Four Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Money

“Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15

God wants you to think smart about your money.

Jesus tells the story of a rich man who enlisted a manager to take care of his property (Luke 16). When the manager was accused of mishandling his master’s money and was called in to give an account of his stewardship, the manager devised a plan. He knew he was going to lose his job but decided to make some friends who would take care of him when he was fired. So, he summoned everyone who owed his master money and lowered their debt; if someone owed 800 gallons of olive oil, he told them to change their bill to 400 gallons.

When the master heard what the manager had done, he “had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light” (Luke 16:8).

Jesus doesn’t praise the manager’s dishonesty, but he does praise his shrewdness. What is shrewdness? To be shrewd means you’re smart, strategic, and resourceful. You see a problem clearly, know what needs to be done, and then figure out how to do it. God wants you to learn how to be biblically shrewd with your money.

This story teaches four things you shouldn’t do with your money.

Don’t waste your money. Luke 16:1 says, “A report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money”. Everything you have including your money belongs to God and is a gift from him. So you have to be careful not to waste what belongs to your master.

Don’t love your money. You’ve got to decide if God is number one in your life or if making a lot of money is number one. You cannot make both your top priority.

The Bible says, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” (Luke 16:13).

Don’t trust your money. No matter how much money you’ve got you can always lose it. The manager learned this pretty quickly in Luke 16:3: “Now what? My boss has fired me”.

If you want to be secure, the center of your life has to be something that can never be taken from you. And there’s only one thing that you can never lose: God’s love for you.

Don’t expect your money to satisfy. If you think having more money will make you happier, more secure, or more valuable, you are seriously misguided. Money will never satisfy: “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

That’s why Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own”.

Where To Find Your Life Mission

Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything.” Joshua 1:8

Everyone wants something to live for but many of us look for it in the wrong places.

You can’t find your mission in a magazine, on social media, or by watching TV with friends. You can’t just guess what it is either.

You can only find God’s mission for your life in one place: God’s Word.

Studies show that each of us has 600 to 700 talents, but we never use most of them. When you embrace God’s mission for your life, though, you’ll find that he can use all the gifts and talents he’s given you.

Jonah, one of God’s prophets in the Bible, received his life mission from God. The Bible says, “The LORD spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do’” (Jonah 1:1-2).

God gave Jonah his mission. He’ll give you one too as you read his Word. The more you dig into the Bible, the more you’ll understand your mission for life.

God uses many different ways to get his Word into your life. Sometimes you sit down to read it. Other times, you may hear someone preach it. And on other days you’ll read a devotional like this one.

If the only time you open your Bible is when you’re in church, you likely will never discover God’s mission for your life.

Instead, make the Bible a regular part of your life. Spend time with God every day, even if it’s just a few minutes. Put it in your schedule write it on your calendar, or set a daily alert on your phone.

Joshua 1:8 says, “Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything”.

If you want to be successful in God’s mission for your life, stop looking for a vision and start looking for a verse.

God won’t write your mission in the sky. He has already written it in his Word.

God Made You For A Mission

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” Ephesians 2:10

You weren’t put on Earth to live for yourself.

You were made for a greater purpose than simply to make money, retire, and die. You were made for a mission, and that mission gives your life meaning.

The Bible says, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing” (Ephesians 2:10)

In other words, you’re unique. No one else in the whole world past, present, or future is like you. God has made you so unique that there are certain things only you can contribute to the world. Those things make up your life mission.

Until you know your life mission, you’re just existing. Life may seem good, but you won’t experience the fulfillment you would if you were living out God’s intentions for you.

Jesus says in Mark 8:35, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live”.

God is giving you the opportunity to build your life around his mission for you. The only way to do that is by starting with a firm foundation: Jesus Christ. “And no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

You can choose to build your life on Jesus, the only foundation that will last. Or you can choose to spend your life chasing things that ultimately will fail you.

What’s certain is that one day you will stand before God and he’ll ask you: “Did you fulfill the mission that I gave you on this Earth?” On that day, it will be clear whether you spent your life fulfilling God’s mission for you or you chose to chase lesser things.

It’s never too late to start living the life God has planned for you. Start building your foundation on Jesus and pursuing God’s mission for your life today.

Following Jesus Means Loving Everyone

“Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

If you are a follower of Christ, you must love everybody in the same way that Christ loves you. That means you are to accept them completely, love them unconditionally, forgive them totally, and consider them extremely valuable whether you like them or not.

It’s not an option or a suggestion. It’s a command: “Now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other”(John 13:34).

Loving others in this way will transform your relationships!

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:7, “Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up”.

That’s how God loves you. He never stops being patient with you. He never stops believing in you. He never stops hoping for the best in your life. He never gives up on you. And God wants you to love others the same way.

Love never stops being patient. Love extends grace. You can offer grace to others.

Love never stops believing. Love expresses faith. Love allows you to say, “Even though we’re having a tough time, I will never stop believing in you.”

Love never stops hoping. Love expects the best. Are you expecting the best in your primary relationships, or have you settled for less than best?

Love never gives up. Love endures the worst. With love, you can say, “You can throw everything at me, but I’m going to keep loving you, no matter what.”

If you want to start transforming your relationships today, I invite you to say this prayer:

Remembering God’s Love Helps You Love Others

“The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end.” Isaiah 54:10

If you don’t feel loved by God, you’ll struggle to show love to others. Loving people is easy when you understand and remember the way God loves you.

Every day, you need to remind yourself what God thinks about you not what the world thinks or what you think about yourself.

Here are four things God thinks about you to help you remember why and how to love others:

You’re completely accepted. You may have spent much of your life trying to earn acceptance from your parents, peers, those you respect, those you envy, and even total strangers. But you need to realize God has already settled this issue of acceptance: “Jesus . . . made us acceptable to God” (Titus 3:7). What Jesus did on the cross made you completely acceptable to God no matter what you’ve done or will do.

You’re unconditionally loved. God doesn’t say, “I love you if . . .” or “I love you because . . .” He says, “I love you—period!” You can’t make God stop loving you, because his love isn’t based on what you do but on who he is. Isaiah 54:10 says, “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end”.

You’re totally forgiven. Because Jesus died on the cross and gave his life as payment for your sins, you are totally forgiven when you accept God’s gift of forgiveness. Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. God doesn’t rehearse your sins; he releases them.

You’re extremely valuable. The value of something is created by two things: who the owner is and what somebody’s willing to pay for it. You are a child of God and “have been bought and paid for by Christ” (1 Corinthians 7:23). Jesus Christ paid for you with his life. That’s how valuable you are.

When you remember that you are accepted, loved, forgiven, and valuable to the Creator of the universe, you will be better equipped to show love to others.

To Live Free Of Fear, Surrender To God

“Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry.” Job 11:13-18

How do you learn to live in God’s love so that you can live free of fear? You have to surrender your heart to God every day.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear”.

When you wake up each morning, before your feet hit the floor, you have to say, “God, before I even start this day, I surrender my emotions to you. I want you to be Lord of my feelings. I want you to control my mind and my emotions. I surrender my heart to you. I want you to fill me with your love.”

Job 11:13-18 says, “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry”.

Those verses hold three commands and eight promises. Every promise has a premise God says if you do this, then he’ll do that.

First, he gives you the commands: Surrender your heart to God every day. Turn to him in prayer. Give up your sins, confessing them to God.

Then notice the eight benefits: You won’t be ashamed. You’ll be confident. You’ll be fearless. Your troubles will be like water under the bridge. The dark night you’re going through will be brighter than noon. You’ll be able to sleep well because you are safe and secure. You will be filled with hope. You’ll be emptied of worry.

Wow! Who wouldn’t want to experience those benefits?

Take a moment to write that Scripture on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you’ll see throughout the week. Let it remind you to do those three things surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and confess your sins. Then let God’s love fill your life and cast out all your anxiety and fear.

Try it this week, and then watch God carry out his promises as he fills you with his love.

When Your Feelings Are Holding You Back

“Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:5

If you want to succeed in life, you must learn how to master your moods. When you’re dealing with an emotion that’s holding you back, you’ve got two options: You either change it, or you direct it.

Sometimes you need to change what you’re feeling. Some emotions are so destructive, so damaging, so hurtful, and so ineffective that the only thing you can do is change them.

Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ”.

Your attitude includes your emotions so what you’re feeling should be the same as that of Jesus. You need to ask yourself, “How would Jesus respond in this situation? Would Jesus get irritated with this waitress? No. Would Jesus yell at that person? No. Would Jesus be up all night, wringing his hands and worrying that it isn’t going to work out? No. Would Jesus be fearful? No.”

Then you instantly dismiss any feeling that doesn’t make you more like Jesus. If Jesus wouldn’t respond to your spouse with that emotion, then you shouldn’t either. You drop that attitude, and you figure out what Jesus would do instead.

Your greatest ministry will not come out of your strengths and successes. Your greatest ministry is more likely to come out of your deepest pain.

What feeling is holding you back today? Name it. Then decide whether you need to change it or direct it, and then use it for good.

Three Questions To Ask About Your Feelings

“From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.” 1 Peter 4:2

What are human desires? They’re your emotions and your affections. And once you become a Christ-follower, your life should be controlled by God’s will, not by how you feel.

When you’re angry or upset or frustrated—whatever you’re feeling—ask yourself these three questions:

“What’s the real reason I’m feeling this?” Maybe the answer is fear or worry. Maybe it relates to something a parent said to you years ago. And then when someone else says something similar, that person becomes the target of all your pent-up anger.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:2, “From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires”

“Is it true?” Is what you’re feeling at that moment true? There’s a point in the Bible where Elijah gets so discouraged that he goes to God and complains, “God, I’m the only one in the entire nation of Israel left serving you.” And God challenges him, saying, “Are you kidding me? I’ve got all these people who are still serving me! You’re acting like you’re the only one trying to do the right thing in the whole world! No, that’s not true.”

“Is what I’m feeling helping me or hurting me?” Will you get what you want by continuing to feel this way? Many feelings seem beneficial, but they’re actually self-defeating.

For example, let’s say you go to a restaurant, and the service is extremely slow. You wait a long time to be served. Then a couple comes in 15 minutes after you and gets their meals before you do. You become increasingly irritated until you feel something welling up inside you. You can ask yourself today’s three questions:

  • What’s the real reason you’re feeling this? You’re hungry!
  • Is it true? Yes, you’re frustrated because the service is slow.
  • Is what you’re feeling helping you or hurting you? It’s hurting you. Getting angry with the server won’t get you better service. Does nagging ever work? When somebody tells you all the things you’re doing wrong, does it make you want to change? No, all it does is make you defensive.

So you can conclude that managing your emotions choosing calm over anger is the best path.

When you stop to ask yourself these three questions, you’ll get a better grip on why you feel the way you do and what you need to do to help the situation.

Don’t let your feelings control you. Choose to deal with how you feel to manage your emotions today.

Faith, Not Feelings, Pleases God

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”Job 1:21

When you are a new Christian, God will often give you confirming emotions so you’ll know he’s there and he cares. But as you grow in faith, God will wean you from relying on emotions that help you believe he is present and at work in your life.

God’s omnipresence and the manifestation of his presence are two different things. One is a fact; the other is often a feeling. God is always present, even when you are unaware of him, and his presence is too profound to be measured by mere emotion.

Yes, he wants you to sense his presence but he’d rather have you trust in his presence than feel his presence. Faith, not feelings, pleases God.

Your faith will stretch the most when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. And, most discouragingly, God said nothing to Job for 37 chapters!

How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected to him in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears? You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20-21).

Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion you’re feeling. Job did this when he said, “I can’t be quiet! I am angry and bitter. I have to speak” (Job 7:11).

He cried out when God seemed distant: “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4).

God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and questions. You can take everything to him in prayer.

God Is Real No Matter How You Feel

“The LORD has hidden himself from his people, but I trust him and place my hope in him.” Isaiah 8:17

It’s easy to worship God when things are going great in your life when he’s provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. So, how do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant.

The writer Philip Yancey once noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.”

That’s when worship gets difficult.

To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation times when it seems as if he has abandoned or forgotten you. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness and doubt as “the dark night of the soul.”

King David understood days like these. Even though God called him “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22), David sometimes complained about God’s apparent absence:

  • “Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?” (Psalm 10:1).
  • “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?” (Psalm 22:1).
  • “Why have you abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2).

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and he’ll never leave you. God has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑