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Friday, January 18, 2019

Make a Plan for My Money, Responsibilities and Resources

In review of Proverbs 14:8 it says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB).

Today’s verse is Proverbs 14:8. It tells me that a prudent person will understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.

A prudent person will look ahead, think through, examine the facts and know where they are going. Only a fool just proceeds thinking he knows everything, and not facing the facts.

I’m learning that money is a tool to be used for God’s purposes. I’m not to hoard it, stockpile it, or even worship it. I’m to use it! I can use temporary resources, what God has put in my hands, for permanent good.

In Luke 16, Jesus turned the dishonest but shrewd manager into the hero. The manager knew he was going to be fired, so he decided to make some friends by lowering the debts owed to his master.

What did Jesus like about this guy? The man was dishonest, but he did three things right, and those three things reveal lessons that God wants me to learn and apply to my handling of money, finances, resources and time.

First, the manager looked ahead. Seems most people never look ahead when it comes to their finances. In addition, they’re not saving anything, and that’s not smart. Proverbs 14:8 reminds me that, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB).

Second, the manager made a plan. How do I know if I’ve got a financial plan? It’s really simple: Do I have a budget? A budget is simply planned spending. A budget tells your money where I want it to go rather than wondering where it went. I’ve got to have a plan. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, “We should make plans—counting on God to direct us” (TLB).

Thirdly, the manager acted quickly. Luke 16:4 says, “I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired” (NLT). The manager didn’t procrastinate; he didn’t delay. He set his plan in motion. He didn’t say, “Someday I’m going to get my finances in order” or “Someday I’m going to start saving for retirement.”

Jesus didn’t commend the manager’s dishonesty but his attitude, which said, “I’m going to think ahead. I’m going to make a plan. And I’m going to invest in relationships that will benefit others and me in the future.”

That’s smart! And Jesus wants me to do the same when it comes to my money and finances. Am I spending my treasure here on Earth or looking ahead and storing up treasure in heaven?

Bottom Line:
The prudent person gives thought to where they are going, but a fool only thinks they do.

What this means to me:
It would be wise for me to know and understand where I'm going, otherwise I would just be proceeding like a fool.

In summary, it's wise to look ahead, understand where I'm going, face facts and not deceive myself. When it comes to money, God has given it to me as a tool to be used for his purposes. Thus, I shouldn't hoard, stockpile or even worship it. I'm to use it for permanent good. Jesus commended the dishonest manager not for who he was but for his prudent planning. He knew he was going to be fired, so he decided to make friends by lowering debts. In doing so, he looked ahead, made a plan and acted quickly on it (he didn't procrastinate, he set his plan immediately in motion). It wasn't his dishonesty, but rather his attitude that Jesus commended.

It occurs to me this morning that this advice is not only good for financial stewardship but for many other things, such as my work. I should look ahead and put a plan together (telling what I want to see happen) and not procrastinate, but act quickly on executing it.

This morning Father I thank you for this reminder for not only how I handle my personal resources, but work ones as well. I pray for your wisdom and guidance in how I handle my responsibilities and tasks, in how I lead those who report to me and how I interact with those around me. I pray this through your Son Jesus name, amen!