Tag: wealth

Jan 12 Trust God with it all

Thank You for sharing the secret to prosperity with us in today’s Proverb. It is a simple statement, but holds the key.

You instruct us to “honor You with our wealth, with the firstfruits of our crops.”

We often consider “honoring You with our wealth” to mean tithing money to an affiliated church. Period. And while money is certainly a part of our “wealth” it is not the only thing.

Some of us have a wealth of talent, some a wealth of personality, some a wealth of time, or of good health and energy. All these things are gifts from the Father of Lights from whom every good and perfect gift comes.

So we need to consider giving of our talents, our time, our energy, our relationships, all in a way that brings honor to You.

Lord, help me think beyond the change in my pocket. Let me glorify You in how I treat other people, how I speak to them, how I look on them in my heart attitude. Let the bounty of Your provision to me in time and talent overflow onto those around me.

Help me spend the minutes in my day as carefully as the dollars in my purse, in a way that points to You, and brings acknowledgement and praise to You.

Help me turn away from greed, selfishness, pride, arrogance; and reflect the righteous qualities of the fruit of the Spirit: goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, patience, peace, love, joy, and self-control.

The second part of the key is timing. The firstfruits of a crop are what is harvested before the rest of the crop is mature and ready to be gathered.

Earthly wisdom would be to “get what you can, can what you get, and sit on the can.” It would be to bank a “‘sure thing” and then wait to see if the rest of the crop comes in. After all, there could be floods, winds, freezes, insects or disease that could overtake a ripening crop and destroy it completely. Then nothing would be left to sustain the grower and give profit.

But You tell me to honor You with the firstfruits. It’s an exercise in trust.

It means I am willing to sacrifice a “sure thing” because I trust the One who is in control of it all!

Help me act in faith, being willing to show I trust in You and in Your will for my life by giving You what is given to me first. Don’t let me be fearful of the future and stockpile the firstfruits for myself, then be satisfied with ”tipping” You if any is left over.

Father, thank You for this reminder that speaks again to the reassurance I have in You.  You are the One with the power and the might and the authority and the sovereignty over all things.

You remind me that I can trust You with all things in the present and the future. I choose to trust You with my words, my actions and my prayers. Amen

Proverbs 3:9-10

Dec 26 in God I trust

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Father, people look to many things to protect them, to save them, from hardship and the trouble of this world.  Zechariah prophesied Your judgment on people here who had put their faith in and were trusting many things other than You.

These people were skillful.  It is easy to trust in yourself when you have skills.  You know what you are doing and you know that you do it well.  It offers you a sufficient level of confidence and security to be able to handle what you need to make a living and build a stronghold for protection.

People today trust in their abilities too.  They believe they can trade their skills for whatever else they need: food, clothing, shelter.  Beyond that, they may also derive their sense of self-worth from their abilities.

They had many possessions.  So much so, that they are described as having “heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.”  When you have possessions, it is easy to feel insulated from need.  You can literally see your wealth around you.  If you have a need, you can always sell something to buy what you need.

Again, people in my day often trust in their possessions.  And they may also get their sense of personal value from what they own.

They had power.  When you have power, you can take what you want.  Your security comes from your strength.  As long as you maintain that strength, you have no need to fear anyone, or trust anything besides yourself.

People today trust in power.  They put their faith in their own personal power and their ability to control.  Or the power of their business, or their country, or their military.  They get their view of their worth from the power they can use to overcome others.

All these things are faulty reliances.

Zechariah tells me You will “take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea and she will be consumed by fire.”  “Her” and “She” refer to the cities and the people who oppress Your people.  But none of these things they trust in will save them.

It is the same today.  None of these things: abilities and skills, possessions and money, power and might, can save anyone.  No one and nothing can stand against You, Father.

So I agree with David.  No one is so great as You, or more worthy of praise.  Your glorious splendor and Your wonderful works have been passed down for generations.  Your character is unmatched.

To a greater extent than is humanly possible, You are good, gracious, compassionate, trustworthy, faithful, and righteous.  You are mighty and powerful above all things, but are just in all Your ways.

And I am blessed, supremely fortunate, that You are my God, my King.  You hold me up when I fall.  You satisfy me with good things.  You are always near to me and answer my call.  You watch over me although I have done nothing to deserve all this lavish care.

So I give You all my praise!  I worship You alone.  I look to You and trust in You, no matter what befalls me.  I know that Your faithfulness to me deserves my complete and absolute trust.

 “My mouth will speak in praise of You.”  I will join with every other creature Your hand has made, and praise Your Holy Name.  Amen

Zechariah 9:1-8; Psalm 145:1-21

Dec 10 the lion has roared…

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” 

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Father, You gave a special message to a shepherd, Amos.  Amos questioned “Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey?”  Then answered: “The lion has roared – who will not fear?”  He was telling people there was a real and present danger.

I believe my country is being warned of a real and present danger if the people do not turn back to You.  America has been blessed.  And I believe You will hold it responsible for its national conduct.  Right now, that is not looking good.

You also revealed Your plan to John through Revelation.   He wrote down Your Words to specific churches.  I believe they were real churches at the time, but I also believe the same words are meant for Your church today.

In obedience to these words, would You help me remember that You are my first love; that You come before anything else in my heart.  And let me act accordingly.

Like the church in Ephesus, do not let me tolerate wicked people, or listen to false teachers, or follow the Nicolaitan teachings of lustful immorality and lording church positions and power over lay people.  Give me the strength to “persevere…endure hardships for Your name, and not grow weary.”

Like the churches in Smyrna and Pergamum, let me remember my wealth comes from my relationship with You.  Show me where the evil one is influencing me, or my loved ones so we can reject it.

Increase our faith and our perseverance to remain true to Your Name.  Do not let us be led away from Your teachings by the temptations of Balaam who tempted the Israelites into immorality and idolatry.

Father, thank You for revealing Your plan to Your servants the prophets.  Let me hear and heed these words that are for my life and my country.  Open my ears and my understanding.  Amen

Amos 3:1-15; Revelation 2:1-17

 

Sept 3 What matters most?

wind-rose-1209398_640Father, what great knowledge Solomon amassed!

It seems he did it all, and lived to write it all down for me to know how to best spend my time. Certainly he saw many things and did many things he categorized as “meaningless”.

He built grand structures, planted extensive gardens. He wrote many ”nature guides” cataloging and describing plants and animals.   He enjoyed all that money could buy, withholding no pleasure from himself. But found these things “meaningless”.

He did recognize some things as having value.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” And “two will keep warm…and defend themselves.” So Father, will You always send another to be with me.

Let there always be someone in my life to help me up when I fall. And help me keep warm, and defend myself. It may be a friend or family member, or even a stranger You send at the right time. And let me be there for someone else.

“It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.”   So Father, help me let my ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and my ‘no’ mean ‘no’, and not make promises I cannot or will not keep.

Help me not be “quick with my mouth or hasty with my heart”, but consider my thoughts, feelings, words and commitments carefully.

When I think about Solomon , I wonder, did he ever hold his newborn and marvel at the miracle of life? Did he watch and help that child grow and learn? Did he pass on his knowledge and love of You to that child and see him come to love and worship You too? Did he promise his life to one person and live faithfully in that covenant; having their support and love for a lifetime?

Did he examine each animal and plant, but forget to marvel at the diversity and imagination and power of You, the Creator? Did he share his life with a friend who stuck with him through thick and thin, good and bad? And console that friend and receive comfort from them?

Did he hold the hand of a dying loved one and tell them they are loved, all is forgiven, and “I will see you in heaven?”

To me, these are the things that are most meaning-FULL. The relationships, the connections with people that You allow into my life – that’s where the meaning lies.

I agree that amassing wealth, building buildings and writing volumes of knowledge will all pass away. But loving You and sharing Your love with others – these things are eternal.

Father, help me remember, remind me, not to chase after the wind, but to chase only after You. Amen.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12

July 19 Walk Your path of Righteousness

adventure-1846095_640Father, David proclaimed “Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things”. He was amazed and pleased at the abundance of gifts the people poured out for the building of Your Temple. And he acknowledged “Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.” I completely agree.

Like the Israelites, teach me to be generous with all You have given me: money, energy, time, words, music, talents, spiritual gifts. Help me spend myself on You and Your purposes and Your people. David prayed for the people, and I echo “keep this desire in my heart forever, and keep my heart loyal to You…give me wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands.”

Since I have Your righteousness, Lord, help me behave that way. Remind me to speak the truth from my heart. If I open my mouth to speak a lie or to deceive, shut it. Show me how to speak the truth in love, and not be hurtful to people in the name of ‘honesty’.

Help me treat my neighbor with decency and fairness, not cheating or taking advantage.   Keep me away from malicious gossip. Give me the fortitude to turn away from those who are evil and untrustworthy, even if society embraces them or it seems it would benefit me. Let me truly love and support those who honor and respect You and Your values.

Help me be true to my word, even when it costs me. Teach me to be smart with my finances, to be generous, and not extort interest from the needy. Strengthen me so I am not tempted by bribes.

Psalm 15 promises that those “who do these things will never be shaken”. Father, You give me solid ground to stand on. Help me be unwavering and not overwhelmed by forces that seek to undo me.   With Your help I can stand strong, and not be moved. Thank You. Amen

I Chronicles 29:1-30; Psalm 15:1-5

Jan 12 Trust God with it all

Thank You for sharing the secret to prosperity with us in today’s Proverb. It is a simple statement, but holds the key.

You instruct us to “honor You with our wealth, with the firstfruits of our crops”. We so often consider “honoring You with our wealth’ to be tithing money to an affiliated church. Period. And while money is certainly a part of our ‘wealth’ it is not the only thing.

Some of us have a wealth of talent, some a wealth of personality, some a wealth of time, or of good health and energy. All these things are gifts from the Father of Lights from whom every good and perfect gift comes. So we need to consider giving of our talents, our time, our energy, our relationships, all in a way that brings honor to You.

Lord, help me think beyond the change in my pocket. Let me glorify You in how I treat other people, how I speak to them, how I look on them in my heart attitude. Let the bounty of Your provision to me in time and talent overflow onto those around me.

Help me spend the minutes in my day as carefully as the dollars in my purse, in a way that points to You, and brings acknowledgement and praise to You. Help me turn away from greed, selfishness, pride, arrogance; and reflect the righteous qualities of the fruit of the Spirit: goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, patience, peace, love, joy, and self-control.

The second part of the key is timing. The firstfruits of a crop are what is harvested before the rest of the crop is mature and ready to be gathered. Earthly wisdom would be to ‘get what you can, can what you get, and sit on the can’. It would be to bank a ‘sure thing’; and then wait to see if the rest of the crop comes in. After all, there could be floods, winds, freezes, insects or disease that could overtake a ripening crop and destroy it completely. Then nothing would be left to sustain the grower and give profit.

But You tell me to honor You with the firstfruits. It’s an exercise in trust.

It means I am willing to sacrifice a ‘sure thing’ because I trust the One who is in control of it all. Help me act in faith, being willing to show I trust in You and in Your will for my life, by giving You what is given to me first. Don’t let me be fearful of the future and stockpile the firstfruits for myself, then be satisfied with ‘tipping’ You if any is left over.

Father, thank You for this reminder that speaks again to the reassurance I have in You. You are the One with the power and the might and the authority and the sovereignty over all things. It reminds me that I can trust You with all things in the present and the future. I choose to trust You with my words, my actions and my prayers. Amen

Proverbs 3:9-10

Nov 21 Your Word is Treasure

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Father thank You for warning me not to trust in earthly riches. Wealth, possessions, gold and silver are not the treasure I seek. They can lead to greed and the sins that greed temps a person to commit. Rather, I treasure Your Word. It gives me a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about how to receive Your blessing: something of far greater value.

You Word says I will be blessed when I “walk according to the law of the Lord…keep Your statutes and seek You with all [my] heart”. I can keep my way pure “by living according to Your Word”. So Father, “I seek You with all my heart: do not let me stray from Your commands.” I desire to be blessed; show me how to walk in Your path.

Lord, I will “hide Your Word in my heart”. I will read it, honor it, study to understand it, memorize it, and do what it says. When I do not understand it, I will pray for clarity of meaning and how to apply it to my life. When people around me say one thing and Your Word says another, give me the conviction to be obedient to Your truth. Help me see through the misleading lies and the deceiving values of society and not be tripped up by them. Give me the strength I need to be true to You.

Because You tell me how powerful prayer is, I will pray. I pray for the wisdom to stay on Your path.  I pray giving thanks when I am happy.   I pray for healing when I am sick. I pray for help when I am in trouble. I pray for forgiveness when I have sinned. Father, help my prayers be powerful and effective.

Besides me, so many people need Your help in so many ways. I believe praying for them is one way I can help; perhaps the best way I can help them.   Father, like Elijah, I pray earnestly and in faith, knowing that You are the One who can answer. You have the power, Lord. And You have the will. We are all Your creations, Lord. Thank You that You love and care for us. Amen

James 5:1-20; Psalm 119:1-16