Money Talk: A Few Good Reasons to Save Your Money

boy-savingIt is often said that saving money is important, yet many don’t save because they have various valid reasons.

  • “I don’t have enough left over after my bills are paid.”
  • “I don’t see the point of it, after all there is little return on saving or investing these days.”
  • “It takes a long time to see any substantial growth and beside I end up digging it my saving anyways.”
  • “Between saving and investing I don’t think I am the wiser. Savings offer little or no return and with investing I could lose it all quicker than it took me to save it.”
  • “I don’t want to focus on these earthly things too much and be a hoarder. I need to seek God’s kingdom first!” – (Luke 12: 13-21)
  • “Why the point of saving, for saving sake? Besides I don’t have inclination or motivation to do this consistently.”

Sadly statistics show we are not savers. According to stats compiled by the OECD, the savings rate (as a percentage of household income) is way below ten percent in most countries.

Though these may be valid or legitimate reasons, even God expects you to save. God himself has savings too (He calls them storehouses). You may ask how could God who is the Creator of the Universe, the all resourceful One and full of the abundance of all things need to have storehouses or savings. God has storehouses for the abundance He has created and releases what is needed when it’s needed. He has storehouses for:

  • The Wind – Psalms 13:5-7 Jeremiah 10:12-13 & 51:15-16
  • Snow and hail – Job 38:22
  • The Waters (the deep) – Psalms 33: 5-9
  • The Rain (in the heavens) – Deuteronomy 28:12

Not only does the Lord have his places to store up but he also expects us to also. Why? In this fallen world, God knows that there would be seasons of lack or unexpected events that require extra as well as times when opportunities arise that require funding. God’s word gives a few examples of those who saved and saw the benefits of doing so.

  • Joseph saved for seven years to have enough to feed Egypt and many others when the 7 years of famine came. – Genesis 41:48-49, 55-57
  • David saved from his days of war and used it to supply for the house of the Lord and the Israeli leaders also gave toward the work of building the house of the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 29
  • The Apostle Paul instructed the church to set aside weekly to give towards the needs of those in Jerusalem. – 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

Personally, I have seen the benefits of setting aside or saving money. Recently, I had to make some major house related purchases and I was grateful that I could go to my storehouse and collect what I needed. For me that meant no credit, no worry or no stress because I had the funds saved and available. Now my work will be to rebuild that storehouse with what was taken out and to put in more.

The important thing is, if you have it, you can use it when you need it. But if you don’t have you’re either forced to borrow or beg or do without.

But there are a few more good reasons to save:

  1. To give yourself your own paycheck – When you save you pay yourself. Don’t pay out all your money to others (bills) and not have something for you and your family
  2. To help you kick the habit of spending and borrowing – If your divert or direct your money in the right place (your financial storehouse) then you will not desire to spend and you certainly borrow less
  3. For you and your family’s future – As a godly person, take care of your family but setting aside for present and future needs
  4. For the unexpected – In this world there will be trouble, be prepared to handle some of it by having funds set aside
  5. For a good reason or to be ready for new opportunities – Not only should you prepare for unexpected troubles but unexpected good opportunities (e.g. a new house, a business venture, a charitable deed). You cannot invest if you don’t have what it often takes (i.e. money).

Apart from all those good reasons for saving, there is one that should give any Christian the motivation to save – God said that He will order a blessing upon what you save! Check it out in Deuteronomy 28:8.

My question to you then is: Where are you savings at? Are you saving or are you consuming more than you need to? Do you have financial storehouses for immediate living expenses, for adhoc or unexpected expenses or for your golden years?

Today, start afresh. Whether you are saving or not, access where you are and make a commitment to save something no matter how small or big. Commit what you do to the Lord and He will make it success. As little as $5 a week can go a long way.

Share your ideas on how you save or express your challenges about saving. I am here to help.

Remember, during this month, Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God Will (Kindle version) is on special. Click here to get a copy or to gift one. Read, implement and experience God’s best in your finances.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Money Talk: Serve God & Rule Money

Does money has a hold on you - Mk10 24-25“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Luke 16:13 (NIV)

Lately I have been wondering to myself and quietly asking the Lord, why is teaching about money so important? Other areas such as winning souls, knowing what your purpose is and living it out, growing in faith, having a stronger relationship with Christ, and so on – would be considered more important areas of the Christian life. Don’t you think?

Money discussions in church aren’t the most sought after areas of teaching. In most homes, money is a taboo topic and often isn’t spoken of positively. Hey, in general, regardless of your beliefs, most people aren’t comfortable talking about money. Why? It’s too personal and whether you have lots of it or not; it can say a lot about you.

Ask yourself this: What does money say about me? Or what does my management of it more so than how much of it I have say about me?

The thing you treasure the most is what you emphasize and you see it in how a person views their money and possessions. If money is your main priority then you’ll find that you hoard what you have. However when you don’t think you have enough, you will experience feelings of insecurity or worry constantly. If you like nice things your bank account will show it by where you spend and how much you spend. If you are a socialite, your money practices will show how often you go to the restaurant and other places of entertainment. If you love God and seek to build his kingdom through giving, your bank and cash records will show that too. Your money and your treatment of it says how you view money.

This money management business is not just a practical thing but a heart thing. It reflects where you heart is. It reflects what your desire is.

Money is at the heart of your Christian life. You have to deal with it daily. How you do that affects and reflects your faith in God.

Getting back to the question I was asking God – the reality is that we all need help with money. We all need guidance about how best to manage it. But before we get there we need help mastering it spiritually. We need to understand our attitude towards money and learn how God want us to treat money.

God wants you to love Him and master money (Luke 16:13). This takes time through teaching, practice and pray to master something that wants to rule over you every day. How can money rule over you? This spirit behind money (called the spirit of mammon) can either rule your heart with worry, depression, overworking, and causing us to hate of despise God. But on the reverse, you rule over it and use it a tool to take care of our needs and be a blessing in the kingdom of God. You can do this by making God, his kingdom and living in right standing with him your first priority.

Which do you prefer? I think I’d rather rule money than money rule me. I think I’d rather love God than money. Money (especially if you are in more debt than you can handle) is a hard task master. It just doesn’t push you to work hard and long for the money that you can even seem to keep some of but it causes much physical, emotional and spiritual drain.
Therefore I can’t ask the question as to why I need to talk about money or try to shy away from it. As the church we need to get our act together and be rulers and leaders in every aspect of life including money management. From God perspective, that means people, like me, need to teach at every given opportunity the principles of biblical financial empowerment even when it’s not convenient or welcomed.

Here on this blog I sometimes talk money but not often. My aim only is the share what will help us live effective Christian lives that honor God. Part of that includes sharing about money.

Over the next little while I will do a series on money matters as the Lord leads. However, if there are areas you would like me to share on feel free to leave your comments below.
In addition, during this month, Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God Will (Kindle version) is on special. Click here to get a copy or to gift one. Read, implement and experience God’s best in your finances.

Until my next post…
To your Financial Empowerment
Pamela Carmichael

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Defeat Debt: 3 Areas You Can Conquer

Debt is a burden many face but not one that you should have to constantly carry. My heart’s desire is to live free from debt and to be financial empowerment. This is my prayer for you as well as for me.

If I were to ask you what your financial concern is, you would like say DEBT. There isn’t a person who doesn’t want to be free from its clutches.

So I thought I should at least write more about debt. However, the more I thought about it I realized that debt can affect us not just financially (or physically), but emotionally and spiritually.

If you recall the men that followed after David, they were in the deep Ds – in debt, in distress and discontented (1 Sam 22:2). Does this sound familiar? Do you sometimes wish the principal plus interest payments would go away? Or at times do you feel constrained by the debt load you have? Maybe you think at times that God is far away and not interested in your financial problems. Sometimes you may even get angry or frustrated about your debt situation.

I understand how debt can be so hard on you. But there is hope for financial freedom. With this in mind, I have spent some time away from writing and created a video series called Defeat Debt: 3 Areas You Can Conquer which I am excited to share with you. To view it, please click here.

The aim of this free Defeat Debt video series is to address the three areas of debt (physical/financial, emotional and spiritual) by not only explaining the impact of debt on your life but highlighting different steps you can take to reduce and/or to get out of debt.

Please head over the this FREE video series – Defeat Debt: 3 Areas You Can Conquer – and start working towards defeating you debt and moving towards financial empowerment.

Once you’ve watch it, take action – do something, no matter how small it may seem to move towards debt free living. Also remember those who may be in a similar position to you and share the video link with family and friends.

My hope you will benefit greatly from the video series by implementing steps to rid yourself of debt and start the journey to financial empowerment God’s way!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Debt

debt stress_8085183_sDebt – sounds like a bad word doesn’t it. For many adults, it is definitely a bad word and a bad experience. Debt has its positives but there are often more negatives than positives.

The Bible with over 2,500 scriptures on money does speak about debt. The Mosaic Law encouraged the practice of lending (Deut. 15:7; Ps. 37:26; Matt. 5:42); but it forbade the charging of interest except from foreigners. Usury (the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in the modern sense, exorbitant interest.) was strongly condemned (Prov. 28:8; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; 22:12; Ps. 15:5). On the Sabbatical year all pecuniary obligations were cancelled (Deut. 15:1-11). These regulations prevented the accumulation of debt. – Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary

That’s interesting. God actually made a plan for His people to be debt-free! He wants you and me to avoid debt in two ways: (1) not to lend with interest and (2) not to accumulate debt.

In our world today, it seems like having some form of debt is the norm. I would agree that at times there is a need to borrow, but the key is to not remain in debt. Debt does not have to be forever!

There are ways in which debt can prove to be good or to be a necessary means to an end:

  • For investment purposes. You may need funding in order to grow or the start a new business and the way to get it may be through debt. (1 Kings 4: 3-4).
  • For emergency backup. Sometimes your only option may be to use immediate credit i.e. your credit card. However, do your best to avoid this and you can if you have a savings fund in place to handle unexpected expenses.
  • To make an online payment with a merchant who does not accept debit cards. In a case like this, make sure to pay the card balance off on or before the due date. Alternatively, you can use a Credit card company sponsored card (like the Visa Debit Card which linked to your bank account) or a preloaded “credit” card that uses funds you have added to the card.

Those a just a few ways debt can be used for your benefit and to accomplish something that would otherwise be more difficult or not possible.

How do you know when your debt has become bad and ugly?

Debt is BAD when:

  • You have more debt than you have the financial ability to easily repay. For example, in the parable of the unforgiving servant, he was not able to repay his debt (Matt. 18: 23-25).
  • The creditor is ready and willing to repossess property. In Biblical times, the person who defaulted on repayment and their family were enslaved by the creditor (2 Kings 4: 1-2; Matt. 18: 23-25).
  • You quickly resort to credit cards because there is no available cash or savings. Easy access to credit for those who are big spenders speaks disaster.
  • You are unable to payoff your credit card balances in full each time you use them or within a few months.
  • You are using credit for your day-to-day needs like food, gasoline, clothing, etc.

But debt gets ugly when it has an impact on the other areas of your life. Debt is UGLY when:

  • You experience increased emotional stress or worry because you don’t know how you will be able to repay.
  • You start exhibiting dishonest behavior such as trying to avoid calls from your creditors. For example, telling your children or someone in the household to lie that you’re not at home when the creditors call.
  • You feel oppressed, distress or boxed-in because of the limiting effects of too much debt.
  • You are discontented and frustrated and you take it out by being harsh with your loved ones. This often results in difficult conversations with your spouse and other family members followed by strained and sometimes broken relationships.

This post is a result of a friend’s request to learn more about good vs. bad debt. I think that each one has to access their financial position and the debt that they have to determine if it is good or bad. What is bad for one may not be for another based on earning power and financial position. There are questions that you have to ask yourself either before or after you have acquired debt. Consider these questions:

  1. Will I be able to repay this credit card balance within a month or two if I make this purchase?
  2. Should I take a house mortgage for this amount? Would this level of credit result in difficulty repaying it? Can I afford the payment amount plus property taxes and house maintenance costs along with the typical expenses that I already have?

When considering credit, borrow according to how much you can comfortably repay rather than according to how much the lender says you are qualified to borrow. It is so easy to access credit. Therefore be cautious about getting into debt since it’s often easier to get in that get out! The credit card companies and other financial institutions can be sometimes relentless in their pursuit to get your business i.e. your hard earned money. Ask God for wisdom in managing your financial and other resources. Seek to honor Him and to live a stress free life by limiting the amount of debt you incur.

Want to learn about getting out of debt? Download this free gift – 7 Biblical Debt Solutions.

What do you consider to be bad debt?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Shopping Sprees … Debt Free & Stress Free

shopping groupThere are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they lay up their food in the summer. –Proverbs 30:24-25

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. –Proverbs 6:6-8

A few months back I took a mini-vacation with my sisters and daughter. One night we were talking from one topic to another last night when we lighted on the topic of how annoying ants can be. Like when you know you have cleaned the kitchen to the max yet ants appear (seemingly from nowhere). Or when they appear, it’s not one or two but they seem to call every ant they know to come with them. My daughter commented on how interesting it is see some many of them working together to carry one little crumb back to their home. I then remember the scripture in Proverbs and pointed out that there something to learn from them. They store in the summer (good times) and make sure they have enough for the winter (cold and hard times). Then the Holy Spirit nudged me that this was exactly what we were doing. We were not only having some special family time but we were shopping and storing up food to send home!

Then I thought to myself, shopping sprees don’t have to be stressful or lead to debt. There were benefits to this kind of shopping:

  • It was purpose driven – to store up for the future
  • It was cost effective – to save on items that were generally more expensive at home
  • It had a relationship aspect – to spend time apart from shopping with family
  • It required discipline – not to spend more than the budget allocated
  • However, it was fun – especially when you enjoy the company of family or special friends

This storing up we were doing had its payoff in the future. We often took the two-fold approach of taking a vacation and stocking up for the future. During that time it can be exhausting making price comparisons, shopping and packing but at the end we know that we have set aside for the future.

You feel like to Proverbs 31 woman who looks to the future with confidence knowing that she has taken care of the needs of her household ahead of time. So shopping sprees don’t always have to end negatively, that is, with you being in debt and unsatisfied with your purchases. It can be done with wisdom.

What do you need to have these debt-free, stress-free shopping sprees that are a win-win situation always?

  1. Get physically and mentally ready to shop for long periods. If you’re like me and don’t like to shop a lot then you need to get yourself geared up for it.
  2. Plan ahead – write a list of what you need (and some of what you want). Ask God for wisdom in this process
  3. Estimate the cost as best you can – it is better to overestimate
  4. Save based on your estimate with some extra for other items you may buy that aren’t on your list
  5. Determine the best time of year or season to make the most of your buying power
  6. Have a shopping buddy and/or accountability partner that will keep you in check so you don’t overspend
  7. Try to buy the must-haves on your list first before buying any “I-wants”
  8. Access your purchases and if you realized you don’t need a particular item or it cost more that it does elsewhere; return it. If you can’t return an item consider gifting it to someone else who needs it and would appreciate it or sell it.
  9. Don’t shop for yourself only – consider others who are in need
  10. Certainly, give thanks to God for His provision and His wisdom to know how to shop wisely

During the holiday season, we tend to do a lot of shopping but the key in not in getting it all but in being a judicious shopper. It’s important to plan your gift purchases, don’t just wander into the stores hoping to find something that will work. Make a list, assign a specific dollar amount and stick to it. When you have reached your dollar limit, stop buying. Stick to cash only or debit cards and avoid using your credit cards.

Have a stress-free, debt-free Christmas season. Remember, Jesus is the best gift of all.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

God Is Your Financial & Everything-You-Need Source – Part II

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. —Psalm 24:1–2

Image credit: yuyu2000 / 123RF Stock Photo

It is perfectly logical to assume that a wise and competent Creator would provide for the needs of His creatures in their various stages of growth. —Charles Fillmore, Prosperity

Have you ever asked yourself, Who is my source? If not, now is a good time to do so. So, who is my source? Is it my job or business income—or is it God? Money is such a personal thing that we often fail to recognize that the money we hold in our hands is not ours.

Perhaps you work hard and deserve to be paid for your services. However, you may think your education, talent, creativity, good opportunities, or even your good looks brought what you have.

But again, I ask, Who is your source? Being a good Christian, you may likely answer that God is your source, but do you really believe that?

I’ve had to ask myself this question a few times in my life—when money seemed limited, when I had to juggle figures to see how I could best meet my needs when no money seemed to be in sight, yet bills were due. I’ve even asked this question when times were good and I enjoyed abundance.

So who is your source when times are good and all seems well but trouble comes and all your savings and income suddenly dry up? Do you trust God only when you have enough or live in abundance? Or do you trust Him even when you don’t know where the money is coming from?

WHY WE DON’T TRUST GOD AS OUR SOURCE

What causes us not to trust God as our source? What are some of the effects of limiting God and not seeing Him as our source?

In the previous post, we discussed three reasons but today we will look at why we should trust God.

TRUSTING GOD AS OUR SOURCE
By definition a source is any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained; origin (See http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/source?s=t). God is the origin from which all life flows. Psalm 24:1 says that the earth belongs to God, everything in it and everyone who lives on it. All is God’s (Deut. 10:14; Job 41:11; Ps. 50:12; 89:11).
So how do you view your God? Is He the origin of all you need? Is He the One from whom your needs will be met daily? Or do you still think He is limited in His ability to provide for you? If so, you need to examine the Word and see how you can align your will to God’s Word and fully understand that He is your source.

• God, the Creator, prepared for the needs of His children beforehand. From the beginning, the One who created us has been the source of all our needs. First, He designed this world for us to live in. In His love for us, He planted a garden with food, clothing, water, shelter, gold, and precious stones. The sin of Adam brought upon us the curse of hard work and poverty—by the sweat of our brows we eat (Gen. 3:17–20). But faithful as He is, God did not take away His provision from us. From creation until now we see His faithfulness in providing for all who live on this earth.

Moreover, for those who believe and confess Christ as Lord and Savior, His Word promises over and over again that He will take care of all our needs and grant the desires of our hearts (Ps. 21:2; 37:4). Yet when we face financial difficulties, we often become fearful and think God’s resources have dried up. We always need to remember that God is the source of all our needs.

• “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). What a wonderful promise! God has given you more than you need to enjoy life and live a godly life before Him. God wants to give you not just enough but more than enough to be a blessing to others. Second Corinthians 9:8 says that God will cause you to have more than you need so you can give toward good works. The Word of God emphasizes that God will supply both what you need in your life today and what you need for the future. Regardless of your need, God gives to you when you ask. The Father God knows what you need and will provide (Matt. 6:31–32).

• If God has taken the time and effort to number the hairs on each person’s head, don’t you think He has all the details of your life worked out (Luke 12:7)? If He has not only given great care to determine how many hairs are on your head, but has also numbered each of them; don’t you think He knows what your financial position is? He has said that you are more valuable to Him than many sparrows. He takes care of the animals, but He takes greater care of every human being created in His image. God had all your needs figured out long before you knew about them, so don’t worry.

• “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Yes, you probably know Philippians 4:19 all too well. If God says He will, then He will. Scripture is filled with promise after promise that God will take care of you. The psalmist said that as a youth and throughout his years on earth, he did not see the righteous and their children beg for food (Ps. 37:25). The righteous includes you! You and your children shall never beg for food because God in His faithfulness as the source of all good things will provide for you.

TRUST HIM
In this world, relying on ourselves alone is signing up for certain failure. God has promised in His Word that He will meet our needs and provide for us along life’s journey. If we trust Him, He will surely make life good for us. If we trust Him, we will have peace regardless of the turmoil going on around us. When hope fails for others, our trust in God will keep the hope in us alive, and we will see nothing as impossible or hopeless. If we trust Him, we will always remember that He who promised us many blessings is faithful to perform the word He spoke to His people. When we trust God as our source, we will experience not only His peace but also His provision.

Remember, the starting point of all you have, all you need, all you will possess, and all you will be in life is God. He is the stream from which all things flow. Your income is not the starting point of your provision; God is.

This article was excerpted and adapted from Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. Would you like to read more and experience change in your finances as you follow God’s word, then click here to buy your copy of Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will.

Amazon Image

Do you already have a copy? Great! Do you want to go deeper in your commitment to God and strengthen your decision to realign your finances to His will? In the near future, I will be offering a companion book study entitled “Financial Empowerment Workbook: How to Realign Your Finances to God’s Will”. Be sure to keep visiting and sign up for updates to keep you informed of future events, workbooks and coaching programs.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

God Is Your Financial & Everything-You-Need Source

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. Psalm 24:1–2

Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_yuyu2000'>yuyu2000 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

It is perfectly logical to assume that a wise and competent Creator would provide for the needs of His creatures in their various stages of growth. —Charles Fillmore, Prosperity

Have you ever asked yourself, Who is my source? If not, now is a good time to do so. So, who is my source? Is it my job or business income—or is it God? Money is such a personal thing that we often fail to recognize that the money we hold in our hands is not ours.

Perhaps you work hard and deserve to be paid for your services. However, you may think your education, talent, creativity, good opportunities, or even your good looks brought what you have.

But again, I ask, Who is your source? Being a good Christian, you may likely answer that God is your source, but do you really believe that?

I’ve had to ask myself this question a few times in my life—when money seemed limited, when I had to juggle figures to see how I could best meet my needs when no money seemed to be in sight, yet bills were due. I’ve even asked this question when times were good and I enjoyed abundance.

So who is your source when times are good and all seems well but trouble comes and all your savings and income suddenly dry up? Do you trust God only when you have enough or live in abundance? Or do you trust Him even when you don’t know where the money is coming from?

WHY WE DON’T TRUST GOD AS OUR SOURCE

What causes us not to trust God as our source? What are some of the effects of limiting God and not seeing Him as our source?

We Don’t Think We Will Prosper

Our life’s experiences have affected the way we think about our God, the Creator and our heavenly Father. The distorted thinking of some Christians has caused them to believe they will never prosper. The self talk of many is that nothing will ever work well for them—in their workplace, business, finances, ministry, or personal relationships. Yet the Bible says that whatever we – the blessed people of God – do shall prosper (Ps. 1:3). When nothing works, our faith in God dwindles and sometimes dies completely. We fail to realize that we believed more in our failure than in the Word of God. If our expectation is that nothing we do will prosper, then nothing will. But if our expectation is that we will prosper, then we will. Our faith must match our words and actions. Then God will meet us at the level of our expectations.

We Don’t Believe His Word

Usually the problem is that our talk and actions do match our inward beliefs. Though we say that we trust God to meet all our needs, we don’t really believe this. We don’t think God is able to do what He says in His Word. Our faith in God is fickle when it comes to trusting Him to provide for us, and this fickleness is most evident when we face troubled times. We pray much and say we believe God, but when we leave our closets and go back to the world/reality, we allow the circumstances around us to overwhelm us with defeating thoughts. Our thoughts and actions prove that we don’t trust Him. We take matters into our own hands—which usually results in things getting worse. Part of trusting God as our source means asking Him for direction, but often we go ahead and do what we think is best without consulting God and/or seeking the wise counsel of those He has placed around us.

Worry Is Our Friend

Worry is often the companion of many believers. It’s just proof of our lack of faith in God. Worry shows that we believe more in our circumstances than in our God. We constantly worry about how to meet our obligations or where the next meal will come from—or we create negatives about how hard getting our next job will be. The Lord admonishes us not to worry about anything, but to pray and give thanks to Him (Phil. 4:6–7). But we worry, and as such, we have no peace of mind and become irritable with our loved ones instead of enjoying the blessings we do have. If we took heed to God’s Word, we would have peace in the midst of every storm, whether financial or not. This peace would keep us from being anxious.

TRUST HIM

In this world, relying on ourselves alone is signing up for certain failure. God has promised in His Word that He will meet our needs and provide for us along life’s journey. If we trust Him, He will surely make life good for us. If we trust Him, we will have peace regardless of the turmoil going on around us. When hope fails for others, our trust in God will keep the hope in us alive, and we will see nothing as impossible or hopeless. If we trust Him, we will always remember that He who promised us many blessings is faithful to perform the word He spoke to His people. When we trust God as our source, we will experience not only His peace but also His provision.

Remember, the starting point of all you have, all you need, all you will possess, and all you will be in life is God. He is the stream from which all things flow. Your income is not the starting point of your provision; God is.

This article was excerpted and adapted from Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. Would you like to read more and experience change in your finances as you follow God’s word, then click here to buy your copy of Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will.

Amazon Image

Do you already have a copy? Great! Do you want to go deeper in your commitment to God and strengthen your decision to realign your finances to His will? In the near future, I will be offering a companion book study entitled “Financial Empowerment Workbook: How to Realign Your Finances to God’s Will”. Be sure to keep visiting and sign up for updates to keep you informed of future events, workbooks and coaching programs.

Be Blessed.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Thrive Through Financial Difficulties

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.                                                                                                                                                                                      Genesis 26:12-13 (NLT)

thriving

Are you in a financial famine? Or do you say like many do, “I need more money.”? The above scripture often touches our hearts during financial difficulties and rightly so. It reminds us that God is still in control even when the world around us is falling apart. It also reminds us that we are not forgotten by God and that He can and is able to bring us out of any financial trouble we may be facing.

This account of Isaac’s encounter with God occurs during an economic hardship that affected many. There are a few principles we can take from this part of God’s word that would help during challenging financial times as well as when we experience financial increases.

 

Be open to hear from God. Be open to hear the most unusual and seemingly illogical instructions.

Gen. 26:2 -3, “Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”

God wants to be an integral part of your life. Even in times of financial difficulties God wants to relate to you and to help you through the rough roads.  He wants to encourage and direct you so that you would prosper through life.

As God speaks to Isaac He gave a command with the promise of His presence and of His blessing, “I will be with you and bless you” (Gen.26:3).

Just as He did with Isaac, He is willing to do with you. He wants to direct your life and be with you all the way as you carry out His will and in the process of life bring blessings to you.

 

Obey. Do what God tells you to do; even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

The blessings God gives goes beyond the person and the material. They extend beyond your generation. Imagine that – because of your relationship with God your family is blessed for generations. As God’s oath to Abraham was transferred to his son Isaac and to Isaac’s descendants, so does His blessings to you reach forward to your family for generations to come.

 “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Isaac learned that well and obeyed God and stayed where he instructed him to (Gen. 26:5-6).

Think about this. Does it make sense?  Imagine you have the opportunity to go where the economic climate is better. Or you have a job offer or business opportunity opened to you in another country and the prospects indeed look promising. As you ponder and pray about it, God tells you – “Don’t go; stay here with your family.”  What would be your first response? Human as we are, we would think much about it and even question God. Although we know God wants what is best for us when a good thing comes along we might think that God is holding us back. In some cases, we may even think that it is the enemy trying to dissuade us from receiving the blessings of God. This is a tough one. But obedience to God is always best. Obedience to God is key to life and financial success.

 

Speak the truth at all times.

I like the Bible. It shows how much God is willing to relate to us even in our sinful state. The relationship of imperfect man with a perfect and loving God rings throughout.  Sometimes when we are in difficulty (like Isaac being in a strange land) we tend to put up defence mechanisms to protect ourselves. From a financial perspective, during difficult we may lie to the creditors or avoid taking their phone calls. But there is no need to do this when God is with you.

When Isaac’s lie was discovered, it actually resulted in his safely being guaranteed by the very people he feared would kill him. Telling your creditor about your loss of income and your inability to repay as required can actually open the door for some relief. I have heard of cases where the debt has been cancelled! The creditor may be able to give you a longer grace period or offer an alternative that would help until you get back on your feet financially.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. God will honour that.

 

Take action to create wealth.

Gen.26:12-14 really encourages me to move forward with my goals regardless to what the economic forecasters as saying.

 You don’t have to wait for the external conditions to improve or change in order to make an internal shift and take decisive action. If you wait you will likely never achieve your goals.

Isaac’s action to plant during the scarcity was a step of faith which God honoured. Not only did he reap 100% of his crop but his cattle and his household increased so much that his neighbours noticed it. When you move forward in faith – whether to change your career, work towards a promotion that doesn’t seem likely or start a new business or even find an extra income stream – God will prosper you and those around you will see it too!

 

Avoid relationship conflicts.

When you begin to prosper (while others are still facing financial challenges) not everyone will be happy about your successes. Some will want to learn from you while others will envy you and try to sabotage you in some way. This is what happened to Isaac. Each time he succeeded in digging a well and finding water – a much-needed commodity then – his “friendly” neighbours came to stake their claim on it.

The blessing on your life may cause others to envy (Gen.26:14), to fear you (Gen.26:16), to quarrel with you, to steal from you and to try to frustrate you (Gen.26:19-22). You may experience conflict in one way or another with friends or family members. People may think that your good fortune is undeserving. You may have ‘sudden’ friction between you and others that didn’t exist before. You may find that people just attach themselves to you to get what they can from you and not because they genuinely care about you. It’s unfortunate but this is how some respond.

The important step you must take in times like these is to let go and let God and not to react rashly to what others are doing. Isaac gave up what he and his servants had worked hard for but in the end they prevailed. So don’t despair. Don’t fight your enemies. God will make room for you and make you fruitful where you are (Gen. 26:22).

 

Finally, be patience, peace (shalom) will come.

The time will come as you continue to prosper and you handle relationship issues well that God will cause even your enemies to be at peace with you.  Why? Your godly response to them (even when they do you wrong), will cause them to acknowledge that the Lord is with you (Gen. 26:28-29). They will want to make amends with you. Being at peace with your enemies will make the financial successes you receive even more pleasant.

Isaac’s situation takes us through the stages from financial struggle to success giving us some insight in how we should respond in times like these. The essence of this is that we should have a relationship with Christ, follow His leading, take action and live out the Christ life as He want us to.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Financial Empowerment for FREE!

ebook readingSmashwords have put on a reading celebration this week from Mar 02, 2014 to Mar 08, 2014. You will find many titles available at discounted prices or for free during their Read an E-Book Week promotion.

Financial EmpowermentThis is a great opportunity for you to grab a copy of my book, Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will. It will be available in various formats for FREE for this week only.

Lots of other authors will have their books available through this promotion so now is the time to stock up on new or favorite titles.

Financial Empowerment will help you to manage your personal finances using biblical and practical solutions whether you are challenged in this area or not. So if you haven’t received your copy or if you’d like to gift it to someone, please use the coupon code RW100 when you checkout. 

Remember, this pricing is available only on Smashwords.com and you can use the coupon to get Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will for FREE through to Saturday, March 8th, 2014.

Once you’ve read Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances for God’s Will please let me know what you think of it by leaving a review on Smashwords or a comment here on my blog.

I pray that you and others will benefit tremendously by applying the principles discussed in this book.

Thanks & Happy Reading.

Here to your financial empowerment God’s Way,

Pamela C

P.S. Don’t forget to spread the word to friends and family.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Are You Eating Your Seed? PART II

Eating your seed

Eating your money

Sometimes we make hasty spending decisions that we later regret (see last week’s post). In the moment when we need to decide whether to buy or not, we forget how much effort and time (work) we put into earning the money we’re about to quickly blow away. We need to stop, think and make a quick assessment before we spend that cash or swipe that card (often the credit card) before we decide.

  1. Do All the Planting First

This may sound weird but plant first, then eat or consume after. Most people as soon as they have money (salary or gift receipt or other income stream) think of how they can spend it. We need to reverse our thinking: How can we invest it? In my book, I recommend you start where I have always started – tithe i.e. give to God what is His, then do save and invest some it and pay your obligations including feeding yourself and your family. Then you spend a little on yourself. Shift your priority from spending (eating seed) to giving, saving and investing (planting seed for your future).

  1. Question the Timing of Your Purchase

I know that there may be something on your wish list and you been thinking of having it for a long time; but is now the right time to buy it? Can you wait a little longer for a better price or save towards it if you really think it is worth having? Are there more immediate matters to consider or a bigger goal (like a buying house) that need priority?

  1. Question the Value of Your Purchase

At times we don’t even give thought to the items – more clothes, the latest electronics, the dine-outs, etc. – that we want to buy. Stop yourself in your tracks. Do you really need to spend money in that area? Can you live without it or consider it at a later date?

  1. Delay the Purchase, Even For a Little While

Don’t get me wrong. We are blessed with what we have for our enjoyment (2 Peter 1:3) but sometimes it is necessary to delay the gratification. Walking away from that store, and giving yourself 24 hours to think about it could be the best decision you make for that day. Often times you will not go back to buy the item because you’d realize that you don’t need it.

The Benefits of Not Eating Our Seed

Not eating your seed equates to my simple advice that was featured in The 2014 Woman’s Advantage Calendar, “Buy only what you need.” Doing this will save you not only money and help secure your financial future but you will have peace of mind. You will avoid the unnecessary stress of paying the extra amount on your credit card.

If you did not pay with your credit card, you’ll avoid having limited cash available in your account because of that unplanned purchase. Your cash resources would be “freed up” and available to invest in opportunities that are of interest to you – personal development or educational course, money for a long sought-after and much-needed vacation, investment into a new business venture and a new career path.

As in my case, I spent money that I could be used for more promotion and advertising to get the message out about Financial Empowerment. When you and I spend where we shouldn’t we are negatively impacting our future. We are reducing our spending power and our ability to take care for ourselves and family in the years ahead. But if we use our money well, we would have enough for:

  1. Our current needs – food, housing, clothing, education
  2. The unexpected event – medical care, car repairs, household big-ticket purchases
  3. The future – life insurance, health insurance, retirement fund and other investment that would give us the ability to take care of ourselves and to leave an inheritance for future generations

So when we eat our seed we are not like wise farmers. We are destroying our future. Like a farmer, we plant our seed (work) and the harvest (income) comes, we should eat (consume) some of it, store away (save) a part and then we should sell (generate income) or replant (invest) the rest. Why? If we eat all our seed (our money) we would have nothing left for our future needs. Some when you plant the seed and have received a return, consider carefully what you will do with it. You can 1) consume by spending and borrowing; 2) sell or invest to generate more income; 3) invest in others by giving or lending or 3) save to keep for short-term and long-term needs.

It is a disservice to ourselves when we eat our seed that God provided. We don’t experience the joy of giving, the return on investing, and the rest in knowing that there is something set aside to aid in the future. Like the P31 woman, we should be smiling at our future (Proverbs 31:25) because we have used our seed well to take care of the present and beyond.

Since God is the One who gives the seed and the food, we should try to plant and nurture it since He is able to increase it (2 Cor. 9:10; Is. 55:10). Use your seed well.

Living Success Minute: This week, make a list of what you do with your money. What did you spend it on? Was it worth it? Was it necessary or just a buy on the whim? How can you make better money choices next time? Take note of your answers as you make a conscious decision to use your money well.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email