Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Money! Money! Money!

"Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife. "
--Proverbs 17:1

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? "
--Matthew 6:24-25

"And Jesus looked at him and said, 'How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!'"
--Luke 18:24

I don't know about you guys, but money seems to be an unrelenting topic in my everyday life. I hear about it at work. I hear about it at school. I hear about it on the radio and on the television. I even hear about it in stray wisps of conversation that catch my ears from passersby. But, especially, I hear about it at home. Don't you? Everyone's worried. What are we going to do? How are we supposed to pay these bills? Does the graduation committee realize we don't have $300+ to spend on caps and gowns and pictures? Why can't the kids' school raise their own funds for that field trip? We can hardly afford to pay for our groceries! And then all the moms start a new coupon cutting club while the dads hide in their rooms, hoping their wives won't interrupt by barging in wanting help with the finances. It's crazy!

Then the teenagers keep asking for more stuff. They need money for food. They need money for clothes. They need money for their senior trips and missions trips and birthday parties and who knows what else. So the chatter continues. The worries increase. The bills pile up.

What now?

Breathe. Let God quiet you with His love; let Him rejoice over you with shouts of joy (1)! Accept the peace that is within you through His Spirit (2). He's just waiting for you to relax and trust in Him. Hand over your burdens (3). Set the bills aside for a while and pray; don't talk too much. Just listen to Him. Rest in Him (4). Once you're at peace, THEN pick up your bills, knowing that God will provide for all your needs. (5).

Money. Money. Money. "You don't understand! These bills won't just pay for themselves." You're right; they won't. So what? So what if the money doesn't come in until last second? So what if the money doesn't come in at all? You lose your job. So what? No income. You lose your grocery money. So what? You miss a few meals. You lose your house. So what? You're cold and maybe wet and maybe your kids are whining. Well...so what?

I realize these are all extremely trying situations, especially for Americans who are so used to the pampered life of electricity and microwavable meals, but you can survive without comfort. This life is temporary. In fact, it's like a vapor in the wind (6). God, on the other hand, is never-changing (7). He lives forever (8). And HE makes the judgment call on who gets to abide with Him in the end (9). So stop worrying. Trust in the Lord. Take comfort in knowing that you are just a sojourner in this life (10), and you are running the race (11) toward a forever lovely kingdom where the Bridegroom dwells (12)! You are beloved by God (13)!

(1)Zephaniah 3:17
(2)Galatians 5:22
(3)Matthew 11:28
(4)Psalm 46:10
(5)Psalm 68:10, Psalm 84:11
(6)James 4:14
(7)James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8
(8)Isaiah 40:28, Jeremiah 10:10
(9)Psalm 50:6, 75:7
(10)Leviticus 25:3, Psalm 39:12
(11)1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1
(12)Deuteronomy 4:39, John 4:12-13
(13)John 3:16

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