Did you know Jesus talks more about money than Heaven or Hell combined? Eleven of the 39 parables he tells are about finances. Could it be that Jesus knows this is a topic that might trip us up from time to time - maybe even most of the time? Are you willing to consider that possibility this week?
God wants all of us, including our hearts. He knows money is often closely tied to our hearts. Many of our financial issues are, indeed, a heart issue rather than an actual money issue. What about your life with God? Could you be functioning as basically a “financial atheist?” You rely on God for your next breath, do you think you can trust Him with your finances? Are you willing to let Christ shine the light into ALL of your heart, including your attitudes, beliefs, and emotions about money?
Pastor Adam outlined some basic Biblical principals that will be fleshed out in the study this week. They are: 1) Earn ethically; 2) Spend wisely; 3) Avoid destructive debt; 4) Save consistently for the future; 5) Give generously to those in need; 6) Give to God’s Church to support God’s mission in the world.
INVITATION: This week might get uncomfortable. It’s hard to trust anyone with our finances. Perhaps that very attitude might indicate our heart toward the topic of finances? Secular wisdom would say “follow your heart” about most things (including finances), yet Jeremiah says “the heart is deceitful above all things…” What would it look like to trust God with the financial aspects of your life? Are you willing to consider your heart might be deceitful? Jesus is ready, willing and able to do heart surgery in you and in me. In Ezekiel it says he will “take out your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Are you open and available for what God invites you to this week?
MONDAY: Matthew 6:19-24: You cannot serve two masters. These verses specify “you cannot serve both God and money.” Why do you think these are the only two possibilities as “masters” that are listed? Are you willing to ask God to show you if money has a hold in and on your life? Are you willing to be honest regarding what rules and is the “master" in your heart?
TUESDAY: John 12:24-26: & Luke 9:24-25: In numerous places in Scripture, Jesus teaches the value of “losing” your life to gain it. Surrendering the financial aspects of your life to God might, indeed, feel like “losing” your life. It will be a sacrifice. But do you trust the character of God and what He says in His Word? What might it look like to turn over your financial life to God? Maybe you could ask Him specifically about that? Give it time and space and see what the Spirit of God says to you or shows you about this. He WILL honor your sacrifice.
WEDNESDAY: Proverbs 11:1 & Acts 20:35: Can you be honest with God about how ethical you are in your life and with your finances? Are you honest about the promises you make and the work you perform? Is your “yes” a yes and your “no” a no? (Matthew 5). Character and integrity matter. How can you live with more character and integrity today? Who might you “give” to today? Perhaps it's in how you work, your attitude, your prayers, your time, or maybe it will, indeed, be money related.
THURSDAY: Proverbs 22:5 & Luke 16:10. What kind of spender are you? Are you wise with what God gives you? Can He trust you with more? Perhaps today you and God might meet about how trustworthy and faithful you are with what He has given you? Are you truly ready for more?
FRIDAY: Proverbs 22:7 & Proverbs 6:6-8: These verses have to do with avoiding destructive debt and saving for the future. Financial expert Dave Ramsey says: "We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” As you search your heart, does this quote or these verses resonate with you?
SATURDAY: Proverbs 19:17 & Malachi 3:8-10: Give to the poor and support - as God leads - what God is doing throughout the world. Giving to the church used to be required by law. Being led by the Spirit and what was in your heart was taken out of the equation. However, in the New Testament a person is instructed to give “as he purposes in his heart…” In 2 Corinthians it says “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” If God can trust you with a little, He can trust you with a lot. Could God be inviting you into some new area or attitude of generosity in your life? Will you trust Him with that aspect of your life?