Let Us Give Thanks

We should always seek to be thankful to the Lord for all He provides, but Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to come together as family and as a community and a nation to give thanks together to our Lord,  YHWH. For those who follow Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), we always have that most important gift of salvation through grace by faith for which to be thankful… no matter what else may be going on in our lives.

I have found it is very easy to lose focus on the Lord as we get busy in our holiday traditions and celebrations… even Thanksgiving. It seems the Lord dropped a surprise in my shopping bag on my recent trip to a store. I want to share it with you. Lifeway Christian store put together a small booklet of scriptures into a “Thanksgiving Table Devotional”. We have it at our table and we read and share as we come together to eat our meals.

Psalm 106:1

1Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:17

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Philippians 4:6

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 9:1-2

1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.

      2I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

As we read these scriptures together we take time to go around the table and ask about examples of things that are specific to us for which we are grateful to our Father who provides. This is not particularly unique, but it sure is easy to overlook. I appreciate the Lord putting these scriptures where I would find them as I was looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and focused on Him for my family. Praise the Lord He cares for each of us as His children!

What will you make the focus of this Thanksgiving season? Football, shopping, food, fellowship… or our Creator and Father and a right attitude towards Him? My suggestion is to focus on our Father with a healthy side of family fellowship.

(This post provided by our partner ministry, HearingFromJesus.org.)

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Let Us Give Thanks to YHWH With All Our Heart

No matter what your situation financially, let us give thanks and sing praises to YHWH. Let us bow down before him and submit our lives to him. Reflect on his lovingkindness toward his people.

Psalms 138

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Favor.

A Psalm of David.

     1I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I will sing praises to You before the gods.

      2I will bow down toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name.

      3On the day I called, You answered me;
You made me bold with strength in my soul.

      4All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD,
When they have heard the words of Your mouth.

      5And they will sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.

      6For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.

      7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

      8The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Do You Serve Money or Does It Serve You?

We can learn a lot about someone’s character by observing them in times of grief or opportunity. In Genesis 23, we see the godly character of Abraham as he seeks to bury his wife, Sarah. He serves God rather than money. Money is a tool for him. We should learn from his example.

      1Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4“I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” 5The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6“Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.” 7So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. 8And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site.” 10Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth; even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11“No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” 12And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. 13He spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me that I may bury my dead there.” 14Then Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15“My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

      17So Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, which faced Mamre, the field and cave which was in it, and all the trees which were in the field, that were within all the confines of its border, were deeded over 18to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field at Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave that is in it, were deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth.

Reviewing Abraham’s actions at this difficult time reveals some important points to consider that can impact your finances:

  • The Hittites had great respect for Abraham even though He distinguished himself as a man who followed God and was a foreigner in their land. They worshipped other gods.
  • Abraham showed respect for the Hittites despite their different beliefs. This does not mean he agreed with them or participated in their false religion.
  • Abraham was not afraid to openly ask for help.
  • Abraham, though wealthy, was not greedy. He refused the opportunity to take advantage of the offer of receiving the land for free. He did not even haggle. Further, he avoided any possible appearance of wrong by conducting business in the open with witnesses.

As Christians, we can strive to follow Abraham’s example in dealing with non-Christians. For those who are not openly hostile and seeking to kill Christians, we can conduct business with them and show them proper respect. We treat them as someone God loves and someone whom we would love to reach with the good news of the gospel.  However, we do not hide our faith. We openly live so as to show that we follow and serve God. Our behavior and attitudes should differentiate us clearly from those who do not follow God.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

A Truly Profitable Investment With Long Term Payout

We are all looking for profitable long term investments to help us manage our personal finances. This is a very good goal. However, let’s pause long enough to put life in a slightly different perspective with regards to what is profitable. The greatest asset we have, one which we did not earn and we can not replace, is the life which our Father in heaven as gifted to us. In a way, we could think of ourselves as an asset in God’s hands. What “profit” is He seeking from us in how we use our lives? How will we invest this one time gift for His glory and our benefit? They are not mutually exclusive, though the world (and Satan) will try to convince you to pick one or the other.

After meeting Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul lived a life that serves as a good portrait of one who lived submitted completely to Jesus Christ. Paul truly died to self and took up his cross to follow after Christ. He turned His life into a fantastic investment for the Lord. I am confident he is even now enjoying the fruits personally of his choices. Eternity in the presence of the Lord. What Joy! But it was not without choices and trade offs in his own earthly life. Paul had strong convictions and lived for God. He was focused on being truly profitable rather than just getting money and comfort for himself.

Matthew 16:24-27

      24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

As he prepared to leave for Jerusalem, Paul met with local elders of the church to remind them about his personal life lived as example as one submitted to Christ. It was filled with hardship and uncertainty, but also hope and joy in all circumstances. Paul provides a good summary of how we should approach our lives submitted to Christ. We do well to read carefully as if Paul were writing this to us and try to apply it in our lives today.

Acts 20:17-38

Farewell to Ephesus

      17From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18And when they had come to him, he said to them,
“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22“And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

      25“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26“Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31“Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34“You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

      36When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, 38grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.

As we consider this portrait of living for Christ, Paul reveals several key elements we should carefully consider and apply in our own lives, not matter what our work or ministry.

  • Serve God with humility, even through trials and tears.
  • Do not shrink from teaching truth and repentance, regardless of consequences to you personally.
  • Remember that our life’s purpose is not our own when we are submitted to Christ. Our purpose is to wholeheartedly seek after the work God assigns us to further His kingdom.
  • Be on guard for false teaching and those who would draw you away from Christ. The threat comes both from those outside the church as well as from among the church. People will pervert God’s word to draw disciples after themselves.
  • Do not cease to admonish one another so that we help one another to remain in Christ and in His truth.
  • In testing for false teaching, admonishing, and living for Christ we must look to God and to the word of God as our unchanging source of truth.
  • Work hard to provide for yourself and do not covet someone else’s wealth.
  • Help the weak.
  • Pray for one another in genuine love and concern. Create a community of brothers and sisters in Christ that truly love and care for each other.

Ask yourself… “How does this teaching from Paul apply to my life today?” and then take action to make any course corrections you need to live fully submitted to Christ.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

It All Belongs to God

At GrowGodsMoney.org, our mission is to serve God by helping His people be wise stewards of the resources God has put in their care. All that we have belongs to God and He calls us to be good stewards of it. Each of us will be judged based on how we use what He has given us.  (Learn more )

God provides clear warning about the dangers of the love of money. Money must never be our master, but rather a tool or servant to help us serve God while we are here on this earth.

Matthew6:24 24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

1 Timothy 6:10 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

GrowGodsMoney.org helps you build a personal financial plan for income, spending and debt, investment, and giving… all based on Biblical principles.

  1. Subscribers can receive our free financial insights post weekly via email, Facebook, or Google Plus.
  2. Previously published financial insights posts are searchable by category on the website for application to your specific situation.
  3. Our Guiding Framework provides a solid outline around which you can build your personal financial plan.
  4. Review and use the recommended Resources we link to on the site. There is a lot of information out there to help you if you know where to look. We do not consider other Christian financial websites and ministries to be competitors… may it never be! We are part of the body of Christ. Our mission is to help our brothers and sisters in Christ.
  5. Ask us general questions applicable to your personal finances. Submit your question privately via the Contact Us page of this website. This is a great way to get a second opinion on part of your financial strategy or even just to get pointed in the right direction to resolve a specific issue.

Please let us know how we can help you grow God’s money (Contact Us) and share our site with family, friends, and others that may benefit from our services.

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Why Does God Want My Money?

“Why does God want my money?” Many will ask themselves this when they do not want to obey His instructions about money. They would rather keep it all and decide for themselves how much to give, if at all, and to whom. It is a trick question, really. God does not want your money… He wants your heart.

Matthew 6:19-21  19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The point is that God warns us we can not have two masters. We can not serve both God and money.

Luke 16:13  13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

He wants us to choose Him over money.

Matthew 6:33  33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

God knows that helping us to consciously choose to put Him first will put us on the right path in life. We will not only please Him, but find more joy in life as well and live with the right priorities. Many who choose to serve money find ruin and destruction.

1 Timothy 6:9-10  9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

“Does God really care how much I give?” Yes. Once again, whether you use your money to honor God or to serve yourself is quite telling as an indicator of your heart.  If you are trying to calculate the bare minimum you can give God and “get by” you are missing the point. He wants your heart. God especially does not like when we lie to Him or cheat Him, claiming before Him or before men to bring a certain amount and then refusing to do so. Yes, He gets angry.

Malachi 3:8-10  8“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9“You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11“Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. 12“All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.

Acts 5:1-11

1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4“While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. 6The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

      7Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.10And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

Perhaps the better question is not “Why does God want my money?”  but rather “Why am I unwilling to trust God with the money He provided me?”

Prayerfully consider your finances and ask God to help you obey Him. What changes should you consider with your finances so that you are in obedience to His word?

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

This Decision Could Impact Your Income By 10-20% Or More – Vote Wisely

What if I told you that a single decision could impact all of your earning potential, savings, and investing by 10-20% or more? A wrong decision moves toward reducing  your income and a good decision moves toward increasing your income. You would immediately want to know what it was and how to learn more about it.

In the United States of America, we have the honor of voting in elections to select who takes many of our public offices at local, state, and national level. Elections have consequences and voting matters… a lot!

Our country was founded by Christians who were seeking freedom to worship God freely and Biblically, out from under any tyrannical rule of a king. Freedom was important… and so often not truly achieved. It was so important that the USA was not founded as a democracy in which a majority of people can vote for whatever they want, including taking the wealth and possessions of the minority. Instead, God guided our founding fathers to establish a wonderful form of government known as a constitutional republic. We do in fact participate in voting to elect representatives to the national government, but just as important is the US Constitution, which is in place to limit the power of the national government. The intent was to have a small national government doing the bare minimum (such as providing for common defense… that’s the military) needed and not getting involved in impinging on freedom of the states and the people.

Now we have a huge, stifling, mass of national government bureaucracy that tells us even how much water our toilet can flush and what kind of light bulbs we must use or can not use.  We have fallen a long way and given up much freedom. The Constitution is constantly under attack from those who wish to redefine it and consider it a “living document”, which means essentially… “as long as we can get judges to say it means something else, then it does”. This approach is wrong.  The founders put in place a management of change process for the Constitution… and it is not simply getting people in black robes to say it means something else today than it did a few hundred years ago. It is called constitutional amendments. The process has been used many times, but not recently. The Constitution means what it says until we follow the process to change it. That is the only way to protect the individual rights of the people and the founding fathers knew it! It is supposed to be hard to change!

Not only does the national government continue to grow and impinge on personal liberty, but it continues to spend money it does not have at an increasingly alarming rate… on things it should not be involved in managing and does not manage well. To pay for this, the national government always says we need to spend more money on more government programs and raise taxes or go so far into debt we will never get out. If a business was run this way, the same government would probably throw the leader in jail.

America was founded as a land of opportunity! Those who work hard can improve their family’s standard of living over multiple generations or sometimes even in a single generation. This is harder and harder to do as the government gets bigger and taxes more and puts in place more regulations and more burdens like healthcare programs they have no constitutional authority to be involved it, despite the incorrect ruling of the Supreme Court.

Elections have consequences.   It all ends up affecting your ability to earn income with liberty, to keep what you earned rather than giving it to a government to waste, to save and invest freely and rely on God and the talents He gave you rather than relying always on the national government.

For those who want to get everything for free with someone else’s money… there is not enough of “someone else’s money” to pay for everything you want you will always be beholden to the national government to get by, basically a voluntary dependent of the government. On the other hand, many of us want to keep our freedom and the fruits of our labor. We want small national government and a return to protection of our personal liberty provided by the US Constitution. We trust in God and ourselves to work hard and get ahead. If we fail, we own it, and we get back up and try again. We don’t expect someone else to always pay our bills or cover our mistakes. We are accountable to God for how we use what He has given us in this life, whether time, talent or treasure.

I encourage active participation in elections, not only by voting but also by influencing those around you. Research the truth. Do not trust what politicians say, but rather judge by the fruit of their lives as the Bible instructs us. Do not be lazy and believe what TV network news shows tell you, for they are decidedly leaning toward big national government and less individual freedom. Instead, seek out the truth on the internet. Search out confirmation from multiple time-tested, reliable news sources. (You can’t trust everyone’s blog, either.) We are to test everything and discern truth from lies. If someone is constantly changing positions when it suits them, then you know they have no principle. They are political chameleons and you can not trust them except to look out for their own best interests. If they are honest but their plans will bankrupt our country worse than today… you may be able to trust them, but you are voting for disaster and loss of freedom. Look for those whose past actions and accomplishments line up with what they say and line up with what God’s word says. Seek those who strongly support the protection of individual rights provided by the Constitution… for ultimately it is your rights they protect!

How much harder it is to manage your personal finances when the government always takes more and more from what you earn, what you spend, what you invest, and even what you own when you die! What good is it to earn and save and invest if the government can just come and take what they want from whom they want?

Elections have consequences. Get involved today and don’t stop trying to influence your elected officials once they get into office. Remain engaged!

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Stewarding Your Financial Strategy

Once you build your financial strategy (e.g. income, spending, debt, savings, investing, etc.) you should determine a frequency upon which you will revisit elements of your strategy to ensure you are following it and that it is effective. This is called stewardship.

Some elements need a higher frequency than others to ensure you are on course or to identify areas you can improve your strategy and effectiveness in managing your finances.  You can decide the frequency, but it is important to come back and steward.

A great example is in spending. Once you set a budget and spending targets, which should also translate to a savings target, you need to evaluate how you are performing vs. that target and identify if you need to make further adjustments to your spending to  meet the target you set out. If you consistently overspend your target and are unable to meet your savings target, you need to evaluate your spending and make changes… either to the spending or the targets.

Even revisit spending on major recurring expenses like home insurance, car insurance, phone bills, television and internet service. You may be surprised by how much you can save by shopping around and comparing providers once a year or by periodically testing if you are ready to reduce your service to a less expensive alternative. In some areas, you can even switch utility providers to save money… and the electricity or gas still comes through the same line, managed by the same company it did before… you just pay less and write a different name on the check every month!

The same is true for debt or investment. An important example with debt would be someone who has mortgage on their home. If you re-evaluate and find that the mortgage rates have dropped you may consider re-financing and saving money by enjoying a lower rate of borrowing on your mortgage.

The concept is simple… but often missed.  Once you establish your financial strategy, you must come back and evaluate if you are following it and if it is effective. Test the major elements within your expenses, debt, and investing even if you are meeting target… you may be able to do better still! Use this stewardship to help you make adjustments to continue improving your strategy and your execution of the strategy.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

A Father’s Wise Advice

The wisdom in Proverbs 6:1-15 is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Please read it slowly and thoughtfully. Avoid reading so fast you can not dwell on the message contained here. Allow God to speak to you for your life and the lives of those you may be able to help.

Take great care in giving a pledge or guarantee on behalf of neighbors and strangers. Do not do so unless you can afford to lose that amount if something does not work out.

1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

      2If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

3Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Be not lazy. Instead be industrious, taking ownership for your own care and for that of others you are responsible for. Think ahead, well beyond the short term daily provision but rather looking ahead to the future. It may seem far off now, but if you don’t prepare now you will face crisis later.

6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

Do not devise evil for your own financial gain.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

13Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;

14Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.

15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

Consider scripture from Proverbs as if it were advice from a wise, loving father… because it is just that.

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

Choose Your Own (Financial) Adventure – But Do So Wisely

I remember as a child reading a style of book that was called a “choose your own adventure” book. Basically this style of kids book has a basic story line with several outcomes for each situation the characters encounter based on which choices you as the reader make for them. For example… if in the story the main character faces a choice to go into a cave, or continue in the forest… the reader chooses and turns next to the page that continues the story based on that decision. The outcome is always different based on the choice the reader makes.

The same is true in life. Yes, for each of us there are some preset assumptions for our adventure… who our parents are, where we are born, what value system we are taught, etc. However, we each have the opportunity to make choices for ourselves that influence the outcome of our personal story. This is true whether or not we choose to admit that we are making decisions that matter. Do we get up and find a job? Do we work hard? Do we show love to others? Do we obey God?

We make decisions every day. It is just that we at times overlook the importance of how even our seemingly daily, “small” decisions influence the outcome of our life.

I used to think it would be helpful to have a guide to help me choose wisely as each situation came up in those kids books. What if I had a map that showed which choices led to success and which to destruction? Wouldn’t that be great! It would help me navigate to the best possible outcome for whatever story I was in.

While no one made a guide or map for the choose your own adventure books, God did in fact provide a guide for helping us in our every day life decisions while we deal with other people and with God. Of course this includes managing our finances wisely!

While the Bible as a whole provides much value and insight here, Proverbs in particular comes to mind as providing lots of specific applications of wisdom for how we make our daily decisions. Many of the Proverbs are laid out in such a way as to contrast righteousness and wisdom to wickedness. We do well to study Proverbs consistently and apply it as God intended as the guide to help us navigate our lives to the best possible outcome.

Do not think of scripture as something old and out of date. Instead, think of it as part of an instruction manual that God has given you… yes you, specifically… for your life. Read it as if God meant for you to use it in making your daily decisions, because He did!

I always encourage you to click the link and read the whole scripture, but I have highlighted some verses in the article that have more applicability for finances specifically.

Proverbs 17

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

      1Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife.

2A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share in the inheritance among brothers.

5He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; he who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished

10A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

18A man lacking in sense pledges and becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.

23A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom to pervert the ways of justice.

At first glance, perhaps some of these may not be clear in regards to finances. Take time to dwell on them. Verse 10 and 12 strike me of very applicable to those of us who may make mistakes with our finances from time to time. Someone who wishes to help us may rebuke our unwise choices and we should take care to keep pride at bay and remain humble enough to receive their correction, even if they don’t say it in the nicest way. We will be the benefactor of the message if we do. Similarly, let us not be the fool trapped in his own folly once we have made a poor decision on finances. Be willing to admit a mistake and get out of it, even if at a loss. This could apply to overextending our debt by buying too big a home or too expensive cars and doing so on debt instead of saving ahead. The interest could cost you dearly. It could apply to investing in stocks when we make a poor choice and have a losing position.

10A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

12Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.

Take time to really reflect on each of the verses in today’s article. Think of situations and decisions you are facing today in your life. Which verses in today’s reading is God putting on your heart to apply in your life to help you make the right decisions?

God may also show you through His word some examples of where you handled a situation well, even if the outcome was not what you wanted… thank Him for the encouragement!

Continue to study and apply the wisdom contained in Proverbs to specific issues in your life. Use the wisdom God provides to help your find the best outcome based on choices you make that  influence your own personal adventure in life!

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Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .

 

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