Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seeking Financial Freesom Part 3

If this is your first time checking in on Wednesdays, WELCOME! Each week we are talking about MONEY and how to handle it using the Bible as our blueprint. You will hear me discuss the book YOUR MONEY COUNTS by Howard Dayton. When I read this book it changed my whole mindset on how I viewed finances and really gave "us" a boost on our journey to DEBT FREE living! If you would like to check out this series from the beginning scroll down and on the left hand side of your screen you will see a Label titled "Seeking Financial Freedom" click on that and you can start with Part ONE and work your way through......Also feel free to let other people you know about this series and encourage them to join us each week as we talk more in depth about our journey!

Last week we touched the surface of talking about our perspective on money, and this week let's go a bit deeper. Hubby and I both grew up in financially responsible homes. We we taught the value of a dollar, taught how to save, and taught great work ethic in order to get the things we desired. Even with that, we were never taught to view money from the Bible's perspective which makes all the difference in the world!

The Bible teaches us two very distinct parts of handling money: 1. God's part 2. Our part.
(Here are a few thoughts from the book: taken from pg. 16-18.)

God's part is the foundation of contentment. In scripture God calls Himself by more than 250 names. The name that best describes God's part in the area of money is Master. How we view God determines how we live.

The Bible clearly states that God is the sole owner of everything. "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains." (Psalm 24:1) Recognizing God's ownership is critical in allowing Jesus Christ to become the Lord of our money and possessions.

OWNERSHIP OR LORDSHIP?: If we are going to be genuine followers of Christ, we must transfer the ownership of our possessions to the Lord. "No one....can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possession" (Luke 14:33)

Okay, so God may not be calling you to sell all your worldly things and give everything to the poor and needy. What He is asking you to do is be willing to give all them up.

Author Larry Burkett said, "When we acknowledge God's ownership, every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, 'Lord, what do You want me to do with my money?' The question is restated, 'Lord, what do you want me to do with Your money?' When we have this perspective, spending and saving decisions are equally as spiritual as giving decisions.

Think abut that for a minute.....Wouldn't you be more careful on how you spent money if the money you were spending was someone else's??? When you think about it this way it makes so much sense....

The First Step Towards Contentment: (pgs.17-18) This is not easy to maintain this perspective consistently. It is far to easy to think that the possessions we have and the money we earn are entirely the result of our skills and achievements. We find it difficult not to believe we have earned the right to ownership. I am the master of my fate, people say.Italic I alone own my possessions, is another one you hear. Obviously this view dominates our culture today. Point being, giving up ownership is not easy, nor is it a once-and-for-all thing. We constantly need to be reminded that God owns everything!

CONTROL: The Lord is in control of even difficult circumstances. "I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity: I am the Lord who does all these" (Isaiah 45: 6-7) The book states that it is important for a child of God to realize that his heavenly Father orchestrates even the seemingly devastating circumstances for the ultimate good in the lives of the godly. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) So God is in charge of Control to accomplish His intentions, develop our character, and to teach us. ( pgs. 18-20)

I totally agree with this, I can testify that in my own life that the Lord has taught me the most during "devastating times". I think because of the hard-headed society we are that the Lord knows the best way to grab a hold of us and get our attention is by bringing us to our knees. It is when we are in pain and troubles that our hearts seem to cry out to Him. Through my personal experience the Lord has taught me to solely delight in Him...nothing else...solely trust in Him...nothing else...To be at His feet daily in fellowship so that I can seek His will in my life, not my own. It is never an easy process, but defiantely a needed one. I do thank God for the hard times I have went through in my life (though I am not always throwing a party to thank Him while I am going through situation). The Lord has taught me and continues to teach me to praise Him even "In the mist of the storm." Looking back on anything that has happened in my life I thank God that He is in control and not me...I just seem to mess things us when I do them my way!

PROVISION: He has promised to provide for our needs. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (food and clothing) shall be added unto ou"
(Matthew 6:33) The book (pg 20 &21) says God is both predictable and unpredictable. He is absolutely predictable in His faithfulness to provide for our needs. What we can not predict is how the Lord will provide. He uses all sorts of different way to meet our needs. (Income increase, provide gifts, stretches our limited resources through money-saving purchases) Regardless of how He chooses to provide for our needs, He is always reliable! It is important to remember that God's part in helping us reach contentment is that He has obligated Himself to provide our needs......However he does not promise to provide for our wants. He promises to provide us our needs, and He tells us to be content when these needs are met. (1 Timothy 6:8)

I wanted to share this last thought with you that the book write on pg.22. I know I am sometimes guilty of doing this, but when I am faithful to stay in God's word daily it help keep me in check......

The basic reason we fail to recognize God's part is that we do not understand who God is. We often have no genuine awe for the Lord "who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth" (Isaiah 51:13). We tend to shrink God down and fit Him into a mold with human abilities and limitations. However, we can expand our vision to capture the true perspective of God by studying what the Bible tells us about Him.

Well, are you ready to make a commitment to turn over everything you have to God??? I would love to hear from any of you who want to chime in!!
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Genesa said...

Hey Danielle! I just wanted to tell you I'm really enjoying this!

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