The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. (Psalm 6:9 ESV)
Day 16- Finances
As Christians, we are responsible to steward the gifts the Lord grants. Over the next several days, we will ask the Lord to give us wisdom with these different gifts, because there would be no sweeter words to hear someday than, “…Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21 ESV)
Today, let’s concentrate on the gift and challenge of finances. Christians face added responsibility for how we handle money. We answer to the Lord about how we manage the resources He grants, and I don’t know about you, but that makes me a bit uneasy. How am I doing as a steward of HIS resource of cash?
In one way or another, money is a constant issue. Even if a family makes more than the average, tensions can exist between spouses over spending. And if there is a financial shortfall, the stress heightens. No matter where the Lord places us this year, we had better get busy praying. We need His wisdom about money.
- He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV)
Money never satisfies. No matter how much we have, “just a little bit more” seems good. I easily fall into the trap of loving money, or at least loving the comfort having “enough” brings. But my security should never rest in earthly material provision. Everything I have is the Lord’s supply, in times of plenty and of struggle. He is my security.
- Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)
Money flees, but the Lord promises to never leave us. Yet, since I need money to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, and put gas in the car, I worry about having enough. I trust my resources, rather than my Lord and His promises to keep me.
The Lord speaks to both those who have little and those who have abundance.
- Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. (Proverbs 15:16 ESV)
For those of us who have little and struggle financially, the priority is not getting more money, but more fear of the Lord! He is our greatest treasure and security.
- As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV)
For those of us who have riches, they are not our hope. With riches comes the struggle to not rely on them, and the responsibility to be generous to use them to the glory of God.
- And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 ESV)
This is the Lord’s promise to us. Of course, the definition of “need” may be where this verse trips us up. God is faithful and trustworthy to supply every need, though He is free to define our needs and supply them as He chooses! What do you need this year financially? Make a list to make it easy to keep praying for these items. He will supply every need!
- For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21 ESV)
Praying for finances in 2017, we ask God to show Himself strong and to provide what we need, but also that He will guide us to be wise stewards with every resource He places at our disposal.
But no matter the state of our finances, lets ask Jesus to help us keep Him as our treasure so our heart rests resolutely in Him and Him alone.
- Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 ESV)
Day 16 Prayer
I ask you to be Lord of my finances. I try to keep money under my own control, but this year, I want to give You control of this area.
I confess I look at money as something that is mine more than seeing it as something I steward. But if You own everything, then it is all Yours. Help me be thoughtful and wise with it. I ask You to help me see how to steward the money You entrust to my care.
When I look at the needs in front of me and then at my checkbook, I get nervous. Please forgive me for doubting Your provision.
Lord, here are my needs for the year. There are physical items (car, home, clothing, supplies) I am worried about. I also look at family needs and wants (bills, school, lessons, vacations, gifts) and worry about how we will afford it. There are also extraordinary circumstances (medical bills, job loss, dire finances) that look impossible. Thank You, that with You nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37)
Worry signals me that I am not trusting You. I ask You Jesus, to grow my faith this year that I may trust You more than I ever have. I want to walk in complete confidence of Your provision, even when I have no idea how You will provide.
In reality, every resource is Yours. You who own the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), and have an abundance of resources to provide for my every need. With You there is no lack. Help me rest in that truth.
I ask You Lord to also make me more generous this year than I have ever been before. Help me value what You value, and invest in building Your Kingdom and showing Your love.
I rejoice in You and Your amazing love.
- But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 ESV)
May your day be blessed and You enjoy the riches and provision of our Savior.