Monday, July 30, 2018

God’s Investment Funds Yield Eternal Dividends

God’s Investment Funds Yield Eternal Dividends
1 Timothy 6:18-19
“They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life” (NLT).

Today’s passages come from 1 Timothy 6:17-19 where Paul tells Timothy to teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

Paul advised Timothy to deal with any potential problems by teaching that having riches carries great responsibility. If I have been blessed with wealth, then thank the Lord. Don't be proud and don't trust in my money. Rather use my money to do good. Be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share. No matter how much money I have, my life should demonstrate that God controls the wealth that he has placed under my care.

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, “They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life” (NLT).

I must keep in mind that I am going to enjoy forever what I invest in, in heaven, and I’ll be investing in heaven every time I use my money for good. So how do I do this? Financial advisors will tell me not to put all my eggs in one basket. I should put my money into different funds for a balanced portfolio.

God has given different “funds” that I can invest in for eternity? I’ll look at three today and two tomorrow. These are all funds that are proven. They have a track record. They’re protected. They are risk-free, and they yield enormous dividends.

First is, God’s Growth Fund. This is anytime I invest in something that is going to grow my character. Proverbs 10:16 says, “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin” (NLT). To enhance my life with my money, I use it to grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. When I use money to develop my skills and become mature, I’m investing in eternity.

Second is, God’s Mutual Fund. This is every time I use my money to encourage fellowship and build relationships with other believers. Romans 12:13 says, “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality” (NLT). God wants me to use some of my money to show love to other believers because it proves that I’m in God’s family. Second, it creates unity. And third, it’s a witness to unbelievers.

Third is, God’s Service Fund. This is when I invest in eternity by using money to serve others. God wants me to take some of my money and use it to help people who are in need. Proverbs 11:24 says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller” (The Message). In other words, the more I help others, the more God blesses me. God is a giver. He is generous, and he wants me to become like him. I do this by investing in my character, other believers, and people in need.

Bottom Line:
Do good works, be generous and be ready to share. This is the way to store up true treasures for the future.

What this means to me:
God tells me that I should be rich in good works, generosity a readiness to share with others. By doing this, I will store up true treasures for the future, and experience true life.

In summary, I should be careful about being to proud in or trust my money. Money can be unreliable. My trust needs to be placed in God, who is the one who richly gives all I need. I should be extremely thankful for what God has given me. Then, I should use the money he has given me to do good. I should be rich in good works and generous to this who are in need with a willingness to share  My life should demonstrate that God controls the wealth he has placed under my care. My money should be used to grow spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Use my money to encourage fellowship and build relationships. Use some of my money to help those who are in need. God promises to take care of me and to bless me through my attitude of generosity and giving.

Today I thank you Father for the material blessings you have provided me. As I reviewed my earnings this past weekend, I did find areas that needed to be adjusted in my giving. It is my willingness to make the choices to give back and invest that truly helps me learn to put my trust in you. I ask that you help remind me of any other area that I need to make adjustments in.

As I start my day, I pray Father for your wisdom and guidance in what I have in front of me. Allow me to clearly communicate priorities and tasks that need to be accomplished. Help me to respond rightly to those I interact with today. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Promise, Purpose, Place, and Day for Tithing

In review of Deuteronomy 14:23 it says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (TLB).

Today’s verse comes from Deuteronomy 14:22-23 where I am taught about the giving of tithes.
I need to set aside a tithe (one tenth) of my income. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship, the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored, and enjoy it in his presence. This applies to all of my income. Doing this will teach me to always fear the Lord my God and to put him first.

The Bible make the purpose of tithing very clear. It is to teach me to fear the Lord and to put him first in my life. I am to give God the first and best of what I earn. For what I do first with my money shows what I value must. Giving the first part of my income to God immediately will allow me to focus my attention on him. It also reminds me that all I have belongs to him. A habit of regular tithing can keep God at the top of my priority list and give me a proper perspective on everything else I have.

Whatever I want God to bless, I have to put him first in. So if I want God to bless your finances, I have to put him first in my money. This is the principle of tithing: I give the first 10 percent of my income back to God.

Here are four verses that explain the promise, the purpose, the place, and the day for tithing.

First, Proverbs 3:9-10 gives the promise about tithing: “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (TLB). God says that if I honor him with the first part of my income, he will bless me financially. God gets paid first, right off the top. It all comes from God in the first place, and I want his blessing on the rest of it.

Why does God tell me to tithe? Deuteronomy 14:23 says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (TLB). God doesn’t need my money, but he wants what it represents: my heart. He wants me to trust him.

Where should I tithe? Tithing to United Way or to someone who’s been out of work for three years is charity. Tithing is an act of worship. It goes to God. Malachi 3:10 says, “‘Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn . . . Test me in this,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need’” (NCV). The storehouse is the temple or the place where I worship God.

When am I supposed to tithe? I do it on the day I worship. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn” (TLB). When I give to God on the first day of the week, the first part of my day, and the first part of my money, I’m declaring, “You’re really number one in my life.” The verse says to “put aside.” I’ve got to plan this! Tithing should not be an impulsive thing. I’ve got to plan for it so that I am honoring God’s plan and purpose for tithing. Then I can watch how God blesses and uses me and honors his promise in my life.

Bottom Line:
Tithe to teach you to always put God first.

What this means to me:
The purpose of my tithing is for me to put God first in my life and to take him seriously.

In summary, Setting aside (planning) a tithe of the first and best part of what I earn. Give it to God first, so that I put him first in my life. It's a reminder that it all belongs to him in the first place. Whatever I want God to bless, I put him first in. God promises that If I honor him first, he will bless me. God wants my heart and wants me to learn to trust him. My tithe is an act of worship.

This morning Father I thank you for your provision and your blessings. Today I ask you for your wisdom to help guide me in my actions and reactions to others. Lord help guide me to prioritize and handle the items that need to be handled. Give me the wisdom and words as I work with others and ultimately make a difference in their lives.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sow Generously to Reap Generosity

In review of 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 it says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (NIV).

2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Paul reminds me that a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plans generously will get a generous crop. I must decide in my heart how much to give. And I shouldn’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." And God will generously provide all I need. Then I will always have everything I need and plenty left over to share with others.

People (including myself at times) may hesitate to give generously to God because of a worry about having enough money left over to meet their own needs. Paul assured the Corinthians that God was able to meet their needs. And that the person who gives only a little will receive only a little in return. So I shouldn’t let a lack of faith keep me from giving cheerfully and generously.

A giving attitude is more important than the amount given. The person who can give only a small gift shouldn't be embarrassed. God is concerned about how a person gives from his or her resources. According to that standard, the giving of the Macedonian churches would be difficult to match. God himself is a cheerful giver. Consider all he had done for us. He is pleased when we who are created in his image give generously and joyfully. Am I having a difficult time letting go of my money? Am I grateful to God for what he has provided me?

If a farmer goes out with a trailer load of beans, and he plants them in a barren field, what fruit does he expect to bear? Watermelon? Cucumbers? No. He’s going to get beans. He doesn’t doubt it. He doesn’t question it. Because whatever you plant is what you’re going to get back.

This is the law of reproduction, and it applies to every single area of your life, especially in my finances.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (NIV).

This can work either positively or negatively in my life. If I’m planting seeds of kindness, people are going to be kind to me. If I forgive others, they are going to be forgiving of me. If I’m generous, people are going to be generous with me.

But if I’m angry all the time, people are going to respond in anger. If I cheat other people, people are going to cheat me. If I gossip about others, others are going to gossip about me.

The law of reproduction says I reap what I sow, but the principle of multiplication says I will also always reap more than I sow.

When you put one kernel of corn in the ground, you don’t get one kernel of corn back. You get a cornstalk with multiple ears on it and hundreds of kernels on each of those ears. This is the exponential power that God has established the universe to handle. I always get more out of it than I put into it.

It’s a good reason to never attack those against me. This way I don’t get caught in the chain. No matter what anybody says to me, I should strive to not say anything bad back to them because if I do, I’m going to reap more than I sowed. Instead I need to do the exact opposite. I bless and  pray for them, because that’s what I want to receive, and I always reap more than I sow.

Proverbs 11:24 says, “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller” (The Message).

Bottom Line:
You will reap what you sow. Give from your heart and not from reluctance or compulsion. God loves a cheerful giver.

What this means to me:
How I sow matters greatly. If I sow sparingly, I’ll reap sparingly. If I sow generously, I’ll reap generously. I need to decide in my heart what to give willingly. God loves a cheerful giver.

In summary, I will get what I sow. My giving should be from my heart and not reluctance or pressure. My attitude is more important than the amount. I will always have everything I need and plenty left over to share with others. God himself is a cheerful giver. Consider all he has done for me. Whatever I plant (positive or negative) is what I'll get back. What I receive back will always be more than I put in.

Father I thank you this morning for all that you have given me. This message of giving was also something I was reminded of a few weeks ago. While I give, I do need to re-address what I am giving since God has blessed me recently with more. I need to make this Saturday my day of “cheerful giving” and put plans together on our giving. This morning Father I pray for your continued wisdom, guidance and reminders in how I work through and delegate tasks that is in our queue. Please help me respond rightly to others. In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I Will Reap My Harvest in Just the Right Time

In review of Galatians 6:9 it says, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT).

Today’s verse comes from Galatians 6:7-10. With in it, I reminded that I will always harvest what I plant. If I live to satisfy my own sinful nature, I will only end up harvesting decay and death from that sinful nature. But if I live to please the Spirit I will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time I will reap a harvest of blessing if I don't give up. Therefore, whenever I have the opportunity, I should do good to everyone, especially to those in the family of faith.

It's a natural law to harvest what I plant. I'm finding that it's true in other areas as well. It would be surprise to plant corn but have pumpkins come up. Every action has results. If I plant to please my own desires, I'll end up harvesting sorrow and evil. However, if I plant to please God, I'll harvest joy and everlasting life. So today I should consider what kind of seeds am I planting?

It is discouraging to continue to do right and receive no word of thanks or see no tangible results. But Paul challenged the Galatians and myself, to keep on doing good and to trust God for the results. In due time, I will reap a harvest of blessing.

Between the then and the now, or the now and the what’s coming next, there is always a delay. This can be irritating: to make a deposit or an investment or a plan and not have it instantly come to fruition.

But I must remember that fruit ripens slowly. Would you rather eat a vine-ripened tomato or one that has been picked green and then gassed to turn it red? There’s no comparison between a vine-ripened tomato, which was allowed to grow slowly, and a tomato that was picked prematurely. If I pick too soon, I’ll miss the flavor.

In money management, I will always reap in a different season than I sow. And by the way, not all fruit ripens at the same time. When you grow peaches, they’re not all ripe at once. They come in little by little; I pick a few a day. When I start planting and following God’s money management principles, I’m not going to get a windfall tomorrow. It’s going to come in over time. (And my wife and myself have experienced this first hand). I’m going to have to wait to reap in a different season.

I’m reminded this morning that while I’m waiting, God is working. When I’m waiting for the fulfillment of the efforts or money or energy that I’ve put into something, I may think nothing’s happening. Oh, it’s happening! While that seed is hidden in the ground, it is slowly germinating. And when that seed bursts with God’s blessing on it, it will continue growing and growing. One day a little shoot will stick up out of the ground, and then I’ll will see that it’s working.

But until then, I need to trust that God is working, even when I can’t see the fruit of my labor.

Plants take time to grow. There’s no such thing as instant maturity. No farmer goes out, plants the seed in the ground, comes back an hour later, digs it up, and expects it to have grown. I’ve just got to let it be. Leave it covered, and let God grow it in his time.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (NLT).

Bottom Line:
Don’t give up doing what is right. God will provide a harvest of blessing at just the right time.

What this means to me:
I shouldn’t get tired of doing what is good, even though the tangible results are not present or easy to see. If I don’t give up, God will provide a harvest of blessing, and just at the right time.

In summary, I will always harvest what I plant. At just the right time, I will reap a harvest of blessing If I don't give up. Therefore, in every opportunity I should do good to everyone. Every action of mine will have some type of result. There will always be a delay in receiving the harvest. Fruit takes time to ripen. Just know that while I"m waiting, God is working. Until then, trust that God is working, even when the fruit is not evident or seen yet. Just leave it to God and let him grow it in his timing.

Father I thank you for the blessings I’ve received from you and for the ones you’ll give me in the future. Today’s verse is a great reminder for me to not give up. I pray this morning Father for your wisdom, encouragement and reminders to help me to continue to good in every opportunity. I want to serve and love you, and serve and love others. I ask for wisdom to help me select the right activities to complete and to communicate well with others. In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Choosing to Accept God’s Grace

In review of Romans 6:23 it tells me that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lor...