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

Staying Power: A Key to Success

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

Lately I have been time and energy challenged with three major projects pending completion within the same time frame. Each of them spans across different areas – my job, church and book publishing. During my lunch time, I am either making phone calls or responding to personal emails to keep up with the pace. By the time I reach home, I am taking care of my family and trying to set aside time for writing, marketing, promotion, learning and improving. At times, I feel a bit stretched but when I go to bed, I am satisfied that I’ve done my best for the day.

I realize that day by day, step by step I am making progress on my goals. Recently I asked the Lord how is it that I can keep moving forward although the responsibilities are great, the goals are high and at times tired. The word of received from the Lord is that He gives staying power.

Hum! What’s that?

I thought to myself that I have tried and failed miserably at other goals before but still I am ‘riding the tide’ (so to speak). Even amidst those foul ups, bleeps, blunders, outright failures; I have not given up (though I have thought of it in the tough moments). Today I am still moving forward and stepping out to try new things too. Staying power reminds me of the Apostle Paul who said he was pressing towards the goal for the prize of his calling in Christ (Philippians 3:14). This is what staying power is.

But what does staying power involve?

Anointing of God

For any Christian I would say the greatest means to having staying power is to have the anointing of God on your life. We are often quick to give up especially when life is tough. We need to keep asking God to anoint us to do His will. We need God’s presence for service not only in church but at home, at work, at school, or in whatever way we serve.

Enjoy Your Work

I know that I can be paid for what I am doing. Yet though there is not immediate recompense to me, I am not discouraged. Money is not my driving force but rather sharing and encouraging others to be living successes in Christ.

Discipline

Success in anything is gained with the ability to lead yourself. Instead of sleeping in, you rise early. Rather than watch television, you cut the hours you spend in front the tube to work on your goals. If you’re keep tabs on your weight, you exercise and eat healthier foods. Discipline is giving up the immediate pleasures to gain the precious prizes at the end.

Determination

Considering all Paul experienced (beatings, persecutions, imprisonment, ship wrecks) in his service to God, we can tell that he was strong-minded man (1 Corinthians 11:24-28). Joseph when betrayed by his brothers, then accused and imprisoned did not lose sight but keep holding to his dreams. Make up you mind to keep going forward.

Diligence

A diligent person is one who sticks to the task. You don’t stop midway but you work to complete what you started. Determination is a mind-set that acted out by being diligent. They go hand in hand and are part of having staying power. Be diligent because the reward will be sweet for you (Proverbs 13:4).

Love God & His people

You can love God but it really shows when you love His people. It is very hard to love without giving. When I put my time and effort into this work of writing I am by extension showing the love of Christ to others and honouring God.

Passion

When you are passionate about something, you have an unrelenting drive for what you are doing. You deeply care about what you are doing. You think about it all time and your family and friends probably think you are overly enthusiastic about it.

Prayer

Our physical as well as spiritual stamina lies in having a constant connection to our heavenly Father. Some mornings after a long night I would prefer to stay in bed but I can’t. I know that I need my Father God – to guide, to comfort, to direct, to strengthen and to provide. He is the Source of everything good. I am always renewed and receive new strength when I spend time in God’s presence.

Today, ask the Lord for give you staying power. Ask God to help you press forward like Paul in whatever way He has asked you to serve. Fix your eyes on the goal and move forward.

Share an experience when you thought you could do no more and you received staying power from the Lord to continue?