Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be faithful and trust God”
In yesterday’s devotional I made the statement that the most important step any of us can take in order to handle our finances better is to put God first on your prioritized budget list. Make tithing and generous giving your number one budget priority and then trust God for the rest. The way that God has chosen to finance His work in this world is through the faithful and generous giving of His people. And if you will be one of those people, He has promised to care for you in return.
This is a subject I personally struggled with for many years, first as a new Christian, and then when my family and I answered the call to full-time ministry. As new Christians, we didn’t have much room in our budget for tithing and sacrificial giving. It was something we had to work at and continue to increase over time as we cleaned up our finances and learned to put God at the top of the list. And then, when I accepted the call to full-time Christian ministry, it was with the understanding that for the rest of my life I would be earning significantly less than I could have in some other, higher paying profession. I struggled with that for a while.
But Linda was much better with it. She adopted Matthew 6:25-34 as a promise from God to her. That is what we call the “Do not worry” passage of the New Testament. It’s where God tells us to simply honor Him with our finances and with our lives, and then to trust Him for the rest. I can’t count the number of times over the years that she reminded me of this passage. And lo and behold, it has always proven to be true. We’ve never been rolling in the dough, but we’ve never been homeless or hungry either. Our needs were always met and we were always comfortable. God provides.
But please understand, when it comes to “God providing”, it’s true that God will always do His part, but it’s also true that we have to do our part. We have a responsibility to handle our finances well. We are to give generously; we are not to be frivolous or extravagant with our spending; we are not to create lots of debt in order to get things we don’t really need; and we cannot expect God to step-in and magically clean-up the messes we have irresponsibly created. God will do His part but we have to do our parts too, and that requires personal discipline, smart decisions, and often, sacrifice.
One of the best resources available today to help Christians establish and maintain good money management skills is “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. The strategies Dave teaches in that book are proven methods for getting and staying financially sound. If your money management skills could use some improvement, I encourage you to consider making “The Total Money Makeover” one of your goals for 2020.