"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Friday, January 15, 2010

money stuff

There are so many people that are having financial problems right now and sadly for many the first thing to get cut from the budget is giving to God (the church). Some may say, but I am giving my time or my talent. So what? Where your money is/goes so there is your heart also. You want to get out of debt? TITHE (which means give your money). A tithe is an amount of 10% according to some scholars. It is a good starting point, NOT an ending point. You should start at 10% and see where you can go from there. You can never out give God. Take a look at your check book and see where your money goes. Or if you have a budget (which you should) what is in the giving column compared to the rest of your expenses? Do you only give if there is some left over? Our Father calls us to give of our FIRST fruits, not what is left over, if any. You are not giving what is yours anyway; you are giving back what is already HIS. I am sure some (maybe quite a few) will say “but I am in debt up to my eyeballs”. Well I gotta ask, did God put you there or did you do it? Why punish Him for your mistakes? And the Truth is, you are not punishing Him, you are only hurting yourself. I have heard some say, “I’ll start giving when I get ahead”. And the truth is, NO you won’t. Why? Because money is your god. If you are not willing to commit yourself and your finances to your Father when things are tough you certainly are not going to if things get better. This is a matter of the heart and nothing less. We have personally seen our Father provide and multiply in ways that I cannot even explain. We look back and wonder, how was that possible? And the fact is, it was not us. It was our FATHER, His blessing. I am not a health and wealth prosperity kind of guy. Personally I think that stuff is a lot of crap. The idea that “if you do this God will do this”, there is no truth in that. God does not promise that. Christ promised a life of persecution and suffering, which does not sound like health and wealth to me. We can still have Joy but that does not mean a fat billfold. It might mean living from paycheck to paycheck, not having a big retirement account. Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we have a heavenly Father (aka: a good Dad) who loves his kids and HE takes care of them. He expects us to be responsible, to be good stewards of what HE has given, whether a lot or a little, it matters not. Like any good father, he wants his kids to enjoy life. HE provided it, so it only makes sense that He wants you to enjoy it. But enjoy it while loving HIM and serving HIM. You will only experience real joy by doing that. So love HIM by showing HIM (and others) that everything belongs to HIM. That is a testimony that we all should strive for.

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