrusted to you. God does expect us to have an impact with our money (see the verse above). It is interesting that He allows us to decide as to how we are going to participate in this manner. “Each one mustdo just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” He wants us to willingly, good-heartedly, and even cheerfully give towards His Kingdom.
Your Family has Potential
We all have different family units. No matter whether you are single or married, a parent or childless, if you are a Christ-follower you are one of the change agents. No matter the shape of your family, you are part of the family of God and represent Him in the world. Each of our families are a testimony to what God can do. We are blessed so that we might be a blessing and point the way to Jesus. The Christian family is one of the most powerful entities in all the earth. We have the potential to be one of the greatest change agents for good in our world.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty- Proverbs 21:5
A few years ago, Gallup released a poll that said one in three Americans prepare a detailed household budget. When you compare that with a similar stat that says that 70% of us are living paycheck to paycheck it is painfully obvious that most of us are flying blind. Is it any surprise that the financial stress in our culture is palatable?
One of the key components of being well managed in your finances is to have a written working budget. We say that not just because we like budget (though we do like budgets), but because year after year we sit down with families who are working through the consequence of not having a firm handle of where their money is going? Consequences like
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I made a $500 mistake in my checkbook. Not good. At Christmas. Really not good.
I have spent the morning trying to figure out what I did and unfortunately, I found it. I screwed up. Just didn’t write a couple of expenses down in my checkbook. Mistakes like this can put the screws to what is looking like a tight Christmas to begin with. I have to admit, my gut reaction is to panic. But then I remember- this is not the first time that God has gotten me out of a tight jam. This is definitely not my first rodeo, nor will it be my last.
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What is Stewardship?
Psalms 24:1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”
They say a great definition of worship is tied up in the idea that God is great, and worship is just acting accordingly. We acknowledge His greatness. Stewardship is similar. The Scripture says God owns all things, stewardship is just acknowledging that and simply living like God owns it all. What would change in your finances if you thought of yourself as the manager of what God has given you to manage, and He is the owner of all that you “own”?
We would like for you to consider becoming a Generous Steward. That requires a few things.
1. To be generous is to give of your finances to advance God’s Kingdom
“People go through three conversions: the conversion of their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not all at the same time.” -Martin Luther
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famed 95 Theses on the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This act of protest would spark the Protestant Reformation. While the content of his concerns were salvific in nature, he went on to teach everything under the sun about living out the Christian life, including the need for us to have a conversion experience related to the way we think about our money. Continue reading “We Need a Reformation of the Pocketbook!”→
I would not have made a very good Israelite in the days of Manna. You remember those right? The nation of Israel had recently exited from Egypt under the strong arm of the Lord and had left the Egyptians in complete disarray. The victorious nation with heads held high would soon war with the nations of the promised land and live in a land full of milk and honey or said another way- a land so blessed that they would have everything they needed and more. The plentiful vision of the land to which they were heading set up an expectation that would come to haunt them for the next 40 years or so. As you probably know they would receive the Law of God in the middle of a Golden-Calf revolt. Then they would “chicken out” at the border of the Promised Land at Kadesh Barnea. Because of their lack of faith, they would spend the next 40 years wandering through the wilderness. How disappointing! Continue reading “The Blessings of Daily Bread- Intro”→
Our ministry is a stewardship ministry. That means that we help families and individuals respond well to the truth that God owns all things. Even the name of this blog reflects the drum that we beat on a regular basis. In Psalms 24: 1-2 we see that
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.