From Our Hearts to Yours

Money Matters to God

Money matters to God. Just look up online all of the verses in His word that speak of money! And, I’d bet that money matters between you and your husband come up in conversation too. In fact, a statistic reports that almost 90% of all marital arguments can be traced back to issues of money.

I’ve written extensively on the money management of the woman portrayed as God’s ideal wife in Proverbs 31:10­-31. Threaded throughout the 22 verses that make up her portrait is the theme of money and money management. Her character qualities shine as she “girds” herself physically to do the work (verse 17), uses her mind to budget and increase the family funds, and creates goods to barter and sell to further benefit her beloved family. As a result, God was honored (verse 30), the poor were served (verse 20), her husband was elevated (verse 23), and she was known by all as “a virtuous wife” (verse 10). “Her worth” to her husband, children, and community was “far above rubies” (verse 10).

God graciously gives us clear instruction on the best management of our finances. Take time to read His word or read a book outlining godly finances. When you agree with God about the importance of doing your best to manage your part of the family finances, and by making a commitment to Him to do a better job with His resources, the wise management of it will begin to matter to you. Therefore you’ll want to be sure to…

Pray — because managing God’s money is not only a spiritual issue requiring spiritual disci­plines and character qualities, but it is a matter of obedience.

Give — because God asks you to.

Save — because it will better your family. Save for educa­tional funds. Save for a home or home furnish­ings. Save for retirement. Save for a special trip (vacation or missions) Save, too, to fund someone’s ministry.

Budget — because a budget maps out the path for your lifestyle.
Go without — because a host of spiritual disci­plines are birthed and enhanced as you do.

Beware — of greed, lust, bitterness, and envy.

Grow — in contentment.

Wives, we have a unique position to influences the financial climate of our marriages. I want you to represent the Lord and His will well (Titus 2:5). And I want you to be a blessing, first and foremost to your dear sweet husband. I want you to grow in character, be con­tent with what you have, support your husband’s efforts, and be a diligent homemaker and financial warrior as you “build your home” (see Proverbs 14:1). I want you to be a woman filled with every good virtue and God’s fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And your faithful watch care of your joint assets and the place where you live will accomplish all this and more as you look to our dear Lord for His gracious enablement.

Question: Which trait from above speaks to you the most as lacking in your family’s financial strategy?

The Generosity in Your Heart

Like all of the character traits Jesus embodied, generosity is a matter of the heart. The Pharisees, a sect of religious leaders in Jesus’ day, made a great show of giv­ing to the needy, both in the synagogues and on the streets. They thought this proved how righteous and spiritual they were.

However, Jesus taught just the opposite regarding generosity. He said giving should be done in secret. He instructed us to “take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.” Instead, you are to not even “let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Why? “That…your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1,2-4).

Giving God’s way demonstrates true righteousness before God, not in front of others, And the result? God in turn rewards the giver. In other words, you cannot look for your blessings and rewards from both man and God.

Giving is a matter between you and God and not you and another person or cause, no matter how impor­tant it is. It’s a matter of the heart. Giving is to be an act of worship. Just as you prepare yourself for wor­ship and ministry, you are to prepare yourself for acts of generosity (2 Corinthians 9:7). Where’s your heart? A guiding truth teaches that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

We know generosity is not necessarily an indicator of a relationship with Jesus. There are many charitable people in the world who are not Christians. But those who have a heart for Jesus and sincerely desire to follow Him are generous — like Him! He instructed us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous­ness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Unfortunately we tend to get this backward. We seek “things” first and add Jesus on as an afterthought.

If you’re feeling the need for a priority makeover, a look at your checkbook or your monthly credit card statement will shout out what you are seeking — things, or the things of God. Take a peek. It’s a lit­tle like taking your temperature. See what it reveals about the level of your commitment to possessions versus the things Jesus values. What does it disclose about your heart-attitude toward money and possessions and generosity?

We also need to asses the generosity of our time and attitudes. Are we available and free with our time for others’ concerns. Do we secretly avoid or seek to help those in need?

Jesus did not make it a secret that a life of faith in Him will look differently than the world. But, let make sure that the secret of your heart is genuine generosity that reflects the genuine goodness of God.

Question: What surprise did you find when you first took the temperature of your generosity by observing your checkbook? Did something stand out in particular that you wish to remedy?

Be Rich

Despite the title, this is not the quick guide to God’s fame and fortune for you! God warns us often to beware of greed, lust, bitterness, and envy. But, in our culture and day-and-age it can be hard for any person to have a correct perspective on money. Beloved woman after God’s own heart, you and I must realize that in God’s economy, many things are more important than money.
True wealth – We are to “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18). As a few more proverbs put it, “Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice” and “better is a little with the fear of the LORD, than great trea­sure with trouble” (Proverbs 16:8 and 15:16).

Rather than greediness, desiring to be rich, and loving and chasing after money, we are to “flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). Dear one, physical riches will one day be gone (verse 7). Therefore realize that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (verse 6).

Your character is more important than money — “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abom­ination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight” (Proverbs 11:20).

Your reputation, too, is better than money — “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1).

Wisdom is also more important than money — “The crown of the wise is their riches” (Proverbs 14:24); “how much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16).

And humility is better than money — “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

And here’s another twist — you, as a godly wife, are better than money to your husband! “Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD” (Proverbs 19:14). In fact, according to the Bible, you, as a godly wife, are your husband’s greatest asset. With a godly wife of character, humility, wisdom, and faithful­ness beside him, the Bible says your husband “will have no lack of gain” (Proverbs 31:11). Why? Because as “a virtuous wife” your “worth is far above rubies” (verse 10).

In the reality of God’s economy we are rich beyond measure. We’ve been given the ultimate gifts of salvation through Christ, the constant presence of the Holy Spirit, and every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). We can rest in God’s care and provision for all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). Praise God— We are rich indeed!

A Prayer to Pray: Lord, I have so many blessings right now, and I still tend to focus on my wants or what others have. Do not let me define my value by a dollar sign. Help me to place more value and crave the things that you value.

From Jim’s heart…Stop, Look, and Listen to God

When Moses was tending his father-in-law’s sheep in Midian, he led them out to the desert to Mount Horeb (also known as Mount Sinai). There he encountered a bush that burned, yet was not consumed by the fire. As Moses turned to see what was going on, God called to him from inside the bush. He told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. God then explained to Moses that He had heard the cries of the people of Israel, who were in bondage in Egypt, and that He was going to use Moses to confront Pharaoh and bring His people out of Egypt.

Moses thought there was no way God could use him. He basically asked God, “Who am I? Why would You send me to go before Pharaoh? And what makes You think I could bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? No, God. You’ve got the wrong guy!” (See Exodus 3:11). God assured Moses that He would be with him. But Moses remained unconvinced that he was the right man for the job, even after God provided him with miracles to show the people confirmation that God had sent him. Moses wanted God to send someone else, but God refused, allowing only Aaron, Moses’ brother, to go with him. Eventually, Moses complied and prepared to leave Midian to go to Egypt. (See Exodus 3:1-21.)

A Life Lesson from Moses — Stop, Look, and Listen:

The mind plays funny tricks on a person in a desert environment. Moses saw something that looked like a burning bush, yet it was not consumed by the flame. Moses had spent 40 years in the desert and had never seen anything like this! He could have concluded that it was a mirage or that he was having a heat stroke, and returned to his tent. But the supernatural caught his attention and he went to investigate. This choice to turn and check out this strange happening turned Moses’ life upside down. He was never the same person again.

Is God wanting to speak to you from His Word or through wise counsel? And are you willing to take the time to turn aside and hear His message? What if Moses hadn’t paused and turned to receive God’s instruction? Perhaps God would have found someone else, and Moses would have lost the blessing. Follow Moses’ example: Stop, look, and listen to what God has to say to you. You’ll be glad you did!

Question: Share a story of how you’ve stopped to look and listen from God in the last year. How was your life changed by this encounter?

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George

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