A Better Financial Plan

Money matters represent different things to different people. Dealing with budgeting can be the the conveyance to freedom and opportunity financially.  Often however, money issues seem to be the fuel for strife in families, relationships, and even careers.

 

We had a Bible study topic on Tithe this week and then in devotions the topic of money kept coming up. I thought perhaps we’d take some time and look at this from a scripture perspective. This isn’t going to be a primer money management.  What I hope to dive into is more of a spiritual approach to money (or the lack of it), being a disciple of Christ, and God’s perspective according to His Word.

 

Lets start at the perspective of sustainability

 

Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV)

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

 

This is the sweet spot in prayer of provision. To be able to say, ‘God please give me that which sustains me. Not so much, as to be in excess, but what fills the need to sustain me.

 

Placing trust in God to see to your needs casts off the encumbrance caused by worrying about financial issues. So I referred to this as the sweet spot for good reason.

 

Depending on God to provide takes the responsibility off our shoulders and allows us to focus our attention more on God’s priorities, God’s direction, and doing what God calls us to do.

 

Matthew 6:26-27 (NIV)

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 

There it is; God the provider, not you. No reason to worry about sustenance when your Heavenly Father is there not just waiting but wanting to come to your aid.

 

Luke 12:22-23 (NIV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

 

Because life is more than the food on your table. Just as your body is more than the clothes that you envelope it with.  By saying ‘more’ there is a theme here that Jesus is pointing too that isn’t obvious at first blush.  More isn’t just a balance between life and food or clothes and your body.  If you stand back a bit and think about this considering what Jesus is really telling us; it is that He has MORE that he wishes us to be attending to.  More that he wills for us. More that isn’t going to be accomplished if we are caught up in this trap of provisioning constantly.

 

When we worry about sustenance less we are able to focus on being ‘more’ about Jesus every day; just like the song states.

 

More About Jesus

 

Verse 1

More about Jesus would I know
More of His grace to others show
More of His saving fullness see
More of His love who died for me

 

Chorus

More more about Jesus
More more about Jesus
More of His saving fullness see
More of His love who died for me

 

Verse 2

More about Jesus let me learn
More of His holy will discern
Spirit of God my teacher be
Showing the things of Christ to me

 

Verse 3

More about Jesus in His word
Holding communion with my Lord
Hearing His voice in ev'ry line
Making each faithful saying mine

 

Verse 4

More about Jesus on His throne
Riches in glory all His own
More of His kingdom's sure increase
More of His coming Prince of Peace

 

We do not need the distraction at all!

Luke 12:31 (NIV)

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

 

He’s going to provide he means of us supporting ourselves and our families and if we place our faith in that fact. We are going to be more at peace with our jobs, with our homes, with what God is calling us to do.

 

We aren’t giving up a thing

Matthew 19:29 (NIV)

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

 

The world would tell you that if you commit to God and His will for your life that you will ‘miss out’ on all kinds of good stuff.  This is nothing but a lie from the devil’s lips. The reality is that if we choose to go it alone, we deny the joy and blessings which the Lord has deemed for us.

 

There is peace in providence

And I’m not talking about a town in Rhode Island.

 

Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

 

We might at times think we have control of the situation but the harsh lesson is that we will eventually fail. If we rely on the belief that we have it covered, that failure will be proportional to your refusal to recognize that you are not in control.  There are two forces out there looking for you to come on board with them.

 

First there is a Loving God, that has plans architected from before you were conceived, that will sustain you, as well as honor and Glorify Him.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

The other side of the battle, is the devils deception of humanity, who would like nothing more than to distract you from your God given mission in life and see you caught up in day by day, minute by minute struggle to obtain more (there is that word again) and more. Not just to sustain, but to exceed in every way what your needs are because that is the desire of the flesh.

 

If he (the devil) succeeds in distracting you, then you will NOT be doing what God intends you to be doing.

 

Going it on your own

Judges 17:6 (NIV)

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

 

The book of Judges outlines a people (Israel) lacking direction and purpose. When we go it on our own and doing things in a way that seems the ‘right’ to us, we are simply setting ourselves up for failure.  Remember that ‘plan’ God has for you?  Any deviation from that plan is going to diminish the blessings along the path.

 

When we find ourselves wandering off that path, in our own endeavors and come to a point that we change direction (that would be repenting) and default our thinking on God’s plan for us, we begin to see more clearly what God has in store for us. If you are doing something and can’t imagine looking to your left or right and seeing Jesus standing there, with his look of approval, then you aren’t where you need to be.

 

Proverbs 14:12-16 (NIV)

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

 

Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief.

 

The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.

 

The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.

 

The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.

 

Conclusion

As I mentioned early on this wasn’t going to be about money management or financial planning. I suppose you could easily consider it spiritual or life planning, because if we are walking in the light, then several things are going to take place regardless of our circumstances.

 

We will worry less – because we’ve surrendered the issues to God.

We will avoid damaging stress.

We will find an abiding peace – knowing God is in control.

We will experience joy – regardless of our circumstances.

 

We need to be good stewards of God’s money to be sure as well as the things that God has granted us in both material and talent. But it is clear that God’s core plan for all of us is not to burden ourselves with the issues that press in from the world around us.  Because He over came the world and lives in us.

 

John 10:10 (NIV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

 

Don’t let the devil steal your joy. Jesus wants us to have life and to have it in abundance.